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Polarimetry: Pinning down the Sun's magnetism

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Rebecca Centeno

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

National Center for Atmospheric Research
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

Magnetism plays a decisive part in the structure, dynamics and energy budget of the Sun’s atmosphere; it is at the core of the Solar Cycle and behind the origin of Space Weather; it provides efficient means for storage, transportation and release of energy. Magnetic fields from the Sun draw pathways throughout the interplanetary medium, magnetically linking the entire Solar System. In order to better comprehend and more precisely forecast the Sun’s behavior, and how it may affect us, we need to disentangle the elusive nature of its magnetic forces. The intensity and polarization of the light emitted by the Sun carry clues about its physical properties, and in particular, its magnetism. The theory of radiative transfer of polarized light allows us to exploit polarimetric measurements to their full potential, and decipher the information encoded in the radiation. I will review how we use these techniques for remote sensing of magnetic fields on the Sun and other stars, and I’ll delve into the challenges and opportunities that we face looking towards NSO’s Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope.