The Heliophysics Science Division is pleased to report the following HSD recipients of 2012 NASA Honor Awards:
Spiro Antiochos (674): Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal
James A. Klimchuk (671): Outstanding Leadership Medal
Douglas E. Rowland (674): Early Career Achievement Medal
SDO Science Investigation Team: NASA Group Achievement Award
Nasa’s Sun-Earth Day celebration for 2012 was held June 5. Focus for the event was provided by the transit of Venus, visible across the most of the United States and much of the world on that day. Prominent reporting by various news media helped generate broad public interest, and NASA hosted events reached an enormous number of people
The Community Coordinated Modeling Center announced the results of its first Student Research Contest. Emily Hyatt, an undergraduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, won first prize in the Magnetosphere category. Corinna Gressl, a Masters student at the University of Graz in Austria received First Prize in the Heliosphere category. The contest was open to undergraduate and graduate students using CCMC tools and services in a research project. The winners received travel support to attend and present their results at the 2012 GEM and SHINE workshops.
A YouTube video describing the May 17 solar storm is now available . This storm is notable for producing the first Ground Level Enhancement (GLE) of energetic protons for the current Solar Cycle 24, which began in January 2008. The video production team included Rebekah Evans (674/NPP), Yihua Zheng (674), Carrie Black (674/NPP), and Leila Mays (670/NPP).
Images and science results from the Solar Dynamics Observatory are highlighted in the cover story of the June 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine. There are 18 pages of photos and text, including a fold-out image, and quotes from the Space Weather Laboratory’s Antti Pulkkinen. The article, “Solar Super Storms” is available in print, and on-line.
USA Science and Engineering Festival
A contingent of 16 HSD staff members participated in the 2nd USA Science and Engineering Festival at the DC Convention Center, April 27-29. They met with thousands of teachers, students, and the general public, showing them heliophysics videos and talking about the Sun, Earth's magnetic field, and space weather. Models of the ACE and MMS spacecraft were featured as part of the display. Activities included demonstrations of the Transit of Venus using a simple hands-on model to promote the observation of that rare celestial event, and a presentation at the NASA Hyperwall by Sten Odenwald on the historical and scientific significance of the transit.
Reconnexion Physics Forum
The interdisciplinary “Reconnexion Physics Forum” hosted by Heliophysics is now also open to Astrophysics and Planetary Science Division members. Membership has grown to include approximately 100 scientists from various disciplines. Seminars and other content can also be accessed by remote attendees.
Heliophysics Supports Opening of Shuttle Discovery Exhibit
HSD staff attending the Shuttle Discovery opening event at the Smithsonian Udvar Hazy Center on April 19-21 worked with more than 100 teachers and home schoolers, and several hundred children and adults. Activities included heliophysics videos about the Sun and space weather, hands-on demonstrations describing the upcoming Venus transit, and debut of new “pop-up” displays for MMS.
EOS Article on Space Science Models
"Transforming Community Access to Space Science Models," by CCMC personnel P. MacNeice, M. Hesse, M. Kuznetsova, M. Maddox, L. Rastaetter, D. Berrios, and A. Pulkkinen appears in the April 10 issue of Eos (Eos Trans. AGU, 93, 15, doi:10.1029/2012EO150002, 2012).
Space Weather at Mars
"Numerical simulations of the ionosphere of Mars during a solar flare" by Lollo, A., P. Withers, K. Fallows, Z. Girazian, M. M. Matta, and P. C. Chamberlin is now in press at The Journal of Geophysical Research. This paper looks at "space weather" on Mars, specifically how the increased EUV irradiance during a solar flare drives increased ionization in the Martian atmosphere.
HSD Welcomes Jeffrey Klenzing
The Heliophysics Science Division welcomes its newest civil servant, Dr. Jeffrey Klenzing. Dr. Klenzing earned a Ph.D. in physics at the University of Texas at Dallas. His dissertation, “Effects of non-ideal biased grids on drifting particle distribution functions,” examined the accuracy of retarding potential analyzers in determining ion temperatures and drift velocities in the Earth's ionosphere. After completing his degree, he came to Goddard as a postdoc to work with Doug Rowland (674) to develop spacecraft instrumentation, including a miniature gamma-ray detector for the Firefly CubeSat and Langmuir probes for multiple sounding rockets
Balloon Payload X-Ray Mission
The Hands on Project Experience Training Opportunity (HOPE) has provisionally selected the proposal, “High Energy Replicated Optics to Explore the Sun (HEROES).” Led by Jessica Gaskin at MSFC and Steven Christe (671) at GSFC, HEROES will repurpose and fly an existing balloon payload (HERO) developed at MSFC to observe the Sun in addition to astrophysical sources using grazing incidence hard X-ray optics. The solar science goal of this flight will be to observe a solar flare for the first time with hard x-ray focusing optics which enable high sensitivity and dynamic range. The award is considered provisional as a review is needed to revise the existing training plan.
