About Us

The Center for Solar-Terrestrial Research (CSTR) at NJIT is an international leader in ground- and space-based solar and terrestrial physics, with interest in understanding the effects of the Sun on the geospace environment.  CSTR differs from many other academic, government, and military solar-terrestrial groups in that it:

1)  Is comprised of faculty and research staff that study all aspects the solar-terrestrial environment: sun's surface, solar atmosphere, solar wind, interplanetary medium, Earth's magnetosphere, and Earth's upper, middle, and lower atmosphere.  This vast range of interest and capabilities enables CSTR to study coupled system science to a higher level than any other group in the United States.

2)  Is largely an experimental and observational group, focusing on instrument design, construction, operation, and data analysis and inversion.  Though we utilize various numerical models in our studies, we fundamentally believe that data is what drives science forward.

3)  Is, as part of an "Institute of Technology", deeply involved with the practical aspects of space weather.   Specifically, our resources enable us to directly address the impacts of space weather on technological systems, e.g., GPS systems from solar flares, spacecraft charging from space radiation, spacecraft drag from a heated upper atmosphere.
4)  Is keenly aware of its roll in a public research university and its mission to educate the next generation of undergraduate and graduate students to actualize their full potential as "geospace physicists."


Our observatories, on both the ground and in space, are state-of-the-art world-class facilities.  Maintaining this level of operation requires significant resources and, on average, CSTR does ~$6-7 M dollars per year in external research expenditures.  This work is performed by 5 tenure or tenure-track faculty, 3 Distinguished Research Professors, 9 Research Professors, 11 Research Scientists/Research Engineers, 3 Administrative Staff members, and ~20 graduate students.  Recent high-level publications include:

Chen, B., T. S. Bastian, C. Shen, D. E. Gary, S. Krucker, L. Glesener (2015) Particle Acceleration by a Solar Flare Termination Shock, Science, 350, 1238

Wang, H., W. Cao, C. Liu, Y. Xu, R. Liu, Z. Zeng, J. Chae, and H. Ji (2015) Witnessing magnetic twist with high-resolution observation from the 1.6-m New Solar Telescope, Nature Communications 6, Article number: 7008 doi:10.1038/ncomms8008.

Baker, D. N., A. N. Jaynes, V. C. Hoxie, R. M. Thorne, J. C. Foster, X. Li, J. F. Fennell, J. R. Wygant, S. G. Kanekal, P. J. Erickson, W. Kurth, W. Li, Q. Ma, Q. Schiller, L. Blum, D. M. Malaspina, A. Gerrard, and L. J. Lanzerotti (2014) An impenetrable barrier to ultrarelativistic electrons in the Van Allen radiation belts, Nature 515, 531–534, doi:10.1038/nature13956.