UAH

June 3, 2014 - Nikolai Pogorelov, a Space Science professor, was awarded two large federal grants to study the heliosphere using computer models. The first project, funded under the Heliospheric Grand Challenges NASA program for $1,040,000, will investigate behavior of energetic ions, including cosmic rays, and neutral atoms in the vicinity of the boundary of the solar system, known as the heliopause. This problem is of major importance for the identification and explanation of physical processes being revealed by the Voyager space probes. The investigators will use data from Voyager and the IBEX satellite to solve the outstanding problems in heliospheric science, including the so called IBEX ribbon and the behavior of cosmic rays at the heliopause. The proposed work will help understand particle energization and transport, the physics of magnetic reconnection, the stability of the heliopause, and development of turbulence in space plasmas. The second project, selected under the NSF Solar, Heliospheric, and Interplanetary Environment program, will study solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), that are a cause of geomagnetic storms and a major influence on space weather. The work will combine remote sensing observations and computer modeling to investigate the effect of CMEs and other transient events on Earth and the interplanetary environment, and help formulate the safety requirements for future interplanetary missions.