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.

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.

On single-point inversions of magnetic dipole lines in the corona

Graphic image showing scattering geometry
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Prompted by a recent paper by Dima and Schad, we re-consider the problem of inferring magnetic properties of the corona using polarimetric observations of magnetic dipole (M1) lines.

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.

Mapping the magnetic field in the solar corona through magnetoseismology

Graphic image of magnetoseismology observations
Friday, August 14, 2020

Magnetoseismology, a technique of magnetic field diagnostics based on observations of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves, has been widely used to estimate the field strengths of oscillating structures in the solar corona.

Assimilation of Ionosphere Observations in the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model with thermosphere-ionosphere eXtension (WACCMX)

Graphic image of WACCMX+DART experiments
Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Earth’s upper atmosphere impacts a wide range of technologies, including satellite communication and navigation signals. Specification and forecasting of the upper atmosphere are critical for mitigating these effects.

Explicit Form of the Radiative and Collisional Branching Ratios in Polarized Radiation Transport with Coherent Scattering

Schematic diagram showing the polarized radiation transfer in a Lambda-type atomic transition
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

We consider the vector emissivity of the polarized radiation transfer in a Lambda-type atomic transition, which we recently proposed in order to account for both CRD and PRD contributions to the scattered radiation.

Partnership Continues with NASA's PSP and MLSO–WHPI

Graphic image of NASA's Parker Solar Probe

Beginning in January 2021, there are new plans underway for continued coordinated efforts between NASA's PSP seventh perihelion and the WHPI campaign.

Opposite Polarity Magnetic Fields and Convective Downflows in a Simulated Sunspot Penumbra

Graphic image of opposite polarity magnetic fields
Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Recent numerical simulations and observations of sunspots show a significant amount of opposite polarity magnetic fields within the sunspot penumbra. Most of the opposite polarity fields are associated with convective downflows.


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