The Space Physics and Aeronomy Section is united by its interest in the Sun, the heliosphere (the region around the Sun that is permeated by the solar wind and the interplanetary magnetic field), and the upper atmospheres and magnetospheres of solar system planets and small bodies. To maintain the integrity of its scientific endeavors and to make participation in AGU activities more manageable, the Section is organized into three subsections.
Concerns of the Aeronomy (SA) subsection include the Earth’s ionosphere, thermosphere, and mesosphere, auroras and airglow, lightning, and planetary atmospheres and ionospheres. Researchers affiliated with the solar and heliospheric physics (SH) subsection study the solar wind, coronal heating, flares, coronal mass ejections, magnetic reconnection, collisionless shocks, and helioseismology. The magnetospheric physics (SM) subsection’s focus is on geomagnetic storms, magnetospheric substorms, the magnetic fields and currents of the magnetosphere, the magnetopause, and the magnetospheres of planets and small bodies in the solar system. All in the SPA Section share in the challenge to plan future space investigations that will lead to new discoveries. To generate excitement and understanding of space physics and aeronomy among the public, the SPA Section is involved in a number of educational initiatives.
The Space Physics and Aeronomy section has established a total of five awards and three named lectures to recognize outstanding scientists who are in the early, mid, and advanced stages of their career. Details about each honor are provided below.