W. Dean Pesnell

W. Dean Pesnell

  • (AST,SOLAR/SOLAR TERRESTRIAL STUDIES)
  • 301.286.4009
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 671
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: NASA
  • Brief Bio

    W. Dean Pesnell is the Project Scientist of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. He has published over 100 papers in a variety of research areas, including variable stars, sungrazing comets, the Sun-Earth connection, quantum mechanics, and meteors in planetary atmospheres. He received his Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of Florida. After a post-doc at the University of Colorado and a visiting professorship at New Mexico State University, Dr. Pesnell moved to Goddard as a contractor in 1990. He formed Nomad Research, Inc. in 1995 to do independent scientific research. One research contract was to help design the Living With a Star missions that would study the response of the Earth to solar activity. He started working on SDO in 2004 and became the Project Scientist in 2005. He has lectured extensively on solar activity, including the unusual minimum in solar activity from 2008-2009, and predicting solar activity.

    Current Projects

    Project Scientist for the Solar Dynamics Observatory


    Education

    Ph. D. in Physics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 1983; B. S. in Physics, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 1978

    Professional Societies

    American Astronomical Society, 1984 - Present
    American Geophysical Union, 1991 - Present
    American Meteorological Society, 2006 - Present
    Member of Space Weather STAC

    Awards

    NASA, Group Achievement Award for the 2012 Venus Transit Outreach Team, August 2013
    NASA, Robert H. Goddard Award for Exceptional Achievement for Leadership, April, 2013
    NASA, Robert H. Goddard Award for the 2012 Venus Transit Outreach Team, January 2013
    NASA, Group Achievement Award for the Solar Dynamics Observatory Science Investigation Teams, August 2012
    NASA, GSFC Performance Award, July 2012
    NASA, Special Act - Individual Award, Education and Public Outreach, July 2012
    NASA, Group Achievement Award for the TIMED/SEE Science Team, August 2011
    NASA, Group Achievement Award for the Solar Dynamics Observatory Team, June 2011

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Pesnell, W. D. 2016. "Flying through polytropes." American Journal of Physics, 84 (3): 192-201 [10.1119/1.4939574]

    Pesnell, W. D. 2016. "Predictions of Solar Cycle 24: How are we doing?" Space Weather, 14 (1): 10-21 [10.1002/2015sw001304]

    Pesnell, W. D. 2016. "Watching the Sun from Space." Asian Journal of Physics, 25 (3): 233-265.

    McIntosh, S. W., X. Wang, R. J. Leamon, et al. A. R. Davey, R. Howe, L. D. Krista, A. V. Malanushenko, R. S. Markel, J. W. Cirtain, J. B. Gurman, W. Pesnell, and M. J. Thompson. 2014. "Deciphering Solar Magnetic Activity. I. On the Relationship Between the Sunspot Cycle and the Evolution of Small Magnetic Features." ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL, 792: [10.1088/0004-637X/792/1/12]

    Karna, N., S. A. Webber, and W. D. Pesnell. 2014. "Using Polar Coronal Hole Area Measurements to Determine the Solar Polar Magnetic Field Reversal in Solar Cycle 24." SOLAR PHYSICS, 289: 3381-3390 [10.1007/s11207-014-0541-7]

    Pesnell, W. D. 2014. "Predicting Solar Cycle 24 Using a Geomagnetic Precursor Pair." SOLAR PHYSICS, 289: 2317-2331 [10.1007/s11207-013-0470-x]

    Williams, P. E., and W. D. Pesnell. 2014. "Time-Series Analysis of Supergranule Characteristics at Solar Minimum." SOLAR PHYSICS, 289: 1101-1113 [10.1007/s11207-013-0383-8]

    Webber, S. A., N. Karna, W. D. Pesnell, and M. S. Kirk. 2014. "Areas of Polar Coronal Holes from 1996 Through 2010." Solar Physics, 289: 4047-4067 [10.1007/s11207-014-0564-0]

