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.

Natalia Nikolayevna Stepanian (1931–2018)

Natalia Nikolayevna Stepanian lived until age 87 and was the oldest researcher at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) when she died following a long illness.

Control of ionospheric plasma velocities by thermospheric winds

A three-dimensional diagram ICON observations Indicating In-situ Ion Drift
Friday, October 22, 2021

Earth’s equatorial ionosphere exhibits significant and unpredictable day-to-day variations in density and morphology. This presents difficulties in preparing for adverse impacts on technological systems even 24 hours in advance.

AAS Nova Features a Recent Publication by Philip Judge

Six examples displaying corrugated surfaces at which the centers of UV lines are formed

Understanding the magnitude and occurrence of solar storms is key to predicting events that can be harmful to thousands of Earth-orbiting satellites and the welfare of astronauts.

The enduring mystery of the solar corona

Magnetic field lines
Thursday, September 16, 2021

The author reviews why, after almost 8 decades, we still have a coronal heating problem.

Why do we still have a coronal heating problem

The solar corona photographed by Miloslav Druckmüller from Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic during the 2020 total eclipse over Argentina

After almost 8 decades, astronomers still debate the reasons why the Sun and sun-like stars must possess coronae. Philip Judge re-examines the problem and compares it to that of a detective trying to find the lead pipe or smoking gun at the scene of a murder.

NASA Features Research by HAO Scientist Xuguang Cai

Satellite with spectrograph instrumentation hovering over the earth

Since 2017, HAO has provided scientific support and analysis for NASA's Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD).

Lipi Mukherjee

Lipi Mukherjee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the High Altitude Observatory, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The Impact of Solar Activity on Forecasting the Upper Atmosphere via Assimilation of Electron Density Data

Geographic latitude and altitude distribution
Friday, August 13, 2021

This study presents a comprehensive comparison of the impact of solar activity on forecasting the upper atmosphere through assimilation of radio occultation (RO)-derived electron density (Ne) into a physics-based model (TIE-GCM) using an ensemble Kalman filter.


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