IHY builds on the success of the International Geophysical Year and the previous International Polar Years.
We now extend our global studies out into the Heliosphere and incorporate the drivers of geophysical change
into the global system. As we approach the "new frontier" of the heliopause and interstellar space,
our heritage clearly extends back to previous International Years:
The Primary Objectives of IHY are:
1. Advancing our Understanding of the Heliophysical Processes that Govern the Sun, Earth and Heliosphere
2. Continuing the tradition of international research and advancing the legacy on the 50th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year
3. Demonstrating the Beauty, Relevance and Significance of Space and Earth Science to the World
IHY's priorities are set via its three primary objectives. The first objective, "Advancing our Understanding of the Heliophysical
Processes that Govern the Sun, Earth and Heliosphere," focuses on our scientific activities.
The second objective, "Continuing the tradition of international research and advancing the legacy on the 50th anniversary of
the International Geophysical Year," refers to our commitment to preserving the history and legacy of the IGY and our cooperation
with other IGY anniversary programs.
The third objective, "Demonstrating the Beauty, Relevance and Significance of Space and Earth Science to the World" reminds us
of the tremendous opportunity in 2007-8 for outreach and education.
In order to satisfy our first objective, we have established a set of Science Goals
Scientists from each of the relevant scientific disciplines
will participate in a wide variety of IHY Coordinated Investigation Programmes
driving towards a more complete understanding of heliophysical universal processes
We have divided the universal processes into five primary themes
to facilitate analysis and discussion.
The IHY science team has developed a set of science goals. These were defined so that we focus on the unique scientific
and educational opportunities provided by IHY, with the goal of establishing the future direction and focus of heliophysical research.
The goals of IHY are:
1. Develop the basic science of heliophysics through cross-disciplinary studies of universal processes.
2. Determine the response of terrestrial and planetary magnetospheres and atmospheres to external drivers.
3. Promote research on the Sun-heliosphere system outward to the local interstellar medium - the new frontier.
4. Foster international scientific cooperation in the study of heliophysical phenomena now and in the future.
5. Preserve the history and legacy of the IGY on its 50th Anniversary.
6. Communicate unique IHY results to the scientific community and the general public.
IHY's scientific activities will be organized via Coordinated Investigation Programmes (CIPs)
We will drive towards a more complete understanding of the universal processes
that govern the Sun, Earth, planets and heliosphere.
This will involve scientists from a variety of disciplines:
1. Solar Physics
2. Planetary Magnetospheres
3. Heliosphere and Cosmic Rays
4. Planetary Ionospheres, Thermospheres and Mesospheres
5. Climate Studies
The analysis and discussion of the CIPs will focus on the fundamental underlying physics of each phenomenon,
and will facilitate discussion between the different disciplines by focusing on the relationships
between these phenomena and the commonalities in the physical processes. This will allow researchers to plan
and participate in cross-disciplinary studies, culminating in a greater understanding of fundamental universal processes.
The establishment of the heliophysics as a basic science requires a cross-disciplinary comparative approach
driving towards the underlying organizational principles and universal laws.
To facilitate these goals, the science of universal processes is divided into five major themes. These themes focus on the underlying physics
governing all of heliophysics. The subthemes indicate specific universal processes, around which the IHY Cooperative Scientific Activities
will be organized.
Plasma Physics of the Local Cosmos
, by the Space Studies Board of the U.S. National Academy of Science, is the definitive publication
for IHY's "Universal Processes" and interconnected heliophysical science. 2004.
The Five IHY Science Themes
1. Evolution and Generation of Magnetic Structures and Transients
2. Energy Transfer and Coupling Process
3. Flows and Circulations
4. Boundaries and Interfaces
5. Synoptic Studies of the 3-D Coupled Solar-Planetary-Heliospheric System
Theme 1: Evolution and Generation of Magnetic Structures and Transients
This theme includes comparative studies of magnetic structures, such as planetary magnetospheres (click figure to enlarge).
It also includes the study of the generation of magnetic transients, such as flares and Coronal Mass Ejections. CMEs are observed in the Sun's atmosphere:
Jets and ejections have also been observed in Sun-like stars
Topics included in Theme 1:
1. Flux Ropes-Filaments
2. Current Sheets
3. Cellular Structures
5. Waves & Emissions
6. Solar (Stellar) Flares
9. Bursty Bulk Flows
Theme 2: Energy Transfer and Coupling Processes
and cross-disciplinary studies of energy transfer processes have been effective in combining knowledge
and effort to advance our understanding of phenomena such as planetary aurorae, such as those observed on Earth, Jupiter, Saturn and Ganymede
And there is a clear relationship between the magnetic flux and the associated power dissipation throughout heliophysics.
Similar synergistic studies can be performed by comparing particle acceleration mechanisms:
CIR = Corotating Interaction RegionCME = Coronal Mass EjectionACR = Anomalous Cosmic Rays
For a recent comprehensive review of particle acceleration throughout heliophysics,
we recommend an article by Don Reames
Topics relevant to Theme 2 include:
1. Sudden energy release
3. Wave/particle interactions
4. Acceleration mechanisms
5. Heating mechanisms
6. Charge Exchange
Theme 3: Flows and Circulations
Topics included in Theme 3:
2. Vortices and spirals
6. Turbulent flows
7. Non-adiabatic expansion
Theme 4: Boundaries and Interfaces
Examples of topics included in Theme 4:
3. Layered interfaces
Theme 5: Synoptic Studies of the 3-D Coupled Solar-Planetary-Heliospheric System
Topics included in Theme 5:
1. 3-D Heliospheric Structure
2. Slowly-varying Earth & planetary magnetospheric/ionospheric structure
3. Slowly-varying solar magnetic field structure
4. Baseline climate measurements and characterization