Reading The Sun: A Three Dimensional Visual Model of The Solar Environment During Solar Cycle 24

Monday, 15 December 2014
Theresa L Carranza-fulmer, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor, MI, United States and Mark Moldwin, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
The sun is a powerful force that has proven to our society that it has a large impact on our lives. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of awareness on how the sun is capable of affecting Earth. The over all idea of “Reading The Sun” installation is to help demonstrate how the sun impacts the Earth, by compiling various data sources from satellites (SOHO, SDO, and STERO) with solar and solar wind models (MAS and ENLIL) to create a comprehensive three dimensional display of the solar environment. It focuses on the current solar maximum of solar cycle 24 and a CME that impacted Earth’s magnetic field on February 27, 2014, which triggered geomagnetic storms around the Earth’s poles. The CME was an after-effect of a class X4.9 solar flare, which was released from the sun on February 25, 2014. “Reading The Sun” is a 48” x 48” x 48” hanging model of the sun with color coded open opposing magnetic field lines along with various layers of the solar atmosphere, the heliospheric current sheet, and the inner planets. At the center of the xyz axis is the sun with the open magnetic field lines and the heliospheric current sheet permeating inner planetary space. The xyz axes are color coded to represent various types of information with corresponding visual images for the viewer to be able to read the model. Along the z-axis are three colors (yellow, orange, and green) that represent the different layers of the solar atmosphere (photosphere, chromosphere, and corona) that correspond to three satellite images in various spectrums related to a CME and Solar Flare and the xy-plane shows where the inner planets are in relation to the sun.

 The exhibit in which “Reading The Sun “is being displayed is called, The Rotation of Language at the Wheather Again Gallery in Rockaway, New York. The intent of the exhibit is to both celebrate as well as present a cautionary tale on the ability of human language to spark and ignite the individual and collective imagination towards an experience simultaneously approaching the utopian as well as the dystopian.