provide the context for interpreting the intensive observations of Solar B, HESSI, and other future space missions.
Advances in theory and in data analysis likewise lead to new questions that can be resolved only by more detailed ground- and space-based observations. The synergy between theory and space- and ground-based observations is evident in what are generally considered to be the three major challenges of present-day solar physics: coronal heating, the solar activity cycle, and the neutrino deficit.
Ground-based observatories provide easy accessibility to state-of-the-art tools for the entire solar-physics community. They also allow modification of specialized detectors and data-capturing methods; offer long-term continuity; can be repaired, calibrated, modified, or exchanged, thus allowing for flexibility and responsiveness to intellectual, technical, and solar developments; and are important in the hands-on education of the next generation of researchers. To enable fuller understanding the Sun on all spatial and temporal scales, as well as to complement and enhance space-based solar research, the task group believes that the primary tasks of ground-based telescopic research should be the following:
Obtaining a long-term synoptic record of solar activity: This effort should be supplemented by continued monitoring of the activity and luminosity of other solar-type stars to provide a statistical sample of the states through which the Sun may pass in the next 1000 years. The task group notes that the National Solar Observatory, the High Altitude Observatory, the independent observatories—including, for example, Mt. Wilson, Stanford-Wilcox, Big Bear, San Fernando, and Marshall Space Flight Center— have an important role in this effort.
Studying the solar interior and the generation of magnetic fields by mapping subsurface flows and interior magnetic fields through long-term helioseismological observations; and
Observing the interaction of convection, magnetic fields, and radiative transfer by imaging with high spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution.