WSO Photograph The Wilcox Solar Observatory


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WSO Data: Mean Field Magnetograms Synoptic Charts Coronal Model Tables Other

The Wilcox Solar Observatory (WSO) began collecting daily observations of the Sun's global (or mean) magnetic field in May 1975, with the goal of understanding changes in the Sun and how those changes affect the Earth. That science is now called space weather. Since May 1976 daily low-resolution maps of the Sun's magnetic field have been made at WSO, along with observations of solar surface motions. The observatory is located in the foothills just west of the Stanford University campus.

Current research topics include space weather, the large-scale magnetic field, and the solar cycle. The observatory and staff are also associated with the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) project on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). HMI provides real-time high-resolution solar magnetic field observations. The Solar Observatories Group previously operated the Solar Oscillations Investigation that uses the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) instrument on the SOHO spacecraft to observe the inside of the Sun.

Information is available concerning Solar Observatories Group, Astronomy at Stanford, and our Stanford laboratories: HEPL and KIPAC.

Stanford University operates WSO with funding provided by NASA that ends in 2018. The National Science Foundation has recently accepted a proposal for ongoing support of WSO operations. Traditionally WSO has been supported by NASA Heliophysics, the NSF, and the Office of Naval Research, The observatory is directed by Dr. J. Todd Hoeksema.


WSO Dedication Pictures of WSO, staff members and other local wildlife.

Solar Center Visit the SOLAR Center -- our award winning educational web site providing on-line activities to encourage and share the wonder of solar science exploration.

You can also learn about Space Science at Windows to the Universe or The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere or about some topics in astronomy in general at From Stargazers to Starships.

When is Sunrise?

The Sky Above
Click for Stanford, California Forecast


** ** ** Announcements ** ** **

NSF sponsorship of WSO begins August 1, 2018

WSO Solar Magnetic Field Observations

Magnetograms

Synoptic Charts of the Photospheric Magnetic Field

Computed Coronal Field Maps

Numerical Data Tables

Data request forms for Computed Coronal Magnetic Field Tables

The Mean Magnetic Field of the Sun


Warning: WSO Polarization Sensitivity was reduced from 16 December 2016 to 18 May 2017.
Values of the mean field have NOT YET been recalibrated and are a factor of about 1.65 too small during that interval.


Other Quantities


Calibration Alert: WSO Polarization Sensitivity was reduced from 16 December 2016 to 18 May 2017. Calibration has been completed and values based on magnetogram measurements have been increased by a factor of 1.55. This includes the polar field values.


  • The computed tilt angle [Table] [.gif] [.ps] of the Heliospheric Current Sheet is related to the measured
  • Solar Polar Field Strength: table | [.gif] | [.ps] ||| North [.gif] | South [.gif] [ : References : ]
  • Zonal magnetic flux transport over nearly 4 solar cycles: [ .gif] [ [.ps] ]
  • Solar Dipole and Multipole Components
  • Sector Boundary Lists


    Calibration NOTES:

  • Related Items of Interest.
  • WTRs - WSO Task Reports
  • WTRs - WSO Technical Info
    The WSO Web Page Format and data analysis processing were updated in late 2006.
    Please send comments to Todd Hoeksema