Heliophysics Science Division (670) Local News Archive

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Poster Blowout 2018

Note from the Director:
I would like to thank the Director’s Science Committee for putting on an amazingly successful event where scientists and engineers across Goddard shared their work and made new contacts. The interdisciplinary interactions were especially exciting and crossed all four science disciplines.

Click the title of this news item or the image below for more images from the poster party. scientists standing in front of a poster

Colin Komar wins AGU Basu award

Goddard magnetospheric scientist Colin Komar was recently awarded the American Geophysical Union Basu United States Early Career Award for Research Excellence in Sun-Earth Systems Science. The AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy Section announced the award, recognizing Komar’s outstanding research in the sun-Earth connection.

Science Jamboree event photos

The 2016 Science Jamboree was a great success! A collection of 50 photos from the event are available now.

Nikolaos Paschalidis wins IRAD Innovator of the Year award

Nick Paschalidis has been selected FY15 IRAD Innovator of the Year! Nick has a long history of not only developing innovative technologies, but also flying them on instruments vital to the field of heliophysics, all while serving as an active research scientist and mentor to the next generation of scientists. One example of Nick's energy and insight might suffice: Nick created five multi-purpose science enabling microchips that have provided time-of-flight, energy, position, and other measurements to spacecraft that include New Horizons, MESSENGER, IBEX, June, and MMS, among others. Nick will receive this award during the FY15 IRAD poster session Thursday, December 3rd in the building 8 auditorium.

Heliophysicist Dr. Roger J. Thomas passes away

Dr. Roger J. Thomas was a scientist of immense integrity, focus, and commitment. In over 40 years at Goddard, he provided the optical design or advised on essentially every solar extreme ultraviolet spectrograph flown by NASA or ESA and was widely recognized for his contributions to their record of success. He was a linchpin of the SERTS and EUNIS sounding rocket investigations over a span of 30 years and 13 flights. He was also over the years a Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, Project Scientist for the renowned OSO satellites, Study Scientist, Deputy Chief of NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Physics Office, and author or co-author of over 200 scientific publications. He will be deeply missed by his many friends and colleagues at Goddard and in the worldwide scientific community.

Center Director Announces New Goddard Senior Fellows

Congratulations to Dr Spiro Antiochos, Code 670, on his selection to the newest class of Goddard Senior Fellows. The Goddard Senior Fellows Program recognizes the center’s most distinguished employees for their accomplishments and contributions to NASA programs. Appointed by the Center Director, Senior Fellows serve for five years, with possible renewal for additional terms at the discretion of the Center Director so long as they remain civil service employees.

Dieter Bilitza awarded International Kristian Birkeland medal

Dieter Bilitza was awarded the 2013 International Kristian Birkeland medal for outstanding scientific results related to Space Weather and Space Climate. The Birkeland medal is awarded by the Norwegian academy of science in conjunction with the European Space Weather Week (ESSW). The medal will be presented during this year's ESSW this week in Antwerp, Belgium.

GSFC Intern is semi-finalist in Siemens Competition

James Sullivan, a 2013 summer intern from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, VA), has been selected as a Semifinalist in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Jamie¹s research was on "Using Multi-Spacecraft Observations to Determine AKR Emission Cone Structure." His mentors were Shing Fung (673) and Leonard Garcia (Wyle/605/673).

HSD Awardees

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
  • News Coverage of Solar Activity

    Sun fires off Fourth of July solar flares (SDO) in Space.com and CBSNews.com
    Sun Erupts with Strongest Summer Solar Flare Yet (SDO, Alex Young/670) in Space.com and many other publications

    Sun-Earth Day 2012 a Huge Success

    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

    CCMC Student Contest Awards

    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.

    Solar Storm Video

    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).

    Solar Dynamics Orbiter featured in National Geographic

    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.”

    MMS Science

    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.
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