• Volume 27, Issue 2-3

      June 2006,   pages  56a-372

    • Editorial

      Wahab Uddin

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    • Preface

      Nat Gopalswamy

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    • Why Study the Sun?

      Arvind Bhatnagar

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      In this presentation we briefly describe the Sun through large number of illustrations and pictures of the Sun taken from early times to the present day space missions. The importance of the study of the Sun is emphasized as it is the nearest star which presents unparallelled views of surface details and numerous phenomena. Our Sun offers a unique celestial laboratory where a large variety of phenomena take place, ranging in temporal domain from a few milliseconds to several decades, in spatial domain from a few hundred kilometers to thousands of kilometers, and in the temperature domain from a few thousand degrees to several million degrees. Its mass motion ranges from thousandths to thousands of kilometers per second. Such an object provides us with a unique laboratory to study the state of matter in the Universe.

      The existing solar ground-based and space missions have already revealed several mysteries of the outer environment of our Sun and much more is going to come in the near future from planned new sophisticated ground-based solar telescopes and Space missions.

      The new technique of helioseismology has unravelled many secrets of the solar interior and has put the Standard Solar Model (SSM) on firm footing. The long-standing problem of solar neutrinos has been recently sorted out, and even the ‘back side’ view of the Sun can be seen using the technique of holographic helioseismology.

    • Some recent developments in solar dynamo theory

      Arnab Rai Choudhuri

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      We discuss the current status of solar dynamo theory and describe the dynamo model developed by our group. The toroidal magnetic field is generated in the tachocline by the strong differential rotation and rises to the solar surface due to magnetic buoyancy to create active regions. The decay of these active regions at the surface gives rise to the poloidal magnetic field by the Babcock-Leighton mechanism. This poloidal field is advected by the meridional circulation first to high latitudes and then down below to the tachocline. Dynamo models based on these ideas match different aspects of observational data reasonably well.

    • Helicity of solar active regions from a dynamo model

      Piyali Chatterjee

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      We calculate helicities of solar active regions based on the idea that poloidal flux lines get wrapped around a toroidal flux tube rising through the convection zone, thereby giving rise to the helicity. We use our solar dynamo model based on the Babcock-Leighton α-effect to study how helicity varies with latitude and time.

    • Nanoflares and heating of the solar corona

      U. Narain K. Pandey

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      Coronal heating by nanoflares is presented by using observational, analytical, numerical simulation and statistical results. Numerical simulations show the formation of numerous current sheets if the magnetic field is sheared and bipoles have unequal pole strengths. This fact supports the generation of nanoflares and heating by them. The occurrence frequency of transients such as flares, nano/microflares, on the Sun exhibits a power-law distribution with exponent α varying between 1.4 and 3.3. For nanoflares heating α must be greater than 2. It is likely that the nanoflare heating can be reproduced by dissipating Alfven waves. Only observations from future space missions such as Solar-B, to be launched in 2006, can shed further light on whether Alfven waves or nanoflares, heat the solar corona.

    • Evolving coronal holes and interplanetary erupting stream disturbances

      Rajendra Shelke

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      Coronal holes and interplanetary disturbances are important aspects of the physics of the Sun and heliosphere. Interplanetary disturbances are identified as an increase in the density turbulence compared with the ambient solar wind. Erupting stream disturbances are transient large-scale structures of enhanced density turbulence in the interplanetary medium driven by the high-speed flows of low-density plasma trailing behind for several days. Here, an attempt has been made to investigate the solar cause of erupting stream disturbances, mapped by Hewish & Bravo (1986) from interplanetary scintillation (IPS) measurements made between August 1978 and August 1979 at 81.5 MHz. The position of the sources of 68 erupting stream disturbances on the solar disk has been compared with the locations of newborn coronal holes and/or the areas that have been coronal holes previously. It is found that the occurrence of erupting stream disturbances is linked to the emergence of new coronal holes at the eruption site on the solar disk.

