STUDYING SOLAR FLARES
Dale Gary, professor of physics, is leading a is leading a project to design and build the Frequency Agile Solar Radiotelescope (FASR), a new technology capable of making high-resolution images of the solar corona. The project, supported by the National Science Foundation, will construct a new radio telescope consisting of 100 receiving dishes that will allow scientists to make direct measurements of the coronal magnetic fields.The image above is a design rendering of the array. Read an article about FASR in NJIT Alumni Magazine.
FASR will allow researchers to study the birth of coronal mass ejections, violent phenomena associated with the Sun's magnetic fields that can cause sudden, intense fluctuations in the solar wind and serious consequences on Earth. The high-energy particles that characterize these ejections have the potential to destroy satellites. The satellites in turn may impact television viewing, pagers, cellular phones and other wireless devices. With the ability to observe these phenomena, especially those on the near face of the sun that most affect Earth, researchers will be able to provide better information on the space environment to airlines, power companies and satellite operators.
Dr. Gary, a specialist in radio solar physics, directs NJIT's Owens Valley Solar Array (OVSA), the only solar dedicated radio observatory in the United States. With funding from the NSF, OVSA studies radio waves emitted by the sun and plays an important role in supplying the community with high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution microwave observations of the solar atmosphere. Read a review of Dr. Gary's book, Solar and Space Weather Radiophysics.