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.


Important changes to SolarSoft

The SolarSoft library is distributed to the community through an anonymous FTP site at NASA/GSFC. Effective August 1st, NASA will be decommissioning unencrypted/anonymous FTP login, and so current scripts for installing and updating SolarSoft libraries (and databases) from the FTP server at GSFC will cease to function.

In preparation for this decommissioning, we are currently modifying the scripts to connect to a new server at These modifications are not yet complete, but are expected to be working soon. We will keep the community informed of any progress.

Note that individual instrument directories are already accessible through, for example,

and the directory structure is the same as for the ftp site.

If you have any questions or problems, a SolarSoft helpdesk has been set up at:
Dominic Zarro, Bill Thompson, Peter Young

The proposed changes to SPD Bylaws vote passed overwhelmingly, with 45% of members voting. The new bylaws are available from the Business and Bylaws page along with updated information about SPD prizes and awards.

The notes from the 2019 St Louis business meeting have also been uploaded. They too are accessible from the Business and Bylaws page.

Reports from the 2019 Metcalf travel award recipients have been uploaded.

SPD held its 50th meeting joint with the American Astronomical Association (AAS) in St Louis, Missouri, 9-13 June 2019.

The 2019 SPD Business Report has been uploaded in both WORD or PDF.




Philip Scherrer, 2019 Hale Prize winner



The 2019 George Ellery Hale Prize for outstanding contributions to the field of solar astronomy is awarded to Philip H. Scherrer (Stanford University) for his pioneering work in helioseismology and space weather, his development of innovative instrumentation to study magnetic fields and flows on the solar surface and interior, his leadership in bringing these instruments to fruition, and his dedication to serving a broad community with excellent data.

Anthony Yeates, 2019 Karen Harvey Prize winner



The 2019 Karen Harvey Prize for a significant contribution to the study of the Sun early in a person's professional career is awarded to Anthony Yeates (Durham University), for his outstanding contributions to the development of magnetic field evolution models, which have advanced our understanding of how the Sun’s magnetic fields originate, evolve, and govern the dynamics of the solar corona.


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

The latest edition of SolarNews is available here.