Grotto falls ft. me

Marika McCarthy

Willamette University

REU Student - Summer 2015
Montana State University

Contact: mimccart[at]willamette[dot]edu

View Marika McCarthy's LinkedIn profile Connect with me on LinkedIn

Office: EPS 230

Advisor: Dr. David McKenzie

Research project

Measurements of Magnetic Reconnection to/from Emerging Active Regions

When viewed in X-rays or extreme ultraviolet (EUV) the Sun's outer atmosphere, the corona, consists of many thin strands called loops. These loops are believed to trace out the magnetic fields, and are formed by a process called magnetic reconnection. Magnetic reconnection exchanges magnetic flux between neighbouring systems and releases magnetic energy. To understand this crucial physical process, we will analyze X-ray and EUV images and make quantitative measurements of magnetic flux involved in reconnection, using a technique pioneered by the team at MSU.

The majority of the summer was spent on adapting a pipeline of code which originally did trace data and adapting that to work with the AIA telescope. It was successful in that we are able to analyze the loop delay for these reconnection events, but there still needs further refinement to the procedure. Specifically, in loop selection from the stack plot, the procedure -- which had worked for TRACE data -- isn't identifying most of the loops causing a tedious manual selection.

Research log

Links to be updated when they're transcribed from my lab book

Week 1: IDL crash course and intro to my project

Week 2: Getting a data set

Week 3: Tracking, stackplots, and graduation

Week 4: Reading (swimming in) IDL procedures

Week 5: Fitting my procedure into the pipeline puzzle

Week 6: More loop diameter debugging

Week 7/8: Locating the bresenham slit

Week 9: The case of the missing loops

Week 10: Wrapping up the present


Elements of the pipeline: procedures being compiled and their locations[Note: As of May 2017, I may have moved procedures around. Contact me at marika.mccarthy(at)montana(dot)edu for more info], how to call it, and known issues and fixes.

Status of case 2 dataset/processing.

Here is my midterm presentation (sadly, gifs and movies aren't PDF friendly).

And here is my final presentation (sans jokes, unfortunately).

A bit of light reading on project background