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Swedish Institute of Space Physics (59°50.272′N, 17°38.786′E)
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soyuz Uppsala University
Department of Astronomy and Space Physics

Old material from the course

Space Physics I (3 p)
Rymdfysik I (3 p)

See course home page for current course information

Fun stuff (Roliga timmen)

We often use the last five or ten miunutes of the lecture for some special issue on space science or spaceflight, preferably something going on right now. Here are some things done in the past:

Spring 2006 items:
  • Lecture 1 060119: Stardust. Our first example of a space mission was Stardust, whose capsule returned to Earth four days ago (060115) with samples of cometary and interstellar dust. We used Stardust as the starting point for a discussion on what subsystems one needs to have on a spacecraft.
  • Lecture 2 060120: New Horizons. NASA launched New Horizons to Pluto and the Kuiper belt yesterday (060119), so this came to be our second space project example. We discussed the problems with power generation at
  • Lecture 4 060125: Galileo. ESA launched the first of the Galileo navigation system satellites a few weeks ago, so this became the target of our third space project description. We talked about Galileo as well as the existing GPS system and principles of satellite navigation systems in general.
  • Lecture 6 060201: Saab Ericsson Space. In order to acquaintain you with commercial space activities in Sweden, we took a look at Sweden's major space company, Saab Ericsson Space.

Spring 2004 items:
  • Lecture 1 040119: Mars missions -- 40 years of mixed success. As the European orbiter Mars Express as well as two US rovers have just arrived at Mars, an overview of Mars exploration was sort of timely. A discussion of the causes of the quite substantial number of failures was included, as this provides a good set of examples of the perils of space travel. This was based on information from the Mars pages of California Space Institute and, for post-1998 information, NASA's Mars exploration programme..
  • Lecture 2 040120: SOHO. The most important solar observatory, continuously observing the sun since 1996. Based on information from ESA's SOHO science pages.
  • Lecture 3 040121: Ulysses. As we discussed the solar wind today, it was natural to dwell a little upon the spacecraft that has shown us the 3D structure of the solar wind. Based on info from ESA's Ulysses pages.
  • Lexture 4-5 040122: Swedish space industry. To give some feeling of what commercial space activities there are in Sweden. Based on info from Rymdforum.
  • Lecture 7 040126: Paleomagnetism. How geophysicists study the ancient history of Earth's magnetic field, and also something about its recent changes.
  • Lecture 8 040127: The heliosphere in the kitchen sink. How to study shock fronts while washing up the dishes.
  • Lecture 10 040130: Solar seismology and how to use it to study sunspots on the back side of the sun. Read more at
  • Lecture 11 040203: Shocks in the universe. Some examples of different kind of shocks: the solar wind termination shock (in the heliopause region) may already have been reached by Voyager 1; Hubble pictures show a nice example of a bow shock at the young star LL Orionis in the Orion nebula and of shock waves spreading around the Crab pulsar.
  • Lecture 14-15 040209: Aurora. This is certainly part of the proper course, but looking at beautiful auroral pictures is so fun that it merits to be mentioned here. Have a look at the auroral pages at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, for example.
  • Problem session 16 040216: Space industry A major Swedish space industry was taken as an example of European space industry. Based on information from SAAB Ericsson Space.
  • Extra activity 040302: Watch the launch of Rosetta live in the Siegbahn lecture hall, at 08:00, Tuesday March 2, 2004. Uppsala scientists and engineers involved in Rosetta will give some background and show examples of what we fly on Rosetta.

Some fun things for the spring 2005 course:
last modified on Monday, 20-Mar-2006 11:31:23 CET