Oral Abstracts



Dan Baker, LASP, Director’s Update

David Malaspina, LASP / University of Colorado
David Malaspina(1,2), Stuart Bale(3,4), John Bonnell(3), Thierry Dudok de Wit(5), Robert E. Ergun(1,2), Gregory Howes(6), Keith Goetz(7), Katherine Goodrich(3), Peter R. Harvey(3), Robert J. MacDowall(8), Marc Pulupa(3), Laura Bercic(9), Anthony W. Case(10), Jasper Halekas(6), Justin C. Kasper(11), Kelly E. Korreck(10), Davin Larson(3), Roberto Livi(3), Michael L. Stevens(10), Phyllis Whittlesey(3), PSP Spacecraft Team(12); (1) APS Department, CU Boulder, (2) LASP, CU Boulder, (3) SSL, UC Berkeley (4) Physics Department, UC Berkeley, (5) LPC2E, CNRS, and U. Orleans, France, (6) Physics and Astronomy Department, U. Iowa, (7) School of Physics and Astronomy, U. Minnesota, (8) NASA GSFC, (9) LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, France, (10) Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MIT, (11) Climate and Space Sciences, U. Michigan, (12) JHU APL

Parker Solar Probe: First Results and Mission Status
In August 2018, NASA's Parker Solar Probe embarked on a mission of discovery to explore the corona and stellar wind of our closest star, the Sun. By measuring particles, photons, electric fields, and magnetic fields, Parker Solar Probe strives to answer open long-standing questions about the sources, variability, heating, and acceleration of the solar wind, as well as the acceleration of energetic particles. Now, the spacecraft has successfully completed multiple solar orbits, first results papers are published (including four in Nature and more than fifty in The Astrophysical Journal), and data from the first three solar encounters are publicly available. In this talk, I will present a brief overview of the mission followed by a review of the major first result findings from the FIELDS and SWEAP instruments related to the the macro-scale structure, acceleration, and heating of the solar wind. Finally, I will describe on-going work and prospects for future orbits.

Derek Lamb, Southwest Research Institute
Derek Lamb, Glenn Laurent, Bryan Pyke, Amir Caspi, Anthony Egan, Michael Shoffner, Craig DeForest, Southwest Research Institute

The Successful Flight of B-SSIPP, a Novel Stratospheric Solar Observatory
SwRI successfully flew the Balloon-born SwRI Solar Instrument Pointing Platform (B-SSIPP) in November 2019 to an altitude of 97000 ft (30 km) using a WorldView balloon. SSIPP is a miniature solar observatory, intended to reduce the cost and complexity of suborbital and stratospheric flight by providing a well-defined optical beam, thermal control, and pointing for downstream instrumentation. A coarse pointing system developed for balloon flights measures the dynamic characteristics of the balloon train in-flight and assembles a stable control law that keeps the observatory pointed to within 2.5 degrees of the Sun. The fine pointing system uses 4 limb sensors at the telescope's focal plane to provide real-time feedback to the flat fast steering mirror that feeds light into the telescope. In this talk we describe the prototype observatory and its unique features, its performance during the recent flight, and some ideas for maturing the platform to enable novel science in the coming years.

Sam Van Kooten, University of Colorado, Boulder

Authors:Samuel J. Van Kooten, Steven R. Cranmer, University of Colorado, Boulder

Models and Measurements of Granulation in Kepler Stars
Photospheric granulation is a well-studied solar phenomenon. The signature of granulation occurring on stars observed by the Kepler mission can be measured in light curves as a component of low-amplitude, stochastic brightness fluctuations (or "flicker"). In addition to providing a context for understanding solar granulation, this flicker acts as a source of noise that limits the sensitivity of exoplanet detection and characterization methods. Granular flicker can be largely separated from other sources of flicker, including acoustic oscillations, magnetic activity, and stellar rotation, by filtering with a simple, eight-hour temporal window. In this talk I will describe how measurements of granular flicker can be conducted and used, and I will describe work to model the expected amplitude of this granular signal. Moving to our own work, I will show discrepancies between modeled and observed granular flicker values and describe our effort to characterize and address this discrepancy with an expanded sample of Kepler stars and updated scaling relations. A better understanding of convective flicker will better characterize a source of noise in exoplanet studies, better inform models of stellar granulation, and allow solar granulation to be placed in a larger context.

