Research Highlights

Research Highlights

A selection of highlights culled from publications by HAO staff.

Inversion results for observing geometries away from the disk center

On the (Mis)interpretation of the Scattering Polarization Signatures In the Ca II 8542 A line Through Spectral Line Inversions

Scattering polarization tends to dominate the linear polarization signals of the Ca II 8542 A line in weakly magnetized areas, especially when the observing geometry is close to the limb. In this paper we evaluate the degree of applicability of existing non-LTE spectral line inversion codes at inferring the magnetic field vector and, particularly, its transverse component.

Comparisons of local time structure of molecular oxygen at 21°N, 170 km altitude

The Molecular Oxygen Density Structure of the Lower Thermosphere as Seen by GOLD and Models

This paper compares new observations from the Global-scale Observations of Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission of molecular oxygen (O2) in the lower thermosphere (130 - 200 km in altitude) to widely used models in the aeronomy community.

The polar view of the percentage difference of simulated ∑O/N2 and GOLD observed ∑O/N2 between DOY 111 and 110 at 15:10 UT in 2019. The perimeter latitude is 30°N

The effects of IMF By on the middle thermosphere during a geomagnetically “quiet” period at solar minimum

Numerical simulations using the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) thermosphere-ionosphere-electrodynamics general circulation model (TIE-GCM) are performed to elucidate the effects of the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) on the middle thermosphere composition during a “geomagnetically quiet” period.

Left: Specified Dynamics Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere-ionosphere eXtension (SD-WACCMX) Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs) for a space shuttle launch during (a) spring and (b) summer. Right: Observations of GUVI Lyman-alpha column emission rates in Rayleighs reprinted from Meier et al. (2011) and annotated with the LCS locations.

Lower thermospheric material transport via Lagrangian coherent structures

Lagrangian coherent structures (LCSs), indicating regions of material transport, are derived from models of the lower thermosphere for five space shuttle water vapor plume events. LCSs defined using flow fields from the Specified Dynamics version of the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere eXtension (SD-WACCMX) are compared to global ultraviolet imager (GUVI) observations of water vapor documented in the literature.

Interhemispheric differences poleward of 40deg geog. latitude of E-region electron density

Impacts of Different Causes on the Inter–Hemispheric Asymmetry of Ionosphere–Thermosphere System at Mid– and High–Latitudes: GITM Simulations

There are significant differences between the Earth’s two hemispheres such as the Earth's magnetic field and the intensity of solar radiation due to Earth's tilt of the rotation axis with respect to the Sun. Understanding the impact and therefore the importance of these asymmetries on the mid- and high-latitude upper atmosphere is a challenge in the geospace community.

3D view of the magnetic field lines in a simulation of the solar convective dynamo

Magnetic fields in the solar convection zone (major update)

It has been a prevailing picture that active regions on the solar surface originate from a strong toroidal magnetic field stored in the overshoot region at the base of the solar convection zone, generated by a deep seated solar dynamo mechanism. This article reviews the studies in regard to how the toroidal magnetic field can destabilize and rise through the convection zone to form the observed solar active regions at the surface.

Measured and modelled total solar irradiance

The Dimmest State of the Sun

How the solar electromagnetic energy entering the Earth’s atmosphere varied since pre-industrial times is an important consideration in the climate change debate.

Longitude-latitude maps of NmF2 from the NR (first column) and the difference of NmF2 between OSSEs and NR (second to fourth columns) at six different times.

Impact of Thermospheric Wind Data Assimilation on Ionospheric Electrodynamics using a Coupled Whole Atmosphere Data Assimilation System

The upward plasma drift and equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) in the Earth's ionosphere are strongly influenced by the zonal electric field, which is generated by the wind dynamo. Specification and forecasting of thermospheric winds thus plays an important role in ionospheric weather prediction.

Maps of the magnetic field strength at depth of z = −7.5 Mm beneath the solar photosphere at different times (indicated in red in each panel)

On the (In)stability of Sunspots

The stability of sunspots is one of the long-standing unsolved puzzles in the field of solar magnetism and the solar cycle. The thermal and magnetic structure of the sunspot beneath the solar surface is not accessible through observations, thus processes in these regions that contribute to the decay of sunspots can only be studied through theoretical and numerical studies.