Heliospheric physics and space weather

An average main-sequence star, the Sun is at a long and uneventful stage of its evolution. However, it experiences periodic changes and unpredictable bursts of activity known as solar activity. The response of the space environment to the constantly changing Sun is known as “space weather”. Solar activity can trigger sporadic bursts of energetic particles that cause damage to satellites and are a hazard for spacecraft systems and a constraint on our ambitions for human activities in space. Primary radiation sources of this environment are energetic protons and electrons during solar energetic particle (SEP) events, with energies up to a few 100 MeV. They are difficult to predict due to uncertainties over the basic physical processes, and the need to access reliable data in real time. [+]

ICCUB Contribution

ICCUB’s lines of research of in solar physics mainly deal with SEP events triggered by solar activity and interplanetary disturbances, i.e. energetic protons (~150 keV to 0.5 GeV) and near relativistic electrons (~20 keV up to 0.5 MeV). Solar flares and coronal mass ejections, which are the main agents of SEP-acceleration, together with proxies of solar activity (radioemission, H-alpha, X-ray, etc.), and the solar wind plasma and the interplanetary magnetic field, are also topics of research at ICCUB, as are background components of the SEP scenario. [+]

Lines of Research