    Pesnell, W. D. 2014. "Predicting Solar Cycle 24 with geomagnetic precursor pairs." Solar Physics, 289: 2317–2331 [doi: 10.1007/s11207-013-0470-x]

    Williams, P. E., and W. D. Pesnell. 2014. "Time-series analysis of supergranule characteristics at solar minimum,." Solar Physics, 289: 1101–1113 [doi: 10.1007/s11207-013-0383-8]

    Williams, P. E., W. D. Pesnell, S. Lee, and J. Beck. 2014. "Analysis of supergranule sizes and velocities using Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)/Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)/Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) Dopplergrams." Solar Physics, 289: 11–25 [doi: 10.1007/s11207- 013-0330-8]

    Pesnell, W. D., and P. Bryans. 2014. "The time-dependent chemistry of cometary debris in the solar corona." Ap. J., 785: 50 [Full Text (Link)] [doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/50]

    Goldberg, R. A., A. G. Feofilov, W. D. Pesnell, and A. A. Kutepov. 2013. "Inter-hemispheric coupling during northern polar summer periods of 2002-2010 using TIMED/SABER measurements." JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC AND SOLAR-TERRESTRIAL PHYSICS, 104: 277-284 [10.1016/j.jastp.2012.11.018]

    Poland, D., F. M. Ekinci, D. Fink, and W. D. Pesnell. 2013. "The Solar Dynamics Observatory after three years in orbit." 2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2013: 1–9 [doi: 10.1109/AERO.2013.6497137]

    Goldberg, R. A., A. G. Feofilov, W. D. Pesnell, and A. A. Kutepov. 2013. "Inter-hemispheric coupling during northern polar summer periods of 2002–2010 using TIMED/SABER measurements." J. A. S.-T. P., 104: 277–284 [doi: 10.1016/j.jastp.2012.11.018]

    Pesnell, W. D., and P. Bryans. 2013. "What Will Comet ISON Debris Teach Us About the Sun?" AAS/Solar Physics Division Meeting, 44: #...34-.

    Bryans, P., and W. D. Pesnell. 2013. "What EUV Observations of Comet ISON Reveal About the Solar Corona." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, A1787-:

    Pesnell, W. D. 2012. "Solar cycle predictions (Invited review),." Solar Physics, 281: 507–532 [doi: 10.1007/s11207- 012-9997-5]

    Bryans, P., and W. D. Pesnell. 2012. "The EUV emission from sun-grazing comets." Ap. J., 760: 8 [Full Text (Link)] [doi: 10.1088/0004- 637X/760/1/18]

    Feofilov, A. G., A. A. Kutepov, C.-Y. She, et al. A. K. Smith, W. D. Pesnell, and R. A. Goldberg. 2012. "CO2(ν2)−O quenching rate coefficient derived from coincidental SABER/TIMED and Fort Collins lidar observations of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere." Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12: 9013–9023 [Full Text (Link)] [doi: 10.5194/acp-12-9013-2012]

    Bryans, P., M. AHearn, K. Battams, et al. D. Biesecker, D. Bodewits, D. Boice, J. Brown, A. Caspi, P. Chodas, H. Hudson, Y. Jia, G. Jones, H. U. Keller, M. Knight, J. Linker, C. Lisse, W. Liu, S. McIntosh, W. D. Pesnell, J. Raymond, S. Saar, P. Saint-Hilaire, C. Schrijver, M. Snow, T. Tarbell, W. Thompson, and P. Weissman. 2012. "The Journey of Sungrazing Comet Lovejoy." American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #220, 220: #525.07-.

    Hess Webber, S., N. Karna, W. D. Pesnell, and M. S. Kirk. 2012. "The Solar Polar Coronal Holes in Solar Cycle 24." American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #220, 220: #202.01-.

