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.
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....
in sunlight. This resulted in the development of a wide variety of sophisticated
and elegant sundials, which became the standard timekeepers. Sundials were also
used as reference for other modes of time-keeping such as hourglasses.
Time kept by this method is called apparent solar time. The time between
successive appearances of the Sun at the local meridian defines the apparent
solar day. Because of Earth’s elliptical orbit, the angular distance it covers per
day varies. It moves more rapidly in winter when it approaches perihelion than
in summer when it’s near aphelion....
We present the proceedings from the workshop entitled Scientific Detectors
for Astronomy 2005, a weeklong meeting held in Taormina, Sicily during
19-25 June 2005. This was the sixth workshop of this series, and the fourth
with hardcover proceedings. By all measures, this workshop surpassed the
The primary purpose of any technical meeting is the exchange of scientific
and engineering information.
The distinction between geophysics and astronomy was once clear. Events
on Earth constituted the realm of geophysics, while astronomy encompassed
objects that are located many light years from the Sun and Earth. Interstellar
clouds were “out there”, where they could be observed from isolated observatories
nestled under the starry skies of the world’s deserts. Geology relied
on shovels and drill bits to obtain samples of mud and ice that contained clues
to the paleoclimate.
In this book we provide a comprehensive introduction into the basic physics of phenomena
in the solar corona. Solar physics has evolved over three distinctly different
phases using progressively more sophisticated observing tools. The first phase
of naked-eye observations that dates back over several thousands of years has been
mainly concerned with observations and reports of solar eclipses and the role of the
Sun in celestial mechanics.
The magnetosphere is an open system that interacts with the solar wind. In this system, solar wind energy continuously permeates different regions of the magnetosphere through electromagnetic processes, which we can well describe in terms of current systems. In fact, our ability to use various methods to study magnetospheric current systems has recently prompted significant progress in our understanding of the phenomenon.
The Earth is the only planet in our solar system that supports life. The complex process of evolution occurred on Earth only because of some unique environmental conditions that were present: water, an oxygen-rich atmosphere, and a suitable surface temperature. Climate change refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer).
This book provides readers with a clear progress to theoretical and observational astrophysics. It is not surprising that astrophysics is continually growing because very sophisticated telescopes are being developed and they bring the universe closer and make it accessible. Astrophysics Book presents a unique opportunity for readers to demonstrate processes do occur in Nature.
The cordial co-operation of many amateur and professional astronomers
in the very successful observations of the Solar Eclipse of January 1, 1889, has again brought
forward the desirability of organizing an Astronomical Society of the Pacific, in order
that this pleasant and close association may not be lost, either as a scientific or as a social
force. You are respectfully invited to become a member of this organization, and to do your
part towards making it useful in our community.
The purpose of this monograph is to formulate a quantitative and self-consistent theoretical
approach to wave–particle interactions occurring in space plasmas, and present
a logical development of the subject. In the Earth’s magnetosphere, Nature has given
us a plasma laboratory that is accessible to observations made by radio, magnetic and
electric instruments on the ground, and a great variety of instruments aboard rockets
and Earth-orbiting satellites. Spacecraft are making similar observations in the more
distant solar system.
This textbook is intended as an introduction to the physics of solar and stellar
coronae, emphasizing kinetic plasma processes. It is addressed to observational
astronomers, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates without a background
in plasma physics.
Coronal physics is today a vast field with many different aims and goals. Sorting
out the really important aspects of an observed phenomenon and using the
physics best suited for the case is a formidable problem.
The Moon is the nearest member of the Solar system to Earth. Humans
from the earliest times have found the Moon to be an object of great
interest and a source of speculation as to the meaning of the light and
dark markings on its surface. The discovery of the telescope and its use
by Galileo in 1610 to observe the Moon set these speculations at rest by
revealing the true nature of the Moon’s surface. As telescopes improved
so did our knowledge of the Moon’s features. The Moon is also the only
body in the Solar system (apart from Earth itself) on which humans have
Discovering what lies behind a hill or beyond a neighborhood can be as
simple as taking a short walk. But curiosity and the urge to make new dis-
coveries usually require people to undertake journeys much more adven-
turesome than a short walk, and scientists oft en study realms far removed
from everyday observation—sometimes even beyond the present means
of travel or vision.
Four hundred years ago, the Universe changed. Or, at least,
our perception of it did, thanks to Galileo Galilei’s scrutiny
of the night sky with a telescope. Within a couple
of years, his observations of the Moon, phases of Venus and
satellites of Jupiter shattered the old Ptolemaic model of our
Solar System. To the church’s dismay, Earth assumed its rightful place
as one of several planets orbiting the Sun (see page 28).
Marking Galileo’s anniversary, the International Year of Astronomy
seeks to remind us of the humbling nature of gazing at the heavens.