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An observatory with one of the world’s foremost, state-of-the-art solar telescope may start operating soon on top of the water tower in Gyula. The instrument is going to play a central role in the modern, worldwide uniquely reliable prediction of space weather, thus contributing to decreasing the damages caused by solar eruptions.

Earlier, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) had operated an observatory on the top of the water tower, however, the facility was closed down a few years ago by MTA. As Deputy Mayor Norbert Alt told us, subsequently, Professor Robertus von Fáy-Siebenbürgen turned to Mayor dr. Ernő Görgényi with the concept to place a solar telescope (back then still under development) on top of the approximately 45 metres high water tower. The capabilities of the location are excellent, since multiple rooms with similar aims had already been established in the building before.

Norbert Alt and és János Temesváry at one of the crucial sites of development. The city of Gyula has great prospects. Photo: Kiss Zoltán

Another participant in the project in representation of Gyula, János Temesváry explained that the Sun, as the basis and source of space weather, has significant social and economic impact on our daily lives. Various industries are influenced by space weather either directly (such as through the overcharging of electric cables, damages to communication and research spacecrafts, breakdowns in the operation of satellites) or indirectly (such as through the irregular functioning of the services sector, navigation and bank systems, and damages to oil and gas pipelines).

The solar telescope and the associated computer system could forecast solar flares sooner than it was possible before. This endeavour could evolve into a worldwide system, the first station of which could be Gyula. This initiative could therefore put the city on the map of international astronomical and scientific life and interest.

Norbert Alt added that the solar telescope has been developed in Italy, and the state-of-the-art instrument has been completed. In the meantime, two proposals have been submitted to aid the realisation of the related developments. One of these aims the modernisation of the observatory. The investment would mean structural reconstruction on the one hand, and energetic renewal on the other.

At the same time, another project is conducted with the coordination of the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation, too, which deals with the development of the interior of the observatory. This includes furniture, instruments, and anything the researchers working there will need.

Gallery: here

“Currently, we are at the end of the planning phase and at the start of preparing the investment,” emphasized Norbert Alt. There are connections to several higher education institutions, such as the University of Debrecen and the Eötvös Loránd University, which means that, once the investment is realised, there could be an influx of students and scientific researchers to Gyula.

The Deputy Mayor added that Gyula, as a centre of tourism, cannot afford not to look at the touristic benefits of such a development, too.

“We are investigating this possibility,” he added.

Thanks to this initiative, researchers from Italy and the Chinese Academy of Sciences have visited Gyula in the previous few months.

Solar eruptions could be predicted sooner. János Temesváry explained that solar activity and the upper atmosphere of Earth are connected through several compley physical processes, which together are referred to as space weather. The atmosphere of the Sun extends from the photosphere seen as its surface all the way to the environment of the Earth. Technologies of everyday use are especially exposed to the continuous stream of high-velocity particles originating from the Sun, which can take the form of the solar wind or solar eruptions. These can generate excess voltage in the electric network, and, as a worst-case scenario, endanger the power supply of entire countries. During the so-called Carrington-event in 1859, the wires of telegraph networks began to throw sparks, causing certain telegraph buildings to catch fire due to the event.

The planned solar telescope is different from similar existing instruments in that it has been supplied with four magneto-optical filters, which researchers can use to observe the layers of the solar corona. They trust that this will enable them to predict solar eruptions 12 to 24 hours sooner than it is currently possible.



Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



The planned observatory on top of the water tower will investigate solar eruptions (source: Gyulai Hírlap)

The observatory may hold scientific as well as touristic significance for the city.

There is a plan to build an observatory investigating solar eruptions on top of the water tower, where another observatory had operated before the Hungarian Academy of Sciences closed it down. The instrument will have a special filter that enables researchers to predict solar eruptions several days earlier than it was possible before. We have talked about the details with Deputy Mayor Norbert Alt.

THe observatory will have a unique telescope. Photo: Gyulai Hírlap – M-P. J.

The Deputy Mayor has shared that Professor Róbert Erdélyi turned to Mayor Ernő Görgényi with the idea to revive the solar physics observatory that had been functioning in Gyula for several decades.

Norbert Alt explained that there is a plan to build a unique telescope on top of the water tower, which could play a determining role in scientific life. The instrument has a filter which enables scientists to predict upcoming solar eruptions. The filter helps to investigate the colour changes on the Sun, and this can serve to predict when and where solar eruptions will occur.

All of this is especially important because a solar eruption can cause billions of dollars’ worth of damages in satellites and other electronic devices, and it can even lead tot he breakdown of certain systems which may lead to global problems. This telescope can help researchers prevent such damages.

We have found out that the observatory was closed down by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and the telescope was removed, but the facility – although it is not in a good state – is still there, untouched. Norbert Alt told us that a proposal has been submitted to further the energetic development of the observatory, and thanks to its favourable outcome, approximately 30 million forints can be spent on refurbishment. This means structural reconstruction on the one hand, and energetic renewal on the other hand.

Photo: Gyulai Hírlap – M-P. J.

At the same time, another project is conducted by the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation, which aims to improve the interior of the observatory. This includes furniture, instruments, and anything the researchers working there will need for their work.

The telescope has already been finished, and a viewing conducted in Italy by a delegation from Gyula. However, Róbert Erdélyi plans to establish a complete network with further instruments, so that observations may be conducted in several stations worldwide, 24 hours a day.

Norbert Alt emphasised that the construction of the telescope and the redevelopment of the observatory may have further benefits. The Gyula Observatory could become a defining institution and point of reference in science. Cooperation is underway with the University of Debrecen and Eötvös Loránd University. Furthermore, the opportunities for tourism are being examined.

In September, negotiations were conducted in Gyula, where the project was introduced to foreign partners. The Deputy Mayor added that everything depends ont eh success of the proposals, but probably, the telescope will arrive and take its final place one and a half years from now.



Sheffield Solar Catalogue (SSC) - A New Automated Solar Feature Recognition Facility

N. Gyenge, H. Yu (余海东 ), V. Vu, M. K. Griffiths and R. Erdélyi

Sheffield Solar Catalogue (SSC) is available from now on here

The Sheffield Solar Catalogue (SSC) project is a free and open-source software package for the analysis of solar data intents to establish a fully automated solar feature recognition environment from the raw images of solar observations to a user-friendly and science-ready data source. The underlying core program is able to provide a real-time comprehensive solar features data analysis environment, aimed to assist researchers within the field of solar physics and astronomy.

At this stage of development, SSC is suitable for generating sunspot data fully automatically, based on white light continuum and magnetogram observations by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite (Pesnell, W. D. (2015). Solar dynamics observatory (SDO) (pp. 179-196). Springer International Publishing.). Although, the project is currently focused on sunspot groups and sunspot identification, the database will be extended later to other solar features, such as solar pores, faculae, coronal holes, jets, spicules and other solar phenomena.



Machine Learning in Heliophysics, September 16-20, 2019, Amsterdam (NL) - 1st Announcement

From: Enrico Camporeale (e.camporeale at cwi.nl)

We are pleased to invite you to the conference ‘Machine Learning in Heliophysics’ to be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands from September 16-20, 2019.

