February 23, 2015
A range of observing and modeling tools is helping researchers at NCAR and elsewhere discern previously unmapped links between weather events in various layers of the atmosphere, with implications for aviation, GPS, and other technology society relies on.
Impacts of atmospheric waves: Photo of EISCAT Svalbard incoherent scatter radar
August 05, 2014
A leading goal of solar scientists is to improve predictions of the Sun's approximately 11-year cycle. New research led by scientists from NCAR and Sweden shows how solar predictions can borrow from weather forecasting techniques in order to predict the timing and extent of the solar cycle.
Depiction of model-produced meridional circulation beneath solar surface
July 02, 2014
Space debris poses serious risks to a wide array of satellites critical to society. NCAR is part of a collaborative effort to help reduce those risks by modeling the effects of space weather on satellite orbits, helping operators steer spacecraft more accurately around debris.
Space junk: Artist's depiction of space debris circling Earth
April 30, 2014
While the current peak in the 11-year cycle of sunspot activity is on the weak side, the Sun might still produce a major storm at any point. The most dangerous storms are most likely during the waning part of the solar cycle, which will unfold later this decade.
Predicting solar superstorms: image of coronal mass ejection on August 31, 2012
August 26, 2013
A grand solar minimum would slow global warming but not stop it.
sunrise over the Atlantic
October 16, 2012
New observations of the magnetic field on the Sun are providing an unprecedented glimpse into solar eruptions that have serious impacts on Earth.
Image showing coronal cavity as darker area emitting less light
May 18, 2012
University students and faculty soon will have the chance to peer at day-to-day weather through the same lens used by National Weather Service meteorologists. A new version of the NWS’s workhorse graphics software will reach campuses through UCAR’s Unidata program.
Two forecasters at the National Weather Service test-drive a graphics system.
February 07, 2012
To get at driving forces deep within the Sun, new models aim to unify the Sun’s dynamo and the emergence of magnetic flux—two areas that are challenging to model individually, let alone together.
UCAR Magazine
February 07, 2012
When a geomagnetic storm blasted Earth on January 24, commercial airlines redirected a handful of flights were originally routed to fly over the North Pole. Behind the scenes, NCAR scientists play a role in safety precautions such as these.
An image of the Sun with orange flares.
November 16, 2011
Sudden heat-ups of the outer atmosphere are gaining attention for their impacts on communications, but can they be forecast?
UCAR News Center
September 07, 2011
A balloon-borne instrument sailing in the Arctic stratosphere in June obtained some of the best observations to date on the high-speed, Sun-driven winds that howl through the thermosphere more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) above Earth.
UCAR Magazine
July 27, 2011
Alfvén waves contain enough energy to heat the corona and drive the solar wind.
NASA SDO satellite image: AIA 171 on 2011-07-26 at 22:45:01 UT
June 21, 2011
The Sun drives our climate, so a slowdown in solar activity would surely put the brakes on global warming—wouldn’t it? That question percolated through the media following a set of reports from a solar physics meeting.
UCAR Magazine
June 06, 2011
The solar minimum that bottomed out from 2006 to 2010 was the longest and deepest since modern space observations began. Among other effects, it reorganized the areas of flux from open magnetic field lines that produce solar wind. NCAR postdoctoral researcher Liang Zhao is using data from the last two minima to revise a model of how open magnetic flux is transported through the solar atmosphere.
Model of Sun's open magnetic field
April 06, 2011
An international team of astronomers that includes NCAR’s Savita Mathur has observed mixed waves—a mixture of acoustic and gravity waves—that run all the way to the cores of red giant stars. Astronomers already knew that such waves (known as stellar oscillations) existed, but until now had only observed pure acoustic waves traveling through the outer parts of stars.
A cut-out image of the Sun showing its core.
March 11, 2011
One of the most enduring mysteries in solar physics is why the Sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona, is millions of degrees hotter than its surface. Now scientists believe they have discovered a major source of hot gas that replenishes the corona.
A close-up of the solar limb
February 22, 2011
A new study from NCAR uses an innovative computer model to investigate events called sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) in the Arctic atmosphere. The study focuses on how two atmospheric patterns based in the tropics, the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and Quasi-Biennial Oscillation, affect SSWs.
A diagram showing the layers of Earth's atmoshere.
January 06, 2011
Structures called spicules may explain why the Sun’s corona is much hotter than its surface, according to a new paper in Science.
satellite image of area on solar disk with spicules emerging from the surface
November 04, 2010
In a bid to unlock longstanding mysteries of the Sun, including the impacts on Earth of its 11-year cycle, a team of scientists from NCAR, France, and Spain has successfully probed a distant star.
August 26, 2010
Scientists have detected "starspots," on the surface of a star using stellar seismology. The technique offers the potential to examine hundreds of stars.
Image of a satellite pointed at star
August 26, 2010
The new research has implications for satellite orbits.
August 12, 2010
Results from a new study should help scientists better understand the factors controlling the timing of solar cycles and could lead to better predictions.
June 10, 2010
Between 1969 and 1971, NCAR scientist John Eddy set out to archive an important part of the history of both photography and astronomy. Eddy collected more than 100 pictures of total solar eclipses taken from the late 1800s into the mid-1900s.
Alice Lecinski, Phil Judge, and Don Kolinski
June 10, 2010
NCAR’s Coronal Multichannel Polarimeter (CoMP) found a new home early this year on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, a high-elevation paradise for astronomical observers.
NCAR Mauna Loa Solar Observatory


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