Scientific Goal and Observational Approach  |  GBO Observing Program  |  Space Mission Observing Program  | Target of Opportunity | Scheduling Considerations | Follow-up

TITLE: Eruptive Flares Associated with Sigmoids during WSM3
AUTHORS:  Richard Canfield ( HESSI/MSU
Hugh Hudson ( Yohkoh SXT/ISAS 
Sarah Gibson ( DAMTP/Cambridge 
Charles Kankelborg ( TRACE/MSU 
VERSION: 19 August 1999 
SUMMARY: This is a target-of-opportunity plan which will be carried out simultaneously with SOHO/TRACE JOP106 during Whole Sun Month #3 (WSM3) (Aug 18 - Sept 14, 1999) when/if a sigmoidal active region (sigmoid) appears during that time period.  The purpose of the Max Millennium plan is to add flare observations to the already-planned WSM3 multi-wavelength active-region observations, which will document the topology of the preflare and postflare active region as well as possible. The goal of the flare observations is to determine where in this evolving topology particle acceleration and energy release take place.  If flare observations are successfully obtained, coordinated analysis of the flare data will be the focus of a Max Millennium Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop.


The scientific goal of this plan is to understand where flare particle acceleration and impulsive energy release take place within the thermodynamic and magnetic topology of an erupting sigmoid.  It is expected that multiwavelength observations of flares will aid in discriminating between the very different topologies that have recently been proposed.  The observational approach is to: Top


Participating Observatories:
Bailkal Solar Vacuum Telescope  details Contact: Larisa Kashapova or Natalia Firstova, ISTP, Irkutsk
Big Bear Solar Observatory (BIG) details Contact: Haimin Wang, NJIT
Crimean Astrophysical Observatory details Contact: N.N. Stepanian, CRAO
El Leoncito Solar Observatory (ELL) details Contact: Marta Rovira, IAFE, Buenos Aires
GCT, VIT, DOT, SVST JOP_97 Contact: Karin Muglach, AIP
Helio Research JOP_106 Contact: Sara Martin, Helio Research
Hida Domeless Solar Telescope details Contact: Hiroki Kurokawa, Kyoto University
Hiraiso Solar Terrestrial Research Center details Contact: Maki Akioka, CRL
Huairou Solar Station details Contact: Hongqi Zhang, BAO
Itapetinga Radio Observatory (ITA) details Contact: Emilia Correia or Pierre Kaufmann, CRAAM/CRAAE
Kitt Peak details Contact: Jack Harvey, NSO
Kitt Peak Tower Telescope details Contact: David Rust, JHU/APL
Marshall Space Flight Center (MAR) details Contact: Mona Hagyard, MSFC
Mauna Loa Observatory (MAU) JOP_106 Contact: Joan Burkepile, HAO
Mees Solar Observatory (MEE) JOP_106 Contact: Barry Labonte, Mees Solar Obs, IfA
Meudon Observatory details Contact: Jean-Marie Malherbe, Observatoire de Paris
Modra Astronomical Observatory JOP_106 Contact: Michael Sersen, Modra
Nançay Radioheliograph (NAN) details Contact: Nicole Vilmer, Meudon
National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Mitaka (MIT) details Contact: Takashi Sakurai, NAOJ
Nobeyama Radioheliograph (NOB) details Contact: Kiyoto Shibasaki, NRO
Ooty, Nagoya, EISCAT JOP_106 Contact: Sarah Gibson, Cambridge
Oporto Radiospectrograph (OPO) details Contact: A. S. de Magalhaes, U Porto
Owens Valley Radio Observatory Solar Array (OWE) details Contact: Dale E. Gary, NJIT or Kjell Nelin, OVRO
RATAN 600 Radiotelescope (RAT) details Contact: Vladimir Bogod, Special Astrophysical Observatory
Sonora Solar Observing Station (SON) details Contact: Antonio Sanchez, EOS/CIFUS/UNISON 
SOONSPOT details Contact: Alan Kiplinger, SEC, CU
Trieste Astronomical Observatory (TRI) details Contact: Mauro Messerotti or Paolo Zlobec, TAO


SOHO (EIT) Contact: Barbara Thompson, SOHO, GSFC
SUMMARY The plan is linked with JOP106,  Sigmoidal Active Region Study for Whole Sun Month #3
Yohkoh (SXT) Contact: Hugh Hudson, SXT, ISAS
SUMMARY Standard observing modes with SXT and HXT providing thermal and nonthermal plasma diagnostics and 3D structural evolution, as well as high-energy electron parameters during flares.
TRACE (TRA) Contact: Harry Warren, TRACE, CfA
SUMMARY This plan is linked with JOP106,  Sigmoidal Active Region Study for Whole Sun Month #3
INTERBALL-Tail (INT) Contact: Marek Siarkowski, SRC, PAS
SUMMARY Full disk X-ray photometry from the INTERBALL RF-15I instrument. Energy range about 1 kev and 10-15-30-60-120-240 keV with time resolution 0.125 - 8 sec.


The target for this campaign will be a sigmoid appearing in the Eastern hemisphere. The region will be followed over several days, ideally over the west limb. If the sigmoid does not appear likely to produce a flare, or a strong flaring region is present elsewhere on the disk, a Max Millennium campaign will not be called (although the sigmoid may be a WSM3 target).

The four authors will collaborate for target selection, and welcome input from all participants. Sarah Gibson will be responsible for WSM3 plans, and Dick Canfield for Max Millennium. Independent announcements will be made via both the Max Millennium MOTD e-mail list and the WSM e-mail list.  To subscribe to the Max Millennium MOTD list, go to the Max Millennium E-mail and Hypermail page.  To subscribe to the WSM3 list, contact Sarah Gibson (


Whole Sun Month will take place from Aug 18 - Sep 14, 1999, and this plan will be put into operation (along with JOP106) if a suitable target is present during that period of time. If a suitable sigmoid does not present itself during Whole Sun Month #3, this Max Millennium observing plan will be modified and used in the future for either a scheduled campaign or last-minute target of opportunity.


This plan was put into operation from August 18th to August 27th, 1999, following NOAA AR 8668.  Links to useful information follow:
  • WSM3 Flare Topology Working Group
  • Dick Canfield's Summary of which Observatories observed which flares, 14-Aug-99 to 24-Aug-99
  • Sarah Gibson's Summary Page (US) or (UK)
  • WSM CMEs observed by LASCO
  • NOAA Events lists, 14-Aug-99 to 24-Aug-99
  • August 17th information

  • Top