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Mats Carlsson and Viggo Hansteen, Professors at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics at the University of Oslo, will receive the 2017 Arctowski Medal.
Working in collaboration, Hansteen and Carlsson led the development of the Bifrost numerical model of the solar atmosphere, a complex, three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics model which has vastly improved our understanding of the physics of the sun, including its dynamic and constantly changing chromosphere, transition region and corona.
Carlsson and Hansteen’s multi-faceted approach, which combines both modeling and observations, allowed Bifrost to solve decades-old mysteries of the chromosphere, such as the physical mechanisms that drive chromospheric and coronal dynamics and energetics. It has also provided key insights into solar features such as the short-lived bursts of gases known as spicules, the micro solar flares known as Ellerman bombs, chromospheric surges, and coronal flares.
Among its many applications, the constantly evolving Bifrost code has played a central role in NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) satellite project, which is exploring how the solar atmosphere is energized.
The Arctowski Medal is presented every two years to recognize outstanding contributions to the study of solar physics and solar terrestrial relationships. The Medal is now presented with an award of $100,000, plus $100,000 to support research in solar physics and solar terrestrial relationships at an institution of the recipient's choice.