Sample: Space Weather by John Austin, PhD:

Space Weather: Extraordinary phenomena from an ordinary star, by John Austin, PhD

Space weather covers an extraordinary range of phenomena and I have just started writing a book on the subject. At the moment I have a first draft of the Introduction complete, and outline chapters. I hope to complete this project by the end of 2015, and will regularly update this site with progress reports.

spaceweather cover page
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Our Sun is an ordinary star by the standards of the universe as a whole. Amongst other stars it appears amongst the “main sequence” stars which, as it happens, are not the brightest nor the dimmest in the galaxy, but somewhere in the middle. While it might have been a sense a pride to have had one of the brightest stars in the galaxy as our Sun, we would probably not be here to observe it. Remarkably, average stars like our sun are longer lasting than bright, massive stars, and in the billions of years that it takes to exhaust its fuel supply, life has the chance to flourish as in our solar system. The Sun is also fairly stable in its energy output, without which life would also not be possible, but the small variability that is present gives rise to the remarkable phenomena which we refer to as “Space Weather”.

In this book I describe in Part 1 the processes causing space weather, from extreme ultra violet to the solar wind and their interaction with the upper atmosphere. In Part 2, I describe the effects of space weather including the aurora and radio transmission. "Space Weather" is a young science, but of growing importance in our increasingly technological society. This future is explored in Part 3.

The book consists of 19 Chapters in plain language and with some mathematics, which is easily skipped if desired. Dozens of figures illustrating specific points of interest are included together with numerous references to the supporting material.
Download Colour Images to supplement printed book

Progress 2 March 2015

  • First draft of Chapter 2 (The Sun) complete. The above extract includes Chapters 1 and 2 and outlines for the remaining chapters.

The total solar eclipse in France in 1999, from wikipedia Commons. Original image by Luc viatour ( with additional noise reduction performed by Diliff. The image clearly shows the Sun's corona with solar prominences visible.

Progress 22 March 2015

  • First draft of Chapter 3 (Sunspots, Faculae and the Solar Cycle) complete. The above extract includes the chapter Introduction.

Magnetic field lines on the Sun on 20 August 2010. Credit: NASA Solar dynamics Observatory/Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. The image shows the magnetic field lines intersecting the Sun's photosphere in two places, which would each correspond to a sunspot.

Progress 15 August 2015

  • First draft of Chapter 4 (The solar Wind) complete. The above extract includes the chapter Introduction.

Progress has stalled while on I concentrate on my new finance project on spread betting.

Artist's impression of the solar wind sheet. Credit: NASA Solar dynamics Observatory/Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. The image shows the influence of the rotating magnetic field on the solar wind.

Website revised by John Austin, 15/8/2015. © Enigma Scientific Publishing, 2015.