The mission of the National Solar Observatory is to advance knowledge of the Sun, both as an astronomical object and as the dominant external influence on Earth, by providing forefront observational opportunities to the research community. The mission includes the operation of cutting edge facilities, the continued development of advanced instrumentation both in-house and through partnerships, conducting solar research, and educational and public outreach. NSO accomplishes this mission by:
- Providing leadership for the development of new ground-based facilities that support the scientific objectives of the solar and solar-terrestrial physics community;
- Advancing solar instrumentation in collaboration with university researchers, industry, and other government laboratories;
- Providing background synoptic observations that permit solar investigations from the ground and space to be placed in the context of the variable Sun;
- Providing research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students, helping develop classroom activities, working with teachers, and mentoring high school students;
- Innovative staff research.