      A coronal hole is indicative of a radial magnetic field of a predominant magnetic polarity. The newborn coronal hole emerges on the Sun, owing to the changes in magnetic field configuration leading to the opening of closed magnetic structure into the corona. The fundamental activity for the onset of an erupting stream seems to be a transient opening of pre-existing closed magnetic structures into a new coronal hole, which can support highspeed flow trailing behind the compression zone of the erupting stream for several days.

    • Mechanisms of coronal heating

      S. R. Verma

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      The Sun is a mysterious star. The high temperature of the chromosphere and corona present one of the most puzzling problems of solar physics. Observations show that the solar coronal heating problem is highly complex with many different facts. It is likely that different heating mechanisms are at work in solar corona. Recent observations show that Magnetic Carpet is a potential candidate for solar coronal heating.

    • Spectroscopic studies of solar corona VI: Trend in line-width variation of coronal emission lines with height independent of the structure of coronal loops

      Jagdev Singh Takashi Sakurai Kiyoshi Ichimoto S. Muneer

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      We have obtained spectroscopic observations in coronal emission lines by choosing two lines simultaneously, one [Fe x] 6374 Å and the other [Fe xi] 7892 Å or [Fe xiii] 10747 Å or [Fe xiv] 5303 Å. We found that in 95 per cent of the coronal loops observed in 6374 Å, the FWHM of the emission line increases with height above the limb irrespective of the size, shape and orientation of the loop and that in case of 5303 Å line decreases with height in about 89 per cent of the coronal loops. The FWHM of 7892 Å and 10747 Å emission lines show intermediate behavior. The increase in the FWHM of 6374 Å line with height is the steepest among these four lines. We have also studied the intensity ratio and ratio of FWHM of these lines with respect to those of 6374 Å as a function height above the limb. We found that the intensity ratio of 7892 Å and 10747 Å lines with respect to 6374 Å line increases with height and that of 5303 Å to 6374 Å decreases with height above the limb. This implies that temperature in coronal loops will appear to increase with height in the intensity ratio plots of 7892 Å and 6374 Å; and 10747 Å and 6374 Å whereas it will appear to decrease with height in intensity ratio of 5303 Å to 6374 Å lineversus height plot. These findings are up to a height of about 200 arcsec above the limb. The varying ratios with height indicate that relatively hotter and colder plasma in coronal loops interact with each other. Therefore, the observed increase in FWHM with height above the limb of coronal emission lines associated with plasma at about 1 MK may not be due to increase in non-thermal motions caused by coronal waves but due to interaction with the relatively hotter plasma. These findings also do not support the existing coronal loop models, which predict an increase in temperature of the loop with height above the limb.

    • Physics of the sun’s hot atmosphere

      B. N. Dwivedi

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      This article briefly overviews the physics of the Sun’s hot atmosphere, using observations from recent solar spacecrafts: Yohkoh, SOHO, TRACE and RHESSI.

    • Magnetic source regions of coronal mass ejections

      Brigitte Schmieder

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      The majority of flare activity arises in active regions which contain sunspots, while Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) activity can also originate from decaying active regions and even so-called quiet solar regions which contain a filament. Two classes of CME, namely flare-related CME events and CMEs associated with filament eruption are well reflected in the evolution of active regions. The presence of significant magnetic stresses in the source region is a necessary condition for CME. In young active regions magnetic stresses are increased mainly by twisted magnetic flux emergence and the resulting magnetic footpoint motions. In old, decayed active regions twist can be redistributed through cancellation events. All the CMEs are, nevertheless, caused by loss of equilibrium of the magnetic structure. With observational examples we show that the association of CME, flare and filament eruption depends on the characteristics of the source regions:


    • North-south distribution of solar flares during cycle 23

      Bhuwan Joshi P. Pant P. K. Manoharan

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      In this paper, we investigate the spatial distribution of solar flares in the northern and southern hemispheres of the Sun that occurred during the period 1996 to 2003. This period of investigation includes the ascending phase, the maximum and part of the descending phase of solar cycle 23. It is revealed that the flare activity during this cycle is low compared to the previous solar cycle, indicating the violation of Gnevyshev-Ohl rule. The distribution of flares with respect to heliographic latitudes shows a significant asymmetry between northern and southern hemisphere which is maximum during the minimum phase of the solar cycle. The present study indicates that the activity dominates the northern hemisphere in general during the rising phase of the cycle (1997–2000). The dominance of northern hemisphere shifted towards the southern hemisphere after the solar maximum in 2000 and remained there in the successive years. Although the annual variations in the asymmetry time series during cycle 23 are quite different from cycle 22, they are comparable to cycle 21.

