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.
The AAS/SPD will host a virtual graduate student recruitment fair on Friday, 22 October 2021, 1:00–4:00 pm ET (5:00–8:00 pm UTC), to introduce prospective students to US-based graduate programs that offer training in solar physics, followed by a virtual postdoc fair, 4:00–6:00 pm ET (8:00–10:00pm UTC), to introduce current graduate students (and prospective undergraduate students) to postdoctoral employment opportunities.
We are excited to organize this event in which representatives of graduate programs in solar physics can showcase the research and training opportunities available through their programs. Solar physics lies at the core of astrophysical research and intersects with multiple disciplines of physics to uncover the secrets of our nearest star and to understand the causes of space weather. Understanding better the workings of our star has a direct societal impact, as it plays a role in the safety and resilience of astronauts, space assets, and our increasingly technological civilization.
The graduate recruitment fair is aimed at current physics and astronomy undergraduate students in their junior or senior year who are interested in exploring opportunities in solar and space physics. The postdoc fair is tailored to current graduate students who will be graduating in the next 12–24 months. The Solar Physics Division values diversity and inclusion and we strongly encourage students who are women and underrepresented minorities to attend.
- Facilitator: Solar Physics Division, American Astronomical Society.
- Registration: Not needed; this is an open event. RSVP is required: https://forms.gle/2GqkdwM2DWRS9bfTA
- Agenda and schedule are available at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eXn5lNH3-CjtbqBl7WP9ez_HvJO-xkD3O-xjGe0v-JE/edit?usp=sharing (please check before the fair for possible last-minute updates and for information on how to join the event via Zoom).
In addition, we would
like to inform the entire AAS community (and any interested students) that the SPD offers free membership to students.
If your institution has solar and space physics opportunities for grad students
, but is not listed at the above link, please email email@example.com to add your institution to the program.
We thank you in advance for your cooperation in passing this information to your students,
The Solar Physics Division Committee
Nominations for the SPD Hale and Harvey Prizes
It is time for the submission of nominations for the SPD Hale and Harvey prizes. The deadline for submission of nominations is November 15, 2021. Starting from this year, nominations will be submitted through the AAS portal. Please read carefully the following instructions and note the changes of the nomination procedure. Questions regarding nominations should be addressed to Jiong Qiu (firstname.lastname@example.org). Technical issues about the web submissions should be addressed to Neelab Yousafzai (Neelab.Yousafzai@aas.org).
Winner of the SPD Popular Media Awards, 2021
The SPD is pleased to announce the winners of the SPD Popular Media Awards 2021, including the new student category award.
- Journalist: Monica Young: To Touch the Sun: NASA’s Parker Solar Probe is on a record-breaking journey to study our nearest star Sky and Telescope, November 2020. Terri Dube is also recognized for graphical design and layout of the article.
- Scientist: Monica Bobra: Crossing the Edge of Our Solar System Sky & Telescope, September 2020. Nicholle Fuller is also recognized for realization of the visualization.
- Student: Cosima Breu: You Spin Me Right Round: A Magnetic Avalanche in the Solar Corona Astrobites, 2020 March 30.
Sky and Telescope have a nice writeup on the what when into creating the articles by the two Monicas!
Maria Kazachenko, Chair, SPD Metcalf Travel Award Committee reports, "About ten years ago, thanks to a major contribution from the Metcalf family, the SPD established the Thomas Metcalf Travel Award to support travel expenses of younger scientists to meetings relevant to solar physics. It was not expected that the funds would last more than 10-15 years. However, last year the SPD created a committee to explore extending the program. The committee adopted the goal of funding the program in perpetuity. Two large contributions have gotten the fund a good way toward this goal." ... Read more.
The Solar Physics Division (SPD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) is proud to announce the 2021 winners of its two most prestigious annual scientific prizes. Dr. Russell Howard of the United States Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC, is awarded the George Ellery Hale Prize for his seminal work on the discovery, measurement, and understanding of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Dr. Lucia Kleint of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, is awarded the Karen Harvey Prize for her contributions to solar polarimetry, radiative transfer modeling, and leadership in next-generation solar instrumentation.
We have arranged to meet jointly with the AAS in their virtual meeting this June. We have arranged for the usual topical and mission-based SPD sessions to be available in the AAS meeting registration site as it is rolled out in the weeks to come. As at regular SPD meetings, we will further sort abstracts into natural sessions based on content, after they are received.
SPD will be fully supported as in other joint meetings. The schedule already includes our Division prize lectures, an Agency Townhall, and the ever-popular SPD business meeting, in addition to blocked-out intervals for our regular sessions. Please expect more details in subsequent issues of SolarNews as they develop.
The abstract deadline is coming up fast, Tuesday, 16 March. Please visit
to submit your abstract.
*TESS is delayed until 8-12 Aug 2022*
For his seminal contributions to the discovery, measurement, and understanding of Coronal Mass Ejections and their role in Space Weather and for his outstanding leadership in innovative space instrumentation that forms the foundation of much current Heliophysics research.