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AAS Writing Award
Columnist: Dr. James Green

AAS Writing Award
19 June 2012

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Drs. Green and Baker on this writing award.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) presented Dr. James Green, director of the NASA Solar System Exploration Division, with the distinguished 2012 Popular Writing Award on June 12 in Anchorage, Alaska. Green shares the honor with Dr. Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmosphere and Space Physics at the University of Colorado.

To encourage solar research education, the AAS Solar Physics Division offers its annual monetary award to authors of two popular Sun-related articles. Baker and Green received the honor in the scientist category for their article "The Perfect Solar Superstorm," published in the February 2011 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine. The article outlines the potential hazards of large-scale solar storms to modern technology.

While past solar outbursts, or coronal mass ejections (CMEs), have created the dazzling light displays known as auroras, they have also caused unpredictable and damaging geomagnetic storms on Earth. In their article, Baker and Green describe how the U.S. electric power grid is increasingly vulnerable to widespread blackouts and permanent equipment damage in the face of a future solar storm.

For details on the AAS Popular Writing Award, please visit

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About: Dr. James Green
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Dr. Green is the Director of Planetary Science at NASA Headquarters. He views his job as the keeper of NASA's planetary program and the top advocate for that program to flourish and grow.
Read More by Dr. James Green
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Last Updated: 19 Jun 2012