Thomas Rimmele, National Solar Observatory
Thomas Rimmele and the DKIST Team, National Solar Observatory

First Light with the NSF's Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope
The NSF's 4m Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) on Haleakala, Maui has achieved first engineering solar light in December of 2019. First solar images were recorded with adaptive optics and the Visible Broadband Imager. The Visible Spectro-Polarimeter was integrated into the DKIST instrument lab and has obtained first spectra. The infrared polarimeters have completed lab acceptance testing. CRYO NIRSP, which will perform coronal spectro-polarimetry, has arrived on summit. The DKIST instruments will produce complex data sets, which will be distributed through the NSO/DKIST Data Center. The start of the operations commissioning phase is scheduled for mid-2020. We summarize the status of DKIST and present first images and movies.

Lisa Upton, Space Systems Research Corporation
Authors: Lisa Upton (1), Doug Biesecker (2), and the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel (3); (1) Space Systems Research Corporation, (2) NOAA

The Solar Cycle 25 Prediction
NOAA and NASA convened the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel in 2019. The panel conducted a survey of forecasts for the amplitude and timing of Solar Cycle 25 in order to obtain and recommend a consensus forecast. This forecast serves as the official Solar Cycle 25 Prediction for NOAA, NASA, and the International Space Environment Services (ISES). In April 2019, the panel released a preliminary forecast, which called for Solar Cycle 25 to be below average in intensity. Since then, then panel has refined the amplitude and timing of the Solar Cycle 25 prediction and has investigated the potential for hemispheric asymmetry of Solar Cycle 25. I will present a summary of the Solar Cycle 25 Prediction Panel findings and our current outlook for Solar Cycle 25.

Hazel Bain, CIRES CU Boulder/NOAA SWPC
Authors: Hazel M Bain [1, 2], Terry Onsager [2], Kyle Copeland [3], [1] Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, [2] National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration Space Weather Prediction Center, [3] U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Aerospace Medical Institute.

New Space Weather Advisories for Civil Aviation
Space weather impacts to the aviation industry can include degraded performance of communication and navigation systems, and elevated radiation levels at flight altitudes. November 2019 signaled the launch of a new space weather advisory framework to provide information to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of possible space weather related impacts to commercial flights.

As one part of this initiative, NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) began issuing advisories for radiation levels at commercial airline flight altitudes. In this talk I will discuss the new ICAO advisories, focusing on the topic of radiation and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) CARI-7 radiation dose rate model which is being used by SWPC to guide these advisories.

Alberto Roper Pol, University of Colorado
Authors: Alberto Roper Pol (1,2,3), Axel Brandenburg (1, 4-6) Andrea Bracco (7), Tina Kahniashvili (3,6,8), Sayan Mandal (3,6), Gordon J. D. Petrie (8), Nishant K. Singh (9); (1) LASP, (2) Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, (3) Ilia State University, (4) JILA and Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado, (5) Nordita, KTH, and Stockholm University, (6) Carnegie Mellon University, (7) Laboratoire AIM, CEA/IRFU, CNRS/INSU, Université Paris Diderot, (8) Laurentian University, (9) National Solar Observatory, (9) Max-Planck Institut

E and B Polarizations from Inhomogeneous and Solar Surface Turbulence
Gradient- and curl-type or E- and B-type polarizations have been routinely analyzed to study the physics contributing to the cosmic microwave background polarization and galactic foregrounds. They characterize the parity-even and parityodd properties of the underlying physical mechanisms, such as, for example, hydromagnetic turbulence in the case of dust polarization. Here, we study spectral correlation functions characterizing the parity-even and parity-odd parts of linear polarization for homogeneous and inhomogeneous turbulence to show that only the inhomogeneous helical case can give rise to a parity-odd polarization signal. We also study nonhelical turbulence and suggest that a strong non-vanishing (here negative) skewness of the E polarization is responsible for an enhanced ratio of the EE to the BB (quadratic) correlation in both the helical and nonhelical cases. This could explain the enhanced EE/BB ratio observed recently for dust polarization. We close with a preliminary assessment of using the linear polarization of the Sun to characterize its helical turbulence without being subjected to the π ambiguity that magnetic inversion techniques have to address.

