Colloquium # 302

From the Sun: Solar Flares, Auroras, Magnetic Storms and the Van Allen Radiation Belts: A General Summary of Space Weather

By Prof. Bruce T. Tsurutani
Pasadena Research Associates
Pasadena, California, USA

Friday, Feb 21 2020 at 3:30 PM
Seminar Hall


I will give a brief overview of some of the scientific subjects covered under the topic of “space weather”/space plasma physics.  There are both macroscale and microscale plasma physics involved.  The advantages of studying plasmas in space are that NASA, ESA, JAXA, ISRO, etc. have launched spacecraft into various regions of space: the ionosphere, magnetosphere, interplanetary space (the heliosphere), comets, over the Sun’s poles, near the Sun and the inner and outer planets.  I have been lucky in my career to have been involved in in situ experiments onboard NASA, ESA and JAXA missions to almost all of these plasma regions.  My talk will be a review at an elementary level to give a broad brush overview of a few of all the interesting science to be done by the space weather scientists involved. 
About the speaker

Bruce T. Tsurutani received his PhD in physics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972. He went to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif after graduating and stayed there until retirement in 2019. In the interim, he was the President of the AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy Section from 1990-1992,  he was one of only 6 people to receive the Brazilian National (Werner Von Braun) Medal to the present day, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 2001, AGU Fellowship in 2009 and the AGU John A. Fleming medal in 2009, the COSPAR space science medal in 2018 and the ESA Christian Birkeland medal in Space Weather and Space Climate in 2019. Bruce has over 700 publications and had edited 8 books.  He has a Google Scholar H-index of 89, an i10 index of 441 and 34,000 citations. Bruce’s field of interest is quite broad, space plasma physics in the ionosphere, magnetosphere, interplanetary space, the Sun and planetary magnetospheres. He is particularly interested in plasma instabilities and nonlinear waves.