The Electronic Newsletter of the
Solar Physics Division
American Astronomical Society
Volume 2017 Number 1
Aimee Norton, editor
01 January 2017

Chair's Chat

Winners of 2017 Hale and Harvey Prizes
Dana Longcope
15 Dec 2016

I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 SPD Prizes.

The 2017 George Ellery Hale Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of solar astronomy is awarded to Manfred Schüssler for his contributions to the theory of the solar dynamo, to understanding the dynamics of buoyant convection-zone magnetic flux tubes, to modeling the structure and dynamics of solar surface magnetic fields, and to the education and training of young solar physicists.

The 2017 Karen Harvey Prize for a significant contribution to the study of the Sun early in a person’s professional career is awarded to Chun Ming (Mark) Cheung for his numerical investigations of magnetic flux emergence in turbulent convection, for his studies of the dynamic corona via novel data inversion and data-driven modeling techniques, and for his mentoring of young researchers.

Please join me in congratulating Manfred and Mark on this well-deserved recognition.  We will hear prize lectures from each at the 2017 SPD meeting in Portland, OR (Aug. 21 – 26).

I would like to thank Chair Mark Linton, and the rest of the SPD Prize committee, Doug Braun, Sarah Gibson, K.D. Leka, and Haimin Wang, for their hard work reading the materials and selecting from a pool of many very worthy nominees.

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HMI Science Nuggets #65
Xudong Sun
17 Dec 2016

We announce a new piece for HMI Science Nuggets for December 2016.

#65 “SDO Reveals the Properties of Flare-productive Sunspot Regions” by Shin Toriumi (

We welcome submissions on work related to HMI scientific goals. More information can be found at

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CESRA Highlight on Microwave Type-III Pairs
Eduard Kontar
20 Dec 2016

Diagnosing the Source Region of a Solar Burst on 26 September 2011 by Using Microwave Type-III Pairs
by Tan B. L. et al.

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McIntosh Archive – New Database of Solar Magnetic Features
David Webb
23 Dec 2016

In 1964, Patrick McIntosh, a scientist at NOAA’s Space Environment Center in Boulder, began creating hand-drawn synoptic maps of solar magnetic features. In all, he compiled ≈45 years or nearly four complete solar sunspot cycles of maps, representing a unique record of the large-scale organization and variation of the Sun’s magnetic field, following both open and closed features. Pat passed away in October 2016, and his archive was in danger of being lost.  Although versions of the maps were archived in scanned format at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), many maps only existed in hard-copy format in boxes, and none of the scanned maps possessed metadata allowing digital search and analysis.

The intent of the McIntosh Archive (McA) project has been first and foremost to preserve the archive in its entirety, by completing the scanning of all of the maps; this has been achieved. Beyond this, a procedure has been designed and implemented to standardize the size and orientation of the digital maps, to remove any unnecessary notes, marks or symbols, and to colorize the maps so that each magnetic feature is uniquely searchable. To date, full processing of solar cycle 23 and the beginning of 24 (1996 – 2009) has been achieved, and the team continues to work backwards through the earlier maps.  All maps – both original, and where available, processed – are archived at NOAA/NCEI. Please see for details about how to access the McA and some examples of applications of these data for solar cycle studies.

David Webb, Sarah Gibson, Ian Hewins, Robert McFadden, Barbara Emery, William Denig

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CISM Space Weather Summer School
Michael Wiltberger
24 December 2016
July 17 – 28 2017
NCAR Boulder, CO
Application Deadline: March 1 2017

The CISM Space Weather Summer School is intended to give students a comprehensive immersion in the subject of space weather: what it is, what it does, and what can be done about it. Space weather is many things: beautiful when seen through the eyes of a sun-viewing telescope, fascinating when studied for its alien worlds of magnetic structures and phenomena, awesome when witnessed as a solar eruption or auroral storm, and devastating to the users of services it disrupts. Space weather links the Sun, the Earth, and the space in between in a branching chain of consequences. Weather systems on the Sun can spawn interplanetary storms of colossal size and energy that envelop the whole planet in electrical hurricanes. Such storms attack high-tech, complex, and expensive technological systems that provide much of the infrastructure that allows modern society to function.

Applications are welcome from upper level undergraduates and beginning graduate students interested in pursuing a career in solar and space physics, as well as professionals interested in broadening their understanding of the space environment. The school will provide support for travel and housing expenses for all US student participants.

Course Overview
SW 101: Solar activity, solar wind, magnetosphere, and ionosphere
SW 102: Effects on astronauts and spacecraft, radiation hazards, communication disruptions
SW 103: Assumptions and drivers of models, results and limitations
SW 104: Hands on activities exploring model results and data to understand the space environment.

