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Modeling the Solar Corona

olar physics researchers at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) use NPACI supercomputers to model the state of the solar corona for space weather predictions. In one simulation, photospheric magnetic field measurements from Kitt Peak National Solar Observatory were used to model the solar corona in May 2001, by solving the magnetohydrodynamic equations. The simulation uses a polar-coordinate mesh measuring 111 x 101 x 128 in radial distance, solar latitude, and solar longitude–more than 1.4 million cells. The colored arcs in the image indicate magnetic field lines. See story in this issue.