HAO Colloquium Series presents Sarah Jaeggli, Montana State University

The Role of H2 in the Solar Atmosphere

Molecules may not seem like a large portion of the solar atmosphere, but in sunspots, where the atmosphere is significantly cooler than the surrounding quiet-Sun, the molecular population becomes a major player. Large molecular populations, primarily in the form of molecular hydrogen (H2), can have interesting consequences for the sunspot atmosphere. Molecules have additional degrees of freedom where energy can be stored which does not contribute to the thermal signature of the gas. They decrease the total particle number in the cool regions where they form, necessitating an increase in the magnetic pressure support of the sunspot without a change in temperature to maintain stability. However, detecting H2 is a significant problem. In this talk I'll present a continuing study of H2 based on the observed magnetohydrostatic state in sunspots, observed traces of other, similar molecular species, and direct observations of H2 in the far UV using IRIS.

Date and time: 
Thursday, May 8, 2014 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm
S. Auditorium
Event document: