...to explore and understand the dynamics of the Sun and its outpouring over the planets to form the heliosphere
Solar Connections is a program to observe and interpret the variable radiations in the Earth's space environment. The Sun, its atmosphere and heliosphere, and the Earth's magnetosphere and atmosphere are coupled by physical processes that are only partially known. These processes will be explored to achieve major advances in understanding.
Solar radiation includes magnetized plasma, high-energy, electrically charged particles, and electromagnetic emissions that are absorbed in and above the Earth's atmosphere. The magnetosphere and ionosphere affect this radiation in complex and subtle ways, with important terrestrial consequences.
This radiation is just a tiny fraction (1%) of total solar radiation but can have hugely disruptive effects on all links of the chain. In addition, this 1% acts as a messenger, carrying information that enables scientists to under-stand the processes that cause this radiation.
Solar Connections focuses on the solar atmosphere and flares, global magnetospheric structure and dynamics, and upper atmospheric structure and energetics, and the coupling among them.
Solar Connections examines the frontiers at both the very inner and outer fringes of our solar system and will explore in-situ deep in the solar atmosphere, closer to the Sun than ever before.
Click here for a larger, JPEG representation of the figure at the top of the page.
Solar Connections: A Science Initiative for NASA Space Physics