Back to Volume
Paper: Solar Observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)
Volume: 504, Coimbra Solar Physics Meeting: Ground-based Solar Observations in the Space Instrumentation Era
Page: 327
Authors: Kobelski, A.; ALMA Solar Development Team
Abstract: The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a joint North American, European, and East Asian project that opens the mm-sub mm wavelength part of the electromagnetic spectrum for general astrophysical exploration, providing high-resolution imaging in frequency bands currently ranging from 84 GHz to 950 GHz (300 microns to 3 mm). It is located in the Atacama desert in northern Chile at an elevation of 5000 m. Despite being a general purpose instrument, provisions have been made to enable solar observations with ALMA. Radiation emitted at ALMA wavelengths originates mostly from the chromosphere, which plays an important role in the transport of matter and energy, and the in heating the outer layers of the solar atmosphere. Despite decades of research, the solar chromosphere remains a significant challenge: both to observe, owing to the complicated formation mechanisms of currently available diagnostics; and to understand, as a result of the complex nature of the structure and dynamics of the chromosphere. ALMA has the potential to change the scene substantially as it serves as a nearly linear thermometer at high spatial and temporal resolution, enabling us to study the complex interaction of magnetic fields and shock waves and yet-to-be-discovered dynamical processes. Moreover, ALMA will play an important role in the study of energetic emissions associated with solar flares at sub-THz frequencies.
Back to Volume