Space Physics Textbook - last update: 23 November 1998, 2130 UT (RR)


This service is divided into four sections (Plasma physics, Regions of interest, Phenomena of interest, Space physics instrumentation and analysis methods) and Appendices, each of which contain several pages. Only few of these pages are directly reachable from this title page; rest of the pages become available through surfing the text or by using the contents listing.

Plasma physics

Space physics is interested in the natural plasma environments found close enough to the Earth to be studied by in situ measurements.

Regions of interest

Today, these in situ measurement cover most of the heliosphere. Space physics studies Sun (and its extension, the solar wind) and all planets with plasma environments, including Earth.

One of the main tasks in space physics is to explain the Solar wind - magnetosphere - ionosphere - atmosphere coupling that is responsible for many important phenomena.

Phenomena of interest

Many interesting magnetospheric/ionospheric phenomena are created because of the energy input from the Sun and the special properties of the plasma state. For us living at high latitudes, the most remarkable plasma phenomena are the auroras relating to geomagnetic activity.

Lately it has been also recognized that the phenomena studied in space physics have important practical consequences. This is especially clear when talking about space weather.

Space physics instrumentation and analysis methods

Magnetospheric/ionospheric phenomana can be studied by satellites, rockets, and ground based instruments (like radars).


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