Simulating what EST will see

Dr. Jorrit Leenaarts, from Institutet för solfysik (Stockholms Universitet, Sweden), shows the unprecedented detail of the observations to be made with the European Solar Telescope.



Numerical simulation of two sunspots by M. Rempel and M. Cheung with the MURAM code. Radiative transfer calculations by J. Bjørgen.

The European Solar Telescope will observe the solar atmosphere with unprecedented detail. Understanding its physics requires simulating parts of the atmosphere, and computing how the simulations would look if observed with EST, so that observations and simulations can be directly compared.

This movie shows one such simulation, with two sunspots connected by elongated structures that outline the magnetic field in the solar atmosphere. An advantage of the simulation is that we can look at it from up close. The movie shows what we would see if we could fly over the visible surface of the sun at a height of 17,000 km.

The movie is taken in the line core of the Ca II K line at 393 nm, and shows the upper chromosphere, which has a temperature of about 10,000 degrees. The end of the movie shows enormous fountains of chromospheric gas that have been thrown up into sky.

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