• Issue front cover thumbnail

      Volume 29, Issue 1-2

      March 2008,   pages  1-361

    • Editorial

      Rajmal Jain P. Venkatakrishnan Judith T. Karpen

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    • Keynote Address: Outstanding Problems in Solar Physics

      Markus J. Aschwanden

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      Celebrating the diamond jubilee of the Physics Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad, India, we look back over the last six decades in solar physics and contemplate on the ten outstanding problems (or research foci) in solar physics:

      1. The solar neutrino problem

      2. Structure of the solar interior (helioseismology)

      3. The solar magnetic field (dynamo, solar cycle, corona)

      4. Hydrodynamics of coronal loops

      5. MHD oscillations and waves (coronal seismology)

      6. The coronal heating problem

      7. Self-organized criticality (from nanoflares to giant flares)

      8. Magnetic reconnection processes

      9. Particle acceleration processes

      10. Coronal mass ejections and coronal dimming

      The first two problems have been largely solved recently, while the other eight selected problems are still pending a final solution, and thus remain persistent Challenges for Solar Cycle 24, the theme of this jubilee conference.

    • Solar Magnetic Fields

      J. O. Stenflo

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      Since the structuring and variability of the Sun and other stars are governed by magnetic fields, much of present-day stellar physics centers around the measurement and understanding of the magnetic fields and their interactions. The Sun, being a prototypical star, plays a unique role in astrophysics, since its proximity allows the fundamental processes to be explored in detail. The PRL anniversary gives us an opportunity to look back at past milestones and try to identify the main unsolved issues that will be addressed in the future.

    • Global Solar Dynamo Models: Simulations and Predictions

      Mausumi Dikpati Peter A. Gilman

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      Flux-transport type solar dynamos have achieved considerable success in correctly simulating many solar cycle features, and are now being used for prediction of solar cycle timing and amplitude.We first define flux-transport dynamos and demonstrate how they work. The essential added ingredient in this class of models is meridional circulation, which governs the dynamo period and also plays a crucial role in determining the Sun’s memory about its past magnetic fields.We show that flux-transport dynamo models can explain many key features of solar cycles. Then we show that a predictive tool can be built from this class of dynamo that can be used to predict mean solar cycle features by assimilating magnetic field data from previous cycles.

    • Prospects for Predicting Cycle 24

      Arnab Rai Choudhuri

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      Although we have reliable data of solar polar fields only from the mid-1970s, it seems that the polar field at a minimum is well correlated with the next cycle, but the strength of the cycle is not correlated with the polar field produced at its end. We explain this by suggesting that the Babcock–Leighton mechanism of poloidal field generation from tilted active regions involves randomness, whereas the other aspects of the dynamo process are more ordered. To model actual cycles, we have to ‘correct’ our theoretical dynamo model by ‘feeding’ information about the polar field at the minima. Following this process, we find that our model fits the observed sunspot numbers of cycles 21–23 reasonably well and predicts that cycle 24 will be the weakest in a century.

    • What Helicity Can Tell Us about Solar Magnetic Fields

      Alexei A. Pevtsov

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      Concept of magnetic/current helicity was introduced to solar physics about 15 years ago. Earlier studies led to discovery of such fundamental properties as hemispheric helicity rule, and role of helicity in magnetic reconnection and solar eruptions. Later, the concept was successfully applied in studies of different solar processes from solar dynamo to flare and CME phenomena. Although no silver bullet, helicity has proven to be a very useful “tool” in answering many still-puzzling questions about origin and evolution of solar magnetic fields. I present an overview of some helicity studies and briefly analyze their findings.

    • The Evolution of Vector Magnetic Field Associated with Major Flares in NOAA AR10656

      Shuo Wang Yuanyong Deng Rajmal Jain Vasyl Yurchyshyn Haimin Wang Yuanyuan Liu Zhiliang Yang

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      In this paper, we study the evolution of vector magnetic field of AR 10656 by using the observations of Huairou Solar Observing Station (HSOS, China) and Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO, USA). The magnetic flux emergence and cancellation, and thus, magnetic non-potential changes, are associated with the major flares in this active region. Compared with some other super-active regions, the evolution of magnetic morphologies and non-potentialities are relatively gradual, and thus the energy transportation and release are relatively slow. This gradual process may result in the recurrent flares of AR 10656.

    • Inductive Magnetic Footpoint Tracking by Combining the Minimum Energy Fit with the Local Correlation Tracking and Doppler Velocity

      B. Ravindra D. W. Longcope

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      Time-dependent magneto-hydrodynamic simulations of active region coronal magnetic field require the underlying photospheric magnetic footpoint velocities. The minimum energy fit (MEF) is a new velocity inversion technique to infer the photospheric magnetic footpoint velocities using a pair of vector magnetograms, introduced by Longcope (2004). The MEF selects the smallest overall flow from several consistent flows by minimizing an energy functional. The inferred horizontal and vertical flow fields by the MEF can be further constrained by incorporating the partial or imperfect velocity information obtained through independent means. This hybrid method is expected to give a velocity close to the true magnetic footpoint velocity. Here, we demonstrate that a combination of the MEF, the local correlation tracking (LCT) and Doppler velocity is capable of inferring the velocity close to the photospheric flow.

