4 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Location: SLC 1.102
Dr. Russell Stoneback (UT Dallas)
The ionosphere is a region of the Earth's upper atmosphere that is ionized by solar radiation, dividing the neutral atmosphere below from the magnetosphere above. While the neutral atmosphere is driven by forces of gravity and pressure, and the magnetosphere is driven by electromagnetic forces, the ionosphere is a transition region driven by a complex interaction of all these forces. Thus, the ionosphere responds to a wide variety of sources, from the Sun and the solar wind, to winds in the neutral atmosphere, the geomagnetic field, even terrestrial weather and earthquakes. These sources are distributed globally, operate over a range of time scales, and may have non-local effects, producing a variety of ionospheric responses that can be difficult to trace back to their origin. Space science data sets also tend to be large but sparse, imposing additional limitations on comparison of cause and effect. Understanding space weather requires measurements of the complete global system as well as analytical processes capable of utilizing those measurements effectively. An overview of the ionosphere will be presented along with a plan to overcome the measurement and analytical challenges of space weather.