New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

How 1,000 undergraduates helped solve an enduring mystery about the sun

May 9, 2023
University of Colorado at Boulder
For three years at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of students spent an estimated 56,000 hours analyzing the behavior of hundreds of solar flares. Their results could help astrophysicists understand how the sun's corona reaches temperatures of millions of degrees Fahrenheit.

For a new study, a team of physicists recruited roughly 1,000 undergraduate students at the University of Colorado Boulder to help answer one of the most enduring questions about the sun: How does the star's outermost atmosphere, or "corona," get so hot?

The research represents a nearly-unprecedented feat of data analysis: From 2020 to 2022, the small army of mostly first- and second-year students examined the physics of more than 600 real solar flares -- gigantic eruptions of energy from the sun's roiling corona.

The researchers, including 995 undergraduate and graduate students, published their finding May 9 in The Astrophysical Journal. The results suggest that solar flares may not be responsible for superheating the sun's corona, as a popular theory in astrophysics suggests.

"We really wanted to emphasize to these students that they were doing actual scientific research," said James Mason, lead author of the study and an astrophysicist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

Study co-author Heather Lewandowski agreed, noting that the study wouldn't be possible without the undergrads who contributed an estimated 56,000 hours of work to the project.

"It was a massive effort from everyone involved," said Lewandowski, professor of physics and fellow of JILA, a joint research institute between CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Campfire physics

The study zeroes in on a mystery that has left even senior astrophysicists scratching their heads.

Telescope observations suggest that the sun's corona sizzles at temperatures of millions of degrees Fahrenheit. The surface of the sun, in contrast, is much cooler, registering only in the thousands of degrees.

"That's like standing right in front of a campfire, and as you back away, it gets a lot hotter," Mason said. "It makes no sense."

Some scientists suspect that especially tiny flares, or "nanoflares," which are too small for even the most advanced telescopes to spot, may be responsible. If such events exist, they may pop up across the sun on a nearly constant basis. And, the theory goes, they could add up to make the corona toasty. Think of boiling a pot of water using thousands of individual matches.

The students' results cast doubt on this theory, Mason said, although he thinks it's too early to say for sure.

"I was hoping our result was going to be different. I still feel like nanoflares are an important driver of coronal heating," Mason said. "But the evidence from our paper suggests the opposite. I'm a scientist. I have to go where the evidence is pointing."

Peak pandemic times

The effort began at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In spring 2020, CU Boulder, like most universities around the country, had moved its courses entirely online. Lewandowski, however, faced a predicament: She was teaching a class on hands-on research called "Experimental Physics I" that fall, and she had nothing for her students to do.

"This was peak pandemic times," Lewandowski said. "It's sometimes hard to remember back to what life was like then. These students were very isolated. They were really stressed."

Mason, who was then a researcher at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at CU Boulder, offered an idea.

The scientist had long wanted to dig into the mathematics of solar flares. In particular, he had tried examining a dataset of thousands of flares that occurred between 2011 and 2018 and had been spotted by instruments in space. They included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series and NASA's Miniature X-ray Solar Spectrometer (MinXSS), a CubeSat mission designed and built at LASP.

The problem: There were just too many flares to examine on his own.

That's when Mason and Lewandowski turned to the students for help.

Mason explained that you can infer details about the behavior of nanoflares by studying the physics of larger flares, which scientists have observed directly for decades.

To do just that, students split into groups of three or four and picked a normal flare they wanted to analyze over the course of the semester. Then, through a series of lengthy calculations, they added up how much heat could each of these events pour into the sun's corona.

Their calculations painted a clear picture: The sum of the sun's nanoflares likely wouldn't be powerful enough to heat up its corona to millions of degrees Fahrenheit.

Educational experiences

What is making the corona so hot isn't clear. A competing theory suggests that waves in the sun's magnetic field carry energy from inside the sun to its atmosphere.

But the study's actual findings aren't its only important results. Lewandowski said her students were able to have opportunities that are rare for scientists and engineers so early in their careers -- to learn first-hand about the collaborative and often-messy way that scientific research works in the real world.

"We still hear students talking about this course in the halls," she said. "Our students were able to build a community and support each other at a time that was really tough."

CU Boulder co-authors of the new study include Alexandra Werth, postdoctoral researcher at JILA; Colin West, teaching associate professor in physics; Allison Youngblood, astrophysicist at LASP now at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; Donald Woodraska, data systems team lead at LASP; and Courtney Peck, data systems software engineer at LASP and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES).