    • Prediction of Peaks inWolf Numbers in Cycle 24 according to Actual Numbers of Polar Faculae

      D. K. Callebaut V. V. Makarova

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      Previous investigations by Makarov et al. have shown a relation between the peaks in the number of polar faculae and the peaks in the Wolf number. In cycles 20 and 22 the delay between peaks in polar faculae and Wolf number was 6.1 ± 0.1 year, north and south taken separately, as their peaks do not coincide. For the odd cycle 21, this shift was 5.6 years average. Polar faculae always precede the sunspots. The relevance of this for the dynamo mechanism is obvious. In cycle 23 the delay was 7.7 year (north) and 7.8 year (south). The approach of a deep minimum is probably responsible for this increased delay; thus for cycle 24 the delay between peaks of polar faculae and sunspots is expected to be at least 7.8 years and probably longer. The present polar faculae show 6 peaks above the smoothed average (north) and similarly 3 peaks south. The first peak for the sunspots will be at the earliest during the very end of 2007. As soon as one peak in the spots occurs the delay for cycle 24 can be estimated and the other peaks predicted.

    • Helioseismology and the Solar Cycle: Past, Present and Future

      Frank Hill

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      A major goal of helioseismology is to understand the mechanism of the solar cycle. In this paper, some results of helioseismic observations relevant to the cycle are briefly reviewed, the current state-of-the-art is discussed, and near-term future directions are sketched out. Topics covered include the internal rotation rate; activity-related parameter variations; the tachocline; far-side imaging; the torsional oscillation; and meridional flows.

    • Seismic Study of Magnetic Field in the Solar Interior

      H. M. Antia

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      Magnetic field in the solar interior contributes to the even order splitting coefficients, but it is not possible to separate the effect of magnetic field from those due to other deviations from spherical symmetry. Results obtained using GONG and MDI data are discussed. Limits on possible magnetic field in the solar core and in the tachocline region are obtained. There is some signal from possible magnetic field in the convection zone, but evidence of possible temporal variation in the solar interior is only marginal.

    • Helioseismic Effects of Energetic Transients

      Ashok Ambastha

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      Photospheric and chromospheric signatures related to large, energetic transients such as flares and CMEs, have been extensively reported during the last several years. In addition, energetic solar transients are expected to cause helioseismic effects. Some of the recent results are reviewed here; in particular, the helioseismic effects of the powerful flares in superactive region, NOAA 10486, including the 4B/X17 superflare of October 28, 2003. We also examine the temporal variations of power in low-𝑙 modes during the period May 1995–October 2005, and compare with daily, disk-integrated flare- and CME-indices to infer the effect of transients on the scale of whole solar disk.

    • Magnetic and Velocity Field Variations in the Active Regions NOAA 10486 and NOAA 10488

      Ram Ajor Maurya Ashok Ambastha

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      We study the magnetic and velocity field evolution in the two magnetically complex active regions NOAA 10486 and NOAA 10488 observed during October–November 2003.We have used the available data to examine net flux and Doppler velocity time profiles to identify changes associated with evolutionary and transient phenomena. In particular, we report detection of rapid moving features observed in NOAA 10486 during the maximum phase of the X17.2/4B superflare of October 28, 2003. The velocity of this moving feature is estimated around 40 km/s, i.e., much greater than the usual H𝛼 flare-ribbons’ separation speed of 3–10 km/s, but similar to the velocity of seismic waves, i.e., ∼ 45 km/s reported earlier by Kosovichev & Zharkova (1998).

    • Software for Interactively Visualizing Solar Vector Magnetograms of Udaipur Solar Observatory

      Sanjay Gosain Sanjiv Tiwari Jayant Joshi P. Venkatakrishnan

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      The Solar Vector Magnetograph (SVM) at Udaipur Solar Observatory saw its first light in April 2005. The retrieval of vector fields from the imaging spectro-polarimetric observational data requires a substantial amount of computer post-processing. The GUI-based data reduction and analysis software have been developed to make the data processing pipeline user-friendly and less time-consuming. In this paper we describe these software packages.

    • Solar Flare Physics Enlivened by TRACE and RHESSI

      Markus J. Aschwanden

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      The Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) gave us the highest EUV spatial resolution and the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectrometric Imager (RHESSI) gave us the highest hard X-ray and gamma-ray spectral resolution to study solar flares. We review a number of recent highlights obtained from both missions that either enhance or challenge our physical understanding of solar flares, such as:

