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 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.

2017 Total Eclipse Team

HAO members and collaborators convene at Casper Mountain, Wyoming to take advantage of the rare opportunity to observe and capture images of the sun's corona that is visible during totality, using specialized eclipse checking telescopes.

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.

Magnetic structure of the solar chromosphere-corona transition regions

Graphic image of CLASP2 observations
Thursday, March 11, 2021

The bulk of the emission from the plasma called "transition region" plasma originates from structures energetically connected both to the chromosphere and corona.

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.

A Rare Transit of Venus

Graphic image of individual frames from the movie showing Venus' transit

A coronagraph instrument at the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory on Hawai’i is used by a team of two scientists to record the rare transit of Venus across the Sun's corona.

Boon Chye Low

Dr. Boon Chye Low joined HAO in 1981 and retired as Senior Scientist in 2014. His research centered on the corona & solar wind and their coupling to the solar lower-atmosphere and interior.

A new facility for airborne solar astronomy: NASA’s WB-57 at the 2017 total solar eclipse

Fully processed image of the corona generated by stacking many co-aligned, calibrated images
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

NASA's WB-57 High Altitude Research Program provides a deployable, mobile, stratospheric platform for scientic research.


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