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Space Physics & Aeronomy

The Space Physics and Aeronomy research group studies the Earth’s geospace environment and the magnetospheres of other planets. Major topics investigated by the group are associated with the response of the magnetosphere, ionosphere and upper atmosphere to solar disturbances that reach the Earth after propagating through interplanetary space. Most significantly we study the aurora borealis, a spectacular natural phenomenon that can be observed from Fairbanks on a regular basis.

Researchers in the group carry out their studies using theory and simulation, sounding rockets, analysis of satellite-based observations, and ground-based observations of magnetic fluctuations, low-frequency sound waves, light from auroral emissions and radio signals reflected from atmospheric irregularities. The group is affiliated with the UAF Physics and Electrical Engineering departments, Poker Flat Research Range, the Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar, and HAARP.

Research Areas

  • Auroral studies
  • Experimental space plasma physics
  • Ionospheric physics and aeronomy
  • Magnetospheric physics
  • Near space dynamics
  • Space weather

Space Physics & Aeronomy Group

Students, Staff and Affiliates

Michael Ahrns
Graduate Student Researcher
Matthew Blandin
Graduate Student Researcher
Austin Cohen
Research Professional
Dillon Gillespie
Graduate Student Researcher
Quetzal Luebke-Laroque
Research Professional
Samuel McKay
Graduate Student Researcher
Gabrielle Nowak
Graduate Student Researcher
Austin Smith
Graduate Student Researcher
Chynna Spitler
Graduate Student Researcher