Michael S Kirk

Michael S Kirk

  • POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW
  • 301.614.7045
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 670
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: CATHOLIC UNIV OF AMERICA
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Michael Kirk is a research scientist in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center with Catholic University of America. He is working in support of the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite studying the physics of the sun, the causes of solar variability, and its impacts on Earth.


    Dr. Kirk received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from New Mexico State University, where his research focused on automated tracking of chromospheric bright points and their connection to solar eruptions. During this time, he also worked for the Air Force Research Laboratory at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, NM. Upon graduation, in 2013, he joined the Heliophysics division as a fellow with the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP).


    After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Whitman College and prior to entering graduate school, Dr. Kirk first worked at Goddard Space Flight Center in 2007 as a systems engineer researching the changing position and size of the polar coronal holes throughout the solar cycle.


    Dr. Kirk grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Outside of work he enjoys discovering new music and experimenting with home-roasting coffee.

    Research Interests

    Automated Solar Image Processing

    Using several computer vision techniques, efficiently segment solar images into transient, regularly variant, and consistent phenomena.

    Anatomy of Chromospheric Flares and Associated Ephemeral Brightenings

    Identify, track, and characterize small-scale brightening associated with solar eruptive phenomena observed in Hα. 

    Solar Cycle Variations in Polar Coronal Holes

    Create automated tracking and characterization of polar coronal holes over multiple solar cycles to causally connect the topology of coronal holes to the heliosphere.

    HelioInformatics

    Look for innovative techniques to understand and effectively utilize the vast archive of solar information that we as a community generate. This includes the entire range of solar data, from images to spectra and meta-data.

    Brief Bio

    Dr. Michael Kirk is a research scientist in the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center with Catholic University of America. He is working in support of the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite studying the physics of the sun, the causes of solar variability, and its impacts on Earth.


    Dr. Kirk received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from New Mexico State University, where his research focused on automated tracking of chromospheric bright points and their connection to solar eruptions. During this time, he also worked for the Air Force Research Laboratory at the National Solar Observatory in Sunspot, NM. Upon graduation, in 2013, he joined the Heliophysics division as a fellow with the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP).


    After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Whitman College and prior to entering graduate school, Dr. Kirk first worked at Goddard Space Flight Center in 2007 as a systems engineer researching the changing position and size of the polar coronal holes throughout the solar cycle.


    Dr. Kirk grew up in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Outside of work he enjoys discovering new music and experimenting with home-roasting coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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