From the interior of the Sun, to the upper atmosphere and near-space environment of Earth, and outward to a region far beyond Pluto where the Sun's influence wanes, advances during the past decade in space physics and solar physics--the disciplines NASA refers to as heliophysics--have yielded spectacular insights into the phenomena that affect our home in space.
Solar and Space Physics, from the National Research Council's (NRC's) Committee for a Decadal Strategy in Solar and Space Physics, is the second NRC decadal survey in heliophysics. Building on the research accomplishments realized during the past decade, the report presents a program of basic and applied research for the period 2013-2022 that will improve scientific understanding of the mechanisms that drive the Sun's activity and the fundamental physical processes underlying near-Earth plasma dynamics, determine the physical interactions of Earth's atmospheric layers in the context of the connected Sun-Earth system, and enhance greatly the capability to provide realistic and specific forecasts of Earth's space environment that will better serve the needs of society.
Although the recommended program is directed primarily at NASA and the National Science Foundation for action, the report also recommends actions by other federal agencies, especially the parts of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charged with the day-to-day (operational) forecast of space weather. In addition to the recommendations included in this summary, related recommendations are presented in this report.
Table of Contents
|Part I: Report from the Decadal Survey Committee||13-14|
|1 Enabling Discovery in Solar and Space Physics||15-37|
|2 Solar and Space Physics: Recent Discoveries, Future Frontiers||38-66|
|3 Addressing Societal Needs||67-74|
|5 NSF Program Implementation||116-123|
|6 NASA Program Implementation||124-134|
|7 Space Weather and Space Climatology: A Vision for Future Capabilities||135-146|
|Part II: Reports to the Survey Committee from the Discipline Panels||147-148|
|8 Report of the Panel on Atmosphere-Ionosphere-Magnetosphere Interactions||149-208|
|9 Report of the Panel on Solar Wind-Magnetosphere Interactions||209-260|
|10 Report of the Panel on Solar and Heliospheric Physics||261-324|
|Appendix A: Statement of Task and Work Plan||327-331|
|Appendix B: Instrumentation, Data Systems, and Technology||332-341|
|Appendix C: Toward a Diversified, Distributed Sensor Deployment Strategy||342-350|
|Appendix D: Education and Workforce Issues in Solar and Space Physics||351-364|
|Appendix E: Mission Development and Assessment Process||365-379|
|Appendix F: Committee, Panels, and Staff Biographical Information||380-400|
|Appendix G: Acronyms||401-408|
|Appendix H: Request for Information from the Community||409-411|
|Appendix I: List of Responses to Request for Information||412-440|
A new report from the National Research Council presents a prioritized program of basic and applied research for 2013-2022 that will advance scientific understanding of the sun, sun-Earth connections and the origins of "space weather," and the sun's interactions with other bodies in the solar system. This second decadal survey in solar and space physics -- the product of a 18-month effort by more than 85 solar and space physicists and space system engineers -- lays out four scientific goals for the next 10 years along with guiding principles and recommended actions.
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