      1. Multi-thermal Diagnostic of 6.7 and 8.0 keV Fe and Ni lines,

      2. Multi-thermal Conduction Cooling Delays,

      3. Chromospheric Altitude of Hard X-Ray Emission,

      4. Evidence for Dipolar Reconnection Current Sheets,

      5. Footpoint Motion and Reconnection Rate,

      6. Evidence for Tripolar Magnetic Reconnection,

      7. Displaced Electron and Ion Acceleration Sources.

    • X-ray Emission from Solar Flares

      Rajmal Jain Malini Aggarwal Raghunandan Sharma

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      Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS), the first space-borne solar astronomy experiment of India was designed to improve our current understanding of X-ray emission from the Sun in general and solar flares in particular. SOXS mission is composed of two solid state detectors, viz., Si and CZT semiconductors capable of observing the full disk Sun in X-ray energy range of 4–56 keV. The X-ray spectra of solar flares obtained by the Si detector in the 4–25 keV range show evidence of Fe and Fe/Ni line emission and multi-thermal plasma. The evolution of the break energy point that separates the thermal and non-thermal processes reveals increase with increasing flare plasma temperature. Small scale flare activities observed by both the detectors are found to be suitable to heat the active region corona; however their location appears to be in the transition region.

    • X-ray Studies of Flaring Plasma

      B. Sylwester J. Sylwester K. J. H. Phillips

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      We present some methods of X-ray data analysis employed in our laboratory for deducing the physical parameters of flaring plasma. For example, we have used a flare well observed with Polish instrument RESIK aboard Russian CORONAS-F satellite. Based on a careful instrument calibration, the absolute fluxes in a number of individual spectral lines have been obtained. The analysis of these lines allows us to follow the evolution of important thermodynamic parameters characterizing the emitting plasma throughout this flare evolution.

    • Models of Solar Irradiance Variations: Current Status

      Natalie A. Krivova Sami K. Solanki

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      Regular monitoring of solar irradiance has been carried out since 1978 to show that solar total and spectral irradiance varies at different time scales. Whereas variations on time scales of minutes to hours are due to solar oscillations and granulation, variations on longer time scales are driven by the evolution of the solar surface magnetic field. Here the most recent advances in modelling of solar irradiance variations on time scales longer than a day are briefly reviewed.

    • Spatially Resolved Images and Solar Irradiance Variability

      R. Kariyappa

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      The Sun is the primary source of energy that governs both the terrestrial climate and near-earth space environment. Variations in UV irradiances seen at earth are the sum of global (solar dynamo) to regional (active region, plage, network, bright points and background) solar magnetic activities that can be identified through spatially resolved photospheric, chromospheric and coronal features. In this research, the images of CaII K-line (NSO/Sac Peak) have been analysed to segregate the various chromospheric features.We derived the different indices and estimated their contribution from the time series data to total CaII K emission flux and UV irradiance variability. A part of the important results from this research is discussed in this paper.

    • Wave Heating of the Solar Chromosphere

      Wolfgang Kalkofen

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      The nonmagnetic interior of supergranulation cells has been thought since the 1940s to be heated by the dissipation of acoustic waves. But all attempts to measure the acoustic flux have failed to show sufficient energy for chromospheric heating. Recent space observations with TRACE, for example, have found 10% or less of the necessary flux. To explain the missing energy it has been speculated that the nonmagnetic chromosphere is heated mainly by waves related to the magnetic field. If that were correct, the whole chromosphere, magnetic as well as nonmagnetic, would be heated mainly by waves related to the magnetic field. But contrary to expectation, the radiation emerging from the nonmagnetic chromosphere shows none of the signatures of magnetic waves, only those of acoustic waves. Nearly all the heating of the nonmagnetic chromosphere must therefore be due to acoustic waves. In the magnetic network on the boundary of supergranulation cells, on the other hand, the small filling factor of the magnetic field in the photosphere implies that only a small fraction of the wave flux that travels upward to heat the chromosphere can be channeled by the magnetic field. Hence, while some of the energy that is dissipated in the magnetic network is in the form of magnetic waves, most of it must be in the form of acoustic waves. Thus, the quiet solar chromosphere, instead of being heated mainly by magneticwaves throughout, must be heated mainly by acoustic waves throughout. The full wave flux heating the quiet chromosphere must travel through the photosphere. In the nonmagnetic medium, this flux is essentially all in the form of acoustic waves; TRACE registers at most 10% of it, perhaps because of limited spatial resolution.

    • Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Observations of Coronal Streamers in the SOHO Era

      Leonard Strachan

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      Measurements made with the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory can be used to determine physical parameters in the solar corona such as hydrogen and ion kinetic temperatures, electron densities, and absolute elemental abundances. Hydrogen and ion outflow velocities can be determined by combining the UV spectroscopic measurements with white light polarized brightness measurements. These combined measurements can be used to reveal physical characteristics of coronal streamers. To date we have studied plasma properties, such as the variation of plasma outflows in quiescent streamers, primarily in classic helmet streamers at solar minimum. Outflows have not been observed in the centers of coronal streamers suggesting that these are closed magnetic field regions.We propose to study all of the coronal streamers in the UVCS synoptic dataset in order to investigate different types of streamers and their long-term evolution.

