Friday, June 21, 2019

Happy Summer Solstice and Congratulations to Phil Scherrer!

Today at 1554 UTC (11:54 a.m. ET) the Sun reached its most northerly point in the year. As a result, we have the most daylight hours in the northern hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere has the most dark hours. At the solstice the Sun appears to stall and turn around, heading towards the south and northern winter. It's the official beginning of summer and all because the Earth's rotation axis is tilted 23° from the plane of its orbit. Here's an AIA 193 Å to celebrate.

But today is also a day to congratulate Phil Scherrer of Stanford University who is also the HMI PI and the person who watches over the JSOC with the HMI and AIA data. Dr. Scherrer was awarded the Solar Physics Division's Hale Prize last week at the 234th Meeting of the AAS. The Hale Prize is awarded annually to a scientist for outstanding contributions to the field of solar astronomy.

Dr. Scherrer has certainly made contributions to solar physics. He has measured and studied the Sun's magnetic field for 50 years. As important, he has encouraged others to use his data as well. He has also worked in helioseismology, both measuring the velocities of the Sun's surface and the theory of ow those measurements tell us something about the Sun. It is hard to know what our field would look like if he hadn't been around.

Congratulations Phil!