The goal of this first ML-Helio conference is to leverage the advancements happening in disciplines such as machine learning, deep learning, statistical analysis, system identification, and information theory, in order to address long-standing questions and enable a higher scientific return on the wealth of available heliospheric data.

We aim at bringing together a cross-disciplinary research community: physicists in solar, heliospheric, magnetospheric, and aeronomy fields as well as computer and data scientists. ML-Helio will focus on the development of data science techniques needed to tackle fundamental problems in space weather forecasting, inverse estimation of physical parameters, automatic event identification, feature detection and tracking, times series analysis of dynamical systems, combination of physics-based model with machine learning techniques, surrogate models and uncertainty quantification.

The conference will consists of classic-style lectures, complemented by hands-on tutorials on Python tools and data resources available to the heliophysics machine learning community.

In order to help us organize a conference better tailored towards the needs of the communities, we encourage you to register your interest and submit suggestions on: here

On behalf of the SOC,
Enrico Camporeale
(e.camporeale[at]cwi.nl)



Happy birthday, HSPF!

Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation is founded on 14th of November, 2016. Wish you all the success in the solar physics world!


OTKA PD

Dr Bernadett Belucz received a scholarship from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA) starting from September this year, and also works at Eötvös Loránd University from 1st September.

Bernadett arrived back home in July from the National Center for Atmospheric Research High Altitude Observatory (Boulder, Colorado). She was working with her former PhD supervisor, Dr Mausumi Dikpati, conducting research ont he shallow-water tachocline model and the widespread solar activity. During the post-doctoral research, they published an article with their colleagues, which is available at the following link. Naturally, the research will continue after her homecoming, too.



EMS 2018

The EMS Annual Meeting: European Conference for Applied Meteorology and Climatology 2018 was held in Corvinus University Budapest, Hungary, from 3 to 7 September 2018.

We contributed to chair a session on space weather forecasting (UP2.5 The interconnection between the sun, space weather and the atmosphere) and had strategic discussions with European partners on promoting EST and SAMNET.

For more information see here



BUKS 2018

BUKS workshops are organised since 2009 when research groups from Belgium, UK, and Spain (hence BUKS) took the initiative to have a series of open and informal topical meetings to bring together researchers with interests on theoretical, observational and numerical aspects of MHD waves and seismology of the solar atmosphere.

BUKS2018 Workshop on "Waves and Instabilities in the Solar Atmosphere: Confronting the Current State-of-the Art" took place in La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain) from 3 to 7 September 2018, organised by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC).

The aim was to create a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas on recent results regarding observations, data analysis and theoretical/numerical modelling of waves, oscillations, associated instabilities and seismology of the solar atmosphere. Emphasis was given to the exploitation of present and future facilities, instruments and observational bands; the development and application of modern data analysis methods; and confrontation with state of the art modelling.

Scientific Organising Committee:

  • José Luis Ballester (Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain)
  • Ineke De Moortel (University of St Andrews, UK)
  • Robertus Erdelyi (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • Mihalis Mathioudakis (Queen's University Belfast, UK)
  • Valery Nakariakov (University of Warwick, UK)
  • Tom Van Doorsselaere (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

A number of our HSPF colleagues, partners and international experts participated the meeting providing excellent impetus for future solar research.

For more information see here


First Stategic Meeting in Gyula

The First Gyula Strategic Meeting happened between 27-29th August, with the participation of mayor Dr. Ernő Görgényi, vice-mayor Norbert Alt, and the technical head of Gyula’s exhibition spaces, János Temesváry, on behalf of the local government of Gyula. It was a great honour that we could welcome to our circles Professor Yihua Yan from China (President of IAU Division E: Sun & Heliosphere; Director of Solar Physics Division & Director of CAS Key Laboratory of Solar Activity; National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences), as well as out italian colleagues, Roberto Speziali (INAF, Italy), Luciano Dal Sasso (Avalon Instruments, Italy), Vincenzo Mauriello (VM Technology and Arredo, Italy) and Alessandro Leonardi (Vice President at Unicredit Bank, Italy), and, last but not least, the Head of the Astronomy Department at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Professor Kristóf Petrovay. On behalf of HSPF, Professor Róbert Erdélyi (chair of the Advisory Board and founding member), Anett Elek (founding member), Dr Bernadett Belucz (Advisory Board member, chair of the Oversight Committee), and Marianna Brigitta Korsós (member of the Advisory Board) participated in the meeting.

The mayor welcomed all participants, and especially the Italian and Chinese colleagues at the meeting. He emphasised that they are committed tot he case for the Foundation and the Bay Zoltán Observatory in Gyula, as well as that, with the renovation of the Observatory, the infrastructural foundations will be secured. He expressed his joy over the fact that through the above-mentioned works, Gyula will become part of an international project. Financial resources are available both for the renovation of the Observatory, and for the acquisition of equipment; the telescope is ready, it is only waiting for the building to be finished; the experts are available; and the city is showing every willingness to bring this endeavour to fruition. We wish every success and good luck for working together!

Professor Kristóf Petrovay, the Head of the Astronomy Department at ELTE covered the history of solar physics in Hungary in his presentation, starting from the foundation of Eötvös Loránd University, and the establishment of the Faculty of Science, as well as the Department of Astronomy within this Faculty. He highlighted the main turning points of the creation of the Debrecen Heliophysical Observatory and the Gyula Observing Station, their interdependence, and their closure. Finally, he summarised how and why, as a consequence of these processes, the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation was called to life. We sincerely hope that every step in the future will serve as the starting point of a success story, thanks tot he cooperation of HSPF and the City of Gyula, and a laboratory agreement between ELTE and the Foundation.

The Chair of the Foundation, Professor Róbert Erdélyi, talked about why it is crucial to study space weather, flares, and CMEs. He talked in detail about the GYSAMM instrument, scheduled to start operation in the Bay Zoltán Observatory from next year; the plans of the Observatory; the plans of SAMM+; and about SAMMNet. Further discussion followed about the plans of the Foundation to acquire a mobile planetarium and a Lunt solar telescope, which would be especially helpful in outreach activities, bringing this vitally important field of science closer to the citizens.

Our colleague from China briefly presented the Chinese plans, as well as the possibilities and pillars for a serious future cooperation between the Foundation and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. At the end of his talk, he gave his present to vice-mayor Norbert Alt, who, then, thanked the Italian and Chinese colleagues for their attendance with gifts from the City of Gyula. Finally, the three parties expressed their mutual hopes for the success of the cooperation.

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Balatonrendes Observatory from the 1930s

Dr Endre Vönöczky Schenk prepared this photograph of the Balatonrendes Astronomical Observatory in the 1930s. We have undertaken consultations with the relevant authorities, so that we can obtain permission to built the station in Balatonrendes.


DKIST CSP Broader Impact meeting, Bozeman, Montana

The DKIST Critical Science Plan Meeting focussed on Broader Impact took place on 18-20 June 2018 organised by Montana State University (Bozeman).

Here, further training was received how to prepare observing plans for DKIST. A number of Critical Science User Plan (CSP) cases were further developed, inc:

  • UC05 3D velocity field of spicules
  • UC13 Multiscale vorticity
  • UC40 Sausage waves
  • UC42 Surface and body MHD modes
  • UC45 Probing the paradigms of energy transfer by transverse MHD waves
  • UC46 Mode conversion
  • UC163 Investigation of chromospheric arch-filament systems
  • UC178 Propagation of Swirls
  • UC183 TAWs
  • UC189 Tether-Cutting Reconnection

A full list of the CSPs can be found here

We also had strategic discussions

  • on the broader scientific, technological and societal implications of DKIST coming alive very soon
  • of expanding SAMNET with another potential new partner from the USA, in particular, how the proposed new SAMNET technology of measuring the lower solar atmospheric magnetic field with SAMNET would aid DKIST.


EAST 7th Science Advisory Group

The Science Advisory Group (SAG) of EAST met on 15 Jun 2018, following the extremely successful 1st EST Science Meeting, Naxos (Italy).

Discussions took place on:

  • Guideline to use the photon count tool
  • Guidelines for the SRD text and OP tables

Further information: here


EST Science Meeting in Giardini Naxos (Italy)

The EST Science Meeting was held on June 11-15 2018 at Giardini Naxos, in Sicily (Italy).

This EST Science Meeting aimed at gathering scientists who i) wished to present their most recent theoretical and observational research in the field; ii) highlighted the key science cases that will be addressed by the 4-metre class solar telescopes, and the synergies with both current and future ground-based and space-borne facilities; iii) presented the latest version of The Science Requirement Document (SRD). During the meeting there were also opportunities provided to contribute to the SRD and to discuss how and why the unique capabilities of EST will provide answers to several key science questions.

EST will be the heritage of the entire solar physics community and, for this reason, it is expected that the scientific community and in particular the EST Science Meeting participants, will contribute with science cases that will then be reflected in the SRD. The proposed Scientific Sessions are: The state-of-the-art of the EST project; Structure and evolution of magnetic flux; Wave coupling throughout solar atmosphere; Chromospheric dynamics and heating; Magnetised plasma dynamics and fundamental processes; The solar corona; Solar flares and eruptive events; Scattering physics and Hanle-Zeeman diagnostics.

SOC:

  • L. Belluzzi (IRSOL, CH)
  • M. Carlsson (UiO,NO)
  • M. Collados Vera (IAC, ES)
  • J. Jurcak (CAS, CZ)
  • M. Mathioudakis (QUB, UK)
  • S. Matthews (MSSL, UK)
  • R. Erdelyi (U. of Sheffield, UK)
  • R. Schlichenmaier (Co-Chair, KIS, DE)
  • D. Utz (IGAM, AT)
  • Prof. Francesca Zuccarello (Università degli Studi di Catania, fzu@oact.inaf.it)

Further information: here


NSO/HAO, Boulder, Colorado

We were visiting key DKIST and potentially new SAMNET partners at National Solar Observatory (NSO) and High Altitude Observatory (HAO) in Boulder. Discussions took place on future joint projects with NSO colleagues (from solar dynamo to solar cycle forecasting/modelling).

AOGS 2018 Hawaii

AOGS 15th Annual Meeting, 3-8 June, 2018, Honolulu, Hawaii

Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) was established in 2003 to promote geosciences and its application for the benefit of humanity, specifically in Asia and Oceania and with an overarching approach to global issues.

The Asia Oceania region is particularly vulnerable to natural hazards, accounting for almost 80% human lives lost globally. AOGS is deeply involved in addressing hazard related issues through improving our understanding of the genesis of hazards through scientific, social and technical approaches.

AOGS holds annual conventions, this year in Hawaii, providing a unique opportunity of exchanging scientific knowledge and discussion to address important geo-scientific issues among academia, research institutions, and the public.

Recognizing the need of global collaboration, AOGS has developed good co-operation with other international geo-science societies and unions such as the European Geosciences Union (EGU), American Geophysical Union (AGU), International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG), Japan Geo-science Union (JpGU), and Science Council of Asia (SCA).

A number of talks were delivered (invited review on solar-magnetoseismology (Prof. Robert Erdélyi); and two invited talks: one on dynamo (Dr Bernadett Belucz) and another on space weather forecasting (Marianna Korsos). We also disseminated the H2020 PROGRESS results, promoted DKIST, EST and SAMNET by highlighting the new science and technology opportunities.

Further strategic discussions took place with colleagues from IoA, Hawaii and CAS, China about emerging opportunities in order to develop instrumentation networking, with particular focus on flare and CME forecasting.


HAO/NSO, Boulder, Colorado

We were visiting key DKIST and SAMNET partners at High Altitude Observatory (HAO) and National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Boulder.

We delivered talks on SAMNET potentials on improving space weather forecasting and how the ultra-high resolution of DKIST (or EST) may have impact on understanding better the sources of solar eruptions. We were also discussing future joint projects with colleagues (from solar dynamo, solar cycle forecasting/modelling to wave observations).


California State University, LA, California

We have visited a key DKIST partner and potential new SAMNET consortium supporter at California State University (CSUN, Los Angeles).

The visit included delivering a talk on SAMNET potentials on improving space weather forecasting and how the ultra-high resolution of DKIST (or EST) may have impact on understanding better the sources of solar eruptions. We were also discussing future joint project with colleagues (from inversion to wave observations).


EST brochure

With the strong support from the Project Office and different volunteers from EST-Comm, we have finally translated the EST leaflets to almost all the languages spoken in the EST associated countries. Nowadays, the leaflets are available in Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Slovak and Spanish. Some of them have already been printed and distributed to some institutes. For Hungarian leaflets please contact Dr Bernadett Belucz (ELTE, HSPF). The printing and distribution of the remaining ones will be done during the next weeks. Nevertheless, leaflets can be found in the EST website (low resolution).

Versions in various languages

Hungarian brochure: European Solar Telescope, az európai naptávcső- A napaktivitás megértésének a szolgálatában


Isradynamics 2018 (Ein Bokek, Israel)

Isradynamics 2018 Dynamical Processes in Space Plasmas (Israel, 22-29 April 2018)

The meeting brings together scientists working in solar physics, space physics, plasma physics, and astrophysics, in theory, simulations, and experiment. The objective is to report and discuss recent progress in our understanding of the fundamental processes in solar, space, and astrophysical plasmas, in view of heliospheric in-situ and remote sensing measurements (Van Allen Probe, THEMIS, Cluster, STEREO, SDO, Messenger, Cassini, Venus-Express, MMS, Artemis, WIND) and remote sensing astrophysical observations (Chandra, XMM-Newton, SWIFT, Fermi).

Here the results of the EU H2020-funded PROGRESS were promoted in a talk; latest progress on solar-magneto-seismology was disseminated as an invited talk, and strategic discussion took place to further develop space weather forecasting by applying machine learning and AI techniques.

More details


Solar Orbiter SPICE Science meeting

The SPICE/Solar Orbiter consortium has started to work actively on the definition of the on-board observation programs. This is a science meeting dedicated to this goal, organised on April 19-20 in Paris (Observatoire de Paris, Salle du Conseil).

The European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter satellite is set for launch by NASA in 2020 to study the Sun’s heliosphere and observe it in unprecedented detail in an attempt to unmask the secrets of the solar wind.

In 2020, the Solar Orbiter satellite will depart Earth atop an Atlas V launcher and approach the Sun to within 62 solar radii or 42 million km, closer than any spacecraft has ever been before. From this vantage point, it will be ideally positioned to observe our star at unprecedented resolution (70 km/pixel) and analyse its heliosphere in fine detail. Solar Orbiter will also acquire imagery and data from the Sun’s polar regions and on the side not visible from Earth. The main aim of these measurements will be to identify the underlying processes driving the solar wind, the stream of particles continuously escaping the Sun.

More details


Preparatory Phase (PRE-EST) annual meeting in Belfast, UK

April 18 2018, Belfast (UK) - The annual EST Board Meeting, which gathers the main researchers and managers of the PRE-EST project, has taken place today in Belfast (UK). This project aims to take the necessary steps towards the construction of the European Solar Telescope. During this meeting the board has addressed fundamental issues for the success of the project. The coordinators of the various working packages designed to build this big infrastructure have reported the current status of strategic areas such as the financial schemes, the project management, or the communication and outreach actions. The EST board also had a discussion about the possible legal figures to manage an infrastructure of the European Solar Telescope during its preparatory and construction phases.

In more detail: Based on its excellence and maturity, EST became on March 2016 part of the ESFRI Projects list as a strategic facility for the European Community. This fact led to a subsequent speed-up of the project towards its current Preparatory Phase.

During this meeting, the EST Board addressed fundamental issues for the success of the project. Progress made on strategic and technical aspects was presented, and the required analysis of the future governance structure and the financial status of the project was carried out.

A key point of the meeting was the discussion on the future legal figure for EST. After a detailed analysis and a successive discussion of the different alternatives, the Board decided unanimously that the most appropriate legal figure for the project is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) located in Spain.

EST partners have devoted an important effort during the last years to explore possible legal frameworks and related governance schemes in order to provide the means for the agencies to jointly establish, construct and operate EST as a new research infrastructure. Following a thorough comparison, the present main EST governing body, the EST Board, agrees that the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is the most appropriate structure, providing, among other advantages, the adequate framework for trans-national cooperation among partners as well as the desired sustainability for the project lifetime.

Experience shows that the ERIC legal figure implies a wider political visibility, also paving the way with key European funding agencies, policy and other decision makers. ERIC privileges/exemptions are also relevant.

The negotiation and approval procedure for setting up an ERIC is carried out at national level. As a result of this PRE-EST Board decision, the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Competitiveness and Industry will initiate the ERIC negotiations process with the corresponding governmental authorities of the EST partners, e.g. with NKFIH in Hungary.


6th EAST SAG meeting in Belfast, UK

The Science Advisory Group (SAG) of EAST met on 16-17 Apr 2018, in Belfast.

One of the main tasks of SAG is to refine the EST concept, building on the existing EST Conceptual Design the prioritised scientific goals and technical updates. To that end, the current needs of the solar community are being assessed, taking into account the technologies likely to be affordable over the next decade. This meeting involved the participation of researchers from all the institutions participating in the PRE-EST project, where HSPF had its representative there too.

Discussions took place on:

  • Summary of SRD status
  • Photon flux app tutorial; planned light distribution
  • Overlap of science cases: Identify and redistribute
  • EST Uniqueness
  • Splinter sessions: Work out sciences cases
  • Nasmyth focus science
  • Update on preparation of 1st EST Science meeting in Naxos
  • Citizen science: What can be done?

More info here.

Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, NI/UK

We have visited a key DKIST, EST and SAMNET consortium partner at Queen’s University Belfast. Discussion on the implementation of new emerging technologies enabling leaps in measuring solar vector magnetic fields was conducted. The visit included delivering a talk on SAMNET potentials on improving space weather forecasting and how such small-aperture ground-based facilities are linked efficiently in finding targets with ultra-high resolution instrumentation such as DKIST or EST.


Armagh Observatory, Armagh, NI/UK

We visited a key EST and SAMNET consortium supporter at Armagh Observatory. The visit included delivering a talk on SAMNET potentials on improving space weather forecasting and how the ultra-high resolution of DKIST or EST can have impact on understanding better the sources of solar eruptions.


DKIST Critical Science Plan Meeting (Newcastle)

The DKIST Critical Science Plan Meeting took place on 9-10 April 2018 Organised by Northumbria University (Newcastle). Here, additional training was received how to prepare observing plans for DKIST. A number of Critical Science User Plan (CSP) cases were developed, including:

  • UC05 3D velocity field of spicules
  • UC46 Mode conversion
  • UC183 TAWs

A full list of the CSPs can be found here.

We also had strategic discussions of expanding SAMNET with potential new partners, where new technologies of measuring the lower solar atmospheric magnetic field were addressed thanks to these novel concepts being developed by colleagues at IoA, Hawaii.


European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS 2018)

Annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) (Arena & Convention Centre (ACC),Liverpool, United Kingdom).

The European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS, formerly JENAM) is the annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society (EAS). With more than 25 years of tradition, it has imposed itself as the largest conference for European astronomy. In addition to plenary sessions and the award of prestigious prizes, the conference hosts many symposia held in parallel, as well as special sessions and meetings.

The EAS together with one of its affiliated societies, organises the annual EWASS conference to enhance its links with national communities, to broaden connections between individual members and to promote European networks.

The EAS considers its annual EWASS meetings to be a privileged occasion for free and frank interchange of scientific ideas, as well as for the nurturing and creation of professional and social contacts.

Website: here.

Noémi Zsámberger participated at EWASS 2018.


Rome Dal Sasso’s meeting

Visiting our key SAMNET consortium partner, Dal Sasso’s and Avalon Instruments (Aprilia, Rome) took place on 27th-28th March 2018 to discuss technical details and calibration issues of the SAMM.


EAST 5th SAG meeting (via zoom)

The Science Advisory Group (SAG) of EAST met on 26th March 2018, via zoom.

Discussions took place on:
  • Update on Science Requirement Document
  • Prepare SAG meeting in Belfast
  • Preparation for 1st EST Science meeting in Naxos in June
  • EST uniqueness

Science Show in the House of Commons

Some of the work we do in collaboration with Dr Jiajia Liu and colleagues have been selected to be presented at the House of Commons on Monday 12th March in the Physical Sciences (Physics) Session from 12 noon – 2.45pm in the Attlee Suite, Portcullis House.

