Student poster at COS Undergraduate Research Colloquium

The focus of our project was an investigation into fluctuations and oscillations in the brightness of images of the solar corona, the outermost layer of the Sun’s atmosphere. Previous research has shown that power spectra computed from time series of light intensity values from the solar corona can be modelled by a general background power law, representing a combination of …

High-resolution look at Mercury’s transit across the sun

From a collaboration with Professor Zhang and Big Bear Solar Observatory


Student Paper: Nonparametric causal inference for bivariate time serie

James M. McCracken and Robert S. Weigel

Phys. Rev. E 93, 022207 – Published 8 February 2016

We introduce new quantities for exploratory causal inference between bivariate time series. The quantities, called penchants and leanings, are computationally straightforward to apply, follow directly from assumptions of probabilistic causality, do not depend on any assumed models for the time series generating process, and do …

Student Article: History’s Greatest Comet Finder

By Karl Battams (a scientist at NRL who is doing a PhD with a concentration in Space Weather at GMU)

I have a curious claim to fame. I have almost certainly seen more individual images of comets than any person in history. A good ballpark estimate would be around 50,000 unique images of comets, but that may be slightly on the …

Student Paper: Signatures of tidally distorted solid exoplanets

The observational effects and signatures of tidally distorted solid exoplanets

Prabal Saxena,
Peter Panka and
Michael Summers


Our work examines the detectability of tidally distorted solid exoplanets in synchronous rotation. Previous work has shown that tidally distorted shapes of close-in gas giants can give rise to radius underestimates and subsequently density overestimates for …

Student Paper: Convergent cross-mapping and pairwise asymmetric inference

James M. McCracken and Robert S. Weigel

Convergent cross-mapping (CCM) is a technique for computing specific kinds of correlations between sets of times series. It was introduced by Sugihara et al. [Science 338, 496 (2012).] and is reported to be “a necessary condition for causation” capable of distinguishing causality from standard correlation. We show that the relationships between CCM correlations …

Student Paper: Removal of pseudo-convergence in coplanar and near-coplanar Riemann problems of ideal magnetohydrodynamics solved using finite volume schemes

A.D. Kercher and R.S. Weigel

Numerical schemes for ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) that are based on the standard finite volume method (FVM) exhibit pseudo-convergence in which irregular structures no longer exist only after heavy grid refinement. We describe a method for obtaining solutions for coplanar and near-coplanar cases that consist of only regular structures, independent of grid refinement. The method, referred to …

New Space Weather Operations Centre to use Enlil

In response to the Government adding solar storms to the National Risk Register (NRR) of Civil Emergencies in 2011, the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre (MOSWOC) was created to provide a UK operational space weather prediction centre to help protect the country from the serious threats posed by space weather events.

CMEs are often associated with flares and are eruptions …

Stream Processing for Solar Physics Paper

Karl Battams:

Modern advances in space technology have enabled the capture and recording of unprecedented volumes of data. In the field of solar physics this is most readily apparent with the advent of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), which returns in excess of 1 terabyte of data daily. While we now have sufficient capability to capture, transmit and store this …

Keith Cole Obit

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