    Drobnes, E., A. Littleton, W. D. Pesnell, et al. K. Beck, S. Buhr, R. Durscher, S. Hill, M. McCaffrey, D. E. McKenzie, D. Myers, D. Scherrer, M. Wawro, and A. Wolt. 2012. "The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Education and Outreach (E/PO) Program: Changing Perceptions One Program at a Time." Solar Physics, 275: 391-406 [10.1007/s11207-011-9917-0]

    Bryans, P., and W. D. Pesnell. 2012. "The Extreme-ultraviolet Emission from Sun-grazing Comets." The Astrophysical Journal, 760: [18-10.1088/0004-637X/760/1/18]

    Williams, P. E., and W. D. Pesnell. 2011. "Comparisons of Supergranule Characteristics During the Solar Minima of Cycles 22/23 and 23/24." Solar Physics, 270: 125-136 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1007/s11207-011-9718-5]

    Hess Webber, S., N. Karna, W. D. Pesnell, and M. Kirk. 2011. "Solar Polar Coronal Hole Areas Through the Past Solar Minimum." Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 1825-:

    Bryans, P., W. D. Pesnell, C. J. Schrijver, et al. J. C. Brown, K. Battams, P. Saint-Hilaire, W. Liu, and H. S. Hudson. 2011. "The EUV Emission in Comet-Solar Corona Interactions." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, 5-:

    Williams, P. E., and W. D. Pesnell. 2011. "Properties of Supergranulation During the Solar Minima of Cycles 22/23 and 23/24." Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 271: 2082 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/1742-6596/271/1/012082]

    StCyr, O. C., H. Xie, M. L. Mays, et al. J. M. Davila, H. R. Gilbert, S. I. Jones, W. D. Pesnell, N. Gopalswamy, J. B. Gurman, S. Yashiro, J. Wuelser, R. A. Howard, B. J. Thompson, and W. T. Thompson. 2009. "Recent STEREO Observations of Coronal Mass Ejections." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, A1491-:

    St Cyr, O. C., H. Xie, M. L. Mays, et al. J. M. Davila, H. R. Gilbert, S. I. Jones, W. D. Pesnell, N. Gopalswamy, J. B. Gurman, S. Yashiro, J. Wuelser, R. A. Howard, B. J. Thompson, and W. T. Thompson. 2009. "Recent STEREO Observations of Coronal Mass Ejections." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, A1491-:

    Kirk, M. S., W. D. Pesnell, C. A. Young, and S. A. Hess Webber. 2009. "Automated detection of EUV Polar Coronal Holes during Solar Cycle 23." Solar Physics, 257: 99-112 [10.1007/s11207-009-9369-y]

    Pesnell, W. D., E. Drobnes, S. Mitchell, and M. Colina-Trujillo. 2007. "Family Science Night: Changing Perceptions One Family at a Time." American Astronomical Society Meeting 210, #0503; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 38, p100,

    Kutepov, A., A. Feofilov, B. T. Marshall, et al. L. L. Gordley, W. D. Pesnell, R. A. Goldberg, and J. M. Russell. 2006. "Sensitivity of IR Temperature Retrievals in the Polar Summer MLT to NLTE considerations." AGU Spring Meeting Abstracts, A7-:

    Feofilov, A., A. Kutepov, R. A. Goldberg, et al. W. D. Pesnell, J. M. Russell, and M. G. Mlynczak. 2005. "The Temperature Climatology of the Polar Mesosphere in 2002-2004 Using SABER/TIMED Data." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, A1086-:

    Pesnell, W. D., R. A. Goldberg, C. H. Jackman, D. L. Chenette, and E. E. Gaines. 2000. "Variation of Mesospheric Ozone during the Highly Relativistic Electron Event in May 1992 as Measured by the High Resolution Doppler Imager Instrument on UARS." J. Geophys. Res., 105: 22943-22953.

