CPS Welcome

SPC, with six faculty members and thirteen researchers is the oldest organized structure within the IGPP evolving from the original Space Science Center established by R. E. Holzer in 1962. The first director of the SPC was the Nobel Laureate W. Libby. The areas of interest within the SPC include space plasma simulation, planetary plasma physics and space physics. Members of SPC carry out investigations of the solar wind, and the magnetospheres, ionospheres and atmospheres of the Earth and planets. The SPC supports scientific research in the United States and throughout the world by providing scientists with access to high quality data through the NASA Planetary Data System. Members of the SPC are active in teaching physics and space physics both in the classroom and through the development of multimedia aids to education. The Space Physics Center is active in the development of technology for space research, data management and education.

-Chris Russell, Center Head


ARTEMIS: two tiny spacecraft that could reach for the moon. Two THEMIS microsatellites previously orbiting Earth are being repositioned to orbit the moon. They constitute ARTEMIS, the first mission to study the lunar wake, exosphere and radiation environment from two vantage points, resolving space-time ambiguities.


THEMIS, a NASA five spacecraft mission, discovers that magnetic reconnection, powered by the Sun's expanding corona when it interacts with Earth's space environment, releases the particle and electromagnetic radiation that ignite spectacular polar auroral displays, resolving a 40 year old mystery.


Ganymede is the only moon known to have a magnetosphere. Shown in this figure are magnetic field lines (green) from a recent magnetohydrodynamic simulation to the interaction of Jovian plasma with Ganymede. The red regions show currents on the magnetopause of Ganymede and in the magnetotail.

Every 15 seconds a new research image will appear

SPC Seminars

V. Angelopoulos

V. Angelopoulos


6704 Slichter Hall
Fridays 3:30-4:30 PM

Date TBA
Lecturer TBA
Lecture TBA

seminars schedule