MAX MILLENNIUM COORDINATED OBSERVING PLAN 003
Goals | Ground Based Observatories |
Space Based Observatories | Target | Scheduling
||REGION LIKELY TO PRODUCE MAJOR
Richard Canfield (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Montana State University
William Marquette (email@example.com)
||Version 4: 3 September 2013
||This plan describes context and flare observations from
ground-based and space-based instruments and observatories appropriate
to solar active regions that are likely to produce solar flares of GOES class M5 or greater.
It describes the circumstances under which the
Max Millennium Chief Observer will declare a Major Flare Watch.
Goal: To obtain multi-wavelength imaging and spectroscopic observations
before, during and after large solar flares, which will be the
source of high quality X-ray spectra and images from RHESSI.
Approach: In a manner appropriate to each instrument, observatory,
and spacecraft, to observe, if at all possible,
the active region identified in
Major Flare Watch message from the Max Millennium Chief Observer
to the Max Millennium Message
of the Day list.
The scientific goal of this program is to understand
energy release, particle acceleration, and particle and energy transport
in the largest flares, for which images and spectra from RHESSI have high diagnostic potential. Key questions are:
Co-temporal data from ground and space-based observatories are crucial
to answering these questions.
- What role do high energy particles play in the energy release process?
- Do the high energy particles carry a significant fraction of the released energy?
- What mechanisms accelerate both electrons to high energies so rapidly and efficiently?
- What is the environment in which this energy release occurs?
- What mechanisms transport the flare energy, the energetic particle component in particular, away from the energy release site?
- What are the characteristic radiation signatures of flares that
have potentially hazardous effects, and how do these flares occur and
The MM Chief Observer will choose regions for this
observing program when any of the following criteria are met:
- A major flare (GOES classification > M5) has occured
(if a region produced one big flare, it will probably produce
at least one more).
- Large island delta configuration (Area > several-100 micro-hemispheres) -
even better if the region is reversed polarity. Bright H-alpha present along the polarity inversion line.
- Large delta configuration (Area > several-100 micro-hemispheres) with bright H-alpha plage and better still
if reversed polarity. Bright H-alpha present along the polarity inversion line.
- Large elongated umbrae (Area > several-100 micro-hemispheres) in pairs of opposite polarity, even if the umbrae are
not a delta configuration, if transverse magnetograms reveal sufficiently strong
shear and strong-field inversion line length.
- Emerging Flux Region coming up within a large existing spot group, if the leader spots
of the EFR are adjacent to the existing group's trailing spots
- Rapidly moving large sunspot(s) moving towards and/or
into an opposite polarity spot.
This is a target-of-opportunity plan. It will be called only when
there is a region on the disk or the limb that is likely to produce
a major flare, according to the criteria above.