    • Initiation of cmes by magnetic flux emergence

      Govind Dubey Bart van der Holst Stefaan Poedts

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      The initiation of solar Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) is studied in the framework of numerical magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). The initial CME model includes a magnetic flux rope in spherical, axi-symmetric geometry. The initial configuration consists of a magnetic flux rope embedded in a gravitationally stratified solar atmosphere with a background dipole magnetic field. The flux rope is in equilibrium due to an image current below the photosphere. An emerging flux triggering mechanism is used to make this equilibrium system unstable. When the magnetic flux emerges within the filament below the flux rope, this results in a catastrophic behavior similar to previous models. As a result, the flux rope rises and a current sheet forms below it. It is shown that the magnetic reconnection in the current sheet below the flux rope in combination with the outward curvature forces results in a fast ejection of the flux rope as observed for solar CMEs. We have done a parametric study of the emerging flux rate.

    • Flare ribbon expansion and energy release

      Ayumi Asai Takaaki Yokoyama Masumi Shimojo Satoshi Masuda Kazunari Shibata

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      We report a detailed examination about the relationship between the evolution of the Hα flare ribbons and the released magnetic energy during the April 10 2001 flare. In the Hα images, several bright kernels are observed in the flare ribbons. We identified the conjugated foot-points, by analyzing the lightcurves at each Hα kernels, and showed their connectivities during the flare. Then, based on the magnetic reconnection model, we calculated quantitatively the released energy by using the photospheric magnetic field strengths and separation speeds of the Hα flare ribbons. Finally, we examined the downward motions which are observed at the Hα kernels. We found that the stronger the red-asymmetry tends to be associated with the brighter the Hα kernel.

    • Solar x-ray spectrometer (SOXS) mission – Low energy payload – First results

      Rajmal Jain Vishal Joshi S. L. Kayasth Hemant Dave M. R. Deshpande

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      We present the first results from the ‘Low Energy Detector’ pay-load of ‘Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS)’ mission, which was launched onboard GSAT-2 Indian spacecraft on 08 May 2003 by GSLV-D2 rocket to study the solar flares. The SOXS Low Energy Detector (SLD) payload was designed, developed and fabricated by Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in collaboration with Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad and ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC), Bangalore of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The SLD payload employs the state-of-the-art solid state detectors viz., Si PIN and Cadmium-Zinc-Telluride (CZT) devices that operate at near room temperature (-20°C). The dynamic energy range of Si PIN and CZT detectors are 4–25 keV and 4–56 keV respectively. The Si PIN provides sub-keV energy resolution while CZT reveals ∼1.7keV energy resolution throughout the dynamic range. The high sensitivity and sub-keV energy resolution of Si PIN detector allows the measuring of the intensity, peak energy and equivalent width of the Fe-line complex at approximately 6.7 keV as a function of time in all 8 M-class flares studied in this investigation. The peak energy (Ep) of Fe-line feature varies between 6.4 and 6.8 keV with increase in temperature from 9 to 34 MK. We found that the equivalent width (ω) of Fe-line feature increases exponentially with temperature up to 20 MK but later it increases very slowly up to 28 MK and then it remains uniform around 1.55 keV up to 34 MK. We compare our measurements ofw with calculations made earlier by various investigators and propose that these measurements may improve theoretical models. We interpret the variation of both Epand ω with temperature as the changes in the ionization and recombination conditions in the plasma during the flare interval and as a consequence the contribution from different ionic emission lines also varies.

    • EUV and coronagraphic observations of coronal mass ejections

      Durgesh Tripathi

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      The Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) and Extreme-ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (EIT) onboard Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) provide us with unprecedented multi-wavelength observations helping us to understand different dynamic phenomena on the Sun and in the corona. In this paper we discuss the association between post-eruptive arcades (PEAs) detected by EIT and white-light coronal mass ejections (CMEs) detected by LASCO/C2 telescope.

