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Space Physics Seminar

Parker Solar Probe: Understanding the Solar Corona and Solar Wind
Presented by Marco Velli
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
11:00 A.M. in 169-336

The magnetic field is fundamental to solar activity and shapes the inter-planetary environment, as it is the conduit for coronal heating and driver of solar wind acceleration; produced by the sun's dynamo and emerging into the corona, magnetic fields become a conduit for waves, act to store energy, and then propel plasma into the Heliosphere in the form of Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). Magnetic fields are also at the heart of the generation and acceleration of Solar Energetic Particle (SEPs) that modify the space weather environment of the Earth and other planets.

Parker Solar Probe (PSP) was launched in August 2018 to carry out the first in situ exploration of the outer solar corona and inner Heliosphere. Direct measurements of the plasma in the closest atmosphere of our star should lead to a new understanding of the questions of coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, and the generation, acceleration and propagation of SEPs.

In this lecture I will start from an introduction to our present knowledge of the magnetized solar corona and wind before describing the PSP mission and initial results from the first orbit. I will also discuss how synergies with Solar Orbiter might lead us to accurately understand the state of the solar wind all the way from the corona into interplanetary space, a stepping stone for understanding the dynamics of active magnetized plasmas throughout the universe.

SVCP Astrophysics

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