Comparing EUV and LOS Magnetic Field Images to Determine if Coronal Holes are a Part of the Solar Cycle

Zain Jabbar - Maui High School

Everyday Earth is bombarded by charged particles from the sun, its solar wind. However, with current understanding of electromagnetism, charged particles slow down in a magnetic field and if the sun were a perfect bar magnet we would get much fewer charged particles from the Sun than expected. This is due to coronal holes, areas on the Sun where the magnetic field lines protrude out radially from the surface, allowing charged particles to fly away and towards the Earth. Coronal Holes are visible using high frequency photography as in the high ultraviolet and X-Ray images. These areas are low in plasma density and are cooler due to the high energy particles released. It is well known that the eleven year Solar cycle has the Sun fluctuations in luminosity and with the number of sunspots, cool regions on the sun with strong magnetism. The goal of my project was to create a program and feed it data from NASA’s AIA 193 Angstrom images and line of sight magnetic field images to count the number of pixels on the Sun covered by sunspots and by coronal holes and plot them to see if the two are linked within the same cycle. The results of this could help better understand the solar cycle and to better predict when the Earth is hit by dangerous solar wind, which can cause power outages and has shown to increase the number of heart attacks.