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.

Alfvénic thermospheric upwelling in a global geospace model

Graphic images from CHAMP satellite
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

First author, William Lotko, reveals that the CHAMP satellite orbiting near 400 km altitude near the magnetic cusp routinely traversed thermospheric density enhancements (up to 50%) that are not predicted by empirical models.


Photographic image of Stan Solomon

Stan Solomon presented a NCAR Explorer Series lecture about how the aurora is formed and varies with the solar wind driver. In this public outreach lecture Stan delves into the physics and chemistry of the ionosphere.

Detecting the Chromospheric Footpoints of the Solar Wind

Graphic image depicting SDO and IRIS full-disk observations
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Coronal Holes present the source of the fast solar wind. However, the fast solar wind is not unimodal—there are discrete, but subtle, compositional, velocity, and density structures that differentiate different coronal holes as well as wind streams that originate within one coronal hole.

Congratulations to Gang Lu, elected fellow of the AGU

The High Altitude Observatory is proud to acknowledge Dr. Gang Lu for being among the 2020 class of AGU Fellows, just recently announced. Gang is a Senior Scientist at HAO.

Impact of GOLD Retrieved Thermospheric Temperatures on a Whole Atmosphere Data Assimilation Model

Graphic depicting the whole atmosphere temperature profiles
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The present investigation evaluates the assimilation of synthetic data which has properties similar to actual Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) level-2 (L2) and other conventional lower atmospheric observations.

Simulations of prominence eruption preceded with large amplitude longitudinal oscillations and draining

Graphic depicting prominence-forming twisted coronal flux rope
Friday, November 6, 2020

We present magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of the evolution from quasi-equilibrium to eruption of a prominence-forming twisted coronal flux rope under a coronal streamer. The prominence condensations form at the dips of the twisted flux rope due to run-away radiative cooling.

Sudden Stratospheric Warmings

Graphic image of ionospheric behavior during the 2009 SSW event
Friday, October 23, 2020

Sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are impressive fluid dynamical events in which large and rapid temperature increases in the winter polar stratosphere (∼10–50km) are associated with a complete reversal of the climatological wintertime westerly winds.

Reconstructing the Coronal Magnetic Field: The Role of Cross-Field Currents in Solution Uniqueness

Graphic image of analytic model magnetic field lines
Friday, October 23, 2020

We present a new 3D magnetohydrostatic (MHS) direct elliptic solver for extrapolating the coronal magnetic field from photospheric boundary conditions in a manner consistent with an assumed plasma distribution.

Holly Gilbert, HAO's new Director

Holly Gilbert. Image: NASA

HAO is proud to announce our new director, Holly Gilbert.


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