Solar and Heliospheric Physics

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Insights From the Polar Spacecraft

1 September 2001
The International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) program [Alexander and Nishida, 1984, p. 1] defined an ambitious goal: to develop a comprehensive, global understanding of the generation and flow of energy from the Sun through the Earth s space environment (geospace) and to define the cause-and-effect relationships between the physical processes that link different regions of this dynamic environment.

The Magnetic Structure of the Heliosphere

1 August 2001
Over the past 50 years our understanding of the Earth's environment in space has gone from essentially zero knowledge to the current picture. We now know that the Earth is immersed in a complex, magnetized plasma outflow from the Sun called the solar wind which extends out to at least 75 AU.

Corotating Solar Wind Streams and Recurrent Geomagnetic Activity

1 August 2006
This special section of the Journal of Geophysical Research (Space Physics) is devoted to research papers on corotating solar wind streams, corotating interaction regions (CIRs), and many facets of the associated recurrent geomagnetic storms and/or activity. The topics cover the physics related to these events at the Sun all the way to their effects in the Earth's ionosphere.

Solar Eruptive Events

1 November 2001
This introduction highlights some of the scientific results reported in this special section on solar eruptive events and provides a brief description of issues related to the new results. Most of these papers grew out of the coordinated data analysis workshop held at the Goddard Space Flight Center during April 27“30, 1999, and the subsequent International Conference on Solar Eruptive Events held at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D. C. during March 6“9, 2000.

Interaction of the Heliosphere with the LISM and the Boundary Regions

1 October 2003
The local interstellar medium is the only sample of interstellar material that is currently accessible to close inspection, and its physical state and motion relative to the Sun determine the boundaries of our heliosphere. It is also the only astrosphere, i.e., the environment created in the surroundings of stars, that can be studied close-up and in detail.

Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact VarSITI

On October 17-23, 2014, the Scientific Committee on Solar Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP) Quadrennial Solar-Terrestrial Physics Symposium (STP13) was held in Xi’an, China.  The meeting focused on the SCOSTEP's new program, the Variability of the Sun and Its Terrestrial Impact (VarSITI). The scientific program covered traditional Solar-Terrestrial Physics, featuring the chains of physical processes that occur in the solar terrestrial environment. These processes are: (1) the mass chain in the form of plasmas and particles emitted from the Sun, (2) the electromagnetic chain in the form of fields, irradiance (total and spectral) and flare emissions, and (3) the intra-atmospheric chain representing energy flow and coupling. These processes include the generation of source energy in the interior of the Sun, and near Earth, and its flow in various directions and interactions at various interfaces. This special section includes perspectives of authors who presented at the STP13 and also those from the broader space physics community. This collection covers a wide variety of topics including solar dynamo theory, short and long-term variability of solar activity and their impact, and the corresponding responses in geospace and in the atmosphere.

Results of the First Whole Sun Month Campaign

1 May 1999
The Whole Sun Month was a collaborative project of the IACG Campaign 4 and the SOHO Joint Observing Programs to characterize and model the structure of the global corona during solar minimum conditions. This introduction provides a brief description of the campaign objectives, the missions, and observatories involved and highlights some of the scientific results reported elsewhere in this special section.