Phillip Chamberlin, CU/LASP
10 Years of SDO
The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recently celebrated its 10-year launch anniversary, and after nearly a solar-cycle worth of ground-breaking observations it is poised to study another round with no end in sight. It is impossible to try to cover even the most distinguished highlights from the thousands of peer-reviewed articles based on SDO data that have come out this past decade, but a couple of focus areas will be discussed that have been significantly advanced with the three SDO instruments. The remainder of the talk will introduce future topics that are primed for study with SDO as well as how its measurements will complement the new solar space- and ground-based observatories.

Nathaniel Mathews, University of Colorado at Boulder
Authors: Nathaniel Mathews (1), Natasha Flyer (2), Sarah Gibson (3); (1) University of Colorado at Boulder, (2) NCAR, (3) NCAR

Reconstructing the Coronal Magnetic Field: The Role of Cross-Field Currents in Solution Uniqueness
It is a common goal to construct numerical simulations of the magnetic field in the solar corona from polarimetry and observations of the coronal plasma distribution. However, the most prevalent approximations of coronal physics, i.e. the Force-Free Field approximation that ignores all forces except self-balancing magnetic forces, is known to be ill-posed due to a lack of uniqueness in determining the atmospheric magnetic structure from the boundary data alone. In this work, we use a magnetohydrostatic numerical solver to study the uniqueness of the reconstructed magnetic field as a function of how significant the plasma forcing is on the force balance of the magnetic field. From this we conclude that a significant cross-field current and associated plasma distribution results in a nearly one-to-one relationship between the photospheric boundary and the atmospheric magnetic field in force balance with that plasma distribution, enabling the solver to converge to a unique solution.

Curt de Koning, University of Colorado

What Does "Realistic, Data-Driven Simulation of CMEs" Mean?
Realistic data-driven simulations of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) with magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models like Enlil depend critically on realistic, data-driven boundary conditions. Using white-light coronagraph observations, which form the basis for CME-related boundary conditions, how well do we really know gross CME characteristics, such as speed, direction of propagation, width, and mass? In this presentation, we use multiple CME reconstruction techniques on some historic events to estimate appropriate uncertainty intervals for gross CME characteristics. The reconstruction techniques that we consider include geometric localization, forward modeling using the SWPC CME Analysis Tool, and simultaneous fitting of CME mass and direction of propagation.

Daniela Lacatus, HAO
Authors: Daniela Lacatus (1,2), Alina Donea (2); (1) High Altitude Observatory, NCAR, (2) School of Mathematics, Monash University, Australia

Evolution of flare emission and the association to lower atmosphere signatures
We present a detailed analysis of the evolution of the March 11, 2015 X2.1 flare, from the slow rise of a filament in the pre-flare phase, to an intriguing coronal rain episode that lasts for an extended time after its decay. The high energy X-ray sources are identified and the thermal and non-thermal energies are computed using RHESSI data. Spectral information from IRIS is used to probe triggering mechanism and the atmospheric response to the flare energy deposition. The location of white light and hard X-ray emission is found to be coincident with significant acoustic signal. The spectral data is further used to estimate the downward momenta at the location of seismic emission.

Bala Poduval, University of New Hampshire
Authors: Bala Poduval (1), M. Chandorkar (2), C. Furtleher (3), E. Camporeale (4), M. Sebag (5); (1) University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, (2) Connecterra, B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, (3), (5) INRIA, LRI, Universite Paris-Sud, Paris, France, (4) CIRES/NOAA, Boulder, CO

Predicting the Solar Wind Speed at 1 AU using Dynamic Time-Lag Regression
Dynamic Time-Lag Regression (DTLR) is a novel method for modeling the temporal dependency between two spatio-temporal phenomena where one is caused by the other with a non-stationary time delay. This technique was introduced in an attempt to improve the solar wind prediction in the context of space weather forecast. From the perspective of Machine Learning, predicting the solar wind at Earth is a complex regression problem because of the large dimension of the input solar data and the stochastic and variable time-lag of 1 to 5 days, depending the speed of the solar wind stream. A Bayesian approach is adopted to tackle the specifics of the DTLR problem. We present the results of the solar wind modeling task that has been found to improve on the state of the art in solar wind forecasting.

