Project

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High-Energy Heliophysics with NuSTAR

Applicant Krucker Samuel
Number 140308
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz Hochschule für Technik
Institution of higher education University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (without UTE) - FHNW
Main discipline Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences
Start/End 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2016
Approved amount 436'375.00
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Keywords (4)

coronal heating; particle acceleration; hard X-rays; solar flares

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

This grant supports planning and analysis of observations taken by the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray (NuSTAR) satellite, a NASA small Explorer space mission whose primary mission is in astrophysics. NuSTAR is the next generation of X-ray observatories to be launch in May 2012 and provides a 200-fold advance in hard X-ray sensitivity over current capabilities that will open up entirely new view of astrophysical objects in X-rays including our Sun. The newly established group in ‘Applied High-Energy Heliophysics’ at University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) funded by this grant is part of the NuSTAR science team in charge of NuSTAR observations of our Sun. The main goal of this grant is to study why the solar atmosphere at temperatures of several million degrees is that much hotter than the solar surface at 6000 degree. With the extraordinary increase in sensitivity provided by NuSTAR, we will be able to test the so-called ‘nanoflare heating’ theory predicting that many tiny explosions seen in X-rays provide enough energy to keep the solar atmosphere at that extraordinary hot temperature.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Evidence of Significant Energy Input in the Late Phase of a Solar Flare from NuSTAR X-Ray Observations
{Kuhar} M., {Krucker} S., {Hannah} I.~G., {Glesener} L., {Saint-Hilaire} P., {Grefenstette} B.~W., {Hudson} H.~S., {White} S.~M., {Smith} D.~M., {Marsh} A.~J., {Wright} P.~J., {Boggs} S.~E., {Christensen} F.~E., {Craig} W.~W., {Hailey} C.~J., {Harrison} F.~A., {Stern} D., {Zhang} W.~W. (2017), Evidence of Significant Energy Input in the Late Phase of a Solar Flare from NuSTAR X-Ray Observations, in \apj, 835, 6-6.
Correlation of Hard X-Ray and White Light Emission in Solar Flares
{Kuhar} M., {Krucker} S., {Mart{í}}}nez Oliveros}} J.~C., {Battaglia} M., {Kleint} L., {Casadei} D., {Hudson} H.~S. (2016), Correlation of Hard X-Ray and White Light Emission in Solar Flares, in \apj, 816, 6-6.
The First Focused Hard X-ray Images of the Sun with NuSTAR
{Grefenstette} B.~W., {Glesener} L., {Krucker} S., {Hudson} H., {Hannah} I.~G., {Smith} D.~M., {Vogel} J.~K., {White} S.~M., {Madsen} K.~K., {Marsh} A.~J., {Caspi} A., {Chen} B., {Shih} A., {Kuhar} M., {Boggs} S.~E., {Christensen} F.~E., {Craig} W.~W., {Forster} K., {Hailey} C.~J., {Harrison} F.~A., {Miyasaka} H., {Stern} D., {Zhang} W.~W. (2016), The First Focused Hard X-ray Images of the Sun with NuSTAR, in \apj, 826, 20-20.
The First X-Ray Imaging Spectroscopy of Quiescent Solar Active Regions with NuSTAR
{Hannah} I.~G., {Grefenstette} B.~W., {Smith} D.~M., {Glesener} L., {Krucker} S., {Hudson} H.~S., {Madsen} K.~K., {Marsh} A., {White} S.~M., {Caspi} A., {Shih} A.~Y., {Harrison} F.~A., {Stern} D., {Boggs} S.~E., {Christensen} F.~E., {Craig} W.~W., {Hailey} C.~J., {Zhang} W.~W. (2016), The First X-Ray Imaging Spectroscopy of Quiescent Solar Active Regions with NuSTAR, in \apjl, 820, 14-14.
Co-Spatial White Light and Hard X-Ray Flare Footpoints Seen Above the Solar Limb
{Krucker} S., {Saint-Hilaire} P., {Hudson} H.~S., {Haberreiter} M., {Martinez-Oliveros} J.~C., {Fivian} M.~D., {Hurford} G., {Kleint} L., {Battaglia} M., {Kuhar} M., {Arnold} N.~G. (2015), Co-Spatial White Light and Hard X-Ray Flare Footpoints Seen Above the Solar Limb, in \apj, 802, 19-19.
How Important Are Electron Beams in Driving Chromospheric Evaporation in the 2014 March 29 Flare?
{Battaglia} M., {Kleint} L., {Krucker} S., {Graham} D. (2015), How Important Are Electron Beams in Driving Chromospheric Evaporation in the 2014 March 29 Flare?, in \apj, 813, 113-113.
Multithermal Representation of the Kappa-distribution of Solar Flare Electrons and Application to Simultaneous X-Ray and EUV Observations
{Battaglia} M., {Motorina} G., {Kontar} E.~P. (2015), Multithermal Representation of the Kappa-distribution of Solar Flare Electrons and Application to Simultaneous X-Ray and EUV Observations, in \apj, 815, 73-73.
Particle Densities within the Acceleration Region of a Solar Flare
{Krucker} S., {Battaglia} M. (2014), Particle Densities within the Acceleration Region of a Solar Flare, in \apj, 780, 107-107.
Where is the Chromospheric Response to Conductive Energy Input from a Hot Pre-flare Coronal Loop?
{Battaglia} M., {Fletcher} L., {Sim{õ}es}}} P.~J.~A. (2014), Where is the Chromospheric Response to Conductive Energy Input from a Hot Pre-flare Coronal Loop?, in \apj, 789, 47-47.
Electron Distribution Functions in Solar Flares from Combined X-Ray and Extreme-ultraviolet Observations
{Battaglia} M., {Kontar} E.~P. (2013), Electron Distribution Functions in Solar Flares from Combined X-Ray and Extreme-ultraviolet Observations, in \apj, 779, 107-107.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Minnesota (Lindsay Glesener) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Glasgow University (Iain Hannah) Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
UC Santa Cruz (David Smith) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
CalTech (Fiona Harrison) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
CalTech (Brian Grefenstette) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
UC Berkeley (Hugh Hudson) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
AFRL & U of Maryland (Stephen White) United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
1st Swiss SCOSTEP Workshop Talk given at a conference NuSTAR observations of a post-flare loop system 04.10.2016 Bern, Switzerland Kuhar Matej;
XIVth Hvar Astrophysical Colloquium Talk given at a conference NuSTAR observations of high-altitude post flare loops 26.09.2016 Hvar, Croatia Kuhar Matej;
15th RHESSI workshop Talk given at a conference Detection of EUV late phase in X-ray with NuSTAR 26.07.2016 Graz, Austria Kuhar Matej;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Volkshochschule Zurich: Die Sonne als Rontgenquelle German-speaking Switzerland 2016

