Solar Physics Division (SPD)

The purpose of the Solar Physics Division (SPD) is the advancement of the study of the Sun and the coordination of such research with other branches of science. The SPD holds annual scientific meetings, awards several different prizes, and supports students in various ways.


Nominations are sought for the 2019 American Astronomical Society Solar Physics Division (AAS/SPD) George Ellery Hale Prize. In considering candidates, the Hale and Harvey Prize Committee is to be guided by the impact of the candidates’ research in solar physics, general astronomy, geophysics, mathematics, and physics. Any living scientist is eligible to receive the award without consideration of race, sex, nationality or  membership in the SPD.  Please see for the detailed eligibility criteria and a list of previous awardees.

Nominations are also sought for the 2019 AAS/SPD early career Karen Harvey Prize. This prize is awarded in recognition of a significant contribution to the study of the Sun early in a person’s professional career. The prize will be awarded to a person who has not reached 36 years of age, or who has not reached ten years of cumulative professional experience since the Ph.D or equivalent degree, at the end of calendar year 2018. This award is open to anyone who meets the age and professional experience requirements, without consideration of race, sex, nationality or  membership in the SPD. Please see for the detailed eligibility criteria and a list of previous awardees.

A letter of nomination for the Hale or Harvey prize, with supporting letters of endorsement (at least two of nomination/support letter writers must be from members of the Society), full curriculum vitae should be submitted to the Hale and Harvey Prize Committee, which will be responsible for the selection.

Deadline for receipt of letters and supporting documents for either (Hale or Harvey) prize nomination is November 16, 2018. Submissions should be sent to Haimin Wang at

Reports from the 2017 Metcalf travel award recipients have been uploaded.

SPD 50 will be a joint meeting with the American Astronomical Association (AAS) in St Louis, Missouri, 9-13 June 2019.

The SPD held its 49th meeting at the Triennial Earth-Sun Summit (TESS), a joint meeting of the Space Physics and Aeronomy Section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Solar Physics Division (SPD) of the American Astronomical Society, 20-24th May, in Leesburg, Virginia.

The 2018 SPD Business Report has been uploaded.




Sarbani Basu, 2018 Hale Prize winner



The 2018 George Ellery Hale Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of solar astronomy is awarded to Sarbani Basu for her many seminal contributions to our understanding of the internal structure and dynamics of the Sun and stars.

Nicholeen Viall, 2018 Karen Harvey Prize winner



"The 2018 Karen Harvey Prize for a significant contribution to the study of the Sun early in a person’s professional career is awarded to Nicholeen Viall for her fundamental contributions to understanding coronal heating and the slow solar wind, and for her valuable service to the science community and the general public."


Submissions for SolarNews should now be submitted via a new form on the AAS Website.
Details can be found on our links page.

The latest edition of SolarNews is available here.