Comment on the solar “Streamer Belt”, NASA, MHD Simulations, MHDWeb in mostly inaccessible forms

“Global MHD Simulations of the Time-Dependent Corona” at

I am reading “Global MHD Simulations of the Time-Dependent Corona” that you, Roberto Lionello, and Viacheslav Titov wrote.

The links you have at the top “NASA Grant NNX14AH71G” and “Streamer Belt” go to a ResearchGate page that says projects are no longer supported. I managed to save some of my project materials, but I wonder how many people lost years of work when they arbitrarily removed those files and communications.

I tried to search for the grant on the Internet and NASA but it is not simple. And the “Streamer Belt” turns up some interesting things, but your notes and efforts are not there any more.

It would be a shame to miss predicting the largest solar event of the last century, because people are not fixing broken links and sharing in open formats.

I found 30 papers on Arxiv that mention “streamer belt”. The most recent is “Effects of Coronal Magnetic Field Configuration on Particle Acceleration and Release during the Ground Level Enhancement Events in Solar Cycle 24”

Variability of the slow solar wind: New insights from modelling and PSP-WISPR observations

Parker Solar Probe Observations of High Plasma Beta Solar Wind from Streamer Belt

You probably read all these. I have no particular interest myself other than using gravity to look inside the sun and to verify the convection zone just under the photosphere. So I try to read as much as I can.

Your paper is very difficult to read because you are using words and diagrams, equations and references to describe something that is in the data. But you do not show the model in computer form nor in symbolic mathematical form. I can pretty much do anything from “first principles” but I am getting older and dislike having to piece together models from scattered words and to try to write “from scratch” things others ought to lay out in complete open mathematical form and in complete open computational form. Those representations can be exact. When they are not, the models are incomplete.

I have not had time to look at your MHDWeb. I wanted to look at the Current Sheet. But it blows up if you say “Generate Current Sheet” with an error “FATAL: ps_run_visual.csh /Library/WebServer/Documents/tmp/ /Library/WebServer/Documents/tmp/” Which I presume means there are dependencies and things that have to be done before it works. You might put “Overview” first and call it “Getting Started” The first thing you might want to do is show what sample data you have. What goes in and what comes out.

You may not have had time to use the OpenAI, Bard and other AI tools yet. They can be a good way to have an AI teach and guide people who visit the site. If you worked for me, I would strongly chastise you for shoving your MAS User Guide into PDF. Putting “open” software on Github is not a panacea, but it is more accessible and standard there. Fortran90, HDF, Linux cuts out a lot of the 5 billion Internet users.

If you went out of your way to make the code obscure to today’s generations of new learners, you did a great job. I think I see why the sun is so poorly described so far.

I do not mean to sound critical. I am just tired of groups doing good work and horrible “Internet”.

I learned Fortran first and have used all generations of it, but the Internet language for all users is Javascript. And open formats mean you give the tools in Javascript, or you make the files human readable and efficient.

You have some interesting notes about solar magnetic processes in your paper, but it is as though you threw everything and the kitchen sink, because if they are connected into a useful framework, that is only in your heads, or in code most people can only read with difficulty, if at all.

I am sorry I missed Zoran. Many of the people I met have died now. I do not think it is meeting me that caused that, just I know many older people. LOL!

Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation

Ronald Meyer Caplan,

If you send people to the pre-rendered model page at

That will show people what you are trying to do. Hitting the double arrow twice freezes it.

I keep wanting to see the “Current sheet” but in both places it gives “FATAL: ps_run_visual.csh /Library/WebServer/Documents/tmp/ /Library/WebServer/Documents/tmp/”

Your summary plots came up OK, you might want to put those first so people have some idea what you are trying to do. Have you looked into Voronoi maps? You are trying to do too much at once.

Your data is mostly useless to the 5 billion internet users because you have an effectively closed format, though tens of millions now have good math and science backgrounds and many have more current computer skills.

Just give it in Text formats. NOT stuck in HDF. Unless you also give HDF data view ONLINE.

Put in “download all” at
At the end. Put the ZIP file first.

USE REAL NAMES!! Magnetic field input boundary condition.hdf not br_r0.hdf

Every minute you waste of user time should come out of your paycheck. I hate editing file names because some programmer was too inconsiderate to do it right. Especially when I multiply it by a million users who might face the same things. All you need is one power system meltdown and lots of people will try to see what is happening on the sun and how to predict it. Especially when they watched the Space Weather Girl predict it. Her opinion of NASA is not high. And if you work for NASA that is you too. Just being honest.

You need to deal with the sub-photospheric flows and twists.

I will see if I can read your data. I dread looking up the meanings and units. That should be the first thing you give and examples where you show it in the real images. NOT simulated.

Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation

After some time looking at your various pages and finding fairly duplicate material in different forms, I stumbled on

This looks nice, but you HAVE TO put descriptions for all the images. Science only begins when you give data as numbers with units, and before that you have to point at things and give their names. Then you can begin to describe.

I can tell from your images that you have done things no one else is doing. Now I have only been looking at things like this for 55 years or so, so I might have missed it. But your twisted field lines seem close. Your global maps can be a LOT more specific because the events and textures are well understood – if all the data were in open formats so the groups can all see everything.

Your site has many files, but no overall navigation. Lists of links are not sufficient, you need to study and understand who you want to work with, and then map out the connections and smooth those pathways.

Richard Collins, The Internet Foundation


Richard K Collins

About: Richard K Collins

Director, The Internet Foundation Studying formation and optimized collaboration of global communities. Applying the Internet to solve global problems and build sustainable communities. Internet policies, standards and best practices.

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