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.

Delores Knipp and Jiajia Liu Awarded Prestigious Medals during the European Space Weather Week

Graphic Image from European Space Weather Week

Every year during the European Space Weather Week (ESWW), three international medals are given in the field of space weather. The Kristian Birkeland Medal, the Baron Marcel Nicolet Medal and the Alexander Chizhevsky Medal.

Solar Flare Effects on 150-km Echoes Observed Over Jicamarca: WACCM-X Simulations

Figure of 150-km echoes and WACCM-X simulated electron densities during the solar flare
Thursday, October 31, 2019

A puzzling feature of the Earth’s equatorial upper atmosphere is the occurrence of enhanced VHF radar echoes near 150-km altitude. These so-called 150-km echoes have been observed for over 50-years, and occur nearly every day, making them a persistent feature of the equatorial ionosphere.

SAPS in the 2013 March 17 Storm Event: Initial Results from 1 the Coupled Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model

Figure of LTR simulation results of the ionospheric states
Thursday, October 31, 2019

Subauroral polarization stream (SAPS) are latitudinally narrow flow channels of large westward plasma drifts in the subauroral ionosphere.

PUNCH will Change how we Look at Young Solar Wind

Graphic depicting the PUNCH mission (Image: SwRI)

NASA's recently-funded Small-Explorer (SMEX) mission, PUNCH (Polarimeter to UNify the Corona and Heliosphere), is targeted to launch in 2022.

Waldmeier Effect in Stellar Cycles

Graph depicting the second Waldmeier effect-WE2
Tuesday, October 8, 2019

One of the most robust features of the solar magnetic cycle is that the stronger cycles rise faster than the weaker ones. This is popularly known as the Waldmeier Effect, which is known for more than 100 years.

Challenges to Understanding the Earth's Ionosphere and Thermosphere

Schematic of plasma and density structures in the IT system
Thursday, October 3, 2019

In this paper we discuss, in a limited way, some of the challenges to advancing our understanding and description of the coupled plasma and neutral gas that make up the ionosphere and thermosphere (I-T).

Simulating the solar corona in the forbidden and permitted lines with forward modeling I: Saturated and unsaturated Hanle regimes

Graphic depicting Linear polarization azimuth
Thursday, October 3, 2019

The magnetic field in the corona is important for understanding solar activity. Linear polarization measurements inforbidden lines in the visible/IR provide information about coronal magnetic direction and topology.

Capturing a Sleeping Sun

Chart of early observations highlights two Maunder minima
Thursday, November 5, 2015

Three hundred years ago, the Sun began to wake up. For 70 years—from about 1645 to 1715—the Sun had been eerily quiet, with very few sunspots erupting on its surface.


Graphic of two-dimensional filtered Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) total electron content (TEC) maps
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Earthquake and tsunami are known to be the source of atmospheric gravity waves that can generate plasma ripples in the space. On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, unleashing a savage tsunami to strike offshore of Japan.


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