The research group works on solar and heliospheric physics, with application to the impact of solar activity on Earth as well as human and robotic explorers across the solar system (Space Weather). Research focus lies on the evolution of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) close to the Sun and in interplanetary space, and the evolution of coronal holes together with the structuring of the solar wind.Solar wind stream interaction regions, generated by the interrelation between large scale open (coronal holes) and closed coronal magnetic fields, produce in the heliosphere periodically recurring structures of compressed plasma and magnetic field followed by high-speed streams. These structures are frequently interrupted by the short-term reconfiguration of the lower coronal magnetic field generating flares which provide the necessary reconfiguration of the solar coronal magnetic field and energy to accelerate enormous amounts of magnetized plasma (coronal mass ejections) as well as energetic particles (SEPs). The response of the Earth's atmosphere on solar activity is of special interest, and the group collaborates with expert teams on the magnetosphere (IWF Graz) and thermosphere (TU Graz).
Besides working in an interdisciplinary field across several physics domains, of current major interest is the validation and improvement of state-of-the-art Space Weather models by using remote sensing image data and in-situ measurements from multiple viewpoints. International collaboration is key in science, hence, many projects are performed in international teams and consortia. The projects are supported by national and international funding agencies, which we greatly acknowledge.
The research results are the basis for the proper development of CME and solar wind forecasting services (e.g., ESA/SSA Programme)