Understanding Solar Eruptions and Extreme Space Weather Events – The physics behind
HESPERIA Summer school
August 29, 2016 to September 2, 2016
Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany


The Sun is both a source of all life and significant hazards. Solar energetic particle (SEP) events provoke extreme space weather. While not noticeable by humans on Earth, space weather caused radiation is a hazard for satellites, for the astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS), and in extreme cases for the aircrew on polar flights. But energetic particles are also of general astrophysical interest. Supernova remnants, pulsars, active galactic nuclei can only be seen because these objects accelerate particles. So does the Sun. Solar particles can not only be observed through their electromagnetic emission, but they can also be directly measured in space as SEP events and in extreme cases as ground level enhancements. We see their time evolution and can use it to constrain the acceleration processes. Therefore, scientists observe SEP events and incorporate methods to know or even forecast the radiation hazard associated with them.

Educational Objectives

The HESPERIA course at the Christian-Albrechts-Universität provides an introduction to the physics of the active corona, the variable solar wind including the interplanetary field embedded in, the acceleration and transport of energetic particles as well as their transport through the Earth magneto- and atmosphere and radiation effects. The lectures include a variety of interesting phenomena observed on the Sun and in interplanetary space.


Students will attend a variety of lectures on space physics and research topics related to space weather and will gain valuable hands-on experience under the mentorship of a HESPERIA scientist. This program also provides students with opportunities to develop their written communication skills, by presenting their research in a formal report at the end of the summer school.


The school is open to 25 graduate students currently enrolled in astro or space physics, planetary sciences, space engineering or a related field. Program acceptance is based primarily on the student’s academic record and nomination letter. Acceptance will also be based on the student's interest in attending the summer school and the benefit to the student of attendance, as demonstrated in the cover letter. Application must be addressed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Further information at wiki.hesperia-space.eu.

Important Dates and Deadlines

1.    31.01.2016: Start of applications
2.    30.04.2016: Deadline for application
3.    30.04.2016: Deadline for support
4.    15.05.2016: Support application assignment and rating
5.    29.08.2016: Summer school starts
6.    02.09.2016; Summer school ends


We will provide free accommodation in a students guest house and daily allowance to cover local expenses. Traveling support can be arranged for a few cases.

Please include the following material with your application:

1.    Cover letter describing your research interests, why it would benefit you to attend
2.    Current CV including full list of publications and presentations
3.    Undergraduate transcripts
4.    Nomination letter from your advisor


•    Dr. Olga Malandraki (NOA): Introduction to the HESPERIA Project
•    Prof. Rami Vainio (University of Turku): Particle acceleration
•    Dr. Neus Agueda (University of Barcelona): Particle transport in the interplanetary medium
•    Dr. Ludwig Klein (Observatoire de Paris): The solar corona and non thermal radiation
•    Dr. Rolf Bütikofer (University of Bern): Particle transport in the Earth' magneto- and atmosphere
•    Prof. Bernd Heber (Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel): In-situ measurements of solar energetic particles

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