“To understand a science it is necessary to know its history”Auguste Comte
The purpose of this page is to place in one timeline the major achievements in our understanding of the solar-terrestrial relationship. It was written for Honors Collegium 28 “The Perils of Space: An Introduction to Space Weather” taught at UCLA Fall 2003. It is also useful for space physics graduate students to get a sense of their scientific heritage and community and to see how our ideas have evolved.
A feature of this page that I attempted to accomplish is an electronic link or at least the citation to the original work. This feature hence means that I do not include “anonymous” early discoveries such as by early Chinese observations of sunpsots or the AD 1054 Crab Nebula supernova appearance.
Much of the research was accomplished using review papers or history of science papers. Therefore, there are most certainly cases where work is not included that should be included. The benefit of having a web-based timeline is that it can be continuously updated. Please feel free to send suggestions on additions to this timeline. Also there is danger in attempting to assign credit of discoveries, especially in space science where many scientists may be working on the same problem or project. Even the same events can be seen in different contexts by different participants. Note that the contributions of the last 25 years of space physics research is not adequately described. Suggestions on contemporary “Luminaries” are welcome.
I welcome comments or suggestions. Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Note that I have moved to the University of Michigan)
Please report any broken links to me as well.