The Electronic Newsletter of the
Solar Physics Division
American Astronomical Society
Volume 2015 Number 12
Aimee Norton, editor
15 June 2015

Understanding Space Weather to shield society: A global roadmap for 2015 – 2025 commissioned by COSPAR and ILWS
Jean-Claude Vial
05 Jun 2015

I draw the attention of solar physicists to a paper being published in Advances in Space Research entitled “Understanding Space Weather to shield society : A global roadmap for 2015 – 2025 commissioned by COSPAR and ILWS”.

This roadmap is the result of the work of a group of experts set up by COSPAR and led by K. Schrijver and K. Kauristie. You can find the 62-page paper at

Jean-Claude Vial
IAU representative at COSPAR

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Release of a NASA Draft Cooperative Agreement Notice for Heliophysics Data Environment Access and Utility Enhancements
Aaron Roberts
05 Jun 2015

On 19 May 2015, the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) released a Draft Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for community review and comment.  This note is a reminder that comments and questions about the draft will be due by June 16 (see below).  The CAN will solicit proposals for Heliophysics Data Environment Access and Utility Enhancements (HPDAUE) to maintain and improve the Heliophysics Data Environment.  The issuance of the Final CAN, which will take precedence over this Draft, is dependent on programmatic factors and funding availability. The text can be found on NSPIRES by searching on NNH15ZDA009J in Solicitations>Open.
The goal of this CAN is to assure that Heliophysics (HP) data are all easily found, understood, and accessed via standardized metadata and uniform protocols, and to provide opportunities to build on the Core Heliophysics Data Environment Enhancement activities to make a richer variety of analysis methods available to the broad research community for datasets of all sizes. The teams funded under this call will be expected to work directly and collaboratively with Mission, Resident, and Final Archives to enable more efficient and deeper use of HP data for scientific investigations.
All comments and questions should be directed to the HP Data Environment Program Scientist, Jeffrey Hayes, at, by June 16, 2015 with “HPDAUE” in the subject line. The identity of those submitting comments will be held in confidence. Answers to questions about this Draft CAN will be made available on the NSPIRES website ( and via the HPDE site (

Due date for comments on Draft CAN NNH15ZDA009J June 16, 2015
Release of Final CAN (target): July 2015
Step-1 Proposals Due: No less than 30 days after Final CAN release
Step-2 Proposals Due: 90 days after Final CAN release

D. Aaron Roberts (NASA GSFC) and Jeffrey Hayes (NASA HQ)

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Announcing RHESSI Science Nugget No. 254
Hugh Hudson
08 Jun 2015

“High Dispersion Spectroscopy of Solar-type Superflare Stars” by Yuta Notsu: Researching the properties of the host stars of the “superflares”.


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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Solicitation of Proposals for Topical Issues of Solar Physics
John Leibacher
11 Jun 2015

The journal Solar Physics publishes one or two Topical Issues (TIs) per year dedicated to a focused topic, frequently with a small number of survey articles introducing regular unsolicited articles, all of which benefit from appearing together.  Not infrequently, these stem from a monothematic conference or conferences, but all articles submitted for consideration for a TI are handled and refereed in the same way as regular research articles, and submissions not associated with the conference are solicited.  Recent TIs include New eyes looking at solar activity: Challenges for theory and simulations (January 2015), and Coronal Magnetometry (December 2013)

To aid in our planning, we solicit statements of interest from potential Guest Editors of Topical Issues by 01 July 2015.

John Leibacher (, Takashi Sakurai, Lidia van Driel-Gesztelyi

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Warning of major changes in the Sunspot Number reference series (WDC - SILSO)
Frederic Clette
14 Jun 2015

Over the past 4 years a community effort has been carried out to revise entirely the historical Sunspot Number series. A good overview of the analyses and identified corrections is provided in the recent review paper:
Clette, F., Svalgaard, L., Vaquero, J.M.,  Cliver, E. W.,“Revisiting the Sunspot Number. A 400-Year Perspective on the Solar Cycle”, Space Science Reviews, Volume 186, Issue 1-4, pp. 35-103.

Now that the new data series has been finalized, we are about to replace the original version of our sunspot data by an entirely new data set on July 1st. On this occasion, we decided to simultaneously introduce changes in several conventions in the data themselves and also in the distributed data files.

The most prominent change in the Sunspot Number will be the choice of a new reference observer, A.Wolfer (pilot observer from 1876 to 1928) instead of R. Wolf himself. This means dropping the conventional 0.6 Zürich scale factor, thus raising the scale of the entire Sunspot Number time series to the level of modern sunspot counts. This major scale change may thus strongly affect some user applications. Be prepared!

