• Role of PPARC

    The solar system is changing everyday. Among them, "atmosphere", or "planetosphere" on each planet including the Earth shows significant change everyday. It is a faint and dilute area compared to the weight of the main body, but the difference between the Earth with ocean and full of life, Mars that has faint atmosphere, and Venus that is too excessive is so large that this area is definitive for the planet's environment. From the sun, solar wind consisting of supersonic plasma (electric-charged gas) blows to the planets, and causes space weather phenomena with solar radiation as energy source, photochemical process by solar radiation, and compositional change due to volcano / subsurface fluctuation. Planetary upper atmosphere exists in between solar wind and atmosphere, where we see aurora and magnetospheric activities, as well as atmospheric particle escape.
    These planetospheres that change everyday are subjects of our research in PPARC. Weak signal from the sun, the Earth and planets are detected by "IRRT / AMATERAS", a 30-meter radio telescope at IItate in, Fukushima, and radio interferometer at Zao / Kawadori / Yoneyama in Miyagi, magnetometers at Onagawa, Miyagi. In addition, with the cooperation of the University of Hawaii, a 40-cm optical telescope (T40) and a 60-cm optical infrared telescope (T60) are placed at the summit Mt. Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii, and the monitoring of planetary and satellite gases are carrying out everyday with the infrared / visible imager and spectrometers. A dedicated telescope that can be directed to solar system objects at any time is valuable globally, and these have supported earth orbiting satellite and planetary explorer under the collaboration between Tohoku University and other institutions. We are also exploring the present and evolution of the solar system including satellites by developing space-borne instruments.

    ◇Research and Development

    Sun, Planets Satellites, and Exoplanets

    Earth's Aurora, Upper Atmosphere, Ionosphere Magnetosphere and Radiation Belt 

    Development of Instruments for space and ground observations

    Past Studies

    ◇Our Facilities and Data

    Haleakala T60 and T40 

    --- Haleakala Monitoring Data 


    HF Antenna Sytem 

    Intruduction Leaflet

    ◇Major Projects

    PLANETS (UH page)  

    Space Missions 

    JSPS Sakura (Japan-France)

    JSPS AMAVERO (Japan-Belgium)

    ◇Past Projects

    JSPS Promotion of the Strategic Research Program

  • Director's Message: Prof. Yasumasa Kasaba


    The Earth is one and only planet in our solar system where we can now "survive", and it is one of the "planets in the universe". The preciousness and vulnerability of the environment are evident from the burning greenhouse where Venus is supposed to be "brothers planet" and from the traces of water disappeared in the distant past on Mars. Nonetheless, the Earth is not the only place in the universe where life can be born and maintained. Even in the solar system, the existence of the underground sea is becoming known for Mars and ice satellites in the Jupiter and Saturn system. Such "fluid water" may even make its existence possible even "earth type life". In addition, there will be "second earth" with sufficient atmosphere and water among extraterrestrial planets. Understanding the solar is stem is not only knowing the preciousness of the Earth, but also our present and future frontier of civilization. The exploration and exploitation are also to create the civilization space of the future that encompasses humankind.

    The whole area of the solar system that produces human activities is the subject of our Planetary Plasma Atmospheric Research Center in Tohoku University. The Center is focusing on the change and evolution of the solar system, such as the Earth, energy sources from the sun, Mars that explorers are constantly orbiting, Venus where a Japanese probe travels, and Mercury and Jupiter. Our research is carried out with the colleagues of the Department of Geophysics, Earth Sciences and Astronomy of the Graduate School of Science, the people who are involved in research activities in various institutions in Japan and the world. We are pleased that you will participate in this trip and support us.

    Brief History

    1932 Mukaiyama Geomagnetic Observatory was founded.
    1947 Onagawa Geomagnetic Observatory was founded.
    1957 Zao Airglow Observatory was founded.
    1957 Geomagnetic Observatory attached to Faculty of Science was founded.
    1961 Onagawa Geomagnetic Observatory was moved to the current place at Kirigasaki.
    1973 Upper Atmosphere and Space Research Laboratory attached to Faculty of Science was founded.
    1974 Observation of Jupiter's radio emission was started at Zao Observatory.
    1977 1-km baseline interferometer observation of Jupiter's radio emission was started at Zao Observatory.
    1980 Kawatabi Observatory was founded. Zao-Kawatabi long baseline interferometer observation of Jupiter's radio emission was started.
    1984 Yoneyama Observatory was founded. Zao-Kawatabi-Yoneyama long baseline interferometer observation of Jupiter's radio emission was started. 
    1992 Iitate Observatory was founded. Zao-Kawatabi-Iitate long baseline interferometer observation of Jupiter's radio emission was started.
    1993 Zao Observatory was moved to the current place at Shichigahara.
    1996 ELF magnetic pulsation observation was started at Onagawa Observatory.
    1996 Observation of Jupiter and Galaxy radio emission with 100-m array interferometer was started at Iitate Observatory.
    1998 A 60-cm optical-infrared telescope were founded in Iitate Observatory.
    1999 PPARC was founded by integrating Upper Atmosphere and Space Research Laboratory and Geomagnetic Observatory. Above four observatory were attached to PPARC.
    2000 IPRT started observation of Jupiter's synchrotoron radiation at Iitate Observatory.
    2000 2-m dome facility was founded at Haleakala summit, Maui, Hawaii, and started observation of Jupiter's satellite Io torus.
    2006 T40 facility with 2.6-m dome was founded at Haleakala.
    2010 IPRT started observation of solar radio emission.
    2014 60-cm telescope was relocated from Iitate to Haleakala. T60 facility was founded.