Wednesday, August 15, 2012

10-year plan for space physics put forward - Space Daily

U.S. scientists have released a report recommending research for the next decade on the sun, sun-Earth connections and the origins of "space weather."

An 18-month effort by more than 85 solar and space physicists and space system engineers of the National Research Council resulted in the report that lays out four scientific goals in solar and space physics, a release from the National Academy of Sciences said Wednesday.

The goals include establishing the origins of the sun's activity and predicting variations in the space environment; determining the dynamics and coupling of Earth's magnetosphere, ionosphere and atmosphere and their response to solar and terrestrial inputs; understanding the interaction of the sun with the solar system and the interstellar medium; and discovering and characterizing fundamental processes that occur both within the heliosphere and throughout the universe, the release said.

"The significant achievements of the past decade set the stage for transformative advances in solar and space physics," said Daniel Baker, director of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder, said.

"In turn, these advances will support critical national needs for information that can be used to anticipate, recognize, and mitigate space weather effects that are adverse to human life and the technological systems society depends upon," said Baker, who chaired the committee preparing the report.

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