Near Earth Space

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Objectives:To give broad knowledge of the most important processes responsible for geomagnetic disturbances in the near Earth space due to activity on the Sun.


Content:The course gives an introduction to the physical processes and conditions in near-Earth space influencing the space weather: The structure of the sun, solar activity and solar radiation, the solar wind, the Earth's atmosphere and its composition, the ionosphere and its influence on radio wave propagation, the geomagnetic field, motion of charged particles in the Earth's magnetosphere, particle precipitation, aurora and cosmic rays. Some examples on the influence of the geomagnetic field on the conditions in near-Earth space (and vice versa) will be given, e.g. how simple predictions of geomagnetic activity can be made from observations of key parameters in the solar wind. The course is a basis for master studies in space physics. The course might also be of interest for students in related fields, such as optics, atmospheric physics and meteorology.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student has knowledge about:

  • physical processes in gases and plasmas from the interior of the Sun to the Earth¿s atmosphere.
  • the magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun.
  • the structure and composition of the Sun, and the Earth¿s atmosphere.
  • how the Sun drives large-scale plasma processes in the near Earth space environment


The student can:

  • apply physics and mathematics to qualitatively and quantitatively describe processes in geospace.
  • explain the cosmic source of variours auroral and geomagnetic phenomena observed from the Earth.
  • predict geomagnetic activity based on solar wind observations.

General competence

The student can:

  • convey to the general public how the Earth is coupled to space and the Sun.
  • apply physics to explain phenomena in neutral and ionized gasses in the atmosphere.

Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.