This course will provide an overview understanding of space science. "Space science" encompasses a broad range of topics, so we will focus our attention on our own solar system. Most of our current knowledge of space has come from spacecraft instruments...which traveled to other locations in the solar system and have sent back valuable data. As engineers, you will be most interested in space physics to provide background and motivation for spacecraft systems and instrument engineering as well as knowledge of the operational environment driving the design of spacecraft hardware. But your lecturer is a physicist! (albeit an experimentalist and has built spacecraft hardware), so our focus will not be on the technology but the physical observations and principles.

Course Topics:

  • Overview and background of Space Science
  • The Sun
  • Space Plasma Physics
  • The Solar System
  • Earth and Planetary Magnetospheres
  • The Heliosphere and Beyond