The SOLSTICE project is a consortium project of Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory and Helsinki University. The goal of the project is to examine space storms and the magnetic distubances caused by them. The research groups will compare solar and stellar magnetic activity data for a better general understanding of the magnetic activity of solar type stars, and in particular the Sun's activity.

Project information

Project duration


Funded by

Research Council of Finland - Academy Project

Funding amount

400 000 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Project description

The SOLSTICE project examines space storms and the magnetic disturbances caused by them. Ground magnetic data will be used from 1844 onwards and, thus, the changes in the near-Earth magnetic environment can be studied for over 16 solar cycles.

One of the main goals of the research is to find out the following:

  • How the Sun has varied in different time-scales
  • How the variability has affected the near-Earth magneitc climate in different latitudes
  • How strong space storms the Sun is capable of producing

The project will investigate the predictability of the auroral substorms and other geomagnetic disturbances based on the solar and solar wind data, separately in auroral zone, sub-oval and polar cap. Stellar measurements will be used for examining the link between active regions and super-flares and estimate the occurrence rates for extreme events.

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory research group

The Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory research group focuses on magnetic measurements.

The research team consists of:

  • Consortium PI: Eija Tanskanen, PhD, Professor
  • Shabnam Nikbakhsh, Doctoral researcher

University of Helsinki stellar astrophysics research group

The University of Helsinki research group focuses on observations of stellar magnetic activity. The goal is to use these observations for a better general understanding of the magnetic activity of solar type stars, and in particular the Sun's activity. We also investigate the influence of a stars activity on the detectability of exoplanets. We use the following observations:

  • High resolution spectroscopy from e.g. the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) and telescopes of the European Southern Observatory (ESO)
  • Spectropolarimetry from e.g. the NOT and ESO
  • Ground based photometry from e.g. Automated Photometric Telescopes
  • Space based high precision photometry from e.g. the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
  • Ground-based Ca II H&K monitoring surveys
  • Radiocarbon measurements from tree rings

Methods we are using include Doppler imaging, Zeeman-Doppler imaging (ZDI) and time series analysis. Radiocarbon measurements are used to detect historical solar energetic particle events.

The research team consists of:

  • Co-PI: Thomas Hackman, PhD, University researcher.
  • András Haras-Kiss, MSc, Doctoral student
  • Jyri Lehtinen, PhD, post-doc researcher (Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO)
  • Aino Luttinen, BSc student
  • Nora Routamo, BSc, master student
  • Mikko Tuomi, PhD, University researcher
  • Teemu Willamo, PhD
  • Joonas Uusitalo, MSc, doctoral student (Laboratory of Chronology, University of Helsinki)