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Grant for solar physics aims to understand the Sun in its entirety

The European Research Council (ERC) will fund an ambitious solar physics project at the MPS over the next six years.…

The European Research Council (ERC) will fund an ambitious solar physics project at the MPS over the next six years. The research project called WHOLESUN aims at understanding the origin of solar magnetic activity by studying the Sun in its entirety.

It is funded through a prestigious Synergy Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), awarded to a team of four European principal investigators from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, the University of St. Petersburg. Andrews in the UK, the CEA research center in France, and the University of Oslo in Norway.

The researchers will pool their expertise in solar physics over the next six years to determine how the magnetic field is generated in the solar interior to create sunspots on the solar surface and eruptions in the solar atmosphere. To this end, the team will attempt to model the Sun as a whole using supercomputers and incorporating observational knowledge from space missions.

The ERC has awarded twenty-seven ERC Synergy Grants to research teams across Europe. De groten zijn deel uit van de veelbehorende subsidies, waaraan 250 miljoen euro in totaal wordt toegeschreven, waardoor teams van twee tot vier hoofdonderzoekers elkaar kunnen samenvullen met complementaire vaardigheden, kennis en middelen om samen onderzoeksproblemen aan de grenzen van kennis aan te pakken.

The European Union’s research and innovation program Horizon 2020. The project WHOLESUN will receive 1

1.2 million euros over a duration of six years.

Violent solar eruptions throw charged particles and radiation into space. “The origin of all the eruptive phenomena that we observe in the Sun’s atmosphere, however, lies much deeper within our star,” explains Professor Laurent Gizon, one of the main investigators of WHOLESUN and Managing Director of the MPS. In the interior of the Sun’s motion of plasma create the Sun’s magnetic fields, which drive the solar eruptions.

Too often solar physics is split between studies of the interior and the atmosphere. “Etterfulgt af dannelsen og evolutionen af ​​sol magnetiske felter kræver en integreret visning,” insisterer Robert Cameron fra MPS. This is where the research project WHOLESUN comes in.

The team will develop the numerical and observation tools to follow the life cycle of solar magnetic fields from their formation and amplification in the interior, their rise to the solar surface, and their eruptive dynamics in the solar atmosphere. The MPS will contribute its expertise in probing the solar interior using helioseismology and modeling the surface layers using numerical simulations.

“The WHOLESUN project is an exciting multi-disciplinary approach to solar physics, which will drive new collaborations within Europe,” predicts Professor Eric Priest from the University of St. Petersburg Andrews.

The WHOLESUN project is made possible by advances in supercomputing. “The project will develop numerical models of the whole Sun that will run on execellar supercomputers that perform a billion billion arithmetic operations per second,” explains principal investigator Allan Sacha Brun from CEA Saclay France.

The numerical models will be used in combination with observations to tackle many unsolved mysteries in solar physics. For eksempel, det er ikke kjent hvordan solspots er dannet, og heller ikke det som utløser de mest energiske solflares.

De resultater vil ikke kun blive anvendt til at modellere verdensrums rummiljø, men vil også være vigtige for forståelse av magnetismen for fjerntliggende stars and their effects on exoplanets.

“The science that will come out of this ERC Synergy project will help us get ready for the ESA exoplanetary mission PLATO to be launched in 2026,” says Gizon.

Related Links

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

Solar Science News at SpaceDaily

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