REU Project ID 7.1

Plasma physics of the inner heliosphere using data from the NASA Parker Solar Probe mission

Prof. Stuart Bale

The plasma physics of solar coronal heating and wind acceleration is still poorly understood. The NASA Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission was launched in late 2018 into an orbit that takes it deep into the inner heliosphere. It will eventually have a perihelion altitude of 8.8 solar radii above the photosphere. Our group leads scientific instruments on PSP that measure directly the electromagnetic fields and thermal and suprathermal plasma present in the solar corona. Students will analyze measurements from the PSP instruments and work with more senior scientists to interpret these measurements and contribute directly to the science of astrophysical coronal heating.