    • Microflares as Possible Sources for Coronal Heating

      Meera Gupta Rajmal Jain Jayshree Trivedi A. P. Mishra

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      We present a preliminary study of 27 microflares observed by Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS) mission during July 2003 to August 2006. We found that all 27 microflares show the Fe-line feature peaking around 6.7 keV, which is an indicator of the presence of coronal plasma temperature ≥ 9 MK. On the other hand, the spectra of microflares showhybrid model of thermal and non-thermal emission, which further supports them as possible sources of coronal heating. Our results based on the analysis show that the energy relapsed by the microflares is good enough for heating of the active corona. We discuss our results in the light of the hybrid model of microflares production.

    • Initiation and Propagation of Coronal Mass Ejections

      P. F. Chen

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      This paper reviews recent progress in the research on the initiation and propagation of CMEs. In the initiation part, several trigger mechanisms are discussed; in the propagation part, the observations and modelings of EIT waves/dimmings, as the EUV counterparts of CMEs, are described.

    • UV Diagnostics for the Energy Budget of Flares and CMEs

      J. C. Raymond

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      Solar flares and coronal mass ejections convert large amounts of magnetic free energy into thermal, kinetic and potential energies, and into energy of non-thermal particles. The partitioning among these forms of energy is fundamental to both the physics of the eruptive events and the space weather consequences of the eruptions. This talk describes some aspects of the energy budget that can be derived from ultraviolet observations of the corona.

    • X-ray Emission Characteristics of Flares Associated with CMEs

      Malini Aggarwal Rajmal Jain A. P. Mishra P. G. Kulkarni Chintan Vyas R. Sharma Meera Gupta

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      We present the study of 20 solar flares observed by ``Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS)” mission during November 2003 to December 2006 and found associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) seen by LASCO/SOHO mission. In this investigation, X-ray emission characteristics of solar flares and their relationship with the dynamics of CMEs have been presented.We found that the fast moving CMEs, i.e., positive acceleration are better associated with short rise time (< 150 s) flares. However, the velocity of CMEs increases as a function of duration of the flares in both 4.1–10 and 10–20 keV bands. This indicates that the possibility of association of CMEs with larger speeds exists with long duration flare events. We observed that CMEs decelerate with increasing rise time, decay time and duration of the associated X-ray flares. A total 10 out of 20 CMEs under current investigation showed positive acceleration, and 5 of them whose speed did not exceed 589 km/s were associated with short rise time (< 150 s) and short duration (< 1300 s) flares. The other 5 CMEs were associated with long duration or large rise time flare events. The unusual feature of all these positive accelerating CMEs was their low linear speed ranging between 176 and 775 km/s. We do not find any significant correlation between X-ray peak intensity of the flares with linear speed as well as acceleration of the associated CMEs. Based on the onset time of flares and associated CMEs within the observing cadence of CMEs by LASCO, we found that in 16 cases CME preceded the flare by 23 to 1786 s, while in 4 cases flare occurred before the CME by 47 to 685 s. We argue that both events are closely associated with each other and are integral parts of one energy release system.

    • Helioseismic Ring Analysis of CME Source Regions

      S. C. Tripathy S. de Wet K. Jain R. Clark F. Hill

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      We apply the ring diagram technique to source regions of halo coronal mass ejections (CMEs) to study changes in acoustic mode parameters before, during, and after the onset of CMEs.We find that CME regions associated with a low value of magnetic flux have line widths smaller than the quiet regions, implying a longer life-time for the oscillation modes. We suggest that this criterion may be used to forecast the active regions which may trigger CMEs.

    • Analysis of Ion Charge States in Solar Wind and CMEs

      Arati Dasgupta J. M. Laming

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      We discuss needs in dielectronic recombination data motivated by recent work directed at a quantitative understanding of ion charge states of various elements observed in situ in the solar wind and CMEs. The competing processes of ionization and recombination lead to departures from collision ionization equilibrium. The use of this as a diagnostic of acceleration and heating processes of the solar wind and CMEs is sensitive to the accuracy of the atomic rates in a way that steady state ionization equilibrium plasmas are not. The most pressing need is dielectronic recombination rates for ions Fe8+-12+. These are among the dominant species observed in various regions of the solar wind and CMEs, and in remotely sensed EUV spectra.

    • The Solar Wind: Our Current Understanding and How We Got Here

      Joseph V. Hollweg

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      In the original theory for the solar wind, the electron pressure gradient was the principal accelerating force. This was soon recognized to be insufficient to drive the high-speed streams. Subsequently, the discovery of Alfvén waves in the solar wind led to a long series of models in which wave pressure provided additional acceleration, but these wave-driven models ultimately failed to explain the rapid acceleration of the fast wind close to the Sun. An alternate viewwas that the pressure of hot protons close to the Sun could explain the rapid acceleration, with the proton heating coming from the cyclotron resonance. SOHO has provided remarkable data which have verified some of the predictions of this view, and given impetus to ongoing studies of the ion-cyclotron resonance in the fast wind. After a historical review, we discuss the basic ideas behind current research, emphasizing the importance of particle kinetics. We conclude with some guesses as to how work might proceed in the future.

