Heliophysics Science Division (670) Local News Archive

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2023 Poster Party Blowout winners announced

We had over 175 posters from all four science divisions, as well as a few select entries from the Engineering and Technology Directorate. As one of the few yearly events that brings together the whole Sciences and Exploration Directorate, the large turnout (including GSFC and HQ VIPs) and collaborative communication made the event a great success! While there were so many fantastic contributions, awards were given for outstanding posters in 5 categories:
  • Best Poster Title:
    Francesco Civilini (690.1) - How to Train your Lander: Automatic moonquake detection using machine learning
  • Best Graphic Design:
    Douglas Rowland (675) - The Geospace Dynamics Constellation mission: NASA's next Living With a Star mission to explore the upper atmosphere
  • Best Science as Food:
    Maryam Rahmani (665) - Cosmic Microwave Background/Line Intensity Mapping cake and jell-o
  • Best Science Story:
    Shipra Sinha (670) - The Mystery of Magnetospheric Substorms
  • Piers Sellers Interdisciplinary Award:
    Erin Delaria (614) - The NASA Carbon Airborne Flux Experiment (CARAFE): Observations of Greenhouse Gas Exchange in the Florida Everglades
Collage of images from the Poster Blowout

Doug Rowland (675) gave the 2022 Birkeland Lecture to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

photo of Dr. RowlandDoug Rowland (675) gave the 2022 Birkeland Lecture to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. His talk was about the Grand Challenge Initiative-Cusp and the results of the VISIONS-2 (VISualizing Ion Outflow via Neutral Atom Sensing-2) sounding rocket mission. The talk was titled "Fountains in the sky: Following Earth's leaky atmosphere into space

Nat Gopalswamy received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Elavenil Science Association and the Indian Science and Technology Association

photo of Dr. GopalswamyNat Gopalswamy (671) received the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Elavenil Science Association and the Indian Science and Technology Association (ESA/ISTA) on September 3, 2022, during the award ceremony held at the Anna University, Chennai, India. The ESA/ISTA Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes and honors individuals who have contributed for the progress of the society through dedicated service for the Science and Technology.

Robert Pfaff (675) was named the 2022 AGU Marcel Nicolet lecturer

photo of Dr. PfaffRobert Pfaff (675) was named the 2022 AGU Marcel Nicolet lecturer, which is a significant honor and recognition of Rob's work in electric field instrumentation and electrodynamics research in the ionosphere. Rob will give the Nicolet lecture at this year's Fall AGU Meeting in Chicago the week of December 12.

Judith Karpen Named AAS 2022 Fellow

Photo of Judith Karpen Judith Karpen has been named a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society. She was honored for her sustained contributions to understanding the formation and dynamics of the solar corona and wind.

Karpen is a research astrophysicist and Chief of the Space Weather Laboratory in the Heliophysics Division. She received her Bachelors of Science in Physics (Honors) from the University of Michigan in 1973 and her PhD in Astronomy from University of Maryland in 1980, followed by a postdoctoral position with the Solar Physics Branch, Space Science Division, NRL. From October 1982 until September 1984, she was a staff scientist with Berkeley Research Associates, working at the Laboratory for Computational Physics, NRL. From October 1984 to July 2008 she was a research physicist in the Solar-Terrestrial Relationships Branch of the Space Science Division of the Naval Research Laboratory. She joined the Space Weather Laboratory in July 2008.

Her primary research interests include analytical and numerical modeling of dynamic solar and heliospheric phenomena, and applications of plasma physics and magnetohydrodynamics to solar and heliospheric activity. Her current research is focused on solar prominences, coronal mass ejections/eruptive flares, and magnetic reconnection.