Regarding data files, various files will be replaced by new ones, with new more homogeneous names and new internal column formats. The included information will sometimes change: combining data (e.g. hemispheric numbers together with total numbers), separating data (monthly smoothed numbers in a separate file) or adding new values that were not provided previously (standard errors).

All those changes will be explained in the information accompanying our data, on the web site of the World Data Center SILSO. While the primary files will all be replaced in early July, some other changes will still occur in the next two or three months. During this transitory phase, we thus invite you to visit the SILSO Web site to keep track of the changes, as we are preparing this major transition now scheduled for July 1st, 2015.

So, in coming weeks, please visit our SILSO Web site:

For specific technical questions, in particular, if you need to adapt automated data import software used for operational purposes, please contact us by e-mail at

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In Memoriam: Roger Jerry Thomas
Holly Gilbert
14 Jun 2015

It is with great sadness that we inform you that our friend and colleague Dr. Roger J. Thomas passed away on May 19, 2015. He is survived by his wife Jan, daughter Elaine, and two grandchildren.

Roger was a scientist of immense integrity, focus, and commitment. Born in Detroit, Michigan on July 3, 1942, he graduated from Cass Technical High School and attended the University of Michigan, receiving a B.S. in Physics in 1964, an M.S. in astronomy in 1966, and a Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1970. He came to NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) as a National Research Council Resident Research Associate in 1970 and soon joined the Solar Physics Branch as a civil servant scientist. For his decades of distinguished service, he was awarded the prestigious NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2009. He received many other NASA and external awards for his key contributions to space missions and sounding rocket investigations.

Dr. Thomas was an internationally recognized expert on the design and scientific use of imaging extreme ultraviolet spectrographs. He provided the optical design or advised on numerous solar EUV spectrographs flown by NASA or ESA and was widely recognized for his vital role in their record of success. He created optical designs for the CDS/NIS instrument on SOHO and the EIS instrument on Hinode, as well as for many sounding rocket instruments, including MOSES, SUMI, RAISE, VERIS, and UVSC. Above all, Roger was a linchpin of the GSFC SERTS and EUNIS sounding rocket investigations over a span of 30 years and 13 flights.

Roger Thomas made lasting contributions to the technology of solar EUV optics. In 1986, he developed the first computer-controlled system for fabricating grazing incidence EUV telescopes to feed high-resolution spectrographs. This system found application in four successful sounding rockets and is incorporated in the EUV light source used to provide absolute radiometric calibration for instruments on SOHO and Hinode. In 1992, he conceived the idea of using a toroidal grating system to produce EUV spectral images with only a single reflection, and he developed new software to ray-trace and optimize such designs. His concepts were proven on the SERTS sounding rocket and culminated in the SOHO/CDS and Hinode/EIS instruments. Roger led the first effort to apply multilayer interference coatings onto gratings of high groove density; at the time, a noted specialist in multilayer coatings assured him his idea would never work. The result was a new generation of EUV spectrographs with unprecedented efficiency. In recent years, he led the way in introducing toroidal variable line space gratings as an essential design feature of the current generation of solar EUV spectrographs.

Dr. Thomas served as the Study Scientist for the Solar Cycle and Dynamics project (1978–1981), the Deputy Chief of NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Physics Office (1983–1984), Deputy Project Scientist for the Orbiting Solar Laboratory (1990–1992), and Project Scientist for the Orbiting Solar Observatory missions from 1976–1983.

Dr. Thomas conducted a wide range of pioneering studies of spatially imaged, high-resolution EUV spectra of coronal structures. Among his interests were the determination of elemental abundances and their possible variations, investigations of coronal heating mechanisms, and quantitative characterizations of physical plasma conditions in different solar features. Analyzing spectroscopic data from the Orbiting Solar Observatories, he co-discovered the “precursor phase” that often provides a vital early warning of a building solar flare. The method he devised in the 1980’s for deriving the effective temperature and differential emission measure of a solar plasma from broad-band sensor measurements, developed originally for GOES X-ray measurements, was also adapted to imaging instruments on the Yohkoh, SOHO, TRACE, and STEREO missions. He compiled one of the first extensive catalogs of the solar EUV spectrum, which was for years a touchstone in the field and stimulated dozens of papers on the underlying atomic physics. He led the effort to obtain an absolute radiometric calibration for the EUNIS sounding rocket experiment, a key aspect of its scientific value.  He authored or coauthored more than 80 scientific publications in refereed journals, and at least 180 other scientific or technical papers. He retired in January 2010 after nearly 40 years of federal civil service.

