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The Space Physics Part of "LASP": Particles and Fields in the Solar System

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Published on Apr 15, 2014

Even before the official dawn of the Space Age—that is, the launch of the Sputnik and Explorer spacecraft in 1957-1958—LASP was engaged in space physics research. Using rockets to get to the fringes of outer space, LASP researchers made pioneering observations of the Sun and Earth's upper atmosphere.

On April 2, 2014, LASP Director Dr. Dan Baker recounted some of the earlier history of LASP's contributions to Sun-Earth ("solar terrestrial") studies. A principal focus of the talk was the modern studies of energetic particles and electromagnetic fields in Earth's cosmic neighborhood. LASP has been playing an increasingly prominent role in forefront studies of Earth's "magnetosphere" and LASP researchers are using this core terrestrial knowledge to advance planetary and astrophysical understanding as well. Moreover, study and understanding of the space environment of Earth is absolutely essential for our knowledge of "space weather" which represents a major threat to our modern technological society. Dr. Baker's presentation addressed all these aspects and concluded with a look forward to future LASP programs and opportunities.

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