Sean Quinn - Student Profile
Current research project
The Search for Upper Atmospheric Responses to Sunquakes
My area of research involves solar flares and sunquakes (SQs), which are sometimes by-products of solar flares. SQs are caused when chromospheric plasma is heated by high energy particles accelerated toward the Sun after a solar flare. This chromospheric plasma can impact the photosphere, which in turn creates a SQ. We recently discovered that these SQs can create a response in the upper atmosphere of the Sun, sometimes as high as the mid-chromosphere, using the Ca II 8542Å channel of the Crisp Imaging SpectroPolarimeter (CRISP) instrument in the ground-based observatory, the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST). This response was created by the largest solar flare of solar cycle 24. Currently, I am looking at old solar flares that have a reported photospheric SQ, to determine if they also have an upper-atmospheric response, using the space-based Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), using the AIA 1600Å & 1700Å wavelength channels, which means I have more than 60 events to observe. Once I have analysed all these flares, I hope to determine any correlation between the flares and presence of an upper-atmosphere response.