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.

Impact of Thermospheric Wind Data Assimilation on Ionospheric Electrodynamics using a Coupled Whole Atmosphere Data Assimilation System

Colorful multiple grids of simulation experiments
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

The upward plasma drift and equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) in the Earth's ionosphere are strongly influenced by the zonal electric field, which is generated by the wind dynamo.

Natalia Nikolayevna Stepanian (1931–2018)

Natalia Nikolayevna Stepanian lived until age 87 and was the oldest researcher at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) when she died following a long illness.

Control of ionospheric plasma velocities by thermospheric winds

A three-dimensional diagram ICON observations Indicating In-situ Ion Drift
Friday, October 22, 2021

Earth’s equatorial ionosphere exhibits significant and unpredictable day-to-day variations in density and morphology. This presents difficulties in preparing for adverse impacts on technological systems even 24 hours in advance.

NASA Features Research by HAO Scientist Xuguang Cai

Satellite with spectrograph instrumentation hovering over the earth

Since 2017, HAO has provided scientific support and analysis for NASA's Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD).

NO transport via Lagrangian Coherent Structures into the top of the polar vortex

Daily average WACCMX+DART NO profiles
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The energetic particle precipitation (EPP) indirect effect (IE) refers to the downward transport of reactive odd nitrogen (NOx=NO+NO2) produced by EPP (EPP-NOx) from the polar winter mesosphere and lower thermosphere to the stratosphere where it can destroy ozone.

Characteristics of small-scale gravity waves in the Arctic winter mesosphere

Histogram of small-scale GWs’ parameters observed by All-sky OH airglow imager at Resolute Bay Observatory
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Observational datasets in the polar middle atmosphere are extremely valuable for understanding the polar dynamics and coupling between lower and middle atmosphere.

Post-midnight O+ Depletions Observed by ICON: Data/Model Comparison

Data/Model Comparison
Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The NASA Ionosphere Connection explorer was launched in October 2019 with the goal of understanding the transition from Earth's atmosphere to space by measuring key quantities at low latitudes.

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.


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