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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

American Geophysical Union Names NJIT Distinguished Professor a Fellow

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has named NJIT Distinguished Professor Philip R. Goode, of Westfield, a 2013 Fellow for his seminal contributions to solar physics and to the development of a revolutionary ground-based solar telescope facility. 

Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), CA, has been managed under Goode’s direction for NJIT since 1997 when NJIT took over the facility from California Institute of Technology. Goode is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.  The AGU space physics and aeronomy committee nominated Goode for this distinguished honor.    

Goode led the project to build the world’s most capable solar telescope at BBSO.  The new solar telescope (NST) is a 1.6 meter clear aperture, off-axis telescope featuring the world’s largest solar aperture telescope.  First light was achieved in January 2009, and was followed by first scientific observations over the summer of 2009. 

The telescope is being upgraded to include the only multi-conjugate adaptive optics system to fully correct atmospheric distortion over a wide field of view, as well as the only fully cryogenic solar spectrograph for probing the Sun in the near infrared.  Other instruments have been brought on-line since 2009, to enable the NST to probe the Sun with its full scientific capability for measuring magnetic fields and dynamic events using visible and infrared light. 

Goode has years of experience studying the Sun’s atmospheric magnetic fields.  He is an expert at combining BBSO ground-based data with satellite data to determine dynamic properties of the solar magnetic fields.  Such studies bear greatly on scientists’ understanding and ability to predict “space weather.”  Goode’s other areas of interest include working to place a lower limit on solar irradiance and to probe the solar interior (called helioseismology).

In recent years, industry, government and scientists have begun placing increasing attention upon space weather to learn more about which solar magnetic storms can have deleterious effects on satellites, the terrestrial power grid and telecommunications.

Since 1998, Goode’s research has concentrated on climate studies beginning with determining the Earth’s large-scale reflectance by measuring earthshine.  He and BBSO researchers have spent time modeling the Earth’s reflectivity using satellite cloud cover data and found appreciable decadal variation of reflectance due to cloud changes.  BBSO is building a global network to measure the Earth’s global reflectance and spectrum with automated telescope already operating in Big Bear and the Canary Islands in Spain.

Goode has played the lead role in increasing the strength of the university’s solar physics program, which has trained more than two dozen current and past post-doctoral fellows.  Under Goode’s watch, BBSO flourished in size and stature with staff expanding from 4 to 20 individuals and the annual budget, supported solely by competitive federal grants, rising from under $500,000 in 1997 to more than $3 million today.

In Spring 2008, Goode received the first NJIT Board of Overseers Excellence in Research Prize and Medal.  The awards are presented in recognition of a sustained record of contributions that have enhanced NJIT’s reputation.  Goode received his AB from the University of California at Berkeley and his PhD from Rutgers University.

One of the nation’s leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT’s multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of 11,400 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering and cybersecurity, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $121 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com. NJIT has a $1.74 billion annual economic impact on the State of New Jersey.