UK parliament

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) from the Sun could carry energy equivalent to that released by 1 TRILLION nuclear bombs. They can cause severe socio-economic damage by affecting the operation and working of high-tech facilities like spacecraft, threatening the health of astronauts, causing disruption in functioning of modern communication systems (including radio, TV and mobile signals), navigation systems, and affecting the working of pipelines and power grids. The threat-assessment report by the Lloyd’s insurance company [2013] concluded that extreme CME events would cause a loss of $2.6 trillion. Therefore, fast and accurate prediction of CME arrival time is vital to minimize the losses CMEs may cost when hitting the Earth. Our work focuses on forecasting the arrival time at Earth of these fatal events, via combining the unprecedented Machine Learning techniques, which are in essential similar with the technique behind the famous Google Alpha Go, with the intricate physics behind these events. This interdisciplinary study gives a largely improved prediction error of only 6 hours than before, giving much more accurate impact time of these extreme events, and more than enough warning time for the government, military and industries to take actions to minimize corresponding socio-economic losses.


The rebirth of the Gyula Bay Zoltán Solar Observatory (GSO)

Upon completion of the current renovation works, GSO’s infrastructure will be able to provide high-level services for scientific research activities.

In the 1960s, a lookout was built above the water holding volume of the the Gyula Water Tower, located in the area of Göndöcs Garden. Later on, as the lookout area was not in use, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences transformed it into an observatory to carry out solar physics investigations. The repurposing plans were drawn up by 1971, which is also when the structure of the telescope was constructed on top of the lookout. Unfortunately, in 2015, following a proposal by the Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, and going against international expert opinions, the Hungarian Academy for Sciences terminated the until then successful solar physics research conducted in the Gyula Observatory. The telescope was retired. It is here, in this part of the building, which had from the start been intended for research purposes, where HSPF, in a joint effort with the local government of Gyula, aims to revive solar physics investigations connected to space weather, which have a respectable tradition in Gyula, but are now also integrated into the bloodstream of the international scientific community.

One of the main scientific activities of the Bay Zoltán Solar Physics Observatory in Gyula (GSO), under the aegis of HSPF (http://hspf.eu), is constructing and evaluating synoptic images of the Sun. Observations are planned to be carried out using the Solar Activity Monitor (SAMM), which is a solar telescope with a double optical axis, and building on the technology of magneto-optical filtering. SAMM has been constructed and is being expanded in the framework of a large international cooperation between governments, universities, and research councils of various EU-countries.

The planned scientific observations can be performed in two different modes: with manual or automatic control. Routine synoptic and object-specific observations will be possible in both modes of operation. Determining the balance between different observational modes is the task of the Telescope Allocation Committee (TAC) overseeing the operation of the telescope, which belongs under the leadership of the Foundation. The automatic mode allows a much wider segment of the scientific community to carry our research using the instrument. Basic processing of the data happens locally, then we make the so-called ‘data calibrated for scientific analysis’ available online.


EAST 4th SAG meeting (via zoom)

The Science Advisory Group (SAG) of EAST met on 29 Jan 2018, via zoom.

Discussions took place on:
  • Science Requirement Document
  • Citizen Science Plan
  • EST uniqueness

RAS Discussion Meeting (RAS, London)

The RAS Discussion Meeting on “Wave-based heating mechanisms in the solar atmosphere” took place on 12 Jan 2018 at the Royal Astronomical Society’s Burlington House, Piccadilly (London).

Magnetohydrodynamic waves permeate the solar atmosphere but despite being regularly observed and analysed in great detail, their role in the energy transport through the solar atmosphere and in heating the solar corona remains unclear. This is largely due to the complexity and dynamism of the solar atmosphere where the combination of gravitational stratification, magnetic field expansion and local density inhomogeneities leads to complicated coupling and interactions between different layers of the solar atmosphere. Various modelling techniques, including numerical simulations and forward modelling, allow us to tackle this complexity and investigate the various wave processes. Constraints on the energy budget, identification of the dissipation mechanisms and determination of the spatial and temporal scales of the energy deposition and the observational signatures can thus be obtained. In this RAS Specialist Discussion meeting, the aim was to bring together experts in numerical modelling, observational detection and theoretical analysis of wave-based heating mechanism, in order to shed light on the role of MHD waves in coronal heating. Focus was in particular on recent advancements in this field due to the use of increasingly complex numerical experiments.

Website: here


IIA and Kodaikanal Winter School, India

The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) has initiated various programmes with the aim of motivating students from colleges and universities across the country for research in Astronomy & Astrophysics. In this spirit, IIA organizes summer and winter schools every year, wherein students are exposed to research environment/career. As part of this on-going activity, IIA conducts an annual winter school on Solar Physics at the Kodaikanal Observatory in the month of January. In 2018, the School was organised by an excellent team, led by HSPF’s international expert, Dr Piyalu Chatterjee. There, Prof Robertus Erdelyi will give a number of lectures on “Internal structure of the Sun” and “Waves in solar atmosphere”

The School’s website (as of writing) is: here


EAST calendar 2018

1.000 promotional calendars about EST have been designed and produced. The calendar of this year tries to honour the existing European solar telescopes. The selection of the telescopes has been made taking into account the variety of countries/institutions participating in PRE-EST, and trying that most of them are represented in some way.

Calendar 2018


EAST 3rd SAG meeting (via zoom)

The Science Advisory Group (SAG) of EAST met on 15 Dec 2017, via zoom.

Discussions took place on:
  • New members were introduced and accepted
  • EST uniqueness
  • SAG Subgroup structure: SG2 was revised and re-named "Wave coupling throughout the atmosphere”
  • UV in Nasmyth instrument

EAST 2nd SAG meeting in Freiburg, Germany

The Science Advisory Group (SAG) of EAST met on 24 Nov 2017, in Freiburg, following the EAST GA.

One of the main tasks of SAG is to continuously monitor and refine the EST concept, building on the existing EST Conceptual Design, the prioritised scientific goals, and technical updates. To that end, the developing needs of the solar community are being regularly assessed, taking into account the emerging new technologies likely to be affordable and available over the next decade. This meeting involved the participation of researchers from all the institutions participating in the PRE-EST project, where HSPF had its own representative there too.

Discussions took place on:
  • Nasmyth instrument, a near UV kit
  • IFUs: For EST we plan with IFUs, i.e., Integral Field Units
  • EST uniqueness
  • Expansion of SAG membership
  • SAG Subgroup structure

General Assembly of EAST, Freiburg, Germany

The current members of EAST (voting members as defined in Sec. 8 of Bylaws) approved the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation (HSPF) as the new voting member for Hungary.

The president, Mats Carlsson, read the letter in which Dr. Laszlo Kiss terminates the membership of Konkoly Observatory in EAST. The GA expressed gratitude for the support from the Konkoly Observatory and the Debrecen Heliophysical Observatory through the years; not the least through the contributions from the past representatives Tünde Baranyi and András Ludmány. HSPF was unanimously approved as the new voting member for Hungary. Robertus Erdelyi represents HSPF at the annual GAs of EAST.

Approval of EST Science Advisory Group (SAG) to update the EST Science Requirements.

