Space Weather and Environment: A capstone for meteorology students at Millersville University Richard D. ClarkDepartment of Earth SciencesMillersville UniversityMillersville, PA
There is beauty in space, and it is orderly. There is no weather, and there is regularity. It is predictableEverything in space obeys the laws of physics. If you know these laws and obey them, space will treat you kindly. - Wernher von BraunThere is beauty in space, and its order and regularly has seeded our understanding of the laws of physics, which we employ to learn, describe, and predict. But it is also catastrophic and we are the beneficiaries of many catastrophes. If we are to progress as a space venturing, technological society, we must understand and predict these catastrophes.- von Braun admirer
Why the interest in Space Weather? At the level of undergraduate educationThere is deep and expanding interest in the emerging field of space weather because of the influence radio blackouts, solar radiation storms, geomagnetic storms have on satellites, communications, power grids and pipelines.
The National Space Weather Program began in 1994 in response to community efforts to highlight the strategic nature of space science research with the aim of addressing increasing needs to specify (observe) and predict conditions in space.
The field is new, inherently interdisciplinary, and ripe with opportunity, where individuals can make significant contributions to science and society. The American Meteorological Society began sponsoring an international conference on Space Weather 4 years ago as venue for dissemination of research activities. Recent policy statement on SW.
DRAFT AMS Policy Statement on Space WeatherSummary StatementThe American Meteorological Society (AMS) recognizes the importance of space weather research and services, and the need to develop advanced forecasting and mitigation techniques. Because of our increasing reliance on technologies susceptible to space weather and the demonstrated importance of space weather to society, the AMS strongly endorses activities and investments that further our understanding of this cross-disciplinary science and its practical applications.
RecommendationUniversities should broaden their meteorology curricula to include space weather and its effects.
Rationale for Undergraduate Course in SWexpose students to the origins of space weather, properties/characteristics of the Sun, heliosphere, magnetosphere, ionosphere, and upper atmosphere, solar-terrestrial connections, and current state of observations and forecasts,
provide students with the conceptual, visual, observational, mathematical, and physical framework for understanding the space environment, predicting space weather, informing SW policy.
vD = (F x B)/qB2 Drift Velocity perpendicular to BGravity Field F = m g vD = (mg x B)/qB2 I
ESCI 440: Space Weather and Environment
Credits/Contact hours: 3/3
Course Type: Elective for Meteorology and Physics Majors
Catalog Description: In-depth study of the space environment between Earth and Sun; solar-terrestrial interactions; physics of the Sun and space weather; observations, modeling, and prediction of space weather events; effects on life, property, and infrastructure.
Co-requisite: MATH 365; Pre-requisites: ESCI 342, and either ESCI 340 or PHYS 233; or permission of the instructor
Text: Space Weather: the physics behind the slogan by K. Scherer (Editor), H. Fichtner (Editor), B. Heber (Editor), U Mall (Editor)
PRIMARY COURSE OBJECTIVES
Comprehensive Outline of Course Content
Introduction to Space Weather and the Solar-Terrestrial EnvironmentLiving with a StarThe Physics of Space WeatherThe Solar Interaction with the Interplanetary MediumThe Earths MagnetosphereThe Earths Ionosphere/ThermosphereSpace Weather Observation, Modeling and PredictionSpace Weather Effects on Life, Property and Infrastructure
a) What is Space Weather?b) Origins of Space Weatherc) A retrospective of the U.S. National Space Weather Programd) Overview of space weather effects on technologiese) Space weather forecasting: A grand challengef) Space weather: Lessons from the meteorologists
a) ZAMS-to-present: Solar Evolution and the H-R diagramb) Structure of the Solar Interiorc) Energy Release: P-P Cycle; Random Walk; Convectiond) The Solar Atmospheree) In situ Observations of the Sun in H; Observations at other Wavelengthsf) Solar Cyclesg) Solar Radiation Storms and Geomagnetic Storms