Craig DeForest, Southwest Research Institute
Authors: C.E. DeForest, S.E. Gibson, R.L. Killough, T. Case, A. Henry, M. Beasley, R. Colaninno, G. Laurent, and the PUNCH Team

Imaging the Solar Wind in 3D wiith the PUNCH Constellation of Small Satellites
The Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere (PUNCH) is the latest Small Explorer mission being developed for NASA. Beginning in 2023, PUNCH will use polarized visiblie-light imaging to understand how the Sun's corona becomes the solar wind that fills the solar system. The space segment of the mission is a constellation of four small satellites that work together to form a "virtual instrument" with a 90 degree wide field of view centered on the Sun. The physical instruments comprise a coronagraph ("Narrow Field Imager") and three heliospheric imagers ("Wide Field Imagers") that together sweep out the entire field of view. The instruments are sensitive to polarization, to enable imaging bright features in 3D using the physics of Thomson scattering. PUNCH is being built by a consortium of Southwest Research Institute, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in U.K. A student contributed instrument, STEAM, measures X-ray spectra of the Sun and is being built by the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. PUNCH has an open data policy. I will describe the science of PUNCH, current mission status, and collaboration opportunities to come.

Delore Knipp, University of Colorado
Authors: (1) Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department, CU Boulder, (2) Associate Scientist, CU Space Weather Technology Research and Education Center, (3) Senior Research Associate, NCAR High Altitude Observatory

When the Sun Goes Rogue
The 1859 Carrington-Hodgson solar eruption event is the benchmark against which most space weather events are compared. Might there be others in the same class? I will recount, in abridged form, several such rogue events documented in the course of written history. Some of these events mesmerized/terrified populations who observed great red aurora. Some of these events likely changed the course of history. One of these events brought us to the brink of World War III. Another event was so inconceivably fast in its Sun-Earth transit that it took years to stitch together the facts into a comprehensive analysis. These great events are rarely singular, rather they occur in series. The repetitive or serial nature of these events has significant implications for our technology dependent society when (not if) the Sun goes rogue.

Ignite Talks

Oleg Troshichev, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute

The Ground-Based Magnetic PC Index as a Tool for Monitoring the Solar Wind Energy Input into the Earth's Magnetosphere              
The PC index was introduced [Troshichev et al., 1988] as a characteristic of magnetic activity in northern (PCN) and southern (PCS) polar caps. By the method of derivation the PC index is proportional to interplanetary electric field EKL=VSW BT2sin2(θ/2) [Kan and Lee, 1979] coupling with the magnetosphere, irrespective of LT time, season and hemisphere. It was shown (see [Troshichev, 2017]) that the PC index properly responds to changes of EKL field, on the one side, and precedes development of magnetospheric disturbances, on the other side. As this takes place, intensity of magnetic storm and substorms is linearly related to the preceding value of PC. These experimental results formed the physical backgrounds for concept that the ground-based PC index characterizes the solar wind energy input into the magnetosphere [Resolution of XXII IAGAAssembly, Меxico, 2013]. Results of recent studies showed that (1) time evolution of the PC index in course of substorm development is well consistent with changes of the field-aligned currents intensity in the R1 FAC system in the morning (R=0.66) and evening (R=-0.62) sectors of the auroral zone, (2) the PC index in the winter polar cap (PCwinter) is the more precise characteristic of the polar cap magnetic activity, than the PCsummer index (3) the solar wind dynamic pressure impulses Psw promote the magnetic disturbances only if they are accompanied by the corresponding changes in EKL field and PC index (4) PC index makes it possible to evaluate the actual interplanetary electric field EKL coupling with the magnetosphere, and verify, in such manner, whether or not the solar wind, whose parameters are given in OMNI dataset, really encountered the magnetosphere. A special procedure agreed by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (responsible for production of PCS index) and DTU Space (responsible for production of PCN index) ensures the calculation of the 1-min PC indices in quasi-real time based on data of magnetic observations at the polar cap stations Vostok (Antarctic) and Qaanaaq (Greenland). Thus, PC index provides the reliable monitoring the solar wind energy input into the magnetosphere. References: Kan, J.R. and L.C.Lee (1979) Energy coupling function and solar wind-magnetosphere dynamo, Geophys Res Lett 6, 577. Troshichev O.A., V.G.Andrezen, S.Vennerstrøm and E.Friis-Christensen (1988) Magnetic activity in the polar cap – A new index. Planet Space Sci 36: 1095. Troshichev O.A. (2017) Polar cap magnetic activity (PC index) and space weather monitoring, Editions universitaires europeennes, 140 p., ISBN:978-3-8381-8012-0.