    • Numerical Simulations of Kinetic Alfvén Waves to Study Spectral Index in SolarWind Turbulence and Particle Heating

      R. P. Sharma H. D. Singh

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      We present numerical simulations of the modified nonlinear Schrödinger equation satisfied by kinetic Alfvén waves (KAWs) leading to the formation of magnetic filaments at different times. The relevance of these filamentary structures to solar wind turbulence and particle heating has also been pointed out.

    • Damping of Slow Magnetoacoustic Waves in an Inhomogeneous Coronal Plasma

      Nagendra Kumar Pradeep Kumar Shiv Singh Anil Kumar

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      We study the propagation and dissipation of slow magnetoacoustic waves in an inhomogeneous viscous coronal loop plasma permeated by uniform magnetic field. Only viscosity and thermal conductivity are taken into account as dissipative processes in the coronal loop. The damping length of slow-mode waves exhibit varying behaviour depending upon the physical parameters of the loop in an active region AR8270 observed by TRACE. The wave energy flux associated with slow magnetoacoustic waves turns out to be of the order of 106 erg cm-2 s-1 which is high enough to replace the energy lost through optically thin coronal emission and the thermal conduction belowto the transition region. It is also found that only those slow-mode waves which have periods more than 240 s provide the required heating rate to balance the energy losses in the solar corona. Our calculated wave periods for slow-mode waves nearly match with the oscillation periods of loop observed by TRACE.

    • H$\mathbf{\alpha}$ Intensity Oscillations in Large Flares

      Ram Ajor Maurya Ashok Ambastha

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      We reinvestigate the problem of Hα intensity oscillations in large flares, particularly those classified as X-class flares. We have used high spatial and temporal resolution digital observations obtained from Udaipur Solar Observatory during the period 1998–2006 and selected several events. Normalized Lomb–Scargle periodogram method for spectral analysis was used to study the oscillatory power in quiet and active chromospheric locations, including the flare ribbons.

    • Role of Magnetic Carpet in Coronal Heating

      S. R. Verma Diksha Chaudhary

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      One of the fundamental questions in solar physics is how the solar corona maintains its high temperature of several million Kelvin above photosphere with a temperature of 6000 K.

      Observations show that solar coronal heating problem is highly complex with many different facts. It is likely that different heating mechanisms are at work in the solar corona. The separate kinds of coronal loops may also be heated by different mechanisms.

      Using data from instruments onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and from the more recent Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) scientists have identified small regions of mixed polarity, termed magnetic carpet contributing to solar activity on a short time scale.

      Magnetic loops of all sizes rise into the solar corona, arising from regions of opposite magnetic polarity in the photosphere. Energy released when oppositely directed magnetic fields meet in the corona is one likely cause for coronal heating. There is enough energy coming up from the loops of the “magnetic carpet” to heat the corona to its known temperature.

    • Multi-parametric Effect of Solar Activity on Cosmic Rays

      V. K. Mishra Meera Gupta B. N. Mishra S. K. Nigam A. P. Mishra

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      The long-term modulation of cosmic ray intensity (CRI) by different solar activity (SA) parameters and an inverse correlation between individual SA parameter and CRI is well known. Earlier, it has been suggested that the concept of multi-parametric modulation of CRI may play an important role in the study of long-term modulation of CRI. In the present study, we have tried to investigate the combined effect of a set of two SA parameters in the long-term modulation of CRI. For this purpose, we have used a new statistical technique called “Running multiple correlation method”, based on the “Running cross correlation method”. The running multiple correlation functions among different sets of two SA parameters (e.g., sunspot numbers and solar flux, sunspot numbers and coronal index, sunspot numbers and grouped solar flares, etc.) and CRI have been correlated separately. It is found that the strength of multiple correlation (among two SA parameters and CRI) and cross correlation (between individual SA parameter and CRI) is almost similar throughout the period of investigation (1955–2005). It is also found that the multiple correlations among various SA parameters and CRI is stronger during ascending and descending phases of the solar cycles and it becomes weaker during maxima and minima of the solar cycles, which is in accordance with the linear relationship between SA parameters and CRI. The values of multiple correlation functions among different sets of SA parameters and CRI fall well within the 95% confidence interval. In the view of odd–even hypothesis of solar cycles, the strange behaviour of present cycle 23 (odd cycle), as this is characterized by many peculiarities with double peaks and many quiet periods (Gnevyshev gaps) interrupted the solar activity (for example April 2001, October–November 2003 and January 2005), leads us to speculate that the solar cycle 24 (even cycle) might be of exceptional nature.

