Development of Integral Field Spectrographs to Revolutionize Spectroscopic Observations of Solar Flares and other Energetic Solar Eruptions

Haosheng Lin, Tetsu Anan, Gianna Cauzzi, Lyndsay Fletcher, Pei Huang, Adam Kowalski, Maxim Kramar, Jiong Qiu, Jenna Samra, Constance Spittler, Takashi Sukegawa, Gregory Wirth

Submitted on 1 September 2022


The Sun's proximity offers us a unique opportunity to study in detail the physical processes on a star's surface; however, the highly dynamic nature of the stellar surface -- in particular, energetic eruptions such as flares and coronal mass ejections -- presents tremendous observational challenges. Spectroscopy probes the physical state of the solar atmosphere, but conventional scanning spectrographs and spectrometers are unable to capture the full evolutionary history of these dynamic events with a sufficiently wide field of view and high spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution. Resolving the physics of the dynamic sun requires gathering simultaneous spectra across a contiguous area over the full duration of these events, a goal now tantalizingly close to achievable with continued investment in developing powerful new Integral Field Spectrographs to serve as the foundation of both future ground- and space-based missions. This technology promises to revolutionize our ability to study solar flares and CMEs, addressing NASA's strategic objective to "understand the Sun, solar system, and universe." Since such events generate electromagnetic radiation and high-energy particles that disrupt terrestrial electric infrastructure, this investment not only advances humanity's scientific endeavors but also enhances our space weather forecasting capability to protect against threats to our technology-reliant civilization.


Comment: 14 pages, 4 figures, White Paper submitted for 2022 Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics) Decadal Survey

Subjects: Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics; Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics