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May 22, 2009

Solar Convection Patterns

This image, drawn from a computer model developed by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and other institutions, simulates convection patterns in the deep interior of the sun in unprecedented detail. The patterns, known as giant cells, play a critical role in solar variability, influencing magnetic storms that take aim at Earth.

Located in Boulder, Colo., and funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR is a focal point for research in the field of atmospheric sciences. NCAR has about 750 scientists and support personnel and provides the university science and teaching community with the tools, facilities and support required to perform innovative research. Through NCAR, scientists gain access to high-performance computational and observational facilities, such as supercomputers, aircraft and radar--resources researchers need to improve human understanding of atmospheric and Earth system processes. NCAR and university scientists work together on research topics in atmospheric chemistry, climate, cloud physics and storms, weather hazards to aviation, and interactions between the sun and Earth. In all of these areas, scientists are looking closely at the role of humans in both creating climate change and responding to severe weather occurrences.

NCAR is managed under a cooperative agreement between the foundation and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), a nonprofit consortium of 68 North American universities with graduate programs in atmospheric sciences. For more information about NCAR, visit the facility's website. (Date of Image: unknown)

Credit: Illustration by Mark Miesch; ©University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

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