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2024-05-07 Hugh Hudson (Glasgow and Berkely)

The Sun as a Star: Discovery of high-speed prograde coronal flows

Abstract: The Sun, viewed as a star, still produces surprises via time-domain and spectroscopic techniques.  In particular the medium-resolution EUV spectrometers on the Solar Dynamics Observatory have produced a small flood of recent discovery.  I discuss one fundamentally new (2022) phenomenon: the hot coronal loops that form the superstructures of sunspot regions all show continuous flows at >100 km/s, always in the sense of horizontal prograde motions.  I will explain how Glasgow students in the Astronomy Honours laboratory obtained this remarkable result. It still has no hint of a theory nor a modeling description, and doubtless will appear in future stellar observations as something of complication. Despite the modern emphasis on solar observations at the highest angular resolution, we still have a huge discovery space for new Sun-as-a-star observations.