Funding for the research came from NASA through the MinXSS mission and the U.S. National Science Foundation through the STROBE Science & Technology Center and JILA Physics Frontier Center.

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder. Original written by Daniel Strain. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. James Paul Mason, Alexandra Werth, Colin G. West, Allison Youngblood, Donald L. Woodraska, Courtney L. Peck, Arvind J. Aradhya, Yijian Cai, David Chaparro, James W. Erikson, Koushik Ganesan, T. R. Geerdts, Thi D Hoang, Thomas M. Horning, Yan Jin, Haixin Liu, Noah Lordi, Zheng Luo, Thanmay S. Menon, Josephine C. Meyer, Emma E Nelson, Kristin A. Oliver, Jorge L Ramirez Ortiz, Andrew Osborne, Alyx Patterson, Nick Pellatz, John Pitten, Nanako Shitara, Daniel Steckhahn, Aseem Visal, Hongda Wang, Chaoran Wang, Evan Wickenden, John Wilson, Mengyu Wu, Nikolay Yegovtsev, Ingrid H Zimmermann, James Holland Aaron, Jumana T. Abdullah, Jonathan M. Abrams, Riley Abrashoff, Andres B. Acevedo, Iker Acha, Daniela M. Meza Acosta, Megan M. Adam, Dante Q. Adams, Kalvyn N Adams, Elena R Adams, Zainab A. Akbar, Ushmi H. Akruwala, Adel Al-Ghazwi, Batool H. Alabbas, Areej A. Alawadhi, Yazeed A. Alharbi, Mohammed S. Alahmed, Mohammed A. Albakr, Yusef J. Albalushi, Jonathan Albaum, Ahmed Aldhamen, Nolan Ales, Mohammad Alesmail, Abdulelah Alhabeeb, Dania Alhamli, Isehaq Alhuseini, Suhail Alkaabi, Tameem Alkhezzi, Mohamed Alkubaisi, Nasser Allanqawi, Martin Allsbrook, Yousef A. Almohsen, Justin Thomas Almquist, Teeb Alnaji, Yousef A Alnasrallah, Nicholas Alonzi, Meshal Alosaimi, Emeen Alqabani, Mohammad Alrubaie, Reema A. Alsinan, Ava L. Altenbern, Abdullah Altokhais, Saleh A. Alyami, Federico Ameijenda, Hamzi Amer, Meggan Amos, Hunter J. Anderson, Carter Andrew, Jesse C Andringa, Abigail Angwin, Gabreece Van Anne, Andrew Aramians, Camila Villamil Arango, Jack. W. Archibald, Brian A. Arias-Robles, Maryam Aryan, Kevin Ash, Justin Astalos, N. S. Atchley-Rivers, Dakota N. Augenstein, Bryce W. Austin, Abhinav Avula, Matthew C. Aycock, Abdulrahman A. Baflah, Sahana Balaji, Brian Balajonda, Leo M Balcer, James O. Baldwin, David J Banda, Titus Bard, Abby Barmore, Grant M. Barnes, Logan D. W. Barnhart, Kevin M. Barone, Jessica L. Bartman, Claire Bassel, Catalina S Bastias, Batchimeg Bat-Ulzii, Jasleen Batra, Lexi Battist, Joshua Bay, Simone Beach, Sara Beard, Quinn I Beato, Ryan Beattie, Thomas Beatty, Tristan De La Beaujardiere, Jacob N. Beauprez, M. G. Beck, Lily Beck, Simone E. Becker, Braden Behr, Timothy A. Behrer, Joshua Beijer, Brennan J. Belei, Annelene L. Belknap, Aislyn Bell, Caden Bence, Evan Benke, Naomi Berhanu, Zachary D. Berriman-Rozen, Chrisanna Bertuccio, Owen A. Berv, Blaine B. Biediger, Samuel J Biehle, Brennen Billig, Jacob Billingsley, Jayce A. Billman, Connor J. Biron, Gabrielle E. Bisacca, Cassidy A. Blake, Guillermo Blandon, Olivia Blevins, Ethan Blouin, Michal Bodzianowski, Taylor A. Boeyink, Matthew Bondar, Lauren Bone, Alberto