Research

Research in the field of  space physics and astronomy is conducted in three research groups, Space Climate, Ionospheric Physics, and Astronomy.

Space Climate is a relatively new branch of space physics, which has grown into an interdisciplinary field of science in the recent years. It concentrates on long-term (from a few months to thousands of years) variations of solar activity and its effects in the heliosphere, near-Earth space, atmosphere and the Earth's climate system. Thus, Space Climate can be thought of as the "statistics of Space Weather", much like weather and climate in meteorology. Space Climate research relies strongly on vast databases of historical observations of, e.g., Sun, geomagnetic field variations, satellite observations, ground climate records etc. and often utilizes statistical big data methods and machine learning to uncover hidden regularities and physical meanings from these data. A recent hot topic in Space Climate research is the influence of solar activity and solar wind variations upon Earth's climate system.

In Ionospheric physics we study the near-Earth geospace with focus on the processes that affect the ionosphere within the Arctic region. Ionosphere is the ionized upper atmosphere between 70 and 1000 km altitude and it can be explored by instruments such as the international EISCAT radars and ESA’s Swarm satellites. Our aim is to understand how space weather events, such as solar wind high-speed streams and coronal mass ejections from the Sun affect the ionosphere. These events not only produce beautiful Northern lights, but also affect HF radio wave propagation and GNSS navigation.

The Astronomy research group is both an observational and theoretical group, which is involved with many exciting research projects. Our research interests cover three broad themes: extragalactic research, solar system research, and astrophysics. We are particularly interested in galactic rings and thick galactic disks, the rings of Saturn and circumplanetary dust in the solar system, and in accretion disks and interacting binary stars.

Last updated: 13.5.2020