Solar Magnetohydrodynamics (or MHD for short) is the study of the subtle, and often nonlinear, interaction between the Sun's magnetic field and its plasma interior or atmosphere, treated as a continuous medium.
We are presently witnessing a revolution in our understanding of the Sun, stimulated by high-resolution observations from space and the ground, and by great advances in theoretical modelling. The Sun is of great interest in its own right, but it is also of central importance for understanding a wide range of phenomena throughout the cosmos and for understanding how our Sun influences the rest of the solar system, especially the Earth.
Dramatic features such as sunspots, solar flares, solar prominences and the existence of a very hot solar corona that extends from the Sun to well outside the Earth's orbit have challenged scientists to develop better scientific models of what is going on inside and around the Sun.
The researchers in the St.Andrews Solar & Magnetospheric MHD Theory Group are attempting to model such phenomena by using:
Although the main emphasis in the group is on the Sun, we also occasionally apply the knowledge and techniques of solar MHD to astrophysical and magnetospheric problems
Picture courtesy of SOHO/EIT consortium. SOHO is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.
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