goal of understanding natural influences on climate change. The SHP panel encourages enhanced collaboration among the solar, heliosphere, Earth science, and climate-change communities, in particular between the NASA Heliophysics Living With a Star targeted research and technology and NASA Earth science radiation and stratosphere programs.

10.6.2 Astrophysics

Understanding the Sun as a star, understanding how solar structure and dynamics are related to those of other stars, and understanding relationships between the heliosphere and astrospheres are examples of how solar, stellar, galactic, and heliospheric physics research efforts benefit each other. Basic plasma processes that include particle acceleration, reconnection, and turbulence in the heliosphere also occur in other astrophysical environments. Studies of stellar evolution, through asteroseismology—the study of a star’s internal structure by analyzing the frequency spectra of its oscillations—and other means, and improved understanding of the range of variability of Sun-like stars also benefit Sun-climate studies of long-term solar variations, such as the Maunder minimum.46 It is highly desirable to continue and improve collaborations between heliophysics and astrophysics programs in NSF.

10.6.3 Comparative Planetology and Astrospheres

The magnetosphere represents a boundary in space plasmas created through the interaction of Earth’s magnetic field and solar wind. Comparable boundaries exist around planets, their moons, asteroids, comets, the heliosphere, and astrospheres. Detailed study of plasma boundaries mutually benefits understanding of boundaries surrounding Earth, planets (including exoplanets), moons, comets, the heliosphere, and astrospheres surrounding other stars. It is highly desirable to continue and improve collaborations among heliophysics, planetary science, and astrophysics programs to elevate and generalize understanding of planetary and astrophysical boundaries in space.


46 K. Schrijver et al., The Solar Magnetic Dynamo and Its Role in the Formation and Evolution of the Sun, in the Habitability of Its Planets, and in Space Weather around Earth, white paper submitted to the Decadal Strategy for Solar and Space Physics (Heliophysics), Paper 240.

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