[Cymraeg]

Physics projects for Y3 and Y4 students


Project description

Effects of Solar Weather on the Earth's Magnetosphere

(supervisor: Balázs Pintér)

Nature of project: data analysis, software

Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.

Project description and methodology

Images of the sun and data measuring magnetic activities in the Earth’s environment will be gathered from times of magnetic storms. Solar activity that triggers storms in the Earth’s magnetosphere can be coronal mass ejections (CMEs), energetic flares, or appearances of large sunspots and magnetically active regions. Solar disturbances travel towards the Earth in forms of CME or the solar wind. Their speed will be derived by analysing images of the mass ejection.

Observational data will be taken from publicly available sources provided by ground- and/or space-based observatories and data centres, such as Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), Geomagnetic Data Service, and Virtual Solar Observatory.

One of the aims of the project is predicting a magnetic substorm by observing a solar event and deriving the time when its effect reaches the Earth’s magnetosphere.

A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
- There is no upper limit to the number of solar energetic events the effects of which can be studied by the students in terrestrial magnetospheric data.

- A comparative study can be carried out to find out the best model for the solar wind or CME propagation towards the Earth.

When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.

Additional scope or challenge if taken as a Year-4 project: - A comprehensive correlation analysis can be done by analysing a large data archive of magnetospheric effects of solar events

or

- Finding the solar origin in atmospheric activity in other planets' (Mars, Saturn) data

Please speak to Balázs Pintér (bap) if you consider doing this project.

Initial literature for students:

  1. Barkhatov, N. A., Vorob'ev, V. G., Revunov, S. E., Yagodkina, O. I., “Effect of solar dynamics parameters on the formation of substorm activity”, 2017, Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, 57, 3, 251-256
  2. Watari, S., “Geomagnetic storms of cycle 24 and their solar sources”, 2017, Earth, Planets and Space, 69, 1, 70, 8
  3. Alberti, T., Consolini, G., Lepreti, F., Laurenza, M., Vecchio, A., Carbone, V., “Timescale separation in the solar wind-magnetosphere coupling during St. Patrick's Day storms in 2013 and 2015”, 2017, Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 122, 4, 4266-4283
  4. Singh, A., Rathore, V. S., Singh, R. P., Singh, A. K., “Source identification of moderate (-100 nT < Dst < -50 nT) and intense geomagnetic storms (Dst < -100 nT) during ascending phase of solar cycle 24”, 2017, Advances in Space Research, 59, 5, 1209-1222

Novelty, degree of difficulty and amount of assistance required

Recent sunspots, active regions, flares, or CMEs can be selected by the students the effects of which have not been studied. The novelty of the project can also come from the comparative nature of the analysis. No assistance is needed for the project except for the weekly discussion meetings.

Supervision and discussions can be done online.

Project milestones and deliverables (including timescale)

milestoneto be completed by
Selecting a time period or solar events to be analysedend of November
Collecting solar and magnetospheric data end of February
Working out a model for the SW and/or CME propagation towards the Earthmid-March
Deriving a predicted time for a magnetic substormEaster