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Launch of IPY #63: Heliosphere Impact on Geospace

A kick-off meeting of the IPY Core Project “Heliosphere Impact on Geospace” (IPY ID#63) was arranged in Helsinki on February 5-9 2007, with about 40 scientists from 14 different countries attending. The meeting was held at the facilities of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The “Heliosphere Impact on Geospace” project coordinates multinational research on solar-terrestrial events which affect the composition and dynamics of the earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and atmosphere in the Polar regions. This is a consortium of 29 research projects from 22
countries which expressed their interest to the IPY, and the consortium’s management responsibilities are carried by two complementary programs:”The International Heliospheric Year” (IHY) and ”Interhemispheric Conjugacy Effects in the Solar Terrestrial and Aeronomy Research” (ICESTAR).
IHY coordinates the use of current and forthcoming spacecraft missions with ground-based instruments to study the Sun’s influence on the Heliosphere, including the effects at the Earth. ICESTAR, supported by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, coordinates solar-terrestrial and aeronomy research on near-Earth space and atmospheric responses to solar input, with emphases on the networking of ground-based instruments and the study of inter-hemispheric relationships. The IPY ID#63 projects shares many scientific objectives and closely collaborates with the SCOSTEP’s programme ”Climate And Weather of the Sun-Earth System”.

The kick-off meeting in Helsinki started with some discussions and presentations about the current state and future challenges of polar aeronomy and solar-terrestrial research. After reviewing the overall situation, more detailed presentations were given about the objectives of the individual sub-projects. The opportunities for synergy in the activities were searched and routines for monitoring the scientific outcome were discussed. Special attention was paid to the data sharing issues as several Virtual Observatories tailored for geospace and aeronomy data dissemination have gradually started their operation.

The IPY project community plans to have informal gatherings during the forthcoming scientific conferences to circulate updated information about practicalities and science results. The next workshop dedicated for mid-term review of the project will be arranged at the beginning of 2008. The Greenland Space Science Symposium (May 2007) and Arctic Sunrise Conference in Alaska (January 2008) will be highlights of the project’s outreach activities. More information about the kick-off meeting is available at the project’s homepage.

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