Dmitry Vorobiev, LASP
Authors: Dmitry Vorobiev(1), Zoran Ninkov(2), Lee Bernard(3), Frans Snik(4), and Neal Brock(5); (1) LASP, Boulder, CO, (2) Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY (3) University of California, Santa Cruz (4) Leiden Observatory, Netherlands, (5) 4D Technology, Inc., Tucson, AZ.

Polarization of the Solar corona and the sky foreground during the 2017 total eclipse
During the total solar eclipse of 2017, our collaboration performed imaging polarimetry of the corona and the sky foreground, from Madras, Oregon and Rexburg, Idaho. This campaign employed two kinds of imaging polarimeters: a polarization-sensitive imaging detector (Madras, OR) and three co-aligned cross-calibrated digital cameras with polarizing filters (Rexburg, ID). Both instruments posses high linearity and "snapshot" capability. This allowed our teams to produce some of the best observations of the corona and the sky to date. We summarize our observations of the coronal polarization, as well as the presence of four neutral points in the sky polarization pattern, during totality. To our knowledge, these are the first high quality measurements of these features.

Andres Munoz-Jaramillo, Southwest Research Institute
Authors: Andres Munoz-Jaramillo(1), Xavier Gitiaux(2), Anna Jungbluth(3), Shane Maloney(4), Carl Shneider(5), Paul Wright(6), Alfredo Kalaitzis(7), Michel Deudon(8), Atilim G. Baydin(3); (1) Southwest Research Institute, (2) George Mason University, (3) Oxford University, (4) Trinity College Dublin, (5) Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, (6) Stanford University, (7) Element AI, (8) Ecole Polytechnique Palaiseau

Calibrating and super-resolving MDI magnetograms to HMI using deep learning: 24 years of homogeneous magnetograms
Studies of the magnetic field of the Sun, and its influence on the solar dynamo and space weather events, have benefited from improvements in resolution and measurement frequency of new instruments. However, in order to fully understand the solar cycle, high-quality data across time-scales longer than the typical lifespan of a solar instrument are required.

At the moment, discrepancies between measurement surveys prevent the combined use of all available magnetogram data.

In this work, we show that machine learning can help bridge the gap between measurement surveys by learning to super-resolve low-resolution magnetic field images and translate between characteristics of contemporary instruments in orbit. This enables the creation of super-instruments with homogeneous characteristics and extended time coverage. We discuss the importance of using physically motivated metrics to ensure the viability of the solutions. We also stress the importance of validating the solutions using well understood science use cases in order to identify the limitations of these algorithms.

Courtney Peck, CIRES - University of Colorado
Authors: Courtney Peck (1, 2); (1) CIRES - University of Colorado, (2) NOAA/NCEI

New GOES X-ray Measurements and What They Mean For You
The X-ray Sensors (XRS) onboard the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-series satellites (GOES-R) have been acquiring solar X-ray irradiance data in the 0.05-0.4 nm and 0.1-0.8 nm bands since 2017. The science-quality data is now publicly available for the full mission durations for both operational satellites. In this talk I will discuss this newly available data, differences compared with previous GOES X-ray measurements, and the impacts to solar flare classifications.