are particularly valuable in the training of young scientists, thereby functioning as an informal solar observatory system.

The national ground-based solar facilities will be transformed once the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope is completed and becomes operational in 2017. ATST is being built within NSO but has very active participation by HAO and many other university partners. It is likely that the headquarters of NSO will be relocated to enable closer university participation with its scientists and in the training of young researchers. Other solar telescopes operated by NSO in Arizona (McMath-Pierce on Kitt Peak) and in New Mexico (Dunn on Sacramento Peak) are planned for closure to free up resources. ATST operations will require, beyond that amount, an additional $3 million per year for NSO.

Solar observations at radio and millimeter wavelengths continue to be complementary to the optical-infrared programs and the extensive probing at optical and UV wavelengths from spacecraft like the highly successful SOHO, TRACE, STEREO and the recently launched Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Long-wavelength observations elucidate plasma properties in regions of magnetic field reconnection both on the solar disk and off the limb, in the extended corona and its wind streams, and by imaging coronal mass ejections. These observations are being carried out with NRAO facilities such as the VLA and the Green Bank Solar Radio Burst Spectrometer, along with the Owens Valley Solar Array operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Once operational, ALMA will be capable of probing the lower solar atmosphere, including emissions from the most energetic electrons and protons produced in solar flares. With three arrays of steerable antennas and the ability to rapidly sample a broad range of frequencies, the proposed FASR would yield the most direct means of measuring and imaging coronal magnetic fields, the physics of solar flares, and drivers of space weather. FASR would be built by a consortium. The wide field of view afforded by FASR of evolving plasma structures and of associated magnetic fields would be an important complement to the high resolution but localized observations enabled with ATST. FASR was ranked highly by the 2001 survey AANM13 and also by the NRC’s 2003 solar and space physics survey.14

As described above, the bulk of the grant funding for solar scientists within NSF comes from AGS, while the facilities funding is split between AGS and AST. This unusual dual division support arrangement for ground-based solar work


National Research Council, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001.


National Research Council, The Sun to the Earthand Beyond: A Decadal Research Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2003.

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