Observations

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.

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.

Multiwavelength High-resolution Observations of Chromospheric Swirls in the Quiet Sun

Graphic image of chromospheric swirls
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

We report observations of small-scale swirls seen in the solar chromosphere. They are typically 2 Mm in diameter and last around 10 minutes.

Boulder scientists’ work key to astonishing images of sun’s surface

ViSP spectrograph system from from the DKIST

The highest resolution images of the solar surface ever seen were made possible to no small degree by the work of Boulder based scientists.

Global-scale observations and modeling of far-ultraviolet airglow

Image depicting measurement, model simulation, and normalized differences
Monday, December 16, 2019

The NASA Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) instrument is an ultraviolet imager and spectrograph that observes light from the upper-atmosphere of the Earth, in order to infer quantities such as the composition and temperature of the thermosphere.

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.

Global-scale Observations of the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly

GOLD image of the daytime airglow and the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA)
Monday, August 5, 2019

The NASA Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) ultraviolet spectrograph began imaging the Equatorial Ionization Anomaly (EIA), regions of the ionosphere with enhanced electron density north and south of the magnetic equator, in October 2018.

What the Sudden Death of Solar Cycles Can Tell us About the Nature of the Solar Interior

140 year record of solar filaments
Monday, July 1, 2019

We observe the abrupt end of solar activity cycles at the Sun’s Equator by combining almost 140 years of observations from ground and space.

Validation of Ionospheric Specifications During Geomagnetic Storms: TEC and foF2 during the 2013 March Storm Event

Multiple scatter plots of Geomagnetic storms
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

To address challenges of assessing capabilities of space weather modeling, the CCMC (Community Coordinated Modeling Center) is leading a newly established “International Forum for Space Weather Modeling Capabilities Assessment.”

On the variability of the semidiurnal solar and lunar tides of the equatorial electrojet (EEJ)

Plot showing EEJ obtained from Huancayo and Fuquene observatories
Friday, November 9, 2018

The variabilities of the semidiurnal solar and lunar tides of the equatorial electrojet (EEJ) are investigated during the 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2013 major sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) events in this study.

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