Meteo 465 / EE 472 /AERSP 492


Spring 2021   
9:05-10:20 TR

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: 11-12 Tuesdays, 3:30-4:30 Wednesdays, and 12-1 Fridays, or by appointment    

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

Text: An Introduction to Space Weather” by M. Moldwin, 2008.  (PSU e-book) 

Supplemental Texts:

Additional Reading:

… 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): 15% (30%)
    The purpose of the exams is to test the individual student’s progress in the class.
  • Team Projects 15% (0 %)
    Preliminary team projects due midterm; edited and improved by semester’s end.  Talk to me!
  • Class participation: Including active discussions, etc. 10%

[1] Syllabus as of 26 January 2021. Subject to change!

Date / Lectures / (Suggested) Reading / Stuff

  • Tues. Jan. 19 Thurs. Jan. 20 
    Space Weather Overview
    M: Ch. 1
    E: pp. 1-12
    B&D: pp. 1-4 (K: Ch. 1)
  • Tues. Jan. 26 Thurs. Jan. 28
    Notes (K: Ch. 2 and Ch.4)
  • Tues. Feb. 2 Thurs. Feb. 4 
    Plasma Stuff
    Notes (K: Ch. 6)
  • Tues. Feb. 9 Wellness Day
    Thurs. Feb. 11 The Sun
    M: Ch. 2 E: pp. 13-44
    B&D: pp. 31-102 (K: Ch. 1 and Ch.9) 
  • Tues. Feb. 16 Thurs. Feb. 18
    The Heliosphere M: Ch. 3 E: pp. 45-70
    B&D: pp. 103-130 (K: Ch. 5 and Ch. 10)
    Solar Wind, Meteors, Dust, etc.
  • Tues. Feb. 23 Thurs. Feb. 25
    The Magnetosphere M: Ch. 4
    E: pp. 71-98 (K: Ch. 6 and Ch. 11)
    Near Earth Environment, Debris, etc. 
  • Tues. Mar. 2 Thurs. Mar. 4 
    The Upper Atmosphere M: Ch. 5
    E: pp. 99-138 B&D: pp. 203-224 
  • Tues. Mar. 9
    The Upper Atmosphere
    Middle too! E: pp. 139-164
    (K: Ch. 7 and Ch. 12)
    Thurs. Mar. 11 Wellness Day 
  • Tues. Mar. 16
    Technical Impacts …including satellites M: Ch. 6
    E: pp. 165-208
    If doing a Team Project, now’s the time to hand in preliminary stuff !!
    Thurs. Mar. 18 QUIZ 
  • Tues. Mar. 23
    Technical Impacts, yet more! B&D: pp. 247-402
    (K: Ch. 13 and Ch. 14)
    Thurs. Mar. 25 … military too 
  • Tues. Mar. 30 Thurs. Apr. 1 
    Living in Space & other phenomena M: Ch. 7 and Ch. 8
    B&D: pp. 131-171 including biological 
  • Tues. Apr. 6 Thurs. Apr. 8 
    Weather and Climate Effects E: pp. 209-234
    B&D: pp. 225-245
  • Tues. Apr. 13 Thurs. Apr. 15 
    Societal and Economic Impacts
    Smeal talk for a few moments on 15 April at 10 AM
  • Tues. Apr. 20 Thurs. Apr. 22 
    Modeling / Forecasting E: 235-254
    B&D: pp. 5-30 and pp. 403-425
  • Tues. Apr. 27 Thurs. Apr. 29
    Mitigation / Next Steps
    If doing a Team Project, time to hand the update in!


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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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Wellness Days

Tuesday, 2/9 and Thursday, 3/11 Wednesday, April 7th  have been designated as Wellness Days. No class meeting will happen, either in person or remotely, for those three days, and no assignments will be due on those days. Students are encouraged to use these days to focus on their physical and mental health. Please see for university sponsored events focusing on wellness that may be of interest to you. See Canvas and the course syllabus for any work that may be due before the next class meeting.