NCAR High Altitude Observatory

About the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory

The Mauna Loa Solar Observatory (MLSO) occupies part of the NOAA Mauna Loa research site located on the flank of Mauna Loa at an elevation of 3440 meters on the island of Hawaii. It is operated by the High Altitude Observatory, a division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is located in Boulder, Colorado.

The Marshall Field Site

Damon Burke and Steve Tomczyk standing in front of optical equipment at Marshall Fields

HAO engineer Damon Burke and Senior Scientist Steve Tomczyk are shown in front of a suite of remote observing instrumentation at the Marshall Field site.

Atomic structure calculations of Land ́e g factors of astrophysical interest with direct applications for solar coronal magnetometry

Non-relativistic Land ́e g factor
Thursday, May 6, 2021

We perform a detailed theoretical study of the atomic structure of ions with ns2npm ground configurations and focus on departures from LS coupling which directly affect the Land ́e g factors of magnetic dipole lines between levels of the ground terms.

Investigation of a neutral ‘tongue’ observed by GOLD during the geomagnetic storm on May 11,2019

Latitude-longitude distribution of percentage difference
Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration Global-scale observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission observed a unique structure of thermospheric column density ratio of O to N2 (∑O/N2) during a geomagnetic storm on day of year (DOY) 130 (May 10) to DOY 132 in 2019.

Simulating Properties of “Seasonal” Variability in Solar Activity And Space Weather Impacts

The Van-Allen Radiation belt electron
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Solar short-term, quasi-annual variability within a decadal sunspot-cycle has recently been observed to strongly correlate with major class solar flares, resulting into quasi-periodic space weather “seasons”.

Measuring the magnetic origins of solar flares, CMEs and Space Weather

A UV spectrum of α Cen A
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

We take a broad look at the problem of identifying the magnetic solar causes of space weather.

The Sun, The Earth, and Near-Earth Space

John A. Eddy's book cover illustration showing partial section of earth's globe

While solar radiation enables and sustains life on Earth, it also produces “space weather” that can profoundly impact different technologies, including telecommunications, satellite navigation, and the electric power grid.

A comparison of Fabry-Perot interferometer and meteor radar wind measurements near the polar mesopause region

Graphic image of scatterplots of hourly mean zonal and meridional wind components
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The neutral winds in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT) region have been observed at King Sejong Station, Antarctica using a meteor radar and a Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) simultaneously.

The Passing of Dr. Peter Fox

Dr. Peter Fox, smiling close-up head portrait

Holly Gilbert, HAO director, informed our community of the heartbreaking news of the recent passing of Peter Fox. Peter was at HAO from 1991 to 2008. He was a Scientist until 1995, and Chief Computational Scientist from 1995 to 2008.

Ultra-Fast Kelvin Wave (UFKW) Variations in the Surface Magnetic Field

Graphic image of magnetic perturbation
Thursday, March 25, 2021

Kelvin waves are large scale wave that is important for Earth’s atmosphere. The Ultra-Fast Kelvin waves (UFKW) are a subset of the Kelvin waves that can propagate to the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) ~100km and above due to their high zonal phase speeds.


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