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
169046 High-Energy Heliophysics with NuSTAR: Extension 01.01.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The newly established group in ‘Applied High-Energy Heliophysics’ atUniversity of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) proposesfor funding to support a series of observations of the Sun in the 5-80 keVX-ray band using the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope ARray (NuSTAR)satellite, a NASA small Explorer whose primary mission is in astrophysics. Designed with true focusing optics for extremely high sensitivity, NuSTARis an astrophysical observatory, but unlike virtually every otherhigh-energy astrophysics mission to date, it is capable of being pointedat the Sun. NuSTAR will observe the Sun with a sensitivity over 200 timesbetter than that of the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar SpectroscopicImager (RHESSI), the currently most capable mission in this energy range.This increase in sensitivity opens new windows for high-energyheliophysics, and will likely produce paradigm-shifting findings.The PI of this proposal was recently elected by the NuSTAR sciencesteering committee as a NuSTAR science team member in charge of planning solar observations and leading the solar science. This opportunityprovides a unique chance for our group at FHNW to establish itself throughthis high-profile project.The two major scientific problems proposed to be addressed by thesesensitive hard X-ray observations are: 1) Coronal heating by microflares,and 2) Mechanisms of electron acceleration in flares and Coronal MassEjections (CME). Besides data analysis and interpretation, the tasks wouldalso include participation in the planning of observations as well asmaking spectral and spatial simulations of the expected NuSTARobservations in preparation for the first solar observations with NuSTAR.The proposed tasks complement already existing projects at FHNW, and would greatly help to establish the newly founded group as the world-wideleading experimental and observational facility in high-energy Heliophysics.
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