Department of Astrophysics and Planetary Science (National Solar Observatory), University of Colorado Boulder
Data-driven Models of the Solar Corona Magnetic Fields: Present and Future
The most violent space weather events, eruptive solar flares and coronal mass ejections, are driven by the release of free magnetic energy stored in the solar corona. Energy can build up on timescales of hours to days, and then may be suddenly released in the form of a magnetic eruption. Can we use the observed evolution of the magnetic fields in the solar photosphere to model the evolution of the overlying coronal field, including the storage and release of magnetic energy in such eruptions? The advent of high-cadence, large-scale photospheric vector magnetic field and Doppler velocity measurements from the Solar Dynamics Observatory and progress in the computational techniques facilitated development of the time-dependent data-driven models of the coronal magnetic fields. In this talk I will first review current state and challenges of these models. I will then describe recent progress of the Coronal Global Evolutionary Model (CGEM), a collaborative effort between CU Boulder, UC Berkeley, Lockheed Martin and Stanford University that computes electric fields in the photosphere to drive a 3D non-potential model of the solar corona magnetic fields.
Finally, I will tell how observations from DKIST, the largest solar telescope in the world that will start operating in summer 2020, would help to move these data-driven models forward.