    • Solar and Interplanetary Disturbances causing Moderate Geomagnetic Storms

      Santosh Kumar M. P. Yadav Amita Raizada

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      The effect of solar and interplanetary disturbances on geomagnetospheric conditions leading to 121 moderate geomagnetic storms (MGS) have been investigated using the neutron monitor, solar geophysical and interplanetary data during the period 1978–99. Further, the duration of recovery phase has been observed to be greater than the duration of main phase in most of the cases of MGS. It has further been noted that Ap-index increases on sudden storm commencement (SSC) day than its previous day value and acquires maximum value on the day of maximum solar activity. Generally, the decrease in cosmic ray (CR) intensity and Dst begins few hours earlier than the occurrence of MGS at Earth. Furthermore, negative Bz pointing southward plays a key causal role in the occurrence of MGS and the magnitude and the duration of Bz and Bav also play a significant role in the development of MGS. The solar features H𝛼, X-ray solar flares and active prominences and disappearing filaments (APDFs) which have occurred within lower helio-latitudinal/helio-longitudinal zones produce larger number of MGS. Solar flares seem to be the major cause for producing MGS.

    • Effect of Magnetic Activity on Ionospheric Time Delay at Low Latitude

      Soumi Bhattacharya Smita Dubey Rajesh Tiwari P. K. Purohit A. K. Gwal

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      The purpose of this work is to investigate the effect of magnetic activity on ionospheric time delay at low latitude Station Bhopal (geom. lat. 23.2°N, geom. long. 77.6°E) using dual frequency (1575.42 and 1227.60 MHz) GPS measurements. Data from GSV4004A GPS Ionospheric Scintillation and TEC monitor (GISTM) have been chosen to study these effects. This paper presents the results of ionospheric time delay during quiet and disturbed days for the year 2005. Results show that maximum delay is observed during quiet days in equinoxial month while the delays of disturbed period are observed during the months of winter. We also study the ionospheric time delay during magnetic storm conditions for the same period. Results do not show any clear relationship either with the magnitude of the geomagnetic storm or with the main phase onset (MPO) of the storm. But most of the maximum ionospheric time delay variations are observed before the main phase onset (MPO) or sudden storm commencement (SSC) as compared to storm days.

    • Geomagnetic Field Variation during Winter Storm at Localized Southern and Northern High Latitude

      Babita Devi Smita Dubey Shailendra Saini Rajni Devi Rashmi Wahi Ajay Dhar S. K. Vijay A. K. Gwal

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      This paper presents the effect of geomagnetic storm on geomagnetic field components at Southern (Maitri) and Northern (Kiruna) Hemispheres. The Indian Antarctic Station Maitri is located at geom. long. 66.03° S; 53.21° E whereas Kiruna is located at geom. long. 67.52° N; 23.38° E. We have studied all the geomagnetic storms that occurred during winter season of the year 2004–2005. We observed that at Southern Hemisphere the variation is large as compared to the Northern Hemisphere. Geomagnetic field components vary when the interplanetary magnetic field is oriented in southward direction. Geomagnetic field components vary in the main phase of the ring current. Due to southward orientation of vertical component of IMF reconnection takes place all across the dayside that transports plasma and magnetic flux which create the geomagnetic field variation.

    • Effect of Interplanetary Magnetic Field and Disturb Storm Time on H Component

      Rajni Devi Smita Dubey Shailendra Saini Babita Devi Ajay Dhar S. K. Vijay A. K. Gwal

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      A fluxgate digital magnetometer is used to study the variation of magnitude of H component during geomagnetic storm events of April, July and November 2004 at southern subauroral localized region at “MAITRI” (geom. lat. 62°S, long. 52.8°E). We also study the effect of vertical component of interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) on the variation of the magnitude of H component during storm time of April, July and November 2004. Results show that before sudden storm commencement (SSC) time magnitude ofHcomponent and IMF showsmooth variation but after SSC of first storm of 22 July 2004, the magnitude of the H component shows fluctuations and at 09:00 UT it increases, but during second storm of 24 July 2004, the magnitude of H component indicates large fluctuations and it increases rapidly at 04:00 UT.

    • Geo-effectiveness of CMEs

      Ajaysinh K. Jadeja K. N. Iyer Hari Om Vats P. K. Manoharan

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      Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are important phenomena in coronal dynamics causing interplanetary signatures (ICMEs). They eject large amounts of mass and magnetic fields into the heliosphere, causing major geomagnetic storms and interplanetary shocks. Geomagnetic storms are often characterized by abrupt increases in the northward component of the earth’s field, called sudden commencements (SSC) followed by large decreases of the magnetic field and slow recovery to normal values. The SSCs are well correlated with IP shocks. Here a case study of 10–15 February 2000 and also the statistical study of CME events observed by IPS array, Rajkot, during the years 2000 to 2003 and Radio Astronomy Center, Ooty are described. The geomagnetic storm index Dst, which is a measure of geo-effectiveness, is shown to be well correlated with normalized scintillation index `g', derived from Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT) observations.

