Postdoc position in Solar Physics at Univ. of Catania

Position in the EC-funded ‘F-CHROMA’ network : Postdoctoral fellowship in Solar Physics at the University of Catania, Italy

A postdoctoral research fellowship in solar physics is available at the University of Catania (Italy) for work related to the project “Flare Chromospheres: Observations, Models and Archives” (F-CHROMA) funded by the EC programme FP7-SPACE-2012.

The successful candidate will work together with other Consortium members on the analysis and interpretation of high spatial and temporal resolution solar flare observations and the development of archives of observations and models. The particular emphasis in University of Catania is on the analysis and interpretation of multiwavelength observations of solar flares, on the comparison between observations and models, as well as the population of an archive of chromospheric flares observations.

Requirements/qualifications:
– Applicants must hold a PhD degree or equivalent in astrophysics, physics or related disciplines;
– Documented research experience in solar physics, with emphasis on analysis and interpretation of solar flare multi-wavelength observations, including ground-based instrumentation;
– Independent and collaborative research skills;
– A good command of written and spoken English.

Duration and starting date:
– The fellowship is initally awarded for 12 months, and can be extended up to 1 year, depending on positive assessment and funding availability;
– The preferred starting date for the fellowship is around December 1st, 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Salary:
– The annual amount of the allowance is 29,880 Euro, not comprehensive of administrative fees burden. Travel funds will be available.

Deadline:
– The application deadline is November 5, 2014.
– More information and full application procedure: http://www.unict.it/content/bando-701

For any further information please contact Francesca Zuccarello fzu@oact.inaf.it

Postdoc position in Solar Physics at INAF

A postdoctoral research fellowship in solar physics is available at the INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Naples (Italy) for work related to the project “Flare Chromospheres: Observations, Models and Archives” (F-CHROMA) funded by the EC programme FP7-SPACE-2012.

The successful candidate will work together with other Consortium members on the analysis and interpretation of high spatial and temporal resolution solar flare observations and the development of archives of observations and models. The particular emphasis in INAF-Capodimonte is on the calculation of the time evolution of chromospheric flare radiation and on the analysis of multi-wavelength observations of chromospheric flares.

Requirements/qualifications:
– Applicants must hold a PhD degree or equivalent in Astrophysics, Astronomy or Physics (alternatively, they must possess at least three years of documented scientific experience after a degree which would entitle to the admission to a PhD program);
– Research experience in radiation hydrodynamics simulations in astrophysical contexts and/or research experience in Solar Physics, with emphasis on the analysis of multi-wavelength observations.
– Independent and collaborative research skills;
– A good command of written and spoken English.

Duration and starting date:
– The fellowship is initially awarded for 12 months, and can be extended up to the duration of the F-CHROMA project (31 December 2016), depending on positive assessment of performances and on funding availability;
– The preferred starting date for the fellowship is 1 October 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Salary:
– The gross salary for this employment contract is 32,000 Euro/year, subject to about 10% contribution to social security. Travel funds will be available.

Deadline:
– The application deadline is 7 August 2014.
– More information and full application procedure:
http://www.inaf.it/it/lavora-con-noi/assegni-di-ricerca/assegno-di-ricerca-dal-titolo-modellistica-e-analisi-di-brillamenti-solari-cromosferici/bando-assegno-call/bando-assegno_-vers-inglese/at_download/file

Informal enquiries are welcome and are to be directed to Vincenzo Andretta (andretta@oacn.inaf.it)

Small, but perfectly formed

annotated_Ha+0.1

Fig. 1: Image in the H-alpha wing showing the two ribbons of the flare.

Our recent service mode observational run at the Dunn Solar Telescope was successful in catching a very tiny flare on 3rd May! The event was a B9 event, with a two-ribbon morphology as viewed with the IBIS instrument (Fig 1, left), and a detectable signature in RHESSI. As can be seen, the ribbons are very narrow, particularly where they enter the sunspot umbra.

This IBIS image in the wing of H-alpha shows a mixture of chromospheric  (ribbons, fibrils) and photospheric features (spot). The observation run included broad-band spectra from the Horizontal Spectrograph, but we have yet to establish if the slit crossed the flare kernels, so we don’t yet know whether there is ‘true’ continuum emission present, but that is one of the things that we will be looking for carefully.

A preliminary look at other data shows a similar morphology. The 304 A channel of the AIA instrument on SDO has two ribbons (note, the IBIS image, which is aligned with the parallactic angle, needs to be rotated clockwise by about 45 degrees to match up), and RHESSI images indicate X-rays up to 25keV from the north/west ribbon with perhaps a part of a loop extending towards the ribbon in the spot. RHESSI spectroscopy also indicates a thermal and a non-thermal component.

rhessi_prelim

Fig 2: SDO/AIA 304 A image in the background, with RHESSI contours superposed showing indications of thermal and non-thermal emission at the `fat’ ribbon, but no observable hard X-rays from the ribbon in the spot.

Well, it’s not as spectacular as the best-observed solar flare captured at the Dunn Solar Telescope on 29th April, but at least it has the virtue of being small and simple and perhaps easy to model!

 

Investigating the flare chromosphere

F-CHROMA focus on space-based and ground-based multi-mode, multi-wavelength study of so- lar flares. These are the most intense energy release events in the solar system, and – via their intense high energy radiation bursts and associated coronal mass ejections – a driving feature of space weather. We focus on the flare chromosphere as the main location of flare energy dissipation and radiation.