For additional information on this program and instructions on how to apply

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RHESSI Science Nuggets in December, 2016
Hugh Hudson
30 Dec 2016

No. 288, “Statistical Link Between Electrons Emitting X-rays and Type III Radio Bursts,” by Hamish Reid and Nicole Vilmer: understanding the statistical links between type III bursts and hard X-rays.

No. 289, “Syrovatskii’s ‘Constant Density’ approximation, ” by Hugh Hudson and Paulo Simoes. Remembering S. I. Syrovatskii, and noting that the relevance of his “constant density” approximation has been verified by modern high-resolution obserfvations.

See listing the current series, 2008 – present, and for the original series, 2005 – 2008.

We publish these at roughly two-week intervals and welcome contributions, which should be related, at least loosely, to RHESSI science.

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Employment Opportunities

University of Colorado/LASP – Post-doctoral Positions
Tom Woods and Frank Eparvier
17 December 2016
The Solar Influences Group at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado at Boulder invites applications for postdoctoral research positions in the areas of solar physics and planetary atmospheric science. The successful candidates wil work on data from NASA satellite programs (including SORCE, MAVEN, SDO, and MinXSS) to study solar irradiance variability and its sources on the Sun, to study the influence of this variability on planetary atmospheres (including Earth and Mars), to support mission operations and data processing for those solar instruments. The candidates will have access to excellent engineering and data system facilities at LASP and for teaching opportunities in some of the university departments if desired. The initial appointment is for one year plus an additional year based on individual performance and funding, with option for promotion to research scientist position contingent upon performance and funding. We will begin considering applications on January 3, 2017, and we will accept applications until the positions are filled. For more information and instructions on how to apply, please visit:
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Northumbria University – Research Fellow Position in Solar Physics
Valentina Zharkova
19 Dec 2016

Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Environment

Ref: EAE16/27
Salary: £33,943 – £38,183

Applications are invited for a three-year postdoctoral research position in the area of Solar Plasma Physics.

A successful candidate will conduct research relevant to producing investigation with 3D Particle-in-cell (PIC) approach of energetic particles in reconnecting current sheets of the Sun and heliosphere.

This position is funded by a research project grant from the United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research. You will work primarily with Prof. Valentina Zharkova (PI of grant). Further details about the research project and the group can be found here: and

The ideal candidate will have a good knowledge of solar plasma physics and will have extensive experience in algorithmic programming in C++, Matlab, Fortran or any other languages. Experience in particle kinetic theory and/or code parallelisation on computer clusters would also be beneficial. Although the full training will be given in both kinetics and specifics to work with PIC codes. Applicants must hold a PhD in Solar Physics, Astrophysics, Physics or Applied Mathematics by the start of the project.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Prof. Valentina Zharkova at

Closing date: 02 February 2017

If you would like to apply, please send your completed Application Form to quoting the reference number. See the web link for further documents

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University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado – George Ellery Hale Postdoctoral Fellowship Position in Solar, Stellar and Space Physics
Benjamin Brown
29 Dec 2016

The University of Colorado Boulder is seeking applicants for the George Ellery Hale Postdoctoral Fellowship in Solar, Stellar and Space Physics.  The University of Colorado and surrounding institutions provide a rich environment within which to conduct solar research, and this two-year research fellowship accompanies the relocation of the National Solar Observatory (NSO) headquarters to Boulder.

Of particular interest are postdoctoral candidates who are interested in theoretical and computational studies of dynamics within solar and stellar interiors, photospheres, and atmospheres (chromospheres and coronae).  Boulder is an internationally recognized center for studying convection, turbulence, radiative magnetohydrodynamics, and the dynamo amplification of magnetic fields in the Sun.  The successful candidate will have access to extensive computational resources and existing modern, highly parallel astrophysical fluid dynamics codes, and could be involved in the creation of next generation codes for studying solar fluid dynamics. Connections between such modeling activities efforts and the observational capabilities of NSO’s Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST, formerly ATST) and/or Integrated Synoptic Program (NISP) will enhance an application, and the successful candidate is encouraged to forge those connections while in Boulder.

The successful candidate will also have the opportunity play a prominent role in the new George Ellery Hale collaborative graduate education program, which aims to offer solar physics course work and summer professional development to students enrolled in graduate programs at the University of Colorado, University of Hawaii, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology via telepresence technology.  The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with the program to develop capability and facilitate learning in this distributed environment. Thus candidates with a strong interest and experience in teaching and learning methodologies, in addition to those more focused on solar physics research goals, are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a list of publications, a description of research and teaching interests, and the names and contact information for three references.  These materials should be submitted electronically to:, posting #07622.

