IRSOL contributes to Parker Solar Probe 4th Perihelion Campaign

During the 4th perihelion (the point closest to the Sun in an orbit) of Parker Solar Probe, a synergy of ground-based observatories around the world supported the spacecraft’s in-situ measurements by remote sensing.
This was made possible thanks to the lined up constellation between Earth, Parker Solar Probe and the Sun. The joined effort is embedded in the Whole Heliosphere and Planetary Interactions initiative. This is expected to draw a unique coherent picture of the complex energetic and magnetic structures reaching from the solar surface to the outer layers of the solar atmosphere.

The NASA coordinated mission Parker Solar Probe, a mission “to touch the Sun”, was launched in August 2018 to provide new insights on solar activity and how to improve space-weather forecasts. Since then, Parker Solar Probe is constantly monitoring it’s direct environment while getting closer and closer to Sun. During the 4th perihelion, Parker Solar Probe reached the outer part of the corona, filled with plasma and magnetic fields.

IRSOL joined the synergy by taking high-precision spectro-polarimetric data of the magnetic foot-points on the Sun. The measurements at IRSOL provide critical complementary information on the magnetic activity located in about 800 km height above the solar surface.

Approved IRSOL affiliation at the Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)

On 18th February 2020 the Ticino parliament (Gran Consiglio) ha approved the IRSOL affiliation at the Faculty of Informatics at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI). This important step allow to strengthen the IRSOL integration in the Swiss academic context and will offer new opportunities for the scientific development of the involved parties.

For more information please see the institutional news at USI.

First light images at DKIST, the new largest solar telescope in the world

This is a great moment for solar physics. The National Solar Observatory (NSO) just published the first light images obtained with DKIST: the new largest telescope in the world.

Example of a first-light solar image obtained by DKIST (see link). Credit:NSO/AURA/NSF

The first images show the granular structures with many details and with unprecedented resolution. DKIST observations are expected to provide a large amount of new interesting information about solar phenomena.

IRSOL collaborates with the Leibniz-Institut for Solar Physics (KIS) in Freiburg on the construction of the Visible Tunable Filter (VTF) to be installed at DKIST. This will allow to obtain spectro-polarimetric with unprecedented resolution, allowing scientists to study in detail the solar magnetic field, responsible of solar activity and transient solar events.

DKIST observations will provide an important opportunity to test the numerical and the theoretical  models developed by IRSOL researchers in collaboration with the Institute of Computational Science at Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) and the  Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS).

IRSOL staff congratulates with NSO colleagues for this important and successful achievement.

Detail of a solar image obtained al DKIST. Credit:NSO/AURA/NSF

For more information:

SOLARNET-FoMICS summer school took place on Sept. 9-14 at USI

IRSOL, together with the Institute of Computational Science of the Università della Svizzera italiana, organized the SOLARNET-FoMICS summer school “Solar spectropolarimetry: From virtual to real observations”, which took place from Sept. 9-14 2019 at USI in Lugano. This was the first of a series schools of the SOLARNET program of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme sponsored under Grant Agreement No 824135. The school was cosponsored by the Swiss Graduate Programme “Foundations in Mathematics and Informatics for Computer Simulations in Science and Engineering” (FoMICS).

25 students, 6 female and 19 male, from 8 countries participated in this course. Seven of these 25 were participants from IRSOL. Six participants had a doctoral degree, 15 were PhD students, and four were about to start a PhD.

The course included to a great deal hands-on exercises with radiative transfer computer programs. Students brought their own laptop along with them and had all downloaded the virtual box corresponding to their OS prior to the start of the school. They received from us a 64 GB SanDisk USB stick containing the OS for the virtual machine (Salix) and the programs and data and presentations copied on it.

Lecturers were Dr. Juan Manuel Borrero from the Leibniz Institute for Solar Physics from Freiburg (D) on the basics of polarized light and the transfer equation for polarized radiation and with hands-on sessions where students compiled and ran the SIR radiative transfer code. Dr. Oskar Steiner from IRSOL lectured on the numerics and tools available for the production of simulation data, while Drs. Flavio Calvo (Univ Stockholm) and Adur Pastor Yabar (Leibniz Institute for Solar Physics) lectured on data formats and visualization of simulation data and access and handling of observational data. Dr. Renzo Rameli from IRSOL gave a lecture on high-precision polarimetry with ZIMPOL. Dr. Jaime de la Cruz Rodriguez (Univ. Stockholm) explained the basics of radiative transfer in the regime out of thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE). Students compiled and ran the STiC code for computing Stokes profiles under NLTE conditions. Prof. Rolf Krause of USI delivered a “supplementary skills lecture” about career development planing.

The school included a visit to IRSOL and to the Swiss National Supercomputing Center (CSCS), where Dr. Matthias Kraushaar (CSCS) introduced to high performance computing. The last day of the school, Saturday, offered an optional excursion to Monte San Salvatore with hike to Morcote.