Space weather describes the conditions encountered in space, which are strongly affected by our Sun. Just like atmospheric weather, space weather at Earth can get stormy, when solar storms born from solar eruptions hit the Earth’s magnetic field that forms a natural shield around our planet. Understanding and forecasting solar storms is crucial because they do not only create beautiful auroral displays, but can also damage assets such as satellites and power grids.
My research focuses on the role played by electromagnetic waves in near-Earth space, how they transmit across the differents regions of space dominated by the Earth’s magnetic field, how they transport energy across the whole system, and how these processes are modified when a solar storm hits the Earth. In a recent work, we showed that solar storms can change the pitch of some waves, thereby changing the “Earth’s magnetic song” ( http://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Earth_s_magnetic_song_recorded_for_the_first_time_during_a_solar_storm). The study of these waves is made possible by the fleet of scientific spacecraft which provide us with continuous measurements of the conditions encountered in space. My work also relies heavily on numerical simulations based on the Vlasiator model, developed at the University of Helsinki, which offers a global view of near-Earth space that helps connecting observations together.