    • Relationship between Interplanetary (IP) Parameters and Geomagnetic Indices during IP Shock Events of 2005

      Jatin Rathod Girija Rajaram Radharani Alyana A. Chandrasekhar Reddy D. S. Misra C. G. Patil M. Y. S. Prasad A. G. Ananth

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      In the present study, we investigate the possible relationship of IP parameters of solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field with ground-based geomagnetic indices. To carry out the study, we take all the IP shock events listed by Proton Monitor onboard Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) during 2005, and plot the time variations of all the IP parameters and geomagnetic parameters (±5 days), centered at the shock arrival time. Next, we obtain scatter plots of absolute values of solar wind parameters such as Vsw, Nsw and Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF) components Bx, By, Bz and total B with the values of geomagnetic parameters such as Dst, Kp indices, dayside Magnetopause (MP) distance and Cosmic-Ray Neutron Monitor count (CRNM). The scatter plots show that before the IP shock, the pattern is random with no clear relationship. Following the shock, a clear pattern emerges with a type of relationship being seen – clear for SHARP shocks and less clear for DIFFUSE shocks. A total of 10 shock events for 2005 have been studied. Typical examples of this behaviour are the shock events of January 21, 2005 and May 15, 2005.

      Our study suggests a definite correlation between changes in the solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field parameters and ground-based geomagnetic response. We are trying to obtain quantitative relationships between these for shock events of 2005.

    • Multipoint Observations of Low Latitude ULF Pc3 Waves in South-East Australia

      I. A. Ansari

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      Geomagnetic pulsations recorded on the ground are the signatures of the integrated signals from the magnetosphere. Pc3 geomagnetic pulsations are quasi-sinusoidal variations in the earth’s magnetic field in the period range 10–45 seconds. The magnitude of these pulsations ranges from fraction of a nT (nano Tesla) to several nT. These pulsations can be observed in a number of ways. However, the application of ground-based magnetometer arrays has proven to be one of the most successful methods of studying the spatial structure of hydromagnetic waves in the earth’s magnetosphere. The solar wind provides the energy for the earth’s magnetospheric processes. Pc3-5 geomagnetic pulsations can be generated either externally or internally with respect to the magnetosphere. The Pc3 studies undertaken in the past have been confined to middle and high latitudes. The spatial and temporal variations observed in Pc3 occurrence are of vital importance because they provide evidence which can be directly related to wave generation mechanisms both inside and external to the magnetosphere. At low latitudes (L < 3) wave energy predominates in the Pc3 band and the spatial characteristics of these pulsations have received little attention in the past. An array of four low latitude induction coil magnetometers were established in south-east Australia over a longitudinal range of 17 degrees at L = 1.8 to 2.7 for carrying out the study of the effect of the solar wind velocity on these pulsations. Digital dynamic spectra showing Pc3 pulsation activity over a period of about six months have been used to evaluate Pc3 pulsation occurrence. Pc3 occurrence probability at low latitudes has been found to be dominant for the solar wind velocity in the range 400–700 km/s. The results suggest that solar wind controls Pc3 occurrence through a mechanism in which Pc3 wave energy is convected through the magnetosheath and coupled to the standing oscillations of magnetospheric field lines.

    • Energy Dependence of Near-relativistic Electron Spectrum at Geostationary Orbit during the SEP Events of 2005

      A. Chandrasekhar Reddy Jatin Rathod Girija Rajaram Radharani Alyana D. S. Misra C. G. Patil M. Y. S. Prasad A. G. Ananth

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      In view of the renewed interest in the study of energetic particles in the outer radiation belt of the earth, we feel it will be helpful in looking for the energy dependence of the electron energy spectrum at geostationary orbit. This may give us some insight into how we can safeguard geostationary satellites from functional anomalies of the deep dielectric charging type, which are caused by charge accumulation and subsequent discharge of relativistic electrons. In this study we examine whether there is any energy dependence in relativistic electron enhancements at geosynchronous altitudes during solar energetic proton events of 2005.

    • Next Generation UV Coronagraph Instrumentation for Solar Cycle-24

      John L. Kohl Rajmal Jain Steven R. Cranmer Larry D. Gardner Anil K. Pradhan John C. Raymond Leonard Strachan

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      Ultraviolet coronagraph observations of the extended solar corona (defined here as 1.5 to 10 solar radii from Sun-center) have become a powerful tool for obtaining detailed empirical descriptions of coronal holes, streamers, and coronal mass ejections. The empirical models resulting from ultraviolet coronagraph observations provide the constraints needed to test and guide theoretical models aimed at determining the physical processes that control solar wind acceleration, CME heating and acceleration, and solar energetic particle (SEP) acceleration. Measurements to date from sounding rockets, the shuttle deployed Spartan 201 satellite and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) have utilized high resolution spectroscopy over a very limited instantaneous field of view. New concepts for next generation instrumentation include imaging ultraviolet spectrocoronagraphs and large aperture ultraviolet coronagraph spectrometers. An imaging instrument would be the first to obtain absolute spectral line intensities of the extended corona over a wide field of view. Such images would provide the absolute intensities of spectral lines that can be used to determine densities and outflow velocities of specific coronal ions. Measurements from several charge states of a given element will allow electron temperatures to be determined. These measurements combined with observations of H I Ly𝛼 provide absolute chemical abundances (relative to hydrogen) for observed elements. Ultraviolet imaging would be highly complementary to a large-aperture ultraviolet coronagraph spectrometer designed for high spectral resolution observations over a small instantaneous field of view. The images would be used to select targets for more detailed spectroscopic studies with the large aperture UV coronagraph spectrometer and to provide time dependent empirical descriptions of the regions surrounding the narrow instantaneous field of view of the large aperture instrument. Descriptions of both the imaging ultraviolet spectrocoronagraph and the large aperture ultraviolet coronagraph spectrometer are provided. Recommended co-observing instruments are described.

