Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

Magnetosphereic and Ionosphere / Thermosphere Physics

MIT PhysicsThe Earth’s magnetosphere is a bubble of space around our planet dominated by the magnetic field produced within the Earth’s outer core. Furthermore, the Earth’s upper atmosphere, called the thermosphere, is ionized by EUV photons from the Sun as well as energetic particles raining down from the magnetosphere (creating the ionosphere). This whole system of the magnetosphere, ionosphere, and thermosphere is called geospace, and is continuously impacted by the supersonic solar wind, a magnetic and electrically charged gas streaming away from the Sun. In Climate & Space, research on magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere physics includes experimental, data analysis, and numerical studies on a wide range of topics within this field. Areas of interest include the solar wind control of magnetospheric topology and dynamics, ionospheric outflow and solar wind entry, electrodynamic coupling between the magnetosphere and ionosphere, inner magnetospheric dynamics and radiation belt formation, magnetic storm and substorm physics, solar flare and high-latitude heating of the ionosphere and thermosphere, auroral physics, and the influence of the magnetospheric energetic particles on the Earth’s middle and upper atmosphere.