Heliophysics Remembers Dr. Richard Schwartz

Photo of Richard Schwartz Richard Schwartz died unexpectedly at his home on Saturday. Richard graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and came to Goddard in the mid-80s. He joined Ken Frost’s X-ray group working on the solar flare data from the Hard X-ray Burst Spectrometer (HXRBS) on the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM). Since then he has been involved in the analysis of data from almost every space mission that has made high energy solar flare observations. His biggest role has been the scientist responsible for the Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) data analysis software. He was playing a similar role for the Spectrometer/Telescope for Imaging X-rays (STIX) on the Solar Orbiter. His main skill was the ability to combine scientific understanding with efficient computational techniques. His problem solving capabilities, prodigious memory, insightful but often acerbic wit, and imposing presence will be sorely missed by his many friends at Goddard and around the world in the international high-energy solar physics community.
Helainy Pena

AGU Honor Awards

Congratulations to two of SED's scientists, who were awarded AGU Honor Awards. The AGU states, “These individuals embody our shared vision of a thriving, sustainable, and equitable future for all powered by discovery, innovation, and action.”

Dr. Claire L. Parkinson (Code 610) is awarded the Roger Revelle medal. The Roger Revelle Medal is given annually to one AGU honoree in recognition of outstanding contributions in atmospheric sciences, atmosphere-ocean coupling, atmosphere-land coupling, biogeochemical cycles, climate or related aspects of the Earth system.

Dr. Barbara L. Giles (Code 670) is awarded the Edward A. Flinn III Award. The Edward A. Flinn III Award is given annually to mid-career or senior scientists, either individually or in a small group, who personifies AGU’s motto ‘unselfish cooperation in research’ through their facilitating, coordinating, and implementing activities. This award is for the unsung heroes who provide the ideas, motivation, and labors of love that build and maintain the infrastructure without which our science could not flourish.

Heliophysicist Eftyhia Zesta - IRAD Innovator of the Year (2020)

photo of E. Zesta Goddard’s Office of the Chief Technologist has named heliophysicist Eftyhia Zesta as this year’s FY20 Internal Research and Development (IRAD) Innovator of the Year, an honor the office bestows annually on individuals who demonstrate the best in innovation. An expert in measuring magnetic fields, Zesta pioneered the development of smaller, cheaper, and less power-hungry magnetometers. These instruments are ideal for small and mid-sized missions and in areas where magnetic background noise can render more-specialized sensors impractical. Read the article in the Cutting Edge magazine, starting on page 3.

Two SED Scientists Honored as APS Fellows

Li-Jen Chen was nominated by the APS Division of Plasma Physics for pioneering observational and theoretical contributions to the understanding of collisionless plasma dynamics; especially collisionless magnetic reconnection.

Rita M. Sambruna was selected by the APS Division of Astrophysics for exceptional contributions to the fundamental understanding of relativistic jets from supermassive black holes, and for leadership in, and service to, the field of astrophysics.
Li Jen ChenRita Sambruna

Holly Gilbert on "Science in Seconds" with Thomas Zurbuchen

video still
NASA Associate Administrator, Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, interviews our own Heliophysics Director, Dr. Holly Gilbert, on the "Science in Seconds" feature about Solar Orbiter.

BITSE Balloon Launched

BITSE balloon inflationCongratulations to the BITSE team. The BITSE ballooon successfully launched on September 18.

Poster Blowout 2019 is in the books!

photo of people at the poster party

Photos from this year's Poster Blowout are available now. Congratulations to everyone, especially this year's winners!

Alex Young to receive 2018 AGU Athelstan Spilhaus Award

photo of Alex speaking The Associate Director of Science in the Heliophysics Division, Alex Young, has been selected to receive the 2018 AGU Athelstan Spilhaus Award! This award is given in recognition for “enhancement of the public engagement with Earth and space sciences, through devoting portions of their career conveying to the general public the excitement, significance, and beauty of the Earth and space sciences.”

Poster Blowout 2018

Note from the Director:
I would like to thank the Director’s Science Committee for putting on an amazingly successful event where scientists and engineers across Goddard shared their work and made new contacts. The interdisciplinary interactions were especially exciting and crossed all four science disciplines.

Click the title of this news item or the image below for more images from the poster party. scientists standing in front of a poster

Colin Komar wins AGU Basu award

Goddard magnetospheric scientist Colin Komar was recently awarded the American Geophysical Union Basu United States Early Career Award for Research Excellence in Sun-Earth Systems Science. The AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy Section announced the award, recognizing Komar’s outstanding research in the sun-Earth connection.