Solar Dynamics Orbiter - E/PO Team at Wondercom
The SDO Education and Public Outreach team had a very successful education booth at the comic book and and sci-fi convention WonderCon last weekend. There were over 45,000 attendees and the team spoke to several thousand people about the upcoming transit of Venus and SDO and solar science. The response from this science interested audience to our “science fact” at their science fiction convention was overwhelmingly positive and supportive.
Heliophysics Division Director Michael Hesse (670) featured at Goddard Memorial Symposium
At the Goddard Memorial Symposium held March 28-29 in Greenbelt, 670 Division Director Michael Hesse was featured as a panelist for the session entitled, “Space and Terrestrial Weather.”
Tom Moore (670), Michael Hesse (670), Guan Le (673) and Ken Bromund (673) (also T. Cline/Honeywell and G Collinson/ORAU) participated in the MMS Science Working Team (SWT) and Science Working Groups (SWG) being held the week of 20-21 March, at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). This SWT includes a day of open science contributions as well as more programmatic and technical material. Mel Goldstein, Craig Pollock, and Bill Paterson (all 673) also participated in the SWT. Goldstein reported the latest results on "Dissipation of magnetofluid turbulence" and the work by John Dorelli (673) on "FPI moments error analysis and in-flight calibration (with applications to a simulated electron diffusion region crossing at the dayside magnetopause)."
STEREO Mission Wins Popular Vote
The STEREO results featured in “Twin Solar Spacecraft Take First Complete Image of Far Side of Sun” was voted “NASA's biggest accomplishment of 2011” by popular vote . The STEREO Project, STEREO Science Operations Center, Goddard Communications, and the Science Visualization Studio worked together very effectively to highlight this achievement at an outstanding press event.
Solar Dynamics Orbiter Seminar at JHU/APL
Dean Pesnell (671) presented “The Solar Dynamics Observatory: 70 Million Images of the Sun and 2 Comets” as the Geospace and Earth Science Research Group Seminar at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory on March 8. This talk described SDO, data from SDO, and some aspects of space weather that affect our everyday life.
Proposals submitted by HSD members were accepted for SWARM mission.
Guan Le's (674) proposal to ESA's call for Swarm Science and Validation Opportunity has been selected by ESA after peer review. She is now an official principal investigator for Swarm mission's science investigations. The title of the proposal is "A study of field-aligned currents using multi-point magnetic field measurements from Swarm". Peter Chi (674) is a co-Investigator of the proposal. Dieter Bilitza (672/ADNET) was also selected for the Swarm opportunity with his proposal, "Studying improvements of the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) model with SWARM data." He is co-investigator on another accepted Validation proposal with Claudia Stolle (DTU, Denmark) as PI.
E Christian gave invited talk to HPS.
Eric Christian (672) gave a invited lunch talk on new results from the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) to the Heliophysics Subcommittee (HPS) of the NASA Advisory Council Science Committee on February 27. Dr. Christian is the Mission Scientist for IBEX. Judy Karpen participated in the two-day meeting as a member of the HPS.
D Pesnell (671) presented talk at Earth Science Seminar.
Dean Pesnell (671) presented "The Solar Dynamics Observatory: 66 Million Images of the Sun and 2 Comets" as part of Millersville University's Earth Science Department Seminar Series on February 16. The Earth Sciences Department Seminar Series brings to Millersville University leading scientists from universities, government agencies (NASA, NOAA, etc.) and private industry to speak on topics relevant to the Earth. This talk described SDO, data from SDO, and some aspects of space weather that affect our everyday life.
Solar Dynamics Orbiter Seminar at George Mason University
Dean Pesnell (671) presented “The Solar Dynamics Observatory: 66 Million Images of the Sun and 2 Comets” as the Space Weather Seminar at George Mason University February 16. This talk described SDO, data from SDO, and some aspects of space weather that affect our everyday life.
Hot Flow Anomalies at Venus
A paper by Glyn Collinson (670/NPP), David Sibeck (674), and Tom Moore (670), “Hot Flow Anomalies at Venus,” describing a detailed case study of a hot flow anomaly at Venus was accepted for publication in Journal of Geophysical Research under the Heliophysics PAO feature.
Sun launches X-Class Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections
B Dennis (671) presents top-ten science nuggets at RHESSI Tenth Anniversary.
A new RHESSI Science Nugget was written by Brian Dennis (671) and Robert Lin (UC Berkeley) for RHESSI's Tenth Anniversary of its launch in February 2002. The
featured a list of the top-ten areas in which RHESSI has made unique contributions to understanding solar flares over the last ten years