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2005 Archives

December 22, 2005

"Solar Physics" Features Special Issue on SORCE

The SORCE team has been very busy over the past year preparing 18 individual papers to be published in a special issue of Solar Physics.  This “topical issue” is devoted exclusively to the SORCE mission, and it provides detailed information on the SORCE mission, goals, instruments, spacecraft, planning software, ground operations, data processing, early science results, and science implications.  This issue (August 2005, volume 230) is now available electronically on the Solar Physics website.  The printed version and a special hard cover volume will be available in January 2006. Read more.

See the December 2005 newsletter


October 10, 2005

September Solar Storm

During the first half of September 2005, a period of increased solar activity occurred that rivaled the number and magnitude of flares produced during the "Halloween" storm in October-November of 2003.

The presence of NOAA active region 808 produced a total of 115 flares of GOES C-class or higher, including 26 M-class and 10 X-class flares (see Figure 1 below). The largest of the flares, a GOES X17.0 flare that occurred on September 7, 2005, was the largest flare that has occurred since the X28+ flare on November 4, 2003, and was just smaller than the X17.2 flare that occurred on October 28, 2003. This X17.0 flare was the 4th largest observed X-ray flare since GOES started making flare observations in 1986. Read more about the flares.

See the September 2005 newsletter.


August 9, 2005

Deep Impact Follow-up

SOLSTICE planned and executed a series of observations of comet Tempel 1 on July 3. Unfortunately the impact was not bright enough to be detected by SOLSTICE. The impact crater on the comet was estimated to be the size of a house, and the cloud of ejecta was fairly modest. Some predictions had indicated that the crater would be the size of a football field, which might have produced a much larger ejecta cloud. As it turned out, the comet briefly brightened by about a factor of five, which is still well below the SOLSTICE detection threshold.

To read more, see the July 2005 newsletter.


June 27, 2005

Solar Physics Special Issue

The SORCE team has been very busy over the past year preparing 18 individual papers to be published in a special issue of Solar Physics. This "topical issue” will be devoted exclusively to the SORCE mission, and will later be published in a hard cover version. All papers have been submitted and are in the final editing/proofing stages. This SORCE issue is expected to be published in August.

The papers provide detailed information on the SORCE mission, goals, spacecraft, instruments, planning software, ground operations, data processing, early science results, and science implications. Each instrument has several papers which are addressing instrument concept, design, science requirements, calibration, performance, and science results. The papers and their first authors are:

  • The SORCE Mission for the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS)
    by Don Anderson and Bob Cahalan
  • The SORCE Mission
    by Gary Rottman
  • The SORCE Spacecraft and Operations
    by Tom Sparn
  • The SORCE Science Data System
    by Christopher Pankratz
  • SORCE Contributions to New Understanding of Global Change and Solar Variability
    by Judith Lean
  • An Overview of the Disposition of Solar Radiation in the Lower Atmosphere: Connections to the SORCE Mission and Climate Change
    by Peter Pilewskie
  • TIM: Instrument Design
    by Greg Kopp
  • TIM: Instrument Calibration
    by Greg Kopp
  • TIM: Science Results
    by Greg Kopp
  • SIM Scientific Requirements, Instrument Design, and Operation Modes
    by Jerry Harder
  • SIM: Measurement Equation and Calibration
    by Jerry Harder
  • SIM: Early Observations
    by Gary Rottman
  • SOLSTICE II: Instrument Concept and Design
    by Bill McClintock
  • SOLSTICE II: Pre-Launch and On-Orbit Calibrations
    by Bill McClintock
  • SOLSTICE II: Examination of the Solar-Stellar Comparison Technique
    by Marty Snow
  • The Magnesium II Index from SORCE
    by Marty Snow
  • XPS: Overview and Calibrations
    by Tom Woods
  • XPS: Solar Variations During the SORCE Mission
    by Tom Woods

To read more, see the June 2005 newsletter


June 2, 2005

2005 SORCE Science Meeting: Call For Papers

Everyone is invited to attend the 3rd Annual SORCE Science Meeting – Paleo Connections Between the Sun, Climate, and Culture – as we vastly extend the time domain to paleoclimate and very long-term changes in the solar output. This science meeting will concentrate on both the empirical evidence and physical processes that link the sun, climate, and culture in the distant past. Sessions include:

  • Evidence for long-term solar activity and reconstructions of past solar irradiance
  • Evidence for climate responses to solar variability, and cultural impacts
  • Interpreting the solar and climate sources of cosmogenic isotope variations, and their relationship to solar irradiance
  • Physical processes linking climate, cultural responses, and solar variability.

The meeting will take place at the Doubletree Hotel, September 14-16, in Durango, Colorado, a town rich in history, beauty, and southwest culture. The fall is always a very special time in this area, as the aspen leaves put on their annual performance. Please make hotel reservations early! For more information check out the 2005 SORCE meeting website.

To read more, see the May 2005 newsletter


April 7, 2005

2005 SORCE Science Meeting:
Paleo Connections Between the Sun, Climate, and Culture (September 14-16)

Solar activity, the Earth's climate and human culture, all undergo change. An increasing number of paleoclimate records, for example in ice-cores, ocean sediments, lake levels, and tree-rings, suggest a solar contribution to past climate change. Furthermore, comparisons of paleoclimate records with archeological evidence of past human cultures suggests that solar- driven climate change may have contributed to the prosperity and demise of various civilizations, for example in the Yucatan and East Africa.

The 3rd Annual SORCE Science Meeting will concentrate on both the empirical evidence and physical processes that link the sun, climate, and culture in the distant past.

To read more, see the March 2005 newsletter.


February 01, 2005

SORCE Team Celebrates 2 Years and Takes a Look Back

Two years of successful operation on-orbit! SORCE was launched on January 25, 2003 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft, instruments, and ground systems are functioning flawlessly, according to Gary Rottman, SORCE Principal Investigator. “I could not be more proud of the SORCE team for getting us to this point. This mission is providing improved SSI and TSI measurements like never before. My dream is to see one entire solar cycle measured with the SORCE instruments.” Tom Woods, SORCE Project Scientist, feels the most exciting moments in the last 2 years have been the launch, first light from the instruments, and more recently the new results concerning flare events and variability of the solar irradiance spectra. “The combination of great solar measurements by SORCE and the productive SORCE workshops have made for two wonderful years for the SORCE program,” says Woods. “Also, considering that there are over 30 mechanisms in the SORCE instruments and that they all continue to work flawlessly is an engineering marvel.”

Also, the SORCE team has been very busy over the past several months preparing approximately 18 individual papers to be published in Solar Physics. This special “topical issue” will be devoted exclusively to the SORCE mission, and will later be published in a hard cover version.

A summary article of the 2004 SORCE Science Meeting in New Hampshire will be published in the Nov/Dec issue of EOS’s The Earth Observer. A preview is on the SORCE website Earth_Observer_Nov-Dec04.pdf

To read more, see the January 2005 newsletter