Science Jamboree event photos

The 2016 Science Jamboree was a great success! A collection of 50 photos from the event are available now.

Nikolaos Paschalidis wins IRAD Innovator of the Year award

Nick Paschalidis has been selected FY15 IRAD Innovator of the Year! Nick has a long history of not only developing innovative technologies, but also flying them on instruments vital to the field of heliophysics, all while serving as an active research scientist and mentor to the next generation of scientists. One example of Nick's energy and insight might suffice: Nick created five multi-purpose science enabling microchips that have provided time-of-flight, energy, position, and other measurements to spacecraft that include New Horizons, MESSENGER, IBEX, June, and MMS, among others. Nick will receive this award during the FY15 IRAD poster session Thursday, December 3rd in the building 8 auditorium.

Heliophysicist Dr. Roger J. Thomas passes away

Dr. Roger J. Thomas was a scientist of immense integrity, focus, and commitment. In over 40 years at Goddard, he provided the optical design or advised on essentially every solar extreme ultraviolet spectrograph flown by NASA or ESA and was widely recognized for his contributions to their record of success. He was a linchpin of the SERTS and EUNIS sounding rocket investigations over a span of 30 years and 13 flights. He was also over the years a Principal Investigator, Co-Investigator, Project Scientist for the renowned OSO satellites, Study Scientist, Deputy Chief of NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Physics Office, and author or co-author of over 200 scientific publications. He will be deeply missed by his many friends and colleagues at Goddard and in the worldwide scientific community.

Center Director Announces New Goddard Senior Fellows

Congratulations to Dr Spiro Antiochos, Code 670, on his selection to the newest class of Goddard Senior Fellows. The Goddard Senior Fellows Program recognizes the center’s most distinguished employees for their accomplishments and contributions to NASA programs. Appointed by the Center Director, Senior Fellows serve for five years, with possible renewal for additional terms at the discretion of the Center Director so long as they remain civil service employees.

Dieter Bilitza awarded International Kristian Birkeland medal

Dieter Bilitza was awarded the 2013 International Kristian Birkeland medal for outstanding scientific results related to Space Weather and Space Climate. The Birkeland medal is awarded by the Norwegian academy of science in conjunction with the European Space Weather Week (ESSW). The medal will be presented during this year's ESSW this week in Antwerp, Belgium.

GSFC Intern is semi-finalist in Siemens Competition

James Sullivan, a 2013 summer intern from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, VA), has been selected as a Semifinalist in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. Jamie¹s research was on "Using Multi-Spacecraft Observations to Determine AKR Emission Cone Structure." His mentors were Shing Fung (673) and Leonard Garcia (Wyle/605/673).

HSD Awardees

The Heliophysics Science Division is pleased to report the following HSD recipients of 2012 NASA Honor Awards:
  • Spiro Antiochos (674): Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal
    James A. Klimchuk (671): Outstanding Leadership Medal
    Douglas E. Rowland (674): Early Career Achievement Medal
    SDO Science Investigation Team: NASA Group Achievement Award
  • News Coverage of Solar Activity

    Sun fires off Fourth of July solar flares (SDO) in Space.com and CBSNews.com
    Sun Erupts with Strongest Summer Solar Flare Yet (SDO, Alex Young/670) in Space.com and many other publications

    Sun-Earth Day 2012 a Huge Success

    Nasa’s Sun-Earth Day celebration for 2012 was held June 5. Focus for the event was provided by the transit of Venus, visible across the most of the United States and much of the world on that day. Prominent reporting by various news media helped generate broad public interest, and NASA hosted events reached an enormous number of people

    CCMC Student Contest Awards

    The Community Coordinated Modeling Center announced the results of its first Student Research Contest. Emily Hyatt, an undergraduate student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, won first prize in the Magnetosphere category. Corinna Gressl, a Masters student at the University of Graz in Austria received First Prize in the Heliosphere category. The contest was open to undergraduate and graduate students using CCMC tools and services in a research project. The winners received travel support to attend and present their results at the 2012 GEM and SHINE workshops.

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