Espinosa De Los Monteros Bonilla, William T Borelli, Luke R. Borgerding, Troy Bowen, Christine Boyer, Aidan Boyer, Aidan P. Boyle, Tom Boyne, Donovan Branch, Ariana E. Brecl, David J. Brennan, Alexander J Brimhall, Jennifer L. Brockman, Sarah Brookins, Gabriel T. Brown, Cameron L. Brown, Ryan Brown, Jordi Brownlow, Grant Brumage-Heller, Preston J. Brumley, Samuel Bryan, A. Brzostowicz, Maryam Buhamad, Gigi Bullard-Connor, J. R. Ramirez Bunsow, Annemarie C. Burns, John J. Burritt, Nicholas David Burton, Taylor Burton, Celeste Busch, Dylan R. Butler, B. W. Buxton, Malena C. Toups, Carter C. Cabbage, Breonna Cage, Jackson R. Cahn, Andrew J Campbell, Braden P. Canales, Alejandro R. Cancio, Luke Carey, Emma L. Carillion, Michael Andrew Carpender, Emily Carpenter, Shivank Chadda, Paige Chambers, Jasey Chanders, Olivia M. Chandler, Ethan C. Chang, Mitchell G. Chapman, Logan T. Chapman, S. Chavali, Luis Chavez, Kevin Chen, Lily Chen, Sam Chen, Judy Chen, Jenisha Chhetri, Bradyn Chiles, Kayla M. Chizmar, Katherine E Christiansen, Nicholas A. Cisne, Alexis Cisneros, David B. Clark, Evelyn Clarke, Peter C Clarkson, Alexis R. Clausi, Brooke Cochran, Ryan W. Coe, Aislinn Coleman-Plante, Jake R. Colleran, Zachary Colleran, Curran Collier, Nathaniel A. Collins, Sarah Collins, Jack C. Collins, Michael Colozzi, Aurora Colter, Rebecca A. Cone, Thomas C. Conroy, Reese Conti, Charles J. Contizano, Destiny J. Cool, Nicholas M. Cooper, Jessica S Corbitt, Jonas Courtney, Olivia Courtney, Corben L. Cox, Wilmsen B. Craig, Joshua B. Creany, Anastasia Crews, K. A. Crocker, A. J. Croteau, Christian J. Crow, Zoe Cruse, Avril Cruz, Tyler L. Curnow, Hayden Current, Riley T. Curry, Libby Cutler, Aidan St. Cyr, Frederick M. Dabberdt, Johnston Daboub, Olivia Damgaard, Swagatam Das, Emma A. B. Davis, Elyse Debarros, Sean Deel, Megan E. Delasantos, Tianyue Deng, Zachary Derwin, Om Desai, Kai Dewey, John S. Dias, Kenzie A. Dice, R. Dick, Cyrus A. Dicken, Henry Dietrick, Alexis M. Dinser, Alyssa M. Dixon, Thomas J. Dixon, Helen C. Do, Chris H Doan, Connor Doane, Joshua Dodrill, Timothy Doermer, Lizbeth Montoya Dominguez, J. Dominguez, Emerson N. Domke, Caroline R. Doran, Jackson A. Dorr, Philip Dorricott, Danielle C. Dresdner, Michael Driscoll, Kailer H. Driscoll, Sheridan J. Duncan, Christian Dunlap, Gabrielle M. Dunn, Tien Q. Duong, Tomi Oshima Dupeyron, Peter Dvorak, Andrew East, Andrew N. East, Bree Edwards, Lauren Ehrlich, Sara I. Elbashir, Rasce Engelhardt, Jacob Engelstad, Colin England, Andrew Enrich, Abbey Erickson, Benjamin Erickson, Nathan Evans, Calvin A Ewing, Elizabeth A. Eyeson, Ian Faber, Avery M. Fails, John T Fauntleroy, Kevin Fell, Zitian Feng, Logan D. Fenwick, Nikita Feoktistov, Ryann Fife, John Alfred D. Figueirinhas, Jean-Paul Fisch, Emmalee Fischer, Jules Fischer-White, Aidan F. Fitton, Alexander Fix, Lydia Flackett, Fernando Flores, Aidan Floyd, Leonardo Del Foco, Adeduni Folarin, Aidan E. Forbes, Elise Fortino, Benjamin L. Fougere, Alexandra A. Fowler, Margaret