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The IAU Symposium 390, A multi-point view of the Sun: advances in solar observations and in space weather understanding will be held during the XXXII IAU General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa, on Aug 6-8, 2024.

The aim of the Symposium is to provide an overview of the results obtained by space- and ground-based observatories that have been recently come into operation, which study the Sun and the heliosphere from different vantage points.
The new science enabled by the multi-point of view approach will bring together the solar and the space weather scientific communities for further coordinating exploration and research effort. In this aspect, the focus will be on how the magnetic field and the solar wind shape the solar corona and the heliosphere, and what is the influence of  solar activity and of the dynamic and eruptive Sun on the heliosphere and the environments of the Earth and other planets.

Key Topics

The Sun from a multi-viewpoint perspective: synergies of the multi-point of view approach, and new challenges in our physical understanding of our star:

Mature results from the new space and ground-based observatories;

Magnetic and solar wind connectivity from the photosphere to the heliosphere;

The dynamic Sun: the physics of the dynamical corona and eruptive events

How do the Sun and heliosphere contribute to determine space weather? Awareness, science of forecasting, and data access:

The active Sun: global collaboration in space weather forecasting

Cross-disciplinary open-data frameworks in space weather

Machine learning techniques for handling large data volume for solar physics and space weather

Toward a 4π view of the Sun : new ground-based and space observatories, data centers, and space weather facilities

Aim of the Symposium

Never before has the study and monitoring of the Sun and the heliosphere been able to take advantage of so many observatories, both space- and ground-based. In particular, the unique opportunity of studying the Sun from different vantage points is now being exploited with two major flagships missions: the NASA Parker Solar Probe (PSP) encounter mission, launched in 2018, and the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter launched in 2020.

The space fleet will be further enriched by the Chinese Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S) that was launched in October 2022 and placed in Sun-synchronous orbit, and by the Indian Aditya-L1 to be launched in 2023 and positioned into orbit around the L1 point. 

All these spacecraft will be fully operative by 2024 and, together with older space assets still functioning, like SOHO, Hinode, IRIS, SDO, Stereo A and Proba-2, will explore the Sun from the interior to the heliosphere with both remote sensing and in situ instrumentation and from different points-of-view, enabling 3D diagnostic techniques for magnetic field measurements and the dynamics of the eruptive events. 

All the space assets will be working in synergy with the many ground based observatories, including the largest ever optical/NIR telescope, the 4-meter Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), the Upgraded Coronal Multi-channel Polarimeter (UCoMP) as well as radio telescopes like LOFAR, ALMA, MWA and ASKAP.     

It is now time to show how the coordinated efforts put in by the international communities and the national and international funding agencies in this first part of the century have yielded a large return in terms of knowledge of our star, through a multi-messenger, multi-point view of the Sun, including in situ measurements of the solar wind and energetic particles, together with magnetic and electric fields and waves.

Observations will be compared and contrasted with state-of-the-art numerical simulations, which in the last decade have greatly advanced our understanding of the aforementioned science questions in both solar physics and space weather, and form the basis of most space weather predictions. For instance, data-driven radiative magnetohydrodynamic simulations and particle-in-cell simulations have proven to be instructive and complementary to observations.

Coordinating division

Division E - Sun and heliosphere


Supporting Divisions: B ( Facilities, Technologies and Data Science), C (Education, Outreach and Heritage)

Supporting Commissions: E1 (Solar Radiation and Structure), E2 (Solar Activity), E3 (Solar Impact throughout the Heliosphere)

Supporting Inter-Division B-E WG (Coordination of Synoptic Observations of the Sun)

CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa