Space Weather

The Pennsylvania State University 

Meteo 465 / EE 472 /AERSP 492


Spring 2019    9:05-10:20 TR

129 Waring 

Topics: This course will address the phenomenon of Space Weather, using a top to bottom system approach (sun/space/magnetosphere/ionosphere/atmosphere/earth/tech/people).  Your introduction to space physics will progress from a basic science pursuit to one with practical/operational implications (e.g., direct electromagnetic impacts on society (including coupling to the lower atmosphere), operational space and satellite drag issues, GPS scintillation, communication impacts, near space, etc.). The course will conclude by discussing the emergence of Space Weather as a predictive science. 

Tim Kane, 213 EEE, 3-8727,
Office Hours:  Tues. 1:30-2:30 PM, Thurs. 11-12 AM 

Prerequisites: Background in electromagnetics, atmospheric science, etc.  (or consent of instructor).

“An Introduction to Space Weather” by M. Moldwin, 2008.  (PSU e-book; short term)                        (

Supplemental Texts:
“The Sun, the Earth, and Near-Earth Space: A Guide to the Sun-Earth System” by J. Eddy, 2009.

“Space Weather- Physics and Effects” by Bothmer and Daglis, 2007. (PSU e-book)

“Understanding Space Weather and the Physics Behind it” by D. Knipp, 2011. (this one is good for more expansive reading; available for perusal at office hours J) 

Additional Reading:

“Space Weather and Coronal Mass Ejections” by T. Howard, 2014. (

“Ionospheric space weather: longitude and hemispheric dependences and their solar, geomagnetic and lower atmosphere connections by Fuller-Rowell, 2017.  (PSU e-book)

“Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act: report of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on S. 141”, 2017.

 “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth's Climate: A Workshop Report”, NRC, 2012.                              (

“Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society” , NRC, 2013

“Severe Space Weather Events—Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts Workshop Report”, NAS 2008. (

“Machine learning techniques for space weather” by Camporeale et al 2018. (PSU e-book) and tons of other books on orbital mechanics, plasma physics, biology, tech, economics, etc. etc. etc. and other Class Handouts, Journal Articles, etc! (check the CANVAS site!)  

Course Requirements and Grading Policy:

Homework 60% Homework is given weekly and is considered an important part of the class.  Students are encouraged to work together on the problems, though each student is responsible for handing in an individual homework.

Quizzes (1 in-class and 1 final at 15% each): 30% The purpose of the exams is to test the individual student’s progress in the class.

Class participation: Including active discussions, etc. 

[1] Syllabus as of 11 January 2019.

[2]and guests ?!

Date / Lectures / Reading / Stuff

1 Tues. Jan. 8 Space Weather Overview M: Ch. 1
E: pp. 1-12
B&D: pp. 1-4  (K: Ch. 1) 
 Thurs. Jan. 10        

2 Tues. Jan. 15  Notes
(K: Ch. 2 and Ch.4) 
 Thurs.  Jan. 17 Electromagnetics         
3 Tues.  Jan. 22 Plasma Stuff 
(K: Ch. 6) 
 Thurs.  Jan. 24 Sensing  
4 Tues.  Jan. 29 The Sun M: Ch. 2        E: pp. 13-44
B&D: pp. 31-102
 (K: Ch. 1 and Ch.9) 
 Thurs.  Jan. 31   
5 Tues. Feb. 5 The Heliosphere M: Ch. 3        E: pp. 45-70
B&D: pp. 103-130 
(K: Ch. 5 and Ch. 10) 
 Thurs. Feb.7   Solar Wind, Meteors, Dust, etc.  
6 Tues. Feb. 12 The Magnetosphere M: Ch. 4
E: pp. 71-98
(K: Ch. 6 and Ch. 11) 
FEB 15 Dave Hysell, 7 PM at NLI
 Thurs. Feb. 14   Near Earth Environment, Debris, etc.  
7 Tues. Feb. 19 The Upper Atmosphere M: Ch. 5
E: pp. 99-138
B&D: pp. 203-224 
 Thurs. Feb. 21   
8 Tues. Feb. 26 The Upper Atmosphere  E: pp. 139-164
 (K: Ch. 7 and Ch. 12) 
 Thurs. Feb. 28   Middle too!  
9 Tues. Mar. 12 Technical Impacts M: Ch. 6
E: pp. 165-208
NRC Report (2012) 
 Thurs. Mar. 14 …including satellites  
10 Tues. Mar. 19 Technical Impacts, yet more!  B&D: pp. 247-402
5 Chapters
(K: Ch. 13 and Ch. 14) 
 Thurs. Mar. 21 … military too  
11 Tues. Mar. 26 Living in Space & other phenomena M: Ch. 7 and Ch. 8
B&D: pp. 131-171 
 Thurs. Mar. 28    including biological  
12 Tues. Apr. 3 Weather and Climate Effects E: pp. 209-234
B&D: pp. 225-245
NRC Report (2012) 
 Thurs. Apr. 4   
13 Tues. Apr. 9 Societal and Economic Impacts  
 Thurs. Apr. 11   
14 Tues. Apr.16 Modeling / Forecasting E: 235-254
B&D: pp. 5-30
  and pp. 403-425 
 Thurs. Apr. 18   
15 Tues. Apr. 23 Forecasting / Mitigation (?)  
 Thurs. Apr. 25   


[1] as of 1/11/2019; subject to change … oh, and most definitely not all inclusive!

[2] M: Moldwin,  E: Eddy,  B&D: Bothmer and Daglis,  K: Knipp … but really, read the other stuff too!

Academic Integrity

The University defines academic integrity as the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. All students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts (refer to Senate Policy 49-20. Dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated in this course. Dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, cheating, plagiarizing, fabricating information or citations, facilitating acts of academic dishonesty by others, having unauthorized possession of examinations, submitting work of another person or work previously used without informing the instructor, or tampering with the academic work of other students. Students who are found to be dishonest will receive academic sanctions and will be reported to the University's Office of Student Conduct for possible further disciplinary sanctions (refer to Senate Policy G-9). 


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Attendance Policy

Class attendance is one of the most important ways students learn and understand course materials. It is a critical element of student success. Class attendance recognizes on exceptional occasions, students may miss a class meeting to participate in a regularly scheduled university-approved curricular or extracurricular activity (such as Martin Luther King’s Day of Service, field trips, debate trips, choir trips, and athletic contests), or due to unavoidable or other legitimate circumstances such as illness, injury, military service, family emergency, religious observance or post-graduate, career-related interviews when there is no opportunity for students to re-schedule these opportunities (such as employment and graduate school final interviews.) 

In all cases, students should inform the instructor in advance, where possible, and discuss the implications of any absence. Missing class, even for a legitimate purpose, may mean there is work that cannot be made up, hurting the student’s grade in the class. Likewise, students should be prepared to provide documentation for participation in University-approved activities, as well as for career-related interviews, when requested by the instructor. Students who will miss a class in accordance with Senate Policy 42-27, should present a class absence form ( ).