Beyond his technical excellence, a major reason that Roger Thomas was so often sought as a Co-Investigator on satellite and sounding rocket instruments was his unselfish willingness to conceive and share his most advanced designs with any group that had the potential to do important science by incorporating them. That was just one aspect of the core integrity and idealism that made him an esteemed colleague and friend.

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Employment Opportunities

Ph.D. student in Solar Physics at INAF-Turin Astrophysical Observatory, Italy
Alessandro Bemporad
10 Jun 2015

Available PhD position on solar physics at INAF-Turin Astrophysical Observatory, Italy. Deadline for application:  2 July 2015.

Research project title: “Interplanetary shocks driven by Coronal Mass Ejections: a study based on data acquired by space-based instrumentations”

Short project description: The study of Interplanetary Shocks associated with major solar eruptions is a very important topic, not only from the theoretical point of view (MHD shocks occur ahead of planetary magnetospheres, ahead of the Heliosphere and Astrospheres, as well as in supernova remnants, etc…), but also because of their potential impacts on human technologies. The Solar Physics Group in Turin recently developed new techniques for the determination of pre- and post-shock plasma physical parameters based on the combined analysis of spectroscopic (UV) and coronagraphic (WL) remote sensing observations. These techniques are also a very promising tool for the analysis of future data that will be provided by the METIS instrument (under development in Turin Observatory) on-board the forthcoming ESA Solar Orbiter mission, the first coronagraph that will observe the corona in WL and at the same time in UV (H I Lyman-α λ 1216Å). The research that will be carried out during the Ph.D. will extend previous results obtained on coronal shock waves to derive unique information on their evolution from early phases up to the interplanetary space and to identify possible acceleration sites of SEPs. In particular, the student will make use also of SDO EUV images and STEREO data acquired by the Heliospheric Imagers and compare the results with SEP fluxes measured in space during selected events.

The research will be entirely carried out at the INAF-Turin Astrophysical Observatory, Italy. Moreover, the student will be required to follow specific academic courses choosen from Graduate School courses at Physics Department, as well as Summer Schools, Workshop and Seminars.

Candidates are required to have a Master’s degree in Physics or an equivalent degree. A specialization in astrophysics would help but is not strictly required. Previous experience with data analysis and programming in IDL/MATLAB is a plus. Good communication skills in written and spoken English are necessary.

Interested applicants must follow the instruction provided at Application forms have to be submitted electronically before 2 July 2015, 12:00. For any question please contact the Ph.D Program Office ( or Dr. Alessandro Bemporad (

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ESA Research Fellowship in Space Science
Oliver Jennrich
10 Jun 2015

The European Space Agency awards several postdoctoral fellowships each year.

The aim of these fellowships is to provide young scientists, holding a PhD or the equivalent degree, with the means of performing space science research in fields related to the ESA Science and Robotic Exploration Programmes. Areas of research include planetary science, astronomy and astrophysics, solar and solar-terrestrial science, plasma physics and fundamental physics. The fellowships have a duration of two years and are tenable at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, Netherlands, or at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Villafranca del Castillo, near Madrid, Spain.

Applications are now solicited for fellowships in space science to begin in the fall of 2016. Preference will be given to applications submitted by candidates within five years of receiving their PhD. Candidates not holding a PhD yet are encouraged to apply, but they must provide evidence of receiving their degree before starting the fellowship.

ESA fellows are enrolled in ESA’s Social Security Scheme, which covers medical expenses, invalidity and death benefits. A monthly deduction covers these short-term and long-term risks.

The deadline for applications is 1 October 2015.

More information on the ESA Research Fellowship programme in Space Science, on the conditions and eligibility, as well as the application form can retrieved from

Questions on the scientific aspects of the ESA Fellowship in Space Science not answered in the above pages can be sent by e-mail to the fellowship coordinators, Dr.Oliver Jennrich or Dr.Bruno Altieri at the address

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Solar Physicist, NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI and the University of Colorado
Jonathan Darnel
12 Jun 2015

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has an immediate opening for a Research Associate supporting NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) in Boulder, Colorado.  The Solar Physicist is NCEI’s senior scientific authority responsible for scientific data stewardship of solar environmental datasets and derived products from NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) and from other related sources.  The Solar Physicist is a key member of the NCEI Space Weather Team.  The immediate focus for the Solar Physicist is preparing for the GOES-R launch and the post-launch testing of the GOES Solar UltraViolet Imager (SUVI).  The Solar Physicist is expected to conduct supporting research and is encouraged to seek external funding in order to pursue that research.

