Space Weather Workshop Brings International Scientists to Mason

Posted: March 14, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Robin Herron

Some 80 scientists from universities and research centers around the world are converging at George Mason’s Fairfax Campus today to attend a three-day workshop on geomagnetic storms. The scientists, who hail from the “Sun-Earth connection” disciplines, are coming not just to listen to lectures but to roll up their sleeves and analyze data on site.

The scientists are interested in space weather, particularly solar activity. “It is a rather unique meeting,” says Jie Zhang, assistant research scientist in the School of Computational Sciences (SCS), who is one of the workshop organizers. “A tremendous amount of data from a dozen or so satellites regarding the Sun-Earth connection system was provided by participants well before the workshop. This kind of systematic analysis of data by expertise from all areas is very important in addressing the complicated issues regarding space weather.”

After sitting in on several tutorial sessions this morning, participants in the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshop (CDAW) will spend the remainder of the meeting in one of four working groups that will address drivers of geomagnetic storms, geomagnetic storm mechanisms, ionospheric storms, and prediction of geomagnetic storms. Data from the CDAW and the results produced will be made available online to the broader scientific and space weather community for continued research after the workshop.

In addition to Zhang, other SCS participants in the workshop are John Emmert, research assistant professor; Robert Meier, research professor, space sciences; and students Oscar Olmedo and Poomvises Watanachak. Kenneth Dere, research professor; and Yang Liu, assistant research scientist, also helped organize the workshop.

The gathering is sponsored by SCS and its Space Weather Program, and NASA’s Living With a Star Program. The group meets in Enterprise Hall through Wednesday.

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