    Pesnell, W. D., R. A. Goldberg, C. H. Jackman, D. L. Chenette, and E. E. Gaines. 1999. "A Search of UARS Data for Ozone Depletions Caused by the Highly Relativistic Electron Precipitation Events of May 1992." J. Geophys. Res., 104 (A1): 165-175 [10.1029/1998JA900030]

    Non-Refereed

    Gumbel, J., R. A. Goldberg, W. D. Pesnell, and M. Friedrich. 2002. "Cluster Ions as a Source of Layered Phenomena Near the Polar Summer Mesopause." AGU Spring Meeting Abstracts 83 (Abstract SA21A-03):

    Brief Bio

    W. Dean Pesnell is the Project Scientist of the Solar Dynamics Observatory. He has published over 100 papers in a variety of research areas, including variable stars, sungrazing comets, the Sun-Earth connection, quantum mechanics, and meteors in planetary atmospheres. He received his Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of Florida. After a post-doc at the University of Colorado and a visiting professorship at New Mexico State University, Dr. Pesnell moved to Goddard as a contractor in 1990. He formed Nomad Research, Inc. in 1995 to do independent scientific research. One research contract was to help design the Living With a Star missions that would study the response of the Earth to solar activity. He started working on SDO in 2004 and became the Project Scientist in 2005. He has lectured extensively on solar activity, including the unusual minimum in solar activity from 2008-2009, and predicting solar activity.

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Pesnell, W. D. 2016. "Flying through polytropes." American Journal of Physics 84 (3): 192-201 [10.1119/1.4939574]

    Pesnell, W. D. 2016. "Predictions of Solar Cycle 24: How are we doing?" Space Weather 14 (1): 10-21 [10.1002/2015sw001304]

    Pesnell, W. D. 2016. "Watching the Sun from Space." Asian Journal of Physics 25 (3): 233-265

    McIntosh, S. W., X. Wang, R. J. Leamon, et al. A. R. Davey, R. Howe, L. D. Krista, A. V. Malanushenko, R. S. Markel, J. W. Cirtain, J. B. Gurman, W. Pesnell, and M. J. Thompson. 2014. "Deciphering Solar Magnetic Activity. I. On the Relationship Between the Sunspot Cycle and the Evolution of Small Magnetic Features." ASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL 792 [10.1088/0004-637X/792/1/12]

    Karna, N., S. A. Webber, and W. D. Pesnell. 2014. "Using Polar Coronal Hole Area Measurements to Determine the Solar Polar Magnetic Field Reversal in Solar Cycle 24." SOLAR PHYSICS 289 3381-3390 [10.1007/s11207-014-0541-7]

    Pesnell, W. D. 2014. "Predicting Solar Cycle 24 Using a Geomagnetic Precursor Pair." SOLAR PHYSICS 289 2317-2331 [10.1007/s11207-013-0470-x]

    Williams, P. E., and W. D. Pesnell. 2014. "Time-Series Analysis of Supergranule Characteristics at Solar Minimum." SOLAR PHYSICS 289 1101-1113 [10.1007/s11207-013-0383-8]

    Webber, S. A., N. Karna, W. D. Pesnell, and M. S. Kirk. 2014. "Areas of Polar Coronal Holes from 1996 Through 2010." Solar Physics 289 4047-4067 [10.1007/s11207-014-0564-0]

    Pesnell, W. D. 2014. "Predicting Solar Cycle 24 with geomagnetic precursor pairs." Solar Physics 289 2317–2331 [doi: 10.1007/s11207-013-0470-x]

    Williams, P. E., and W. D. Pesnell. 2014. "Time-series analysis of supergranule characteristics at solar minimum,." Solar Physics 289 1101–1113 [doi: 10.1007/s11207-013-0383-8]

    Williams, P. E., W. D. Pesnell, S. Lee, and J. Beck. 2014. "Analysis of supergranule sizes and velocities using Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)/Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) and Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)/Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) Dopplergrams." Solar Physics 289 11–25 [doi: 10.1007/s11207- 013-0330-8]

