EPSON DSC picture

Area Tor Vergata – IAPS

Via Fosso Del Cavaliere, 100
Daniele Spadaro – INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania                     


This is a great year for a new season of heliophysics studies, thanks to the creation of a group of instruments, on board of space missions or steadily on earth, which will be put in operation in the next decade and will let us study our star and the heliosphere as never before.

In addition to ESA Solar Orbiter mission, whose scientific payload integration is underway and whose launch is planned in February 2020, soon (August 2018) NASA Parker Solar Probe (PSP) mission will be launched, a “mission to touch the Sun”, since the minimum distance perihelion is expected at less than 10 solar radii. On the other hand, the minimum perihelion of Solar Orbiter mission is expected at 0.28 AU, well inside Mercury orbit. The contemporary presence of both “in-situ” and “remote-sensing” instruments, in the two missions, will let us study in great details the solar processes that give birth and set the heliosphere, and then have important consequences on circumplanetary environments.

In the next decade, two big solar telescopes will be built (4 m class), the American DKIST, on the Hawaii islands, and the European EST, on the Canarian islands. They might both have the capacity to observe the solar atmosphere with a remarkable space, temporal and spectral resolution, with a great contribution to the detailed study of processes of emergence and evolution of solar magnetic fields, their role in the structure and dynamics of solar atmosphere, as well as eruptive phenomena that release great amounts of plasma in the interplanetary space. The main features of such instruments and their potential contribution to the progresses on heliophysics studies are going to be described, looking at the possibility of having new useful information concerning star physics and eso-planetary researches.

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE - Area della Ricerca di Roma 2 - Tor Vergata Via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 100 - 00133 Roma