Fox, James M. French, Katherine V. French, Florian G. Frick, Calvin R. Fuchs, Bethany E. S. Fuhrman, Sebastian Furney, Moutamen Gabir, Gabriela Galarraga, Skylar Gale, Keala C. Gapin, A. J. Garscadden, Rachel Gasser, Lily Gayou, Emily E. Gearhart, Jane Geisman, Julianne R. Geneser, Sl Genne, Julia G Gentile, Eleanor Gentry, Jacob D. George, Nathaniel James Georgiades, Phillip Gerhardstein, Clint Gersabeck, Bandar Abu Ghaith, Dorsa Ghiassi, B. C. Giebner, Dalton Gilmartin, Connor B. Gilpatrick, Michael Gjini, Olivia Golden, Nathan T. Golding, C. A. Goldsberry, Angel R. Gomez, Angel A. Gomez, Sean Gopalakrishnan, Mariam Gopalani, Nicholas Gotlib, Alaina S. Graham, Michael J Gray, Alannah H. Gregory, Joshua A. Gregory, Kristyn Grell, Justus Griego, Nicholas F. Griffin, Kyle J. Griffin, Matt Guerrero, Nicole Gunderson, Mutian Guo, E. R. Gustavsson, Grace K. Hach, L. N. Haile, Jessica Haines, Jack J. Mc Hale, Ryder Buchanan Hales, Mark S. Haley, Jacqueline L. Hall, Sean R. Hamilton, Soonhee Han, Tyler Hand, Luke C. Hanley, Connor M Hansen, Joshua A. Hansen, Jonathan Hansson, Tony Yunfei Hao, Nicholas Haratsaris, Isabelle Hardie, Dillon F. Hardwick, Cameron T. Hares, Logan Swous Harris, Coyle M. Harris, Omer Hart, Kyle Hashiro, Elsie Hattendorf, Calder Haubrich, Elijah Hawat, Griffin A. Hayrynen, Danielle A. Heintz, Tim Hellweg, Angel Hernandez, Emanuel Herrera, Robert N. Herrington, Tim Herwig, Troy M. Hesse, Quinn Hiatt, Lea Pearl Hibbard, Imari R. Hicks, Andrew J. Hicks, Nigel Highhouse, Annalise K. Hildebrand, Paula Hill, Hallie Hill, Evan Hintsa, Anna E. Hirschmann, Travis Hitt, Ella Ho, Isabelle J. Hoff, Alex Hoffman, Blake A. Hogen, Linda Horne, Timothy J Houck, Noah H. Howell, E. M. Hrudka, J. Hu, Jianyang Huang, Chenqi Huang, Shancheng Huang, Zachary A. Hudson, Nathan C. Hudson, Tyler J. Huebsch, Owen Hull, Samuel C Hunter, Troy Husted, Abigail P. Hutabarat, Leslie Huynh, Antonio E. Samour Ii, Yolande Idoine, Julia A. Ingram, Taro Iovan, Samuel A. Isert, Antonio Salcido-Alcontar, Thomas Jacobsen, Alan A Jaimes, Connor Jameson, J. R. Jarriel, Sam Jarvis, Josh Jenkins, Alexander V. Jensen, Jacob Jeong, Luke A. Jeseritz, Trevor Jesse, Soo Yeun Ji, Yufan Jiang, Owen Johnson, Matthew Johnson, Sawyer Johnson, Julia Johnston, Braedon Y. Johnston, Olivia M. Jones, M. R. Jones, Tara Jourabchi, Tony A. House, Parker Juels, Sabrina J. H. T. Kainz, Emily Kaiser, Nicolas Ian Kallemeyn, Madison H. Kalmus, Etash Kalra, Margaret Kamenetskiy, Jeerakit Kanokthippayakun, Shaun D. Kapla, Brennan J. Karsh, Caden J. Keating, Morgan A. Kelley, Michael P. Kelley, Nicholas Kelly, James Kelly, Teagan Kelly, Christopher M Kelly, Kellen Kennedy, Cayla J. Kennedy, Forrest Kennedy, Abigail Kennedy, Liana Kerr-Layton, Marilyn Ketterer, Ibraheem A. Khan, Usman Khan, Sapriya Khanal, Jack L. Kiechlin, Dominic Killian, Kevin Kim, Brian T. Kim, Matthew M. Kim, Jake Kim, Aspen Kimlicko, Isabel M Kipp, Hunter B. Kirkpatrick, Natalie Kissner, Emily R. Kite, Olivia R. Kleinhaus, Philip