    • Enigmatic solar wind disappearance events – Do we understand them?

      P. Janardhan

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      At the Sun-Earth distance of one astronomical unit (1 AU), the solar wind is known to be strongly supersonic and super Alfvenic with Mach and Alfven numbers being on average 12 and 9 respectively. Also, solar wind densities (average ∼10cm-3) and velocities (average ∼450kms-1) at 1AU, are known to be inversely correlated with low velocities having higher than average densities andvice versa. However, on May 11 and 12 1999 the Earth was engulfed by an unusually low density (< 0.1cm-3) and low velocity (< 350km s-1) solar wind with an Alfven Mach number significantly less than 1. This was a unique low-velocity, low-density, sub-Alfvénic solar wind flow which spacecraft observations have shown lasted more than 24 hours. One consequence of this extremely tenuous solar wind was a spectacular expansion of the Earth’s magnetosphere and bow shock. The expanding bow shock was observed by several spacecraft and reached record upstream distances of nearly 60 Earth radii, the lunar orbit. The event was so dramatic that it has come to be known asthe solar wind disappearance event. Though extensive studies of this event were made by many authors in the past, it has only been recently shown that the unusual solar wind flows characterizing this event originated from a small coronal hole in the vicinity of a large active region on the Sun. These recent results have put to rest speculation that such events are associated with global phenomenon like the periodic solar polar field reversal that occurs at the maximum of each solar cycle. In this paper we revisit the 11 May 1999 event, look at other disappearance events that have ocurred in the past, examine the reasons why speculations about the association of such events with global phenomena like solar polar field reversals were made and also examine the role of transient coronal holes as a possible solar source for such events.

    • Transient perturbations and their effects in the heliosphere, the geo-magnetosphere, and the Earth’s atmosphere: Space weather perspective


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      We discuss the effects of certain dynamic features of space environment in the heliosphere, the geo-magnetosphere, and the earth’s atmosphere. In particular, transient perturbations in solar wind plasma, interplanetary magnetic field, and energetic charged particle (cosmic ray) fluxes near 1 AU in the heliosphere have been discussed. Transient variations in magnetic activity in geo-magnetosphere and solar modulation effects in the heliosphere have also been studied. Emphasis is on certain features of transient perturbations related to space weather effects. Relationships between geomagnetic storms and transient modulations in cosmic ray intensity (Forbush decreases), especially those caused by shock-associated interplanetary disturbances, have been studied in detail. We have analysed the cosmic ray, geomagnetic and interplanetary plasma/field data to understand the physical mechanisms of two phenomena namely, Forbush decrease and geomagnetic storms, and to search for precursors to Forbush decrease (and geomagnetic storms) that can be used as a signature to forecast space weather. It is shown that the use of cosmic ray records has practical application for space weather predictions. Enhanced diurnal anisotropy and intensity deficit of cosmic rays have been identified as precursors to Forbush decreases in cosmic ray intensity. It is found that precursor to smaller (less than 5%) amplitude Forbush decrease due to weaker interplanetary shock is enhanced diurnal anisotropy. However, larger amplitude (greater than 5%) Forbush decrease due to stronger interplanetary shock shows loss cone type intensity deficit as precursor in ground based intensity record. These precursors can be used as inputs for space weather forecast.

    • Space weather effects of coronal mass ejection

      K. N. Iyer R. M. Jadav A. K. Jadeja P. K. Manoharan Som Sharma Hari Om Vats

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      This paper describes the space weather effects of a major CME which was accompanied by extremely violent events on the Sun. The signatures of the event in the interplanetary medium (IPM) sensed by Ooty Radio Telescope, the solar observations by LASCO coronagraph onboard SOHO, GOES X-ray measurements, satellite measurements of the interplanetary parameters, GPS based ionospheric measurements, the geomagnetic storm parameter Dst and ground based ionosonde data are used in the study to understand the space weather effects in the different regions of the solar-terrestrial environment. The effects of this event are compared and possible explanations attempted.

