Origins of Solar Activity.
Final rept. 1 Jun 92-31 May 96,
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV LAUREL MD APPLIED PHYSICS LAB
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Work under the subject grant began in August 1992, when Mr. J. J. Blanchette began study and data analysis in the area of solar flare research. Mr. Blanchette passed all requirements toward a Ph.D., except for the thesis. Mr. Blanchette worked with the APL Flare Genesis Experiment team to build a balloon-borne solar vector magnetograph. Other work on the magnetograph was partially supported by AFOSR grant F49620-94-1-0079. Mr. Blanchette assisted the Flare Genesis team prepare the telescope and focal plane optical elements for a test flight. He participated in instrument integration and in launch preparations for the flight, which took place on January 23, 1994. Mr. Blanchette was awarded a Masters Degree in Astrophysics by the Johns Hopkins University in recognition of his achievements. Mr. Blanchette indicated a desire to suspend work on the Ph.D. degree, and he left the AASERT program on August 31, 1994. Under the guidance of his advisor at JHUAPL, Dr. David M. Rust, Mr. Blanchette gained enough background in solar physics so that he can contribute to observational, analytical, and presentation efforts in solar research. Beginning in August 1995, Mr. Ashok Kumar was supported by the grant. Mr. Kumar demonstrated remarkable theoretical insight into the problems of solar activity. He developed the concept of intrinsic scale magnetic flux ropes in the solar atmosphere and interplanetary space. His model can explain the heating of interplanetary magnetic clouds. Recently, his idea has been extended to explain solar wind heating. If the idea is confirmed by further comparison with observations, it will be a major breakthrough in space physics and it may lead to an explanation for why the solar coronas temperature is over a million degrees.