Major funding boost to A&A group

The A&A group receives a major boost with funding from the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for space-related research.

A powerful X-class flare observed by Hinode’s Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) on Dec. 13, 2006

Dr. Lyndsay Fletcher and Dr Nicolas Labrosse from the Astronomy & Astrophysics group in the School of Physics and Astronomy will investigate the physics of solar flares.

The F-CHROMA project (Flare CHRomospheres: Observations, Models and Archives) will bring together experts from seven institutions to collect, synthesise and analyse data from satellite and earthbound observations of solar flares. Solar flares are energetic outbursts of solar radiation which span the whole electromagnetic spectrum. Mid-sized flares can release energy equivalent to a hundred million megatons of TNT in just a few minutes, most of which ultimately turns into electromagnetic radiation. This radiation is emitted primarily by a thin, and complicated, part of the Sun’s atmosphere called the chromosphere.

Lyndsay Fletcher, Principal Investigator, said that this project will allow the team to combine ultra-high detail observation of solar flare events with advanced theoretical and computational modeling to shed light on the way a flare’s energy is stored, released, and converted into other forms.

The outcomes of F-CHROMA will be used to inform preparations for major forthcoming projects including the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope which will see first light in 2019 in Hawai’i and ESA’s Solar Orbiter Mission which is expected to start beaming back solar images and spectra from its orbit in the inner solar system at around the same time.

F-CHROMA is one of two projects led by the University of Glasgow receiving funding from the European Commission.