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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Sun Earth Plan

On the back of my post that attempted (though probably rather poorly) to briefly explain what solar-terrestrial physics is (and isn't) I thought I should flag a site that is quite popular already.

2007-2009 is the International Heliophysical Year (and the International Polar Year), a successor to the great International Geophysical Year of 1959 which essentially kick-started the drive to study the near-Earth space environment, especially with ground based instrumentation which proved to be both relatively cheap and of massive benefit.

The timing was right to launch a website to highlight the great work that is done by UK scientists in the field of solar system science (solar, planetary and solar-terrestrial). A colleague of mine did this and we have the fantastic:

If you want to know about solar system science in the UK this is the place to go. Articles are written for a general audience and are very accessible. There is also the opportunity to put your questions to scientists currently working in the field as many have done already. Linking in with the IHY there are also useful resources for schools and science clubs.

The site made the Times Online 20 best space websites this year and contrary to reports from the woefully ignorant it has about 8000 unique visits per month and is far from limited only to the science community.

Of course the closure of UK ground-based STP facilities in the UK right in the middle of the huge international polar year (and IHY) just showcases the ignorance and stupidity of the new STFC strategy.

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