    • Geo-effectiveness of solar wind extremes

      Hari Om Vats

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      Examples of extreme events of solar wind and their effect on geomagnetic conditions are discussed here. It is found that there are two regimes of high speed solar wind streams with a threshold of ∼ 850 km s-1. Geomagnetic activity enhancement rate (GAER) is defined as an average increase in Ap value per unit average increase in the peak solar wind velocity (Vp) during the stream. GAER was found to be different in the two regimes of high speed streams with +ve and-ve IMF. GAER is 0.73 and 0.53 for solar wind streams with +ve and -ve IMF respectively for the extremely high speed streams (< 850 km s-1). This indicates that streams above the threshold speed with +ve IMF are 1.4 times more effective in enhancing geomagnetic activity than those with -ve IMF. However, the high speed streams below the threshold with -ve IMF are 1.1 times more effective in enhancing geomagnetic activity than those with +ve IMF. The violent solar activity period (October–November 2003) of cycle 23 presents a very special case during which many severe and strong effects were seen in the environment of the Earth and other planets; however, the z-component of IMF (Bz) is mostly positive during this period. The most severe geomagnetic storm of this cycle occurred when Bz was positive.

    • The challenge of predicting the occurrence of intense storms

      Nandita Srivastava

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      Geomagnetic super-storms of October and November 2003 are compared in order to identify solar and interplanetary variables that influence the magnitude of geomagnetic storms. Although these superstorms (DST < -300 nT) are associated with high speed CMEs, their DST indices show large variation. The most intense storm of November 20, 2003 (DSt∼ - 472 nT) had its source in a comparatively small active region and was associated with a relatively weaker, M-class flare, while the others had their origins in large active regions and were associated with strong X-class flares. An attempt has been made to implement a logistic regression model for the prediction of the occurrence of intense/superintense geomagnetic storms. The model parameters (regression coefficients) were estimated from a training data-set extracted from a data-set of 64 geo-effective CMEs observed during 1996–2002. The results indicate that logistic regression models can be effectively used for predicting the occurrence of major geomagnetic storms from a set of solar and interplanetary factors. The model validation shows that 100% of the intense storms (-200 nT < DSt < -100 nT) and only 50% of the super-intense (DST < -200 nT) storms could be correctly predicted.

    • Coronal mass ejections of solar cycle 23

      Nat Gopalswamy

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      I summarize the statistical, physical, and morphological properties of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) of solar cycle 23, as observed by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) mission. The SOHO data is by far the most extensive data, which made it possible to fully establish the properties of CMEs as a phenomenon of utmost importance to Sun-Earth connection as well as to the heliosphere. I also discuss various subsets of CMEs that are of primary importance for their impact on Earth.

    • Photospheric, chromospheric and helioseismic signatures of a large flare in super-active region NOAA 10486

      Ashok Ambastha

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      NOAA 10486 produced several powerful flares, including the 4B/X17.2 superflare of October 28, 2003/11:10 UT. This flare was extensively covered by theHα and GONG instruments operated at the Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO). The central location of the active region on October 28,2003 was well-suited for the ring diagram analysis to obtain the 3-D power spectra and search for helioseismic response of this large flare on the amplitude, frequency and width of the p-modes. Further, using USO observations, we have identified the sites of new flux emergences, large proper motions and line-of-sight velocity flows in the active region and their relationship with the flare.

    • Extremely energetic 4B/X17.2 flare and associated phenomena

      Wahab Uddin Ramesh Chandra Syed Salman Ali

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      We observed 4B/X17.2 flare in Hα from super-active region NOAA 10486 at ARIES, Nainital. This is one of the largest flares of current solar cycle 23, which occurred near the Sun’s center and produced extremely energetic emission almost at all wavelengths from γ-ray to radio-waves. The flare is associated with a bright/fast full-halo earth directed CME, strong type II, type III and type IV radio bursts, an intense proton event and GLE. This flare is well observed by SOHO, RHESSI and TRACE. Our Hα observations show the stretching/de-twisting and eruption of helically twisted S shaped (sigmoid) filament in the south-west direction of the active region with bright shock front followed by rapid increase in intensity and area of the gigantic flare. The flare shows almost similar evolution in Hα, EUV and UV. We measure the speed of Hα ribbon separation and the mean value is ∼ 70 km s-1. This is used together with photospheric magnetic field to infer a magnetic reconnection rate at three HXR sources at the flare maximum. In this paper, we also discuss the energetics of active region filament, flare and associated CME.

