Heating in the solar atmosphere has been an open question and much debated topic for many decades. There are two main suggestions to explain the rise in temperature from the surface (photosphere) to the outer regions of the solar atmosphere (corona), namely: flaring and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves. MHD waves have been observed in a wide array of magnetic structures (e.g., sunspots, pores) with many of the theoretically predicted MHD modes having been directly observed in these structures. Also, there is observed evidence that MHD waves transfer energy and momentum to various layers. Most studies on MHD wave guides in the solar atmosphere have focussed on properties in the corona.
This team aims to elucidate further on MHD waves in the less-studied lower solar atmosphere (i.e., the photosphere and the chromosphere). This is a challenging topic, as this is a highly dynamic region, where properties can change rapidly with height. As such, the team is composed of experts on high-resolution observations, simulations and theory of MHD modes in the lower solar atmosphere. Our goal is to obtain a comprehensive picture of wave propagation, from the generation of waves in sub-photospheric layers to their channelling and eventual dissipation in outer regions. To address these goals, we will use high resolution spectropolarimetric data to ascertain magnetic field and velocity variations with height for propagating waves, so that we can make more meaningful comparisons to both theory and advanced MHD wave simulations.