    Pesnell, W. D., and P. Bryans. 2014. "The time-dependent chemistry of cometary debris in the solar corona." Ap. J. 785 50 [Full Text (Link)] [doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/785/1/50]

    Goldberg, R. A., A. G. Feofilov, W. D. Pesnell, and A. A. Kutepov. 2013. "Inter-hemispheric coupling during northern polar summer periods of 2002-2010 using TIMED/SABER measurements." JOURNAL OF ATMOSPHERIC AND SOLAR-TERRESTRIAL PHYSICS 104 277-284 [10.1016/j.jastp.2012.11.018]

    Poland, D., F. M. Ekinci, D. Fink, and W. D. Pesnell. 2013. "The Solar Dynamics Observatory after three years in orbit." 2013 IEEE Aerospace Conference 2013 1–9 [doi: 10.1109/AERO.2013.6497137]

    Goldberg, R. A., A. G. Feofilov, W. D. Pesnell, and A. A. Kutepov. 2013. "Inter-hemispheric coupling during northern polar summer periods of 2002–2010 using TIMED/SABER measurements." J. A. S.-T. P. 104 277–284 [doi: 10.1016/j.jastp.2012.11.018]

    Pesnell, W. D., and P. Bryans. 2013. "What Will Comet ISON Debris Teach Us About the Sun?" AAS/Solar Physics Division Meeting 44 #...34-

    Bryans, P., and W. D. Pesnell. 2013. "What EUV Observations of Comet ISON Reveal About the Solar Corona." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts A1787-

    Pesnell, W. D. 2012. "Solar cycle predictions (Invited review),." Solar Physics 281 507–532 [doi: 10.1007/s11207- 012-9997-5]

    Bryans, P., and W. D. Pesnell. 2012. "The EUV emission from sun-grazing comets." Ap. J. 760 8 [Full Text (Link)] [doi: 10.1088/0004- 637X/760/1/18]

    Feofilov, A. G., A. A. Kutepov, C.-Y. She, et al. A. K. Smith, W. D. Pesnell, and R. A. Goldberg. 2012. "CO2(ν2)−O quenching rate coefficient derived from coincidental SABER/TIMED and Fort Collins lidar observations of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere." Atmos. Chem. Phys. 12 9013–9023 [Full Text (Link)] [doi: 10.5194/acp-12-9013-2012]

    Bryans, P., M. AHearn, K. Battams, et al. D. Biesecker, D. Bodewits, D. Boice, J. Brown, A. Caspi, P. Chodas, H. Hudson, Y. Jia, G. Jones, H. U. Keller, M. Knight, J. Linker, C. Lisse, W. Liu, S. McIntosh, W. D. Pesnell, J. Raymond, S. Saar, P. Saint-Hilaire, C. Schrijver, M. Snow, T. Tarbell, W. Thompson, and P. Weissman. 2012. "The Journey of Sungrazing Comet Lovejoy." American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #220 220 #525.07-

    Hess Webber, S., N. Karna, W. D. Pesnell, and M. S. Kirk. 2012. "The Solar Polar Coronal Holes in Solar Cycle 24." American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #220 220 #202.01-

    Drobnes, E., A. Littleton, W. D. Pesnell, et al. K. Beck, S. Buhr, R. Durscher, S. Hill, M. McCaffrey, D. E. McKenzie, D. Myers, D. Scherrer, M. Wawro, and A. Wolt. 2012. "The Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Education and Outreach (E/PO) Program: Changing Perceptions One Program at a Time." Solar Physics 275 391-406 [10.1007/s11207-011-9917-0]

    Bryans, P., and W. D. Pesnell. 2012. "The Extreme-ultraviolet Emission from Sun-grazing Comets." The Astrophysical Journal 760 [18-10.1088/0004-637X/760/1/18]