Applicants are expected to possess a PhD or equivalent demonstrated experience in physics or a similar scientific discipline.  Applicants for this position must possess excellent scientific skills and a demonstrated capacity for team leadership.  Applicants should also possess strong attention to detail, excellent communication skills and the ability to translate scientific requirements and findings into traceable/actionable tasks. U.S. citizenship or permanent residence status is required.

Further job details may be found at:

Informal inquiries may be made to and

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Meeting Announcements

ISEST/MiniMax 2015 Workshop México City, México, October 26 – 30, 2015.
Alejandro Lara
02 Jun 2015
First Announcement

International Study of Earth-Affecting Solar Transients (ISEST)/MiniMax in México City, México, October 26 – 30, 2015.

The International Study of Earth-Affecting Solar Transients (ISEST)/MiniMax Workshop is aimed at bringing together scientists from different countries to interact and establish collaboration links that can effectively address the physical mechanisms of the origin, propagation, and Earth impact of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and other transient events.   The ultimate goal is to develop the capability to predict the arrival of solar transients at Earth and their potential Space Weather consequences. ISEST/MiniMax is one of the four projects of SCOSTEP’s VarSITI program (2014 – 2018).

The workshop coordinates international activity in observation, theory and modeling, and involves scientists from both developed and developing countries. The workshop also provides an online platform for research and educational opportunities for students. The workshop will have sessions relevant to the seven ISEST/MiniMax working groups: (1) data, (2) theory, (3) simulation, (4) event campaign, (5) Bs challenge, (6) Solar Energetic Particles, and (7) MiniMax campaign.

If you are interested in attending this workshop in Mexico City, please register at by June 15, 2015. You are also welcome to participate online through A limited financial support is available to graduate students and young researchers. This support comprises only the local hotel cost and the registration fee. Please send an email along with your CV and tentative abstract to Alejandro Lara ( before Jun 15, 2015 to apply for this financial support.

SOC: Jie Zhang (Co-Chair, USA), Nat Gopalswamy (Co-Chair, USA), Manuela Temmer (Co-Chair, Austria), Ayumi Asai (Japan), Mario Bisi (UK), Kyungsuk Cho (South Korea), Peter Gallagher (Ireland), Manolis Georgoulis (Greece), Alejandro Lara (Mexico), Noé Lugaz (USA), Alexis Rouillard (France), Nandita Srivastava (India), Bojan Vršnak (Croatia), Yu-Ming Wang (China), David Webb (USA) and Yuri Yermolaev (Russia)

LOC: Alejandro Lara (Chair), Xochitl Blanco-Cano, Rogelio Caballero, Olivia Enríquez, Alberto Flandes, Primož Kajdič and Hector Pérez de Tejada

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Save the date: the workshop "IRIS-6: the chromosphere" will be held June 20 to June 23, 2016 in Stockholm
Jorrit Leenaarts
05 Jun 2015

The sixth IRIS workshop titled “IRIS-6: the chromosphere” will be held from Monday June 20 to Thursday June 23, 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.

The workshop will focus on all aspects of the physics of the solar chromosphere and its connections to the photosphere and corona. The scope will be wider than IRIS alone, and researchers that do not work with IRIS data are explicitly invited to attend and present their work.

More information will follow towards the end of this year.

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Shift of deadlines: Coimbra Solar Physics Meeting „Ground-based Solar Observations in the Space Instrumentation Era“, 5 - 9 October 2015, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Ivan Dorotovic
14 Jun 2015

We would like to inform you that the deadline for abstract submission has been shifted to 20 June 2015.  Late abstract submissions after this deadline will be considered only for poster presentation;

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2015 CESRA summer school
Eduard Kontar
15 Jun 2015

Solar Radio Summer School 2015

When: 24-28th August 2015.
Where: Glasgow University, Scotland, UK

The application deadline is June 20, 2015:

The school is open to solar radio physicists including PhD students and early career researchers.  The school will cover the essential elements of theory, modelling and data analysis and will feature lectures and tutorials.  Students will have the opportunity to meet and discuss research topics with their peers together in an informal atmosphere.

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Editor's Note

2015 SolarNews Instructions
Aimee Norton
01 May 2015

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

The SPD Web site can be found at The HTML version of SolarNews can be found at or It contains in-line hyperlinks to all the Web sites and e-mail addresses mentioned in this issue. Archived back issues can be retrieved at

SolarNews submissions can be in plain text or HTML markup. Submissions should be made via the submission webform at

Please try to keep meeting and workshop announcements to no more than one page (fewer than 60 lines of typed text with 72 characters per line), with a Web address for further information.

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