2009 Media/Journalist Workshop

Dynamics of the Sun: Solar Minimum and What’s to Come

October 23—25, 2009—Boulder, Colorado

Coronal Mass Ejection at Earth

The 2009 workshop focused on the sun's interaction with the Earth, including how Coronal Mass Ejections affect the Earth's magnetosphere. (Courtesy Steele Hill/NASA)


  • What are the processes that govern solar activity?
    Understanding the structure and dynamics of the Sun’s interior, magnetic field structure, and corona is crucial to understanding the root causes of solar activity. As new data comes to light, our solar activity predictive power improves.
  • What is the impact of the solar minimum on climate and the space environment?
    The prolonged solar minimum that we are now experiencing has offered an unprecedented opportunity to untangle conflated questions about the Sun. In addition, we are seeing signs that this minimum may be impacting Earth’s climate, as well as its space environment.
  • What will solar max look like and what are the implications for studying the sun and space weather?
    Having had an opportunity to study the prolonged solar minimum, scientists are gearing up to look at the Sun-Earth system as we move towards the solar maximum. With more space assets than ever before, the implications for space weather during this period may be profound.
  • Looking to the Future: The Great Observatory
    We are now on the cusp of a time when we will have more ‘eyes’ on the Sun than ever before. We are beginning the era of the Great Observatory, NASA’s plan to integrate data from dozens of satellites to ‘wire’ the Sun-Earth system. The launch of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) (the first of NASA’s “Living with a Star” missions) will greatly enhance our ability to explore the Sun’s magnetic field, its atmosphere, as well as provide space weather forecasters with EUV data every 10 seconds.



“Interviews with the Scientists” Videos: