Measuring and Calculating Velocity of Material Along Solar Coronal Magnetic Loops


  • ARUSHI SURVE Chantilly High School
  • SOWMYA VENKATESH Amador Valley High School
  • SAMANTHA BLOOMQUIST Yorktown High School
  • Arthur Poland Department of Physics and Astronomy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA



A perplexing nature of the sun is that although the core of the sun, where nuclear fusion occurs, is the hottest region – at 15 million K - and the surface, the photosphere, of the sun is much cooler - at 5000 K - the outer magnetic loops jump in temperature to 2 million K. Magnetic loops are the result of strong magnetic fields protruding through the sun’s atmosphere as arcs. Scientists are investigating the cause of the sudden increase in temperature from the surface to the solar coronal magnetic loops. They have developed computer models to simulate the heat conditions. Using data from the EIS EUV-imaging spectrometer on the Hinode spacecraft, the velocities of particles have been measured along three different magnetic loops. Velocity is a critical component of theoretical predictions and computer models. Several studies have already taken place, however, they were left inconclusive as they contradict computer models. Increasing observations and data collection lead to a better understanding of the velocity profile in the coronal loops. To make these measurements, new computer programs in Python are used. Tools from EIS and built-in Python libraries are used to first select points on the three chosen magnetic loops. These velocities are measured at several different spectral lines. Subsequently, programs measuring the velocities based on the observed wavelength vs the lab wavelength are used. The graphs of three different magnetic loops measured at different wavelengths will be presented. 





College of Science: Department of Physics and Astronomy