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Canada and the International Heliophysical Year. Contributing through science and public outreach. Adrienne Parent 1 , Ian R. Mann 1 , William Liu 2 , David Boteler 3 , Victor Fomichev 4 and Gordon Shepherd 4

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Canada and the International Heliophysical Year

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Canada and the International Heliophysical Year

Contributing through science and public outreach

Adrienne Parent1, Ian R. Mann1, William Liu2, David Boteler3, Victor Fomichev4 and Gordon Shepherd4

1University of Alberta, 2Canadian Space Agency, 3Natural Resources Canada and 4York University


Education and Outreach

International Science Initiatives

United Nations Basic Space Science Small Instrument Arrays:Canada has partnered with the United States in proposing to establish the AMBER (African Meridian B-field Education and Research) magnetometer array in the African continent during the IHY. In addition to filling one of the largest land-based gaps in global magnetometer coverage, which promises a large helioscience return, valuable collaborations will be fostered between scientists in developing and developed nations. Together with partner measurements of total electron content (TEC) from networks of GPS receivers in Africa, these measurements during IHY will enable studies of magnetosphere- ionosphere coupling, especially the relationship of the equatorial electrojet to ion outflows and the storm-time super ion fountain. Overflights of the Canadian e-POP satellite at the apex of field lines will be a valuable partner in-situ measurement.

Canada is proud to contribute to the IHY initiative. Our current and future scientific efforts and public outreach activities provide support to each one of the IHY’s main objectives.

Public education and outreach are key components of the Canadian IHY program planned for 2007 and 2008.

School Outreach Programs: Projects are being developed to introduce space science related activities into the classroom. Students will be able to examine physics on the global heliophysics scale, with the use of cosmic ray measurements available from the schools-based ALTA network (Canadian component of NALTA, the North American array of cosmic ray detectors), magnetometer data from the Canadian array CARISMA, data from “home-made” magnetometers that can

Courtesy of NASA

In 2007 and 2008, Canada is also privileged to be a part of the complementary International Polar Year (IPY) scientific campaign.

be built in school, as well as publicly available online solar wind measurements. The success of the project will be formally assessed by science education researchers. Special IHY sessions will be held at the 2008 North American Physics Teachers Conference.

Program Goals

1.Enhance heliophysical research through existing and planned space science programs, including spacecraft missions and ground-based instrument arrays.

2. Promote IHY science to students and the general public through school outreach programs, web presence and collaboration with public science centers.

3. Advance international scientific cooperation by working towards improved global magnetometer data sharing and by supporting the UNBSS distributed instrument initiative with the AMBER African array proposal.

Outreach Partnership with Edmonton Telus World of Science (Space and Science Center): Tentative IHY-related activities include public lectures and poster nights, space-themed planetarium and IMAX shows, art contests and displays and the development of a new space science and aurora exhibit.

Global magnetometer coverage including the proposed African AMBER array (large orange dots).

IHY-Canada Timeline

Lecture Tours: Space physics lecture tours may be organized in major centers and in Canada’s North in order to promote IHY and IPY science.

  • 2006: Preliminary work, meetings and planning of IHY activities, physics teachers workshop to introduce school outreach program, website development
  • 2007: Formation of national committee, education and public outreach programs begin, official website debuts online, further planning of IHY activities
  • 2008: Special IHY sessions at the 2008 North American Physics Teachers Conference, school outreach program continues, 2008 solar eclipse

Solar Eclipse 2008: We are currently assessing Canadian interest in the eclipse, which may be viewable at arctic latitudes or with an IHY observing campaign in Asia.

Science Contributions

Courtesy of Nasa

A number of space science projects under the umbrella of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are making significant advances in IHY-related heliophysical research.

IHY-Canada Website: The official website, appearing online in February 2007, will communicate IHY activities and science efforts to the public.

NASA’s THEMIS five-satellite missionaims to identify the physical mechanism that leads to the explosive release of energy in the substorm. The existing CARISMA Canadian magnetometer array will provide data as a formal part of the THEMIS ground-based observatory network which is deployed across Canada. Canadian scientists within the THEMIS team, in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency, will analyze ground-based and in-situ measurements taken by the five satellite THEMIS constellation.

Canadian Geospace Monitoring (CGSM) is a coordinated observation, data assimilation and modeling program. It employs an integrated continent-scale instrument array and its ongoing expansion will enable Canadian scientists to lead international efforts in answering the fundamental questions of solar-terrestrial physics.

Contact us:

Ian Mann Adrienne Parent

Canadian IHY National Coordinator University of Alberta

University of Alberta +1-780-492-8179


The scientific payload e-POP (enhanced polar outflow probe), set to launch on the Canadian small satellite mission CASSIOPE in 2008, will measure the effects of solar storms and their negative impact on radio communication and satellite navigation. It will study space phenomena in the upper atmosphere, where the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field. Data obtained with e-POP will place Canadian scientists at the forefront of ionospheric research.

Please visit our website:

IHY Inauguration Ceremony – February, 2007