Division E Sun and Heliosphere

Scientific Objectives

Division E provides a forum for astronomers (observers, theoreticians, modelers and instrumentalists) studying a wide range of phenomena related to the structure, radiation and activity of the Sun, the dynamic magnetized solar wind that shapes the heliosphere, and their combined impact on the multitude of bodies within the solar system, including the Earth. The branches of astrophysics within the realm of Division E start from the uniquely detailed study of a dynamic stellar interior enabled by helioseismology, and the unrivaled access to a functioning astrophysical dynamo. Studies of the solar interior, long-term irradiance changes and the dynamic atmospheric structure are directly coupled to the cyclic generation/amplification of magnetic fields and the solar cycle, which are intrinsically related to activity, i.e. transient, phenomena. Studies of transient aspects of the Sun include those of flares, eruptions, coronal mass ejections, particle acceleration, all occurring within the context of a more gradually evolving background atmosphere, which together shape the entirety of the heliosphere. Within the context of the heliosphere, Division E focuses on understanding the solar wind, the interplanetary magnetic field, and their transients, shocks and energetic particles, as well as the space weather phenomena that all of these processes drive around the bodies throughout the heliosphere, including, of course, Earth. The long-standing Division Task Group on Eclipses reaches out to professionals, amateurs and the public in general by providing information on, and facilitating involvement in eclipse research.