a) Electric and Magnetic Fieldsb) Electromagnetic Theoryc) Charged Particle Motionsi) magnetic force on a charged particleii) motion in a uniform magnetic fieldiii) gyrofrequency and helical motioniv) total force on a particle (Lorentz force)v) particle drifts and collisionsvi) magnitude of the magnetic momentvii) particle trajectoriesviii) magnetic mirroringix) the loss conex) adiabatic invariants (1st, 2nd, 3rd)d) Magnetic Forcei) magnetic force densityii) magnetic tension and pressure gradient forcesiii) magnetic force balanceiv) plasma momentum balancev) equilibrium currentse) Frozen-Field Theoremi) magnetic flux tubesii) Ohms Law for a magnetized plasmaiii) current sheetsf) Static/Neutral Atmospheresi) the fluid elementii) pressure gradient forceiii) tenuous gasesiv) gas pressure and temperaturev) force balance and scale height and differences
a) Heliosphereb) Solar Windc) Solar Activity: Flares, Prominences, Sunspots; Spicules, Plages, etc.d) Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs), Coronal Holes, and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs)
a) The Shape of the Magnetosphereb) Regions of the Magnetospherec) Van Allen Radiation Beltsd) Magnetospheric Wavese) The Dynamic Magnetospheref) Terrestrial Effects of Magnetic Stormsa) Ionospheric/Thermospheric Layersb) Ionospheric Densities, Conductivities, Temperatures, Currentsc) Ionospheric Convection Harang Discontinuityd) Aurorae) Ionosphere/Thermosphere Modeling
a) Real-time Space Weather Data Sourcesi) In-situ data: SuomiNet - Total Ionospheric Electron Densityii) Ground-based Observationsiii) Space/Satellite-based observationsb) Space Weather Modeling and Predictioni) Overview of model characteristicsii) Magnetosphere Modelingiii) NCAR Community-based thermospheric-ionospheric global modelsiv) NASA space weather modelsc) Running Space Weather Models in Real-Timei) Prediction and Diagnosis of Space Weather Events using Models
a) Space Weather Eventsi) Radio Blackoutsii) Solar Radiation Stormsiii) Geomagnetic Stormsb) Space Weather Effectsi) Effects on Communication Systemsii) Satellite Systems Failuresiii) Ground-Based Electric Power Gridsiv) Induced Currents in Long Conductors: Effects on Pipelinesv) Effects on Geomagnetic Surveysvi) Effects on Navigation Systemsvii) Hazards to Humans in Space
Course ResourcesCOMET ModulesSpace Weather WelcomeSpace Weather Basics
3. In-Depth Physics Lessons4. Physics of the Aurora: Earth Systems
USAF Manual: Handbook of Geophysics and Space EnvironmentSWPC Web SiteHAO Web SiteWeb Casts and Access GridNational Ground-based Solar Observatories
Space-based Observing PlatformsSolar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO)
Millersville University SA05 SuomiNet Site
Course ResourcesHa Observations using the Coronado Solar Max 40
Space Weather Data and Productshttp://www.swpc.noaa.gov/Alerts and ForecastsSWPC Reports and SummariesSpace Weather ModelsD-region Absorption Prediction STORM Time Empirical Ionospheric Correction ModelUS Total Electron Content Map - USTECCostello Geomagnetic Activity Index--Pred. KpThe Wang Sheeley ModelRelativistic Electron Forecast ModelSolar and Geomagnetic IndicesInstrument Measurements
SeminarsLive video/audio broadcasts from HAO via Access Grid in 2006-07 cost prohibitive w/o organizational commitmentFuture Streaming media optionsWeb Conferencing (2-way audio plus presentation on PC)Webcasting (1-way, no interaction, no real-time)Access Grid (2 way, real-time, resource issues)Access important being discussed by NCAR Web Advisory Group Subcommittee on Next Generation of Streaming Media
Course ImprovementsMore time devoted to describing the impact of space weather on life, property, and infrastructureElucidate relationships between space weather and natural climate forcingGreater use of models, and offer students the ability to run modelsGreater integration of the use of MatLab for class assignmentsAn active Sun
Future plans for Space Weather at MUMore seminars (guest speakers and streaming)Run our own models on an enhanced clusterEngage students in SW researchSeek internships/collaboration for students interested in SWDesign and construct a solar observatory in our new building
Also, see poster presented by the eight students in SW&E for their take on this course