The chair of the EST SAG (Rolf Schlichenmaier) presented the list of members of the newly formed SAG. During the discussion, gender balance and regional balance issues were raised, as well as a question of greater emphasis on coronal science. The SAG chair was asked to consider the inclusion of the following persons to the SAG: Manuela Temmer, Elena Khomenko, Sarah Matthews, Peter Gömöry, Sanja Danilovic. With these recommendations, the GA approved the EST SAG as it was proposed by its chair. The SAG chair invited the people listed to become members. Except for Manuela Temmer, all these candidates were accepted to be members of the EST SAG.

EST: status and preparatory phase issues (Presentations were made by Manolo Collados and Bob Bentley)

  1. Legal structure: Presentation by Bob Bentley
  2. Collaboration Research Agreement for Preparatory Phase (Manolo)
  3. Roadmaps
  4. EST site: Dedicated work group will be formed for decision in 2019.
  5. Project office
  6. Industrial collaboration

EAST Members

1. IGAM Institutsbereich Geophysik, Astrophysik und Meteorologie der Univ. Graz Austria
2. ROB Observatoire Royal de Belgique Belgium
3. HVO Hvar Observatory Croatia
4. AIASCR Astronomical Institute AS CR, v.v.i. Czech Republic
5. THEMIS INSU-CNRS, THEMIS S.L. France
6. KIS Stiftung Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik (voting member of Germany) Germany
MPS Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung Germany
AIP Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam Germany
7. UCL-MSSL University College London - MSSL Great Britain
8. IAASARS National Observatory of Athens Greece
9. HSPF Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation Hungary
10. INAF Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica Italy
UniCT University of Catania (voting member of Italy) Italy
UoRTV University of Rome Tor Vergata Italy
UCal University of Calabria Italy
11. DOT Foundation Dutch Open Telescope Netherlands
12. ITA Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics Norway
13. IA UWr Astronomical Institute of the Wroclaw University Poland
14. AISAS Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences Slovakia
15. IAC Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (voting member of Spain) Spain
IAA Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía Spain
16. SU The Institute for Solar Physics Sweden
17. IRSOL Istituto Ricerche Solari Locarno Switzerland

EAST representation of Hungary - HSPF!

Professor Robertus Erdélyi and the HSPF were invited to represent Hungary in the EST (European Solar Telescope) project.

An unprecedented and prominent scientific project has begun in Europe: the European Solar Telescope (EST) project, which is highlighted in and proposed for implementation by the ESFRI 2016 Roadmap. EST is supported by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST), which currently incorporates 23 research institutes from 17 countries in Europe. The aim of this cooperation is to provide European solar physicists with access to a world-class, high-resolution, large ground-based telescope. Pursuing this aim, EAST began to develop and build and will continue to operate in the future the new generation, large diameter European Solar Telescope (EST) in the Canary Islands.

As the result of a vote held with the participation of Hungarian solar physicists and scientists of interface fields, Professor Robertus Erdélyi and the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation have been asked to represent Hungary in this monumental project. This proposal was accepted at the EAST annual meeting. As a result, Professor Robertus Erdélyi will regularly attend and represent Hungary in the EAST GA and other related meetings; will regularly inform the interested Hungarian professional community about current developments; will work in cooperation with EAST's other national colleagues and observers to promote the success of EAST-supported projects; as well as carry out effective lobbying for the recognition of EAST projects in this country. Thank you for the help and support of all those colleagues who have been involved in the provess of electing our representative!

About EAST here


Congratulations, Bernadett!

Dr Bernadett Belucz received a postdoctoral position at the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) of the National Center for Atmospheric research (NCAR), located in Boulder, Colorado, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Bernadett will travel to the USA on the 3rd of January. This is the third time that Bernadett visits the HAO. This time she will work again with Dr Mausumi Dikpati, her earlier PhD co-supervisor. (Staff of HAO: Dr Mausumi Dikpati)

More info about HAO, here: NCAR HAO.

Bernadett's research will be focused on active longitudes, the shallow-water tachocline model, solar season simulations, and SDO/HMI and various ground-based sunspot data will be used to estimate the model parameters.

From left to right: (1) The Center Green 1, home of NCAR's High Altitude Observatory. (2) Bernadett is at Rocky Mountain National Park in 2013 during her first visit. (3) View of the Flatirons from Valmont Bike Park. (4) The Boulder County Courthouse

EST Workshop Bairisch Koelldorf

The European Solar Telescope, EST, is now in its preparatory phase after receiving funding from H2020 in the form of the PRE-EST project.

This workshop was dedicated to discuss updates and progressing made on public outreach, contacts with potential stakeholders and financing organizations in the region of central Europe. The participants also discussed possible collaboration and relevant science cases. Synergy aspects were also addressed, e.g. in relation to SAMNET (Solar Activity Monitor NETwork) which is a joint collaborative effort lead by e.g. the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation (HSPF), Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC), U. of Sheffield, UK, Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF)/Rome Observatory (Italy), Dal Sasso srl (Italy), U's. Tor Vergata Rome and l’Aquila (Italy), Coimbra University (Portugal), U. of Debrecen (Hungary), SAS (France).


First European presentation of the European Solar Telescope in Rome

Today, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome has hosted the first European presentation of the European Solar Telescope (EST) in the frame of the preparatory phase for its construction. This infrastructure, which will be installed in the Canary Islands - Spain, will be the largest European telescope to observe the sun. The construction is expected to start in 2021, and first light is planned for 2027. The project is included in the Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) since 2016 and involves 21 scientific and industrial institutions from 15 different European countries.

From left to right: Daniele Gallieni (A.D.S. international), Manolo Collados (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias), Fabio Manni (SRS Engineering), Francesca Zuccarello (Università di Catania), Ilaria Ermolli (Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica), Francesco Berrilli (Università di Roma Tor Vergata) and Salvo Gugliemino (Università di Catania)

European astronomers have studied the sun for centuries. Starting with Galileo Galilei, many solar physicists have helped unravel its secrets with the most advanced instrumentation at their disposal. Thanks to those efforts we now know the structure and composition of our star. However, some important questions remain unanswered. Among them is the role played by solar magnetic fields, which are thought to be responsible for the most energetic processes happening in the solar atmosphere. To address these questions, a next-generation telescope is needed.

Artist's impression of the future European Solar Telescope

EST will have a 4-meter primary mirror and an advanced adaptive optics system - a technology designed to reduce the image distortions caused by the Earth’s atmosphere. Thus, EST will be able to distinguish structures on the solar surface as small as 30 kilometers. Thanks to its large mirror, EST will also excel in delivering accurate measurements of solar magnetic fields, surpassing by far the capabilities of any existing solar telescope. The main goal of EST is to investigate the structure, dynamics, and energetics of the lower solar atmosphere, where magnetic fields continually interact with the plasma and magnetic energy is sometimes released in powerful explosions.

The event at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei is a presentation at European level of a project set to be the cornerstone of European solar physics in the coming decades. The event has involved the participation of researchers from all the Italian institutions participating in EST and representatives from the Italian industry. Manolo Collados (EST project coordinator) has declared that “EST will combine the best of present solar telescopes and will largely improve their performances”.

