The International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY) is a big international program for studying the whole chain of events from the Sun through the heliosphere and solar wind to the Earth with the aim to understand the role of solar drivers for geomagnetic disturbances, climate change and life on the Earth. This is a continuation of the International Geophysical Year (1957) in which more than 60,000 scientists from 66 countries participated. IHY extends the concept of "Geophysics" to "Heliophysics" to embrace not only atmospheric and solar-terrestrial physics but include studies of other planets, the outer reaches of the heliosphere, and its interaction with the interstellar medium. In the International Heliophysical Year, supported by the United Nations Basic Space Science Initiative, United Nations Committee on Space Research, International Council of Sciences, International Astronomical Union, European Geoscience Union, European Space Agency, American Geophysical Union and a number of other organizations, 198 countries are expected to participate.
The main goals of the IHY are :
- To obtain a coordinated set of observations to study at the largest scale the solar generated events which affect life and climate on the Earth,
- Global study of the Sun-heliosphere system outward to the heliopause to understand the external and historic drivers of geophysical change.
2) Social And Economical
- To foster international scientific cooperation in the study of Heliophysical phenomena now and in the future,
- To incorporate developing countries in the exploration of space,
- To raise the technical and scientific level in the area of space exploration.
- To communicate the basic science and the unique scientific results of the IHY to the interested scientific community and to the general public.
In June 2005, as a step toward the preparation for the IHY, a regional network for space weather studies was organized of the Balkans, Black Sea and Caspian Sea countries. The regional network includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Turkey, and Ukraine. The idea of the network is not only to coordinate the IHY related activities, but also to facilitate the long lasting cooperation among the countries in the region in the area of space and space weather studies. The first meeting was held in Bulgaria in 2005, the 2007 meeting will be held in Azerbaijan, and the 2006 meeting is being organized in Turkey right after the total solar eclipse of March 29, 2006 to combine the observational activities with a scientific meeting. The location of the meeting is chosen on the totality line of the eclipse to make available a site for the experiments of the attendees.
The program of the meeting will consist of two parts:
I. Scientific conference covering the following topics relevant to the IHY
- Solar Physics and solar drivers of geoeffective events,
II. Organizational meeting
- To present the status in the countries of the Balkans, Black Sea and Caspian Sea Regional Network activities,
- To coordinate the observational, scientific and educational activities related to the IHY.