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Using NASA Data, Scientists Forecast Solar Corona Ahead of Eclipse


Apr 2, 2024

Researchers at Predictive Science have developed a model that uses measurements of the Sun’s changing magnetic field at the solar surface in near real-time. This model is driven by converting raw data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) to show how magnetic flux and energy are injected into the corona over time. By incorporating this dynamic into the model, the corona is able to evolve over time, ultimately leading to solar eruptions.

A key innovation in developing this model was the creation of an automated process that picks out areas on the Sun’s surface that should be energized and then fine-tunes the amount of energy to add to those areas. This software pipeline was a significant advancement for the team, as previous predictions relied on a static snapshot of the surface magnetic field, which was not ideal for keeping up with the ever-changing Sun, especially during periods of heightened solar activity.

In past iterations of the model, researchers had to manually analyze extreme ultraviolet activity in certain regions of the Sun and hand-draw which areas needed to be energized. However, with the continuous updating of the magnetic field now integrated into the model, the team is optimistic about the results they will achieve with their latest model. By continuously updating the magnetic field data, the team hopes to improve the accuracy of their predictions and better understand the behavior of the Sun during periods of increased solar activity.

By editor

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