    • The flares associated with the dynamics of the sunspots

      K. M. Hiremath

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      In the present study, we consider six years data of spot groups that have well developed leading and following spots obtained from the Kodaikanal Observatory white light pictures and occurrence of Hα flares. From the daily observations, we compute the variations in rotation rates, meridional velocity, the areas and longitudinal separations. We find that among all these variations, the occurrence of abnormal rotation rates (the rotation rates that have greater than 1σ and longitudinal minimum separation during the course of their evolution eventually lead to triggering of flares. We also find that the events of abnormal rotation rates, longitudinal minimum separation and the flares occur mainly during the 50–80% of the sunspots’ life span indicating magnetic reconnection probably below (0.935R⊙) the solar surface. Relevance of these results with the conventional theory of magnetic reconnection is briefly discussed.

    • Design and status of Solar Vector Magnetograph (SVM-I) at Udaipur solar observatory

      Sanjay Gosain P. Venkatakrishnan K. Venugopalan

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      We present the status of the instrument called Solar Vector Magnetograph Phase-I (SVM-I) currently being developed at Udaipur Solar Observatory. SVM-I is an instrument which aims to determine the magnetic field vector in the solar atmosphere by measuring Zeeman induced polarization across the spectral line. The instrument is currently in a preliminary development stage, with all components under an evaluation process. The integration of components is being done. The integrated performance of the system on a tracking mount and its control software is being tested. Some test observations of sunspots has been carried out. In this paper we give a technical description of the hardware and software elements of the instrument and present the polarized images obtained during test observations.

    • Research facilities for solar astronomy at ARIES

      P. Pant

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      The solar observational facilities at ARIES (erstwhile U.P. State Observatory, UPSO), Nainital, began in the sixties with the acquisition of two moderate sized (25 cm, f/66 off-axis Skew Cassegrain and 15 cm, f/15 refractor) telescopes. Both these systems receive sunlight through a 45 cm and 25 cm coelostat respectively. The backend instruments to these systems comprised of a single pass grating spectrograph for spectroscopic study of the Sun and a Bernhard-Halle filter, coupled with a Robot recorder camera for solar patrolling in respectively. With the advancement in solar observing techniques with high temporal and spatial resolution in and other wavelengths, it became inevitable to acquire sophisticated instrumentation for data acquisition. In view of that, the above facilities were upgraded, owing to which the conventional photographic techniques were replaced by the CCD camera systems attached with two 15 cm, f/15 Coude refractor telescopes. These CCD systems include the Peltier cooled CCD camera and photometrics PXL high speed modular CCD camera which provide high temporal and spatial resolution of ∼ 25 ms and ∼ 1.3 arcsec respectively.

    • Data acquisition, control, communication and computation system of solar X-ray spectrometer (SOXS) mission

      Amish B. Shah N. M. Vadher Rajmal Jain Hemant Dave Vishal Shah K. S. B. Manian Satish Kayasth Vinod Patel Girish Ubale Kirit Shah Chirag Solanki M. R. Deshpande Ramkrishna Sharma C. N. Umapathy N. Viswanath Ravi Kulkarni P. S. Kumar

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      The Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS) mission onboard GSAT-2 Indian Spacecraft was launched on 08 May 2003 using GSLV-D2 rocket by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). SOXS aims to study solar flares, which are the most violent and energetic phenomena in the solar system, in the energy range of 4–56 keV with high spectral and temporal resolution. SOXS employs state-of-the-art semiconductor devices, viz., Si-Pin and CZT detectors to achieve sub-keV energy resolution requirements. In this paper, we present an overview of data acquisition, control, communication and computation of low energy payload of the SOXS mission.

