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Astronomy 243: Exploring The Sun-Earth Connection

Course Outline

Basics: Units of measurement, sun as a star, solar structure, solar observations

Solar variability: long-term, solar cycle, short-term, solar flares, coronal mass ejections

Solar Dynamo: Babcock model, flux-transport models, helioseismology, ‘best’ solar model

Surface Dynamics: Photospheric motions, sunspot evolution, granulation, magnetic field

Coronal Heating: Parker braiding model, DC vs. wave heating, magnetohydrodynamics

Solar Wind: Observations, Parker hydrodynamic model, Fast vs. slow solar wind, acceleration

Solar Transients: Flares/CMEs, particle acceleration, magnetic topology, erupting prominences

Interplanetary phenomena: shocks, heliospheric current sheet, solar energetic particles

Geo-effectiveness: Aurora and geomagnetic storms, magnetosphere, GLEs/SIDs



Lectures: Tu Th 1:00 - 2:20 PM

Homework (30%) six problem sets

Term exam (15%)

Report (10%)

Group presentation (20%)

Final exam (25%)

Text: Kenneth R. Lang, The sun from space

Other resources


All information is representative only, and is likely to change from year to year.