Whiting Knott, Will Koch, Greta Koenig, Emily Koke, Thomas Kokes, Yash S. Kothamdi, Zack Krajnak, Zoe M. Kresek, Dylan Kriegman, Jake E. Kritzberg, Davis J. Krueger, Bartlomiej Kubiak, Kirsten Kuehl, Chrisanne Kuester, Nicolas A. Kuiper, Aman Priyadarshi Kumar, Connor Kuybus, Daniel Kwiatkowski, Quintin Y. Lafemina, Kevin Lacjak, Kyle Lahmers, Antonia Lam, Kalin Landrey, Maxwell B. Lantz, Zachary Larter, Benjamin P. Lau, Megan Lauzon, Rian Lawlor, Tyler Learned, E. C. Lee, Junwon Lee, Adrianna J. Lee, Justin Lee, Alexis Ying-Shan Lee, Christian J Lee, Nathaniel F. Lee, Linzhi Leiker, Dylan Lengerich, Cecilia Leoni, Adrienne R. Lezak, David Y. Li, Isaac Li, Ryan Z. Liao, Bridget Linders, Morgan I Linger, Katherine B. Linnane, Sam Lippincott, Barrett Lister, Shelby D Litton, Nianzi Liu, Steven Y. Liu, Timothy W. Logan, Nathan Londres, Mia C. Lonergan, Emily Lookhoff, N. E. Loomis, Christian Lopez, Justin Loring, Jeffrey Lucca, Dax Lukianow, Nathan M. Cheang, William Macdonald, Claire A. Madonna, Kasey O. Madsen, Tiffany E. Maksimuk, Macguire Mallory, Ryan A. Malone, Blake Maly, Xander R. Manzanares, Aimee S. Maravi, Serafima M. Marcus, Nasreen Marikar, Josie A. Marquez, Mathew J. Marquez, Lauren Marsh, Toni Marsh, Logan S. Martin, Alexa M. Martinez, Jose R. Martinez, Hazelia K. Martinez, Cara Martyr, Mirna Masri, Giorgio Matessi, Adam Izz Khan Mohd Reduan Mathavan, Randi M. Mathieson, Kabir P. Mathur, Graham Mauer, Victoria A. Mayer, Liam Mazzotta, Glen S. Mccammon, Rowan Mcconvey, Tyler Mccormick, Andrew Mccoy, Kelleen Mcentee, Meaghan V. Mcgarvey, Riley M. Mcgill, James K. Mcintyre, Finbar K. Mckemey, Zane Mcmorris, Jesse J. Mcmullan, Ella Mcquaid, Caden Mcvey, Kyle Mccurry, Mateo M. Medellin, Melissa Medialdea, Amar Mehidic, Stella Meillon, Jonah B. Meiselman-Ashen, Sarah Mellett, Dominic Menassa, Citlali Mendez, Patricia Mendoza-Anselmi, Riley Menke, Sarah Mesgina, William J. Mewhirter, Ethan Meyer, Aya M. Miften, Ethan J. Miles, Andrew Miller, Joshua B. Miller, Emily B. Millican, Sarah J. Millican, Dylan P. Mills, Josh Minimo, Jay H. Misener, Alexander J. Mitchell, Alexander Z. Mizzi, Luis Molina-Saenz, Tyler S Moll, Hayden Moll, Maximus Montano, Michael Montoya, Eli Monyek, Jacqueline Rodriguez Mora, Gavin Morales, Genaro Morales, Annalise M. Morelock, Cora Morency, Angel J. Moreno, Remy Morgan, Alexander P. Moss, Brandon A. Muckenthaler, Alexander Mueller, Owen T. Mulcahy, Aria T. Mundy, Alexis A. Muniz, Maxwell J. Murphy, Madalyn C. Murphy, Ryan C. Murphy, Tyler Murrel, Andrew J. Musgrave, Michael S. Myer, Kshmya Nandu, Elena R. Napoletano, Abdulaziz Naqi, Anoothi Narayan, Liebe Nasser, Brenna K Neeland, Molly Nehring, Maya Li Nelson, Lena P. Nguyen, Lena Nguyen, Leonardo Nguyen, Valerie A. Nguyen, Khoa D Nguyen, Kelso Norden, Cooper Norris, Dario Nunes-Valdes, Rosemary O. Nussbaum, Cian O’Sullivan, Ian O’Neill, S. H. Oakes, Anand Odbayar, Caleb Ogle, Sean Oishi-Holder, Nicholas Olguin, Nathaniel P. Olson, Jason Ong, Elena N. Opp, Dan