3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Topics may include the following:

  • Topic 1: Heliospheric Physics. The connection between the Sun and solar wind. Formation of transient events such as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), co-rotating interaction regions, solar energetic particles, plasma waves, pickup ions and mass loading, anomalous cosmic rays, heliospheric boundaries and interaction with the local interstellar medium, energetic neutral atoms (ENAs).
  • Topic 2: Magnetospheric Physics. Earth’s bow shock, magnetopause, magnetotail, plasma sheet, ring current and plasmasphere. Current systems, reconnection, magnetospheric storms and substorms, ionospheric interactions, aurora borealis. The geocorona and ENA emissions.
  • Topic 3: Ionospheric Physics. Structure and dynamics of the mesosphere-thermosphere-ionosphere system, including formation of the ionosphere, aeronomy, magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling and aurorae. Active and passive radio and optical experimental methods, and in situ diagnostics.
  • Topic 4: Planetary Science. Planets, planetary atmospheres, and planetary magnetospheres. Planetary formation, composition, dynamics, end evolution of the solar system. Comparative planetology, interplanetary dust, comets, asteroids, and Kuiper belt objects. Extra-solar planets, astrobiology, exobiology, and the search for life beyond Earth.