For more information please contact Prof. Benjamin Brown, Search Committee Chair,  Review of the applications will begin 1 February 2017 and continue until the position is filled.  The University of Colorado is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The University of Colorado offers a full benefits package. Information on University benefits programs, including eligibility, is located at

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Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) – Fully-funded PhD Studentship on 'The Evolution of Solar Active Regions and its Relation to Flaring Activity'
Shaun Bloomfield
31 Dec 2016

The Solar Physics group at Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) is advertising a fully-funded PhD studentship on “The evolution of solar active regions and its relation to flaring activity”.

Deadline for applications: 20 January 2017
Studentship start date: 2 October 2017

Project Description

Active regions are portions of the solar atmosphere that are threaded by strong magnetic fields, with sunspots being their visible imprint on the solar surface. These regions are the primary sources of solar activity in the form of flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs), both of which contribute to adverse space weather – conditions in the near-Earth space environment that pose a risk to technology and human life.

The energy that powers these forms of solar activity comes from magnetic energy that is stored in the complex and twisted magnetic fields within active regions. Although it is understood that the injection of free magnetic energy into active regions is facilitated through magnetic flux emergence and shearing surface motions, the precise conditions that are required to facilitate energy release and the processes that are involved during energy release remain under debate.

This PhD project will investigate the magnetic structure of active regions, in particular the evolution of magnetic field prior to and over the course of solar flares. The student will be expected to analyze solar magnetic field observations obtained from space-based satellite instrumentation, and potentially from state-of-the-art international ground-based solar telescopes. The aim of this research is to explore the structure and evolution of solar active regions to gain greater understanding of how flares are produced.

The student should have a degree in either Astrophysics, Physics or Mathematics. Experience with coding in a scientific programming language (e.g., IDL, Python, C, etc…) will be looked upon favourably.

Enquiries regarding this studentship should be made to: Dr Shaun Bloomfield.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Please note eligibility requirements:
  •  Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  •  Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

This position is open to both home/EU and non-EU/international applicants.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see>

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Meeting Announcements

EGU – Open Session on the Sun and Heliosphere (including Hannes Alfvén Medal Lecture)
Manuela Temmer
15 Dec 2016

We would like to draw your attention to the ‘Open Session on the Sun and Heliosphere’ including the Hannes Alfvén Medal Lecture (session ST1.1, Programme Group ‘ST – Solar-Terrestrial Sciences’ to be held during the upcoming General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (Vienna, Austria, 23 – 28 April 2017).

This session will be devoted to all aspects related to the Sun and the Heliosphere.

The deadline for the receipt of abstracts is 11 January 2017, 13:00 CET. An Abstract Processing Charge (APC) of €40.00 gross must be paid for each abstract submission.

Looking forward meeting you at EGU 2017!
Manuela Temmer, Olga Malandraki

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AOGS 2017, 6 – 11 August, Singapore: Call for Abstracts for Session ST12: Waves and Turbulence in the Solar Atmosphere and Solar Wind
Bo Li
21 Dec 2016

Session ST12: Waves and Turbulence in the Solar Atmosphere and Solar Wind
Deadline for Abstract Submission: 15 Feb 2017


Waves and turbulence are key to a number of key issues in the physics of the solar atmosphere and solar wind. Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves have been found in most, if not all, structures in the Sun’s atmosphere. Aided with MHD wave theory, these measurements are indispensible for inferring the atmospheric parameters difficult to measure directly. Meanwhile, sophisticated theoretical and numerical studies have shed new light on the generation, propagation, and dissipation of various wave modes. Wave-based scenarios have been brought back to the forefront of the key issue of coronal heating. Furthermore, the past two decades have seen remarkable progress in understanding turbulence in the solar wind, thanks to in situ instruments on board such spacecraft as Helios, WIND, Ulysses, ACE, and CLUSTER. In particular, weak turbulence is related to waves. With the emergence of new theories and advanced simulations, these measurements helped better understand how wave-vector anisotropy develops, the nature of turbulence at kinetic scales, how intermittency influences turbulence spectra, and how turbulence shapes particle velocity distributions. The interpretation of these in situ measurements also gives clues to how turbulence evolves in the near-Sun regions. Consequently, significant progress was achieved on the physics of turbulence and its role in heating and accelerating the solar wind from coronal sources out to interplanetary space.