    • Observational study of solar magnetic active phenomena

      Hongqi Zhang

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      The electric current separated into two parts reflected the quantative properties of heterogeneity and chirality of magnetic field, and defined them as the shear and twist components of current. We analyze the basic configuration and evolution of superactive region NOAA 6580-6619-6659.

      It is found that the contribution of the twist component of current cannot be reflected in the normal analysis of the magnetic shear and gradient of the active regions. The observational evidence of kink magnetic ropes generated from the subatmosphere cannot be found completely in some super delta active regions.

    • Development of solar scintillometer

      Sudhir Kumar Gupta Shibu K. Mathew P. Venkatakrishnan

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      The index of scintillation measurement is a good parameter to compare different sites for image quality or ‘seeing’. We have developed a scintillometer, which is deployed on the high resolution SPAR telescope in the island site of Udaipur Solar Observatory, for the site characterization to specify the proposed MAST (Multi Application Solar Telescope). The scintillometer consists of a miniature telescope, termed as micro telescope (4 mm aperture, 15 mm focal length) mounted on a drive which tracks the Sun continuously, associated amplifiers and a data acquisition system. A photodiode is used as the detector. The telescope along with detector was obtained from National Solar Observatory (NSO), and is similar to the one used for Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST) site survey. At USO we developed the amplifier and data acquisition system for the scintillometer. A 24-bit analog to digital converter based system was designed, assembled, tested and used as the data acquisition system (DAS). In this paper, we discuss the instrumentation and present the initial results.

    • Spatial damping of linear compressional magnetoacoustic waves in quiescent prominences

      K. A. P. Singh

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      We study the spatial damping of magnetoacoustic waves in an unbounded quiescent prominence invoking the technique of MHD seismology. We consider Newtonian radiation in the energy equation and derive a fourth order general dispersion relation in terms of wavenumberk. Numerical solution of dispersion relation suggests that slow mode is more affected by radiation. The high frequency waves have been found to be highly damped. The uncertainty in the radiative relaxation time, however, does not allow us to conclude if the radiation is a dominant damping mechanism in quiescent prominence.

    • Observational searches for chromospheric G-mode oscillations from CaII H-line observations

      R. Kariyappa L. Damé K. M. Hiremath

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      We have used a high spatial and temporal resolution of long time sequence of spectra in CaII H-line obtained at the Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT) of the Sacramento Peak Observatory on a quiet region at the center of the solar disk over a large number of bright points and network elements to search for atmospheric (chromospheric) g-mode oscillations. An important parameter of the H-line profile, intensity at H2v(Ih2V), has been derived from a large number of line profiles. We derived the light curves of all the bright points and network elements. The light curves represent the main pulse with large intensity amplitude and followed by several follower pulses with lower intensity amplitudes. The light curves of these bright points would give an impression that one can as well draw curves towards and away from the highest peak (main pulse) showing an exponential growth and decay of the amplitudes. An exponential decaying function has been fitted for all the light curves of the bright points to determine the damping time of the modes that are more or less the same, and one value of the coefficient of exponent can represent reasonably well the decay for all the cases. The FFT analysis of temporal variation of both the bright points and the network elements indicates around 10-min periodicity. We speculate that this longer period of oscillation may be related to chromospheric g-mode oscillations.

    • The extreme solar activity during october–november 2003

      K. M. Hiremath M. R. Lovely R. Kariyappa

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      The positional measurements of sunspots from the Kodaikanal Observatory and Solar Geophysical data are used to study the association between occurrence of the abnormal activities of big sunspot groups that were observed during the period of October–November 2003 and occurrence of the flares. During the evolution of the sunspot groups, we have investigated the temporal variations in (i) areas; (ii) rotation rates; (iii) longitudinal extents; and (iv) number of small spots produced in a sunspot group. Among all these activity variations, we find that the spot groups that experience abnormal rotation rates during their evolutionary phases eventually trigger the flares.