EST is promoted by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST), which includes around 500 researchers from 15 European countries.

Az EST-t a European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST) támogatja, amely mintegy 1500 európai kutatót foglal magában.

More information: www.est-east.eu

Contacts

Dr. Manuel Collados (EST Coordinator, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias) mcv[at]iac.es

Dr. Luis Bellot (EST Communication Office Coordinator, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía) lbellot[at]iaa.es

Dr. Manuel González (EST Communication Officer, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía) manuelg[at]iaa.es


Our mysterious Sun: magnetic coupling between solar interior and atmosphere 25-29 September 2017, Tbilisi, Georgia

Our mysterious Sun: magnetic coupling between solar interior and atmosphere conference was held in Tbilisi, Georgia.

A fantastic conference on addressing the avalanche of recent high resolution observations and numerical simulations that clearly evidence the magnetic coupling of the solar interior and different layers of the atmosphere are has been held in Tbilisi. The main issue is to understand the underlying complex processes of energy transport and dissipation. Latest updates and progress on upcoming solar ground- (DKIST, EST) and space missions (e.g., Solar Probe, Solar Orbiter) were also discussed. More info at: http://solar-conference.iliauni.edu.ge A large number of theoreticians and observers, both experienced and young scientists have attended this very successful meeting (see photo below):


Largest solar flare in 12 years

Research team lead by a Hungarian scientist detected the eighth largest solar flare since modern records began – observed in unprecedented detail with the Swedish Solar Telescope in La Palma

The eighth largest solar flare since modern records began – and the largest solar flare in more than 12 years – has been observed in fantastic details by a team of researchers, where one team was led by a Hungarian scientist (Prof R. Erdelyi - Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC), University of Sheffield, UK; Dept of Astronomy, Eotvos University, Budapest, Hungary, also President Curator of the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation).

The huge burst of electromagnetic radiation, occurred unexpectedly on Wednesday 6 September 2017. Associated with large ejections of plasma material from the Sun, these massive burts of plasma with speeds often tens of thousands of km/s, called Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), can occasionally penetrate the Earth’s protective atmosphere and damage infrastructure (high-power electric grid system, telecommunication or GPS systems, retc.) and affect our daily life.

The flare was one of three X-category flares – the most powerful category of all flares – observed over a 48-hour period. These large solar bursts have energies comparable to one billion hydrogen bombs and can drive plasma away from the solar surface at speeds up to 2000 km/s when they form CMEs. All these burst events originate from concentrated but very complex and dynamic magnetic features seen as Active Regions at the solar surface:

These powerful events can lead to disruptions of satellite and GPS signals, as well as spectacular Aurorae through their interaction with the Earth’s atmosphere. In summary, these events are referred to as Space Weather, one of the hottest topics of modern space physics.

The largest X-class flare occurred at 13:00 GMT and was measured to have an energy level of X9.3 (where X9 is nine times more powerful than X1):

A team of scientists, including the University of Sheffield, Queen's University, Belfast, supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK), observed these historic events in extremely high detail using the Swedish Solar Telescope in La Palma.

One of the most difficult aspects of flare observations using ground-based telescopes is the short time-scales over which flares evolve. X-class flares can form and reach their peak intensities in little over five minutes, meaning observers, who only see a small part of the Sun at any one moment, must act fast to ensure they catch the crucial opening moments of the flares' evolution.

Thanks to, for example, the fantastic EU Erasmus Programme, one of the observers at the telescope was Dr. Chris Nelson from the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC), which is led by a Hungarian scientist, Professor Robertus Erdelyi, from the University’s School of Mathematics and Statistics, and also affiliated with the Department of Astronomy, Eotvos University (Budapest, Hungary) as a regular research visitor and lecturer. Dr Nelson said “It’s very unusual to observe the opening minutes of a flares life. We can only observe about 1/250th of the solar surface at any one time using the Swedish Solar Telescope, so to be in the right place at the right time requires a lot of luck. To observe the rise phases of three X-classes over two days is just unheard of!”

Dr. Aaron Reid, a research fellow from the Astrophysics Research Centre led by Prof Mihalis Mathioudakis, Queen’s University, Belfast, added “The Sun is currently in what we call solar minimum. The number of Active Regions, where flares occur, is low, so to have two X-class flares so close together is very surprising. Hopefully these observations can tell us how and why these flares formed so we can better predict them in the future.”

Professor Mathioudakis added: “Solar flares are the most energetic events in our Solar System and can have a major impact on Earth. The dedication and perseverance of our early-career scientists who planned and executed these observations led to the capture of these unique events.”

Using the data collected during this observation, researchers will now be able to probe the conditions in the solar atmosphere as these powerful events are formed, allowing more accurate predictions about when and where X-class flares might occur in the future.

This information can be channelled into the multi-billion pound Space Weather industry to better protect satellites from the dangers of the sun.

Professor Robertus Erdelyi added: “It is of great pride to see how the next-generation young and talented scientists can make true discoveries.

These observations are very difficult to conduct and interpret in terms of physics. SP2RC has a number of such young Hungarian researchers who all contribute to the understanding of the subtle and often intriguing physical processes determining Space Weather.”


15th European Solar Physics Meeting

The 15th European Solar Physics Meeting (ESPM-15) has been held at Budapest’s Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary from the 4th to the 8th of September. Around 230 scientists have participated in the meeting from around the world.

The 15th Conference of the ESPM Series was very successfully implemented in the premises of Budapest’s Eötvös-Loránd University in early September 2017. The triennial meeting series brings together the European and a significant part of the international solar physics community for a week of intense interaction and debate that redefines and often reshapes the field’s state-of-the-art. ESPMs are assigned to a local organizer via a highly competitive bidding process and are coordinated by the European Solar Physics Division (ESPD), a joint Division of the European Physical Society and the European Astronomical Society. The ESPD puts great emphasis on the geographical distribution of ESPMs, having assigned their venues in twelve (12) different European countries so far.

Budapest’s ESPM-15 was expertly organized and hosted by diverse scientific and local organizing committees. A total of 230 participants from 33 different countries in Europe and other parts of the world attended and participated in the deliberations. For the first time in ESPD history, ESPM-15 featured three (3) prizes foreseen in its statutes and bylaws, namely, a Senior Prize, an Early Career Prize and a PhD Thesis prize. As several of the meetings preceding it, it was also declared an EPS Europhysics Conference, featuring an EPS-sponsored Student Poster Prize, as well. The ESPD areas of activity, interaction and international cooperation were highlighted in the conference’s standard business meeting while the Prize ceremony was staged aboard a Danube river cruise ship, during a delightful and memorable conference dinner.


Visit in Gyula

Colleagues from the Foundation, e.g. Prof. Dr. Róbert Erdélyi, Dr. Bernadett Belucz, Anett Elek and Marianna Korsós visited the beautiful spa-city of Gyula, South-East Hungary in order to further negotiate logistical aspects of the Bay Zoltán Solar Observatory, also often referred to as the Gyula Solar Observatory (GSO) with the Local Government.

