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AGF-301
The Upper Polar Atmosphere (15 ECTS)

 

Course period: Spring semester, annually. Next course: 13.01-12.05  2014
Language of instruction and examination: English
Credit reduction/overlap: 15 ECTS with AGF-801
Grade: Letter grade (A through F)
Examination support material: Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue. Non-programmable calculator
Course materials: Book chapters, articles, compendia; ca. 450 pages
Course responsible: Dag A. Lorentzen
Course costs: None
Course capacity min/max: 5/20 students (AGF-301/801 in total)

Required previous knowledge/specific course requirements:
Enrolment in a relevant master program.

Learning outcome:
• Knowledge
Be able to describe how the energy from the solar wind is deposited in the Earth's magnetosphere/ionosphere system, and how this is related to physical processes observable from satellite and ground-based instrumentation.

• Skills
Have the ability to operate several optical instruments located at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO).

• Competence
Be able to analyse space physics data, and relate the outcome to physical processes in the ionosphere.

Academic content:
This course describes the interactions between the solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere and the consequences of these processes for the ionized region of the upper atmosphere, i.e. the ionosphere. Energy, particles and momentum transferred from the solar wind manifest themselves in the upper Polar atmosphere particularly as the aurora, but also in terms of powerful electric currents and wind systems (ion winds as well as winds in the neutral gas).

Central elements in this course will be descriptions of the Earth's magnetic field, the magnetosphere, ionization processes and the formation of the ionosphere. The current system related to the coupling between the magnetosphere and the upper atmosphere/ionosphere, together with the generation and absorption mechanisms for waveforms and transport of electromagnetic energy will be described. Both particle and magneto-hydrodynamic descriptions of space plasma will be presented.

The project report will be set in connection with fieldwork at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO). Students are recommended to take AGF-301 in parallel with AGF-304.

Teaching activities:
The course extends over a full semester and is run in combination with AGF-801.

Total lecture hours: 65 hours.
Total seminar hours: 15 hours.
Fieldwork: 30 hours.

Compulsory educational activities:
Fieldwork and written report.

All compulsory educational activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Time
Percentage of final grade
Written exam 5 hours
100 %


All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.

 

Application deadline: 15. October 2013.

 

 

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