I have started to work for my PhD thesis at Armagh Observatory,
under the supervision of Prof. J. G. Doyle, in October 2002.
In a few words, the aim of my PhD research is to bring some more light
into determining the origins of the fast solar wind.
There is a continuous flow of
charged particles that escapes the Sun and fills the space between the
solar system objects and even beyond, called "solar wind". A million
tons of matter is leaving the Sun, every second.
Sometimes (as on 29 October
and 20 November
2003) we can see, even in Armagh, its interaction with the atoms and
molecules from the terrestrial atmosphere, in the form of astonishing
colour displays: auroras (look at my pastel drawing
of the aurora I saw in Armagh).
The solar wind has two components:
a fast, low-density, steady wind (500-900
km s-1) and
a slow, high-density, variable wind
(300-400 km s-1).
We know that the fast solar wind originates from coronal
holes (CHs), regions in which one magnetic polarity dominates, and the
field lines are open.
To find what are the small-scale features responsible for
the appearance of the fast solar wind, we need to correlate plasma
motions with fine structures inside the CHs, seen from the
transition region (TR) downward.
I am therefore involved in the search for the origins of the
solar wind, as low as possible in the solar atmosphere.
Presently, I analyse data from the SUMER
spectrograph onboard the SOHO
spacecraft, with the aim to understand more about what is happening in
the solar atmosphere that makes such a huge amount of matter to
permanently leave the Sun.
This is my fist year report [postcript
file]. Since then, I have done some more
progress, but I did not have
to write another report. For further progress ...
see my publication list ... and wait to write my thesis :)