Orbidan, Ryan Oros, Althea E. Ort, Matthew Osborn, Austin Osogwin, Grant Otto, Jessica Oudakker, Igor Overchuk, Hannah M. Padgette, Jacqueline Padilla, Mallory Palizzi, Madeleine L. Palmgren, Adler Palos, Luke J. Pan, Nathan L. Parker, Sasha R. Parker, Evan J. Parkinson, Anish Parulekar, Paige J. Pastor, Kajal Patel, Akhil Patel, Neil S. Patel, Samuel Patti, Catherine Patton, Genevieve K. Payne, Matthew P. Payne, Harrison M. Pearl, Charles B. Beck Von Peccoz, Alexander J. Pedersen, Lily M. Pelster, Munisettha E. Peou, J. S. Perez, Freddy Perez, Anneliese Pesce, Audrey J. Petersen, B. Peterson, Romeo S. L. Petric, Joshua Pettine, Ethan J. Phalen, Alexander V. Pham, Denise M. Phan, Callie C Pherigo, Lance Phillips, Justin Phillips, Krista Phommatha, Alex Pietras, Tawanchai P. Pine, Sedique Pitsuean-Meier, Andrew M. Pixley, Will Plantz, William C. Plummer, Kaitlyn E. Plutt, Audrey E. Plzak, Kyle Pohle, Hyden Polikoff, Matthew Pollard, Madelyn Polly, Trevor J. Porter, David Price, Nicholas K. Price, Gale H. Prinster, Henry Austin Propper, Josh Quarderer, Megan S. Quinn, Oliver Quinonez, Devon Quispe, Cameron Ragsdale, Anna L. Rahn, M. Rakhmonova, Anoush K Ralapanawe, Nidhi Ramachandra, Nathaniel Ramirez, Ariana C. Ramirez, Sacha Ramirez, Parker Randolph, Anurag Ranjan, Frederick C Rankin, Sarah Grace Rapaport, Nicholas O Ratajczyk, Mia G. V. Ray, Brian D. Reagan, John C. Recchia, Brooklyn J. Reddy, Joseph Reed, Charlie Reed, Justin Reeves, Eileen N. Reh, Ferin J. Von Reich, Andrea B. Reyna, Alexander Reynolds, Hope Reynolds, Matthew Rippel, Guillermo A. Rivas, Anna Linnea Rives, Amanda M. Robert, Samuel M. Robertson, Maeve Rodgers, Stewart Rojec, Andres C. Romero, Ryan Rosasco, Beth Rossman, Michael Rotter, Tyndall Rounsefell, Charlotte Rouse, Allie C. Routledge, Marc G. Roy, Zoe A. Roy, Ryan Ruger, Kendall Ruggles-Delgado, Ian C. Rule, Madigan Rumley, Brenton M. Runyon, Collin Ruprecht, Bowman Russell, Sloan Russell, Diana Ryder, David Saeb, J. Salazar, Violeta Salazar, Maxwell Saldi, Jose A. Salgado, Adam D. Salindeho, Ethan S. Sanchez, Gustavo Sanchez-Sanchez, Darian Sarfaraz, Sucheta Sarkar, Ginn A. Sato, Carl Savage, Marcus T. Schaller, Benjamin T. Scheck, Jared A. W. Schlenker, Matthew J Schofer, Stephanie H. Schubert, Courtney Schultze, Grace K Schumacher, Kasper Seglem, Lauren Serio, Octave Seux, Hannan Shahba, Callie D. Shannahan, Shajesh Sharma, Nathan Shaver, Timothy Shaw, Arlee K. Shelby, Emma Shelby, Grace Shelchuk, Tucker Sheldrake, Daniel P. Sherry, Kyle Z. Shi, Amanda M. Shields, Kyungeun Shin, Michael C. Shockley, Dominick Shoha, Jadon Shortman, Mitchell Shuttleworth, Lisa Sibrell, Molly G. Sickler, Nathan Siles, H. K. Silvester, Conor Simmons, Dylan M. Simone, Anna Simone, Savi Singh, Maya A. Singh, Madeline Sinkovic, Leo Sipowicz, Chris Sjoroos, Ryan Slocum, Colin Slyne, Korben Smart, Alexandra N. Smith, Kelly Smith, Corey Smith, Elena K. Smith, Samantha M. Smith, Percy Smith, Trevor J Smith, G. L. Snyder, Daniel A. Soby, Arman