Updates from the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory

The CoMP instrument was removed from Mauna Loa and shipped to HAO in 2018. It is being redesigned into the new UCoMP instrument. All new optics, cameras, and filters are being installed. UCoMP will have better spatial resolution, a larger field-of-view, and be able to view the corona over a much larger range of temperatures, from 10,000 to 4 million degrees, allowing UCoMP to study changes in plasma and magnetic fields associated with solar flares. UCoMP will be installed at the Mauna Loa in 2019.


In a partnership between UPC/COSMIC and NCAR/HAO a new global navigation satellite system (GNSS) station was installed at Mauna Loa as shown in the photo above. The team began to collect data by the Septentrio receiver for radio occultation (RO) processing which is the critical data type to the COSMIC team. The GNSS data collected at Mauna Loa will support processing of multiple GNSS RO missions in low Earth Orbit including COSMIC-2.

A composite image of a coronal mass ejection on July 2, 2015, as seen in CoMP FeXIII (red) showing plasma at 1.6 million degrees K and an erupting prominence at temperatures of ~10,000 degrees K. The blue/white image is from the Mauna Loa K-Coronagraph taken at the same time and depicts the new extended field-of-view of the UCoMP instrument. UCoMP will be able to track CMEs and coronal structures to greater heights and over a larger range of temperatures.