This session solicits contributions on waves and turbulence in the solar atmosphere and solar wind from both observational analyses and theoretical or numerical modeling. This session will help build a unified picture on how waves and turbulence evolve from their sources out to the Earth and beyond. It will also help prepare the community for the upcoming data from Solar Orbiter and Solar Probe Plus. Both missions will be launched in 2018, and both are anticipated to provide measurements impacting the above topics.

Dr. Bo Li (Shandong University, China),
Dr. Christopher Chen (Imperial College London, United Kingdom),
Dr. Jiansen He (Peking University, China),
Prof. Leon Ofman (Catholic University of America and NASA GSFC, United States),
Dr. De-Jin Wu (Purple Mountain Observatory of Chinese Academay of Sciences, China),

For more information, please contact Bo Li at .

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IAGA–IAMAS joint session – "Space weather throughout the solar system: Bringing data and models together"
Sarah Gibson
23 Dec 2016

IAPSO-IAMAS-IAGA meeting in Capetown, South Africa
August 27 – September 1, 2017
Abstract and grant application deadline, February 17, 2017

Joint IAGA–IAMAS session: “Space weather throughout the solar system: Bringing data and models together”
Convenors – Sarah Gibson, Enrico Camporeale, Kyung-Suk Cho, Giuseppe Consolini, Christina Plainaki and Earle Williams

The science behind Space Weather is becoming increasingly multidisciplinary. From solar eruptions, to solar-wind/magnetosphere/ionosphere interactions, to complex couplings of the Earth’s global electrical circuit and Schumann resonances, to space-weather impacts on other planetary environments, the scientific puzzles to solve are complex and require advances in modeling. Nowadays, forecasting models range from completely empirical, such as the prediction of geomagnetic indexes based on statistical regression analysis, to physics-based, for example, state-of-the-art MHD simulations of coronal mass ejection propagation. The paradigm of ‘grey-box modeling’ lives between these two extrema: data-driven reduced models that on one hand stem from a physics description, and on the other hand rely on data analysis to fit the free parameters. This approach is highly effective for interpreting space-weather-related data. It can also be a useful tool in support of space missions throughout the solar system, as seen for example in global radiation modeling that includes the parameterization of space weather conditions in plasma- interaction scenarios. All of these modeling approaches benefit from mathematical techniques that have been typically studied in contexts outside that of space weather. This topic is thus a fertile ground for a broad range of interdisciplinary collaborations.

We encourage contributions pertaining to recent progress in the effective incorporation of data into space weather modeling and prediction at any point along the chain from sun to planets. Moreover, we welcome approaches that are less traditional in the space weather community but possess potential for significant progress in forecasting and understanding space weather, and that draw upon “lessons learned” or “best practices” from applications to non-space-weather problems.”

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20th Anniversary Workshop for the NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering, January 9 – 11, 2017: Virtual Access
Vyacheslav (Slava) Lukin
24 December 2016
WHEN: The Workshop will take place on January 9th, 2017 through January 11th, 2017. A detailed Workshop Agenda and the live webcast instructions for virtual access to the Workshop's oral sessions and panel discussions is available at

The NSF/DOE Partnership in Basic Plasma Science and Engineering is one of the longest running inter-agency partnerships in the federal government. For 20 years, the Partnership has supported fundamental research in plasma science and engineering covering a diverse range of scientific topics spanning experiment, theory, and computation. Now beginning its 21st year, this workshop has been organized to celebrate the accomplishments and impact of the Partnership and to discuss its future. [Due to space limitations, in-person participation in the Workshop is by invitation only. Invitations have been extended to all who have been Principal Investigators on Partnership-funded awards.]

The workshop organizers are soliciting your thoughts and input for the Panel Discussion that will take place on the third day of the Workshop: “The Present and Future Role of the NSF/DOE Plasma Partnership in Stewarding Plasma Science.” You are welcome to contribute your responses to the discussion questions at any time by following the DISCUSSION tab on the Workshop website .

If you require reasonable accommodations for virtual access to the Workshop, please contact the NSF Office of Diversity and Inclusion at by December 23, 2016.

On behalf of the Scientific Organizing Committee:
Ellen Zweibel, Chair (University of Wisconsin)
Jorge Rocca (Colorado State University)
Ed Thomas (Auburn University)

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Address Change

Hathaway e-mail
David Hathaway
19 Dec 2016

I will be retiring from NASA on Friday December 30th, after that date I can be reached at:

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Editor's Note

2016 SolarNews Instructions
Aimee Norton
11 November 2016

SolarNews is normally distributed on the first and fifteenth of each month. Please send in your submissions by midnight (UT-8) the day before.

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