S. Sohail, William J. Solorio, Lincoln Solt, Caitlin Soon, Ava A Spangler, Benjamin C. Spicer, Ashish Srivastava, Emily Stamos, Peter Starbuck, Ethan K. Stark, Travis Starling, Caitlyn Staudenmier, Sheen L. Steinbarth, Christopher H. Steinsberger, Tyler Stepaniak, Ellie N. Steward, Trey Stewart, T. C. Stewart, Cooper N. Stratmeyer, Grant L. Stratton, Jordin L. Stribling, S. A Sulaiman, Brandon J Sullivan, M. E. Sundell, Sohan N. Sur, Rohan Suri, Jason R. Swartz, Joshua D. Sweeney, Konner Syed, Emi Szabo, Philip Szeremeta, Michael-Tan D. Ta, Nolan C. Tanguma, Kyle Taulman, Nicole Taylor, Eleanor Taylor, Liam C. Taylor, K. E. Tayman, Yesica Tellez, Richard Terrile, Corey D Tesdahl, Quinn N. Thielmann, Gerig Thoman, Daniel Thomas, Jeffrey J. Thomas, William N. Thompson, Noah R. Thornally, Darien P. Tobin, Kelly Ton, Nathaniel J. Toon, Kevin Tran, Bryn Tran, Maedee Trank-Greene, Emily D. Trautwein, Robert B. Traxler, Judah Tressler, Tyson R. Trofino, Thomas Troisi, Benjamin L. Trunko, Joshua K. Truong, Julia Tucker, Thomas D Umbricht, C. H. Uphoff, Zachary T. Upthegrove, Shreenija Vadayar, Whitney Valencia, Mia M. Vallery, Eleanor Vanetten, John D. Vann, Ilian Varela, Alexandr Vassilyev, Nicholas J. Vaver, Anjali A. Velamala, Evan Vendetti, Nancy Ortiz Venegas, Aditya V. Vepa, Marcus T. Vess, Jenna S. Veta, Andrew Victory, Jessica Vinson, Connor Maklain Vogel, Michaela Wagoner, Steven P. Wallace, Logan Wallace, Caroline Waller, Jiawei Wang, Keenan Warble, N. R. D. Ward-Chene, James Adam Watson, Robert J. Weber, Aidan B. Wegner, Anthony A Weigand, Amanda M. Weiner, Ayana West, Ethan Benjamin Wexler, Nicola H. Wheeler, Jamison R. White, Zachary White, Oliver S. White, Lloyd C. Whittall, Isaac Wilcove, Blake C. Wilkinson, John S. Willard, Abigail K. Williams, Sajan Williams, Orion K. Wilson, Evan M. Wilson, Timothy R. Wilson, Connor B. Wilson, Briahn Witkoff, Aubrey M. Wolfe, Jackson R. Wolle, Travis M. Wood, Aiden L. Woodard, Katelynn Wootten, Catherine Xiao, Jianing Yang, Zhanchao Yang, Trenton J. Young, Isabel Young, Thomas Zenner, Jiaqi Zhang, Tianwei Zhao, Tiannie Zhao, Noah Y. Zhao, Chongrui Zhou, Josh J Ziebold, Lucas J. Ziegler, James C. Zygmunt, Jinhua Zhang, H. J. Lewandowski. Coronal Heating as Determined by the Solar Flare Frequency Distribution Obtained by Aggregating Case Studies. The Astrophysical Journal, 2023; 948 (2): 71 DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/accc89

Cite This Page:

University of Colorado at Boulder. "How 1,000 undergraduates helped solve an enduring mystery about the sun." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 May 2023. <>.
University of Colorado at Boulder. (2023, May 9). How 1,000 undergraduates helped solve an enduring mystery about the sun. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 2, 2023 from
University of Colorado at Boulder. "How 1,000 undergraduates helped solve an enduring mystery about the sun." ScienceDaily. (accessed December 2, 2023).

Explore More
from ScienceDaily