The Solar Physics group conducts diverse research aimed at understanding the Sun as a star and as the source of space weather. The MSU group is internationally known for theoretical and computational research in magnetohydrodynamics and radiation transfer, for collaborative studies with a worldwide cadre of observers and theorists, and for the group's central role in several space missions.
The TRACE mission images the solar transition region and corona with unprecedented spatial resolution. The RHESSI mission studies solar flares with innovative combinations of X-ray and gamma-ray imaging and spectroscopy. MSU's involvement in the Hinode (Solar-B) mission benefits from the group's extensive experience with X-ray imaging during the Japan/US/UK Yohkoh mission, and expertise with ground-based instrumentation for magnetic field measurements and theoretical studies of solar magnetic fields. The AIA telescopes will extend the high-resolution heritage of TRACE to NASA's first "Living with a Star" mission, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, whose scientific scope extends from the interior of the Sun to the outer reaches of its corona.
MOSES, a novel rocket borne ultraviolet imaging spectrograph designed and built at MSU, paves the way for future development of space based solar instrumentation in Montana.