Solar and Heliospheric Physics

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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.

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.

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.

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.

The Three-Dimensional Heliosphere

1 February 1998
The problem of the interaction of the solar wind with the very local interstellar medium (VLISM) is complicated by the role played by collisions between the plasma components of the heliosphere and VLISM and the neutral component of the VLISM.

Interstellar Dust and the Heliosphere

27 August 2001
Dust grains in space provide intriguing tracers of fundamental processes governing the origin and evolution of matter in our galaxy. Dust grains are detected in a number of space environments. Interstellar dust grains (ISDG) are seen in diffuse and molecular interstellar clouds. They have now also been sampled directly by spacecraft within the solar system.

Upstream Waves and Particles

1 June 1981
This issue contains results presented at the Upstream Wave and Particle Workshop held at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California on April 15“16, 1980. This overview article summarizes the results of the collective ISEE work.

Boundaries of the Heliosphere

1 September 1993
It has been long recognized that the solar wind and its entrained magnetic field are fundamental to the creation of planetarym agnetosphere. Pioneer10 has established that the outward supersonic flow of the solar wind continues to a belioocntriod istanoe of at least 57 AU, far beyond Pluto's aphelion distance.