Growth of Space Physics

How can we more accurately forecast the space environment in the 21st century? A donut of radiation surrounds Earth, and poses a danger to astronauts and satellites. We need to improve models for forecasting the space environment of the future and its impacts on our technological society. Insights from Earth could also provide a better understanding of energetic particle dynamics at other magnetized planets in the solar system, as well as exoplanets throughout the universe. (JGR: Space Physics)

How is the behavior of the Earth’s ionosphere controlled by both internal forces and external interactions? The ionosphere lies between the air we breathe and outer space, and is part of a complex system that changes on scales from meters to the planetary radius, and from seconds to decades. A better understanding of its behavior is critical since the ionosphere influences radio communication, navigation and surveillance. (JGR: Space Physics)

How can we better describe and predict magnetic explosions in space? Magnetic reconnection is the engine behind powerful magnetic explosions throughout the universe. It powers phenomena such as solar and stellar eruptions, magnetic storms and aurorae in near-Earth space, and is also behind many of the dangerous effects associated with space weather. New spacecraft measurements and advanced computer modeling are revolutionizing our understanding of how magnetic reconnection works. (JGR: Space Physics)

How can we get a better understanding of geospace, the area between the Earth and Sun? It may be possible using an imaging radar made by combining a large, low-band VHF transmitter with one or more low-frequency radio arrays. Such an instrument would have great potential for discovery research as well as space weather applications. (Radio Science)

Can radio astronomy observations be used to gather information about events that could seriously affect our geophysical environment? There is considerable potential for technological developments with various applications; for example, radio imaging of solar activity to better understand how the Sun influences our climate, radar studies of nearby asteroids that could directly impact the Earth, and observations of Fast Radio Bursts / Gamma Ray Bursts that could affect the Earth. (Radio Science)