Welcome!This is the home page of an overview of space research on the Earth's environment in space. The description is non-mathematical but quite detailed, and here is what it contains:
INTRODUCTORY AND GENERAL:
"Exploration" as a Classroom Resource
A basic chronology of key dates in the exploration of the magnetosphere.
An expanded chronology, placing the above list in historical context.
Folding paper model of the Magnetosphere
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1H. History: 1600--Gilbert's Terrella.
2. Magnetic Fields
2H. History: 1820: Oersted discovers electromagnetism.
3. The Polar Aurora
3H. History: 1860--Loomis draws map of the aurora
4H. History: 1896--J.J.Thomson discovers the electron
5. Magnetic Field Lines
5H. History: 1846--Faraday introduces the idea of fields.
6. Electromagnetic Waves
7H. History : 1927--Irving Langmuir has a new use for the word "plasma".
8. Positive Ions
8H. History: 1884--Svante Arrhenius proposes a theory of "ions".
9. Trapped Radiation
9H. History: 1896--Henri Poincare shows magnetic field lines guide ions.
10. Motion of Trapped Radiation
10H. History: 1910--Einstein introduces "adiabatic invariants".
11. Explorers 1 and 3
12. The Radiation Belts
12H. History: 1958--Inner radiation belt is explained.
13. Energetic Particles
14. Synchronous Orbit
16. The Sun
16H. History: 1843--Heinrich Schwabe discovers the sunspot cycle.
17. The Sun's Corona
18. The Solar Wind
18H. History: 1959, 1961--First direct observations of the solar wind.
19. The Magnetopause
19H. History: 1930--the magnetic storm theory of Chapman and Ferraro.
20. Structure of the Earth's Magnetosphere
21. Lagrangian Points
22. The Wind Spacecraft
23. The Tail of the Magnetosphere
25. Electric Currents from Space
25H. History: 1903--Birkeland observes the electric currents of the polar aurora.
26. The Polar Caps
26H. History: 1895--Birkeland's terrella experiment.
27. Auroral Imaging
28. Auroral acceleration
29. Low Polar Orbit
30. Magnetic Storms
31. Space Weather
32. Magnetospheres other than Ours
33. Cosmic Rays
34 High Energy Particles in the Universe
35. Solar Energetic Particles
"The Birth of a Radiation Belt"
"Brief History of Magnetospheric Physics during the Space Age"
Talk on the Concepts and Ideas Underlying "Exploration."
Questions and Answers
References, links and resources about the magnetosphere
For a quick rundown of what these files cover, look up the Overview file. Or else, start wherever your interest lies!
And by the way... In May '98 Exploration of the Magnetosphere was picked as one of Ten Cool Sites by the Exploratorium in San Francisco. It is a site worth visiting and lists many other interesting links.
"Exploration" was also recommended by "Web Watch" in the January 1999 issue of Physics Today (page 63).
Official GSFC Home Page ......... NASA WWW Home Page
Authors and Curators:
Last updated: December 30, 1998