Making Space Physics More Widely Comprehensible

Volume 11, Number 2, June 1995
By David Stern and Mauricio Peredo
Space physics - studies of the Sun, the solar wind, and planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres, especially the Earth's - is an exciting field to scientists exploring it but very difficult to communicate to broader sections of the public.

"The Exploration of the Magnetosphere" being assembled by David Stern (GSFC, Code 695) and Mauricio Peredo (Hughes STX Corporation) seeks to do just that. It is a demonstration project aimed at the technically literate segment of society - technicians, engineers, science teachers, space enthusiasts, and students. It is entirely non-mathematical, but its language is precise, retaining the scientific flavor, the excitement of discovery, and the intricate interplay of phenomena. A determined 14-year-old might understand it, and even a citizen with no special interest in science may gain something by skimming. Among the features are the following:

The project was demonstrated at the 1995 Spring Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Baltimore, Maryland, (May 30-June 2) and will be demonstrated at the 1995 IUGG XXI General Assembly Meeting in Boulder, Colorado (July 2-15). The material is still incomplete, but users are welcome to browse through The Exploration of the Earth's Magnetosphere via the World Wide Web at URL http://lepmp.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/Intro.html , and any comments and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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