The group in the Bay Zoltán Observatory

GSO host our robotic telescope SAMM (Solar Activity MOF Monitor, based on a revolutionary magneto-optical filter (MOF) technology) routinely providing scientific data for space weather monitoring. They had a number of successful meetings with the officers of the Municipality of Gyula, discussed, among other topics, opportunities and future plans, addressed some engineering and energetic optimisation, funding and support, milestones, and project reporting in detail. After a busy day, we had a nice dinner in one of Gyula's many great restaurants and enjoyed the exceptional hospitality received.

In spite of the tight schedule of the visit, we had the opportunity to visit the Almásy Castle of the city, thanks to our wonderful hosts. The castle is beautifully renovated both from outside and inside, and is a highly recommended true visitor center. We had been given an inside view of the contemporary lives of people from simple servants to the elegance of Countesses. The rooms are well-designed, their interactive parts are highly recommended for a trial. The time spent there in the castle went almost unnoticed as it was so fantastic.

Gyula Almásy Castle visitor center

During the day we also had the opportunity to visit the Radio Museum and their rather unique radio history exhibition (http://www.gyulavaros.hu/music/radiomuzeum-es-radiotorteneti-kiallitas). This is an extremely interesting spectatcle displaying an odd collection is unmatched in the whole world.

From left to right: (1) First moments in Observatory. (2) View of Gyula. (3) The next generation of solar physicists, Bernadett with her dauther, Hajnal. (4) Group photo: János Temesváry (left), Norbert Alt, Dr. Bernadett Belucz, Anett Elek, Marianna Korsós and Prof. Dr. Róbert Erdélyi (right)

The hospitality received is simply unforgettable and we all thank our hosts for their efforts, support and acknowledge the staff of Gyula Municipality.


The Statutory Meeting in Budapest

The Foundation's Statutory Meeting (SM001) was held in Budapest on the 30th of July with Prof Dr. Róbert Erdélyi, Dr. Bernadett Belucz, Noémi Zsámberger, Anett Elek and Marianna Korsós, as representatives. Others, who could not make it, conveyed their apologies for the records.

Prof Dr. Erdélyi welcomed the participants, then summarised the achievements, and the present status of the projects related to HSPF. He provided a brief overview of the HSPF project conducted in Gyula, namely, the status of the new observing station called Bay Zoltán Solar Observatory (GSO). He further gave a report on the recently acquired property in the Northern Balaton region, which is going to become the location of the planned second observing station of the Foundation in the Káli Basin, on the Northern bank of lake Balaton. Dr. Bernadett Belucz introduced the new website and logo of HSPF. Other strategic issues were also discussed (fundraising, PRE-EST and ISWI representation, accounting, etc.).


Congratulations, Mariann!

Marianna Korsos has been awarded the 2nd prize for her new and ground-breaking results at the international Space Weather conference (IAUS335) of the International Astronomical Union, Exeter (UK) on 20th of July 2017.

Among the five awardees she was the only European, as well as the only female researcher receiving this prestigious recognition. Marianna works on the pre-flare dynamic evolution of flaring active regions and forecasting these often harmful events taking place in the solar atmosphere but affecting Space Weather.

She said: “I am deeply honoured to receive this recognition that is ways beyond my dreams. This prize will now give me further impetus to tackle the very difficult problems of forecasting the pre-cursors that drive Space Weather: the evolution of magnetic fields at the surface of the star closest to us, the Sun."


Visit in Rome

Representatives of the Foundation (Anett Elek, Prof Dr. Erdélyi and Marianna Korsós) and the Deputy Mayor of Gyula (Mr Norbert Alt) and his staff visited Avalon Instruments in Rome, who are a key engine behind manufacturing the SAMM telescope and its components. The visit was extremely successful and the photos can be found on the website.


PRE-EST kick-off meeting in Madrid

The PRE-EST (Preparatory Phase for the European Solar Telescope) Kick-off meeting has been held with 37 participants of the PRE-EST Project at Tryp Alameda Aeropuerto Hotel in Madrid, Spain. From Hungary, Dr. Bernadett Belucz attended the meeting, as the PRE-EST Hungarian Communication Officer.

Manuel Collados welcomed the attendees of the PRE-EST Project and informed them about the agenda. He gave an overview of recent achievements, and the present status of the projects related to EST. He emphasised that the main goal of the PRE-EST project is to provide the EST international consortium and the national agencies with a detailed plan for the implementation of European Solar Telescope. He also gave a brief overview of the six work packages of the project: Management, Governance, Legal structure, Financial issues, Strategic actions, and Technical Works leading to final design.

Anselmo Sosa (IAC, ad-interim Project Manager) took the floor and gave detailed information about project structure, governance, funding, milestones, monitoring and project reporting, as well as internal/external communication.

Sarah Matthews presented the overarching aim of the WP30 (EST Legal Structure), focused on studying the possible legal frameworks for EST and determining the most appropriate one.

Sebastián Jiménez (GREST Technology Manager) summarized the main conclusions achieved for deliverable D7.4 of GREST project, concerning the study of the possible legal entity options for the EST construction and operation phases as well as its governance bodies.

Anselmo Sosa summarized the importance of the work to be done under WP40 (Financial Schemes of EST and Strategic Actions) to deliver a feasible business & construction plan, based on the attainable political and financial support for the present and subsequent phases of the project.

Luis Bellot from IAA (Spain), the person primarily responsible for PRE-EST WP50 (Strategic actions to reinforce EST visibility and transnational engagement), summarized the main activities proposed for this work package, which includes the PRE-EST Communication, Education and Public Outreach Strategic Plan.

Juan Cozar (IAC) presented the specific planned work of WP60 (Technical Works), related to the EST Technical Works needed to take the infrastructure to a stage immediately before final design and construction.


Inception of Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation

Dear Colleagues!

We are pleased to inform you that on the 14th of November, 2016 the Hungarian Solar Physics Foundation (HSPF) has been formally registered by the appropriate court. HSPF’s headquarters are in the beautiful spa-city of Gyula, South-East Hungary. HSPF’s new solar observatory is the Gyula Bay Zoltan Solar Observatory (GSO).

Our new robotic telescope for space weather monitoring, called SAMM (Solar Activity MOF Monitor), is ready, its filters are being tested, thanks to the various levels of national and international support received. One of our main future plans is to restore and refurbish the building site of GSO at the top of the water tower of Gyula, so that it can provide a proper home for the new SAMM robotic telescope, and for professional ground-based Hungarian solar physics once more after the unfortunate closure of the Debrecen Heliophysical Observatory in 2016.

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone for their support, patience, and help in any form and extent. We hope we can count on your continued professional and other help and support in the future, at home as well as abroad, so that Hungarian ground-based solar physics may flourish once again!


Magyar Napfizikai Alapítvány

Hungarian Solar Physics Fundation

Last update: 2019 June © Copyright HSPF 2017