    Williams, P. E., and W. D. Pesnell. 2011. "Comparisons of Supergranule Characteristics During the Solar Minima of Cycles 22/23 and 23/24." Solar Physics 270 125-136 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1007/s11207-011-9718-5]

    Hess Webber, S., N. Karna, W. D. Pesnell, and M. Kirk. 2011. "Solar Polar Coronal Hole Areas Through the Past Solar Minimum." Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society 1825-

    Bryans, P., W. D. Pesnell, C. J. Schrijver, et al. J. C. Brown, K. Battams, P. Saint-Hilaire, W. Liu, and H. S. Hudson. 2011. "The EUV Emission in Comet-Solar Corona Interactions." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 5-

    Williams, P. E., and W. D. Pesnell. 2011. "Properties of Supergranulation During the Solar Minima of Cycles 22/23 and 23/24." Journal of Physics: Conference Series 271 2082 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1088/1742-6596/271/1/012082]

    StCyr, O. C., H. Xie, M. L. Mays, et al. J. M. Davila, H. R. Gilbert, S. I. Jones, W. D. Pesnell, N. Gopalswamy, J. B. Gurman, S. Yashiro, J. Wuelser, R. A. Howard, B. J. Thompson, and W. T. Thompson. 2009. "Recent STEREO Observations of Coronal Mass Ejections." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts A1491-

    St Cyr, O. C., H. Xie, M. L. Mays, et al. J. M. Davila, H. R. Gilbert, S. I. Jones, W. D. Pesnell, N. Gopalswamy, J. B. Gurman, S. Yashiro, J. Wuelser, R. A. Howard, B. J. Thompson, and W. T. Thompson. 2009. "Recent STEREO Observations of Coronal Mass Ejections." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts A1491-

    Kirk, M. S., W. D. Pesnell, C. A. Young, and S. A. Hess Webber. 2009. "Automated detection of EUV Polar Coronal Holes during Solar Cycle 23." Solar Physics 257 99-112 [10.1007/s11207-009-9369-y]

    Pesnell, W. D., E. Drobnes, S. Mitchell, and M. Colina-Trujillo. 2007. "Family Science Night: Changing Perceptions One Family at a Time." American Astronomical Society Meeting 210, #0503; Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, Vol 38, p100

    Kutepov, A., A. Feofilov, B. T. Marshall, et al. L. L. Gordley, W. D. Pesnell, R. A. Goldberg, and J. M. Russell. 2006. "Sensitivity of IR Temperature Retrievals in the Polar Summer MLT to NLTE considerations." AGU Spring Meeting Abstracts A7-

    Feofilov, A., A. Kutepov, R. A. Goldberg, et al. W. D. Pesnell, J. M. Russell, and M. G. Mlynczak. 2005. "The Temperature Climatology of the Polar Mesosphere in 2002-2004 Using SABER/TIMED Data." AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts A1086-

    Pesnell, W. D., R. A. Goldberg, C. H. Jackman, D. L. Chenette, and E. E. Gaines. 2000. "Variation of Mesospheric Ozone during the Highly Relativistic Electron Event in May 1992 as Measured by the High Resolution Doppler Imager Instrument on UARS." J. Geophys. Res. 105 22943-22953

    Pesnell, W. D., R. A. Goldberg, C. H. Jackman, D. L. Chenette, and E. E. Gaines. 1999. "A Search of UARS Data for Ozone Depletions Caused by the Highly Relativistic Electron Precipitation Events of May 1992." J. Geophys. Res. 104 (A1): 165-175 [10.1029/1998JA900030]

    Non-Refereed

    Gumbel, J., R. A. Goldberg, W. D. Pesnell, and M. Friedrich. 2002. "Cluster Ions as a Source of Layered Phenomena Near the Polar Summer Mesopause." AGU Spring Meeting Abstracts 83 (Abstract SA21A-03):

                                                                                                                                                                                            
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