MAX MILLENNIUM COORDINATED OBSERVING PLAN 003
Goals | Ground Based Observatories |
Space Based Observatories | Target | Scheduling
||REGION LIKELY TO PRODUCE MAJOR
Richard Canfield (email@example.com)
Montana State University
William Marquette (firstname.lastname@example.org)
||Version 3: 24 April 2012
||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 and
gamma-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, which afford unique opportunities for
observations of gamma-ray lines.
Key questions are:
Co-temporal data from ground and space-based observatories are crucial
to answering these questions.
What is the partition of energy between ions and electrons?
Where are ions accelerated, and what are the physical conditions
(temperature, density, velocity and magnetic fields) there?
What are the abundances of accelerated particles and the ambient
atmosphere at the Sun?
What mechanisms accelerate both electrons and ions to high energies so
rapidly and efficiently?
What mechanisms transport high-energy ions
away from the acceleration site?
What are the characteristic signatures of flares
that have potentially hazardous radiation effects?
What is the relationship between ion acceleration and CMEs?
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 > 500 micro-hemispheres) -
even better if the region is reversed polarity. Bright H-alpha present along the polarity inversion line.
- Large delta configuration (Area > 500 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 > 500 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.