Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Climate & Space Researchers Author Paper on Solar Jet Simulation

Posted: February 14, 2017

Climate & Space Researchers Author Paper on Solar Jet Simulation Photo: Adapted from Szente et al. 2017

Climate & Space Ph.D. candidate Judit Szente is first author on a new paper that describes a numerical modeling study of coronal jets to understand their effects on the global corona and their contribution to the solar wind. The paper was featured in a February 10th article (Simulations of Solar Jets) in the American Astronomical Society’s NOVA journal digest. 

Coronal jets are recurrent, small ejections of hot ionized gas, or plasma, into the Sun’s atmosphere.​ During a typical event, the jets can reach thousands of kilometers in height, moving at speeds hundreds of kilometers per second. Duration of coronal jets can vary from a few minutes to nearly 10 hours, but they’re always present – even during the “quiet Sun” (times of low solar activity). Because of their frequency, coronal jets are believed to play a role in the heating of the solar corona, as well as in the forces that drive the solar wind. 

Szente, who is a 4th year student of CLaSP Professor Tamas Gombosi in the U-M Center for Space Environment Modeling (CSEM)​, worked in a team that included several Climate & Space faculty, including Gombosi, Gabor Toth, Ward Manchester, Enrico LandiBart van der Holst, in collaboration with Spiro Antiochos and C. R. DeVore from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Space Weather Laboratory, Heliophysics Science Division.

“We simulated coronal polar- and low-latitude jets within the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF),” says Szente. “Although the simulation did not try to reproduce any particular jet, the morphology, the density and the temperature structures compare well. The estimated contribution of jets to the solar wind was a few percent, but the introduced perturbations imposed a large-scale effect on the global corona, potentially observable by the upcoming Solar Probe Plus mission. This research has been performed as part of the NASA-NSF Strategic Capability Program.”

Read the full article here.