    • Study of microflares through soxs mission

      Rajmal Jain Vishal Joshi Yoichiro Hanaoka T. Sakurai Nipa Upadhyay

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      We present a study of 10 microflares observed in 4–30 keV by SOXS mission simultaneously with Hα observations made at NAOJ, Japan during the interval between February and August 2004. The X-ray and Hα light curves showed that the lifetime of microflares varies between 4 and 25 min. We found that the X-ray emission in all microflares under study in the dynamic energy range of 4–30 keV can be fitted by thermal plus non-thermal components. The thermal spectrum appeared to start from almost 4 keV, low level discriminator (LLD) of both Si and CZT detectors, however it ends below 8 keV. We also observed the Fe line complex features at 6.7 keV in some microflares and attempted to fit this line by isothermal temperature assumption. The temperature of isothermal plasma of microflares varies in the range between 8.6 and 10.1 MK while emission measure between 0.5 and 2x1049 cm-3. Non-thermal (NT) emission appeared in the energy range 7–15 keV with exponent -6.8 ≤γ-4.8. Our study of microflares that had occurred on 25 February 2004 showed that sometimes a given active region produces recurrent microflare activity of a similar nature. We concluded from X-ray and simultaneous Hα observations that the microflares are perhaps the result of the interaction of low lying loops. It appears that the electrons that accelerated during reconnection heat the ambient coronal plasma as well as interact with material while moving down along the loops and thereby produce Hα bright kernels.

    • Study of a large helical eruptive prominence associated with double CME on 21 April 2001

      Syed Salman Ali Wahab Uddin Ramesh Chandra

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      Here we present a preliminary analysis of a helical eruptive prominence at the east limb of the Sun on 21 April 2001. Unusually this eruption is associated with a double CME. We have tried to study the morphology of the event, energy budget of the prominence and associated CMEs. Our analysis shows that the prominence and first CME started simultaneously from the limb and prominence carries sufficient energy to feed both the CMEs. Moreover, it is also concluded that CMEs are magnetically driven and internally powered.

    • Magnetosonic waveguide model of solar wind flow tubes

      A. K. Srivastava B. N. Dwivedi

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      We consider solar wind flow tubes as a magnetosonic wave-guide. Assuming a symmetric expansion in edges of slab-modelled wave-guide, we study the propagation characteristics of magnetosonic wave in the solar wind flow tubes. We present the preliminary results and discuss their implications.

    • Analysis of plasma and field conditions during some intensely geo-effective transient solar/interplanetary disturbances of solar cycle 23

      Yatendra Pal Singh Munendra Singh Badruddin

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      The problem of solar wind-magnetosphere coupling is investigated for intense geomagnetic storms (Dst < -100nT) that occurred during solar cycle 23. For this purpose interplanetary plasma and field data during some intensely geo-effective transient solar/interplanetary disturbances have been analysed. A geomagnetic index that represents the intensity of planetary magnetic activity at subauroral latitude and the other that measures the ring current magnetic field, together with solar plasma and field parameters (V, B, Bz, σB, N, and T) and their various derivatives (BV,-BVz, BV2, -BzV2, B2V, Bz2V, NV2) have been analysed in an attempt to study mechanism and the cause of geo-effectiveness of interplanetary manifestations of transient solar events. Several functions of solar wind plasma and field parameters are tested for their ability to predict the magnitude of geomagnetic storm.

    • The influence of solar activity on the rainfall over India: Cycle-to-cycle variations

      K. M. Hiremath

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      We use 130 years data for studying correlative effects due to solar cycle and activity phenomena on the occurrence of rainfall over India. For the period of different solar cycles, we compute the correlation coefficients and significance of correlation coefficients for the seasonal months of Jan–Feb (JF), Mar–May (MAM), June–Sept (JJAS) and Oct–Dec (OND) and,annual mean data. We find that: (i) with a moderate-to-high significance, Indian rainfall is correlated with the sunspot activity and, (ii) there is an overall trend that during the period of low sunspot activity, occurrence of rainfall is high compared to the period of high sunspot activity.

      We speculate in this study a possible physical connection between the occurrence of the rainfall and the sunspot activities and, the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some of the negative correlations between the occurrences of the sunspot and rainfall activities obtained for different solar cycle periods are interpreted as effects of aerosols on the rain forming clouds due to either intermittent volcanic eruptions or due to intrusion of interstellar dust particles in the Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | News

    • Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on January 27, 2016

      Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.

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