    • High Resolution Observations using Adaptive Optics: Achievements and Future Needs

      K. Sankarasubramanian T. Rimmele

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      Over the last few years, several interesting observations were obtained with the help of solar Adaptive Optics (AO). In this paper, few observations made using the solarAOare enlightened and briefly discussed. A list of disadvantages with the current AO system are presented. With telescopes larger than 1.5 m expected during the next decade, there is a need to develop the existing AO technologies for large aperture telescopes. Some aspects of this development are highlighted. Finally, the recent AO developments in India are also presented.

    • SphinX: A Fast Solar Photometer in X-rays

      J. Sylwester S. Kuzin Yu. D. Kotov F. Farnik F. Reale

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      The scientific goals and construction details of a new design, Polish X-ray spectrophotometer are given. It will be incorporated within the Russian TESIS X and EUV complex aboard the forthcoming CORONAS solar mission. SphinX (Solar Photometer in X-rays) will use PIN silicon detectors for high time resolution (0.01 s) measurements of the solar spectra of quiet and active corona in the range 0.5–15 keV. A new filter-fluorescence target concept will be employed to allow for a fast photometry of the solar X-ray flux variations in selected, well defined narrow spectral bands including the Fe xxvi and Fe xxv iron line groups.

    • Proposed National Large Solar Telescope

      Jagdev Singh

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      Sun’s atmosphere is an ideal place to study and test many magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) processes controlling turbulent plasma. We wish to resolve some of the finest solar features (which remain unresolved presently) and study their dynamics. Indian Institute of Astrophysics has proposed to design, fabricate and install a 2-meter class solar telescope at a suitable site in India to resolve features on the Sun of the size of about 0.1 arcsec. The focal plane instruments will include a high resolution polarimeteric package to measure polarization with an accuracy of 0.01 per cent; a high spectral resolution spectrograph to obtain spectra in 5 widely separated absorption lines simultaneously and high spatial resolution narrow band imagers in various lines. The Himalayan region appears to be a good choice keeping in view the prevailing dry and clear weather conditions. We have started detailed analysis of the weather conditions in the area and at some other locations in India. The site characterization will be done using the Sun-photometer, S-DIMM and SHABAR techniques to determine the seeing conditions.

    • Development of a Low-order Adaptive Optics System at Udaipur Solar Observatory

      A. R. Bayanna B. Kumar R. E. Louis P. Venkatakrishnan S. K. Mathew

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      A low-order Adaptive Optics (AO) system is being developed at the Udaipur Solar Observatory and we present in this paper the status of the project, which includes the image stabilization system and calibration of wavefront sensor and deformable mirror. The image stabilization system comprises of a piezo driven tip-tilt mirror, a high speed camera (955 fps), a frame grabber system for sensing the overall tilt and a Linux based Intel Pentium 4 control computer with Red Hat Linux OS. The system operates under PID control. In the closed loop, an rms image motion of 0.1–0.2 arcsec was observed with the improvement factor varying from 10–20 depending on the external conditions. Error rejection bandwidth of the system at 0 dB is 80–100 Hz. In addition to that, we report the on-going efforts in the calibration of lenslet array and deformable mirror for sensing and correcting the local tilt of the wavefront.

    • CONCEPTUAL PAPER : Utilization of GPS Satellites for Precise Irradiation Measurement and Monitoring

      S. Vijayan

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      Precise measurement of irradiance over the earth under various circumstances like solar flares, coronal mass ejections, over an 11-year solar cycle, etc. leads to better understanding of Sun–earth relationship. To continuously monitor the irradiance over earth-space regions several satellites at several positions are required. For that continuous and multiple satellite monitoring we can use GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites (like GLONASS, GALILEO, future satellites) installed with irradiance measuring and monitoring instruments. GPS satellite system consists of 24 constellations of satellites. Therefore usage of all the satellites leads to 24 measurements of irradiance at the top of the atmosphere (or 12 measurements of those satellites which are pointing towards the Sun) at an instant. Therefore in one day, numerous irradiance observations can be obtained for the whole globe, which will be very helpful for several applications like Albedo calculation, Earth Radiation Budget calculation, monitoring of near earth-space atmosphere, etc. Moreover, measuring irradiance both in ground (using ground instruments) and in space at the same instant of time over a same place, leads to numerous advantages. That is, for a single position we obtain irradiance at the top of the atmosphere, irradiance at ground and the difference in irradiance from over top of the atmosphere to the ground. Measurement of irradiance over the atmosphere and in ground at a precise location gives more fine details about the solar irradiance influence over the earth, path loss and interaction of irradiance with the 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.

    • Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on July 25, 2019

      Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

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