This year the following projects are available. Click on the various links to find out more information about these solar phemonena.


AWH 1 SOLAR PROMINENCES

Prominences are cool, dense structures that are supported high in the solar corona by the local magnetic field. This project will involve a description of the observations and properties of these fascinating solar features. In addition, some of the new theories developed by the St Andrews Solar MHD Theory group will be presented that explain their formation and equilibrium structure.

No previous knowledge of the Sun is required.


AWH 2 SOLAR FLARES

Solar Flares are probably the most violent events in the solar system. The plasma in the solar corona is heated rapidly from about one million degrees to over 10 million degrees in the order of a minute or so. This requires the release of a vast amount of energy and the only available source of energy is the coronal magnetic field. The aim of this project is to investigate mechanisms that allow the coronal magnetic field, firstly, to store the necessary energy and then, secondly, release it when some instability is triggered.

No previous knowledge of the Sun is required.


AWH 3 CORONAL PLUMES

The recent SOHO satelite has discovered many new properties of coronal plumes. Plumes are structures that are seen inside the open magnetic field regions of coronal holes. It is thought that plumes are the source of the high speed streams observed in the solar wind. This project will investigate a simple model for plumes, based on the Parker solar wind model.

No previous knowledge of the Sun is required.


AWH 4 WAVES IN INHOMOGENEOUS PLASMAS

The dynamics of the solar corona is dominated by the local magnetic field. Small disturbances will set up wave motions in the plasma and the observed frequencies provide information about the magnetic field strength, the plasma density and temperature. The aim of this project is to show how aysmptotic methods, such as WKB theory, can be used to determine the properties of the dispersion relations of the various wave modes.

No previous knowledge of the Sun is required.