Abstract The year 2008 marked the one hundredth anniversary of the observational discovery
by George Ellery Hale of magnetic field in sunspots (Hale in Astrophys. J. 28:315–343,
1908). This observation, the first to suggest a direct link between the best-known variable
features on the Sun and magnetism, started a line of research that has widened considerably
over the last 100 years and is continuing today. Knowledge about all aspects of the Sun
has increased in a remarkable way over the past few decades....
Exciting new observational and theoretical advances lead today's solar physicists to challenge many of the predictions of even recent models. This volume summarizes the major questions at the forefront of solar physics theory and observations, and proposes priority recommendations to explore these questions.
This book consists of a selection of original papers of the leading scientists in the fields of Space and Planetary Physics, Solar and Space Plasma Physics with important contributions to the theory, modeling and experimental techniques of the solar wind exploration.
The Sun is the primary source of energy at Earth, and the Sun’s output determines the conditions
in interplanetary space at Earth and throughout the solar system. Earth’s magnetic field and associated
electrical current systems are continuously reacting to changing conditions in the solar wind that are
driven by processes occurring at the Sun. The characteristics of Earth’s ionosphere and neutral
thermosphere are influenced both by local processes and by coupling of the ionosphere and thermosphere
to the overlying regions of the geospace1 environment....
This report originated in 1999 as a result of discussions between the Committee on
Solar and Space Physics (CSSP) and officials within NASA’s Office of Space Science Sun-
Earth Connections program. As noted in the statement of task (Appendix A), the objective
of the study was to provide a scientific assessment and strategy for the study of
magnetized plasmas in the solar system. By emphasizing the connections between
locally occurring (solar system) structures and processes and their astrophysical counterparts,
the study would contribute to a unified view of cosmic plasma behavior.