The study of heliophysics attempts to understand the nature of space itself – including how the Sun's magnetic fields and particles affect space throughout the solar system. Near Earth, such effects are known as space weather, which can interfere with our communications and satellite technology. Knowledge of our space environment also helps us understand the region through which spacecraft travel, as well as provide clues to the forces that forged the planets and other stars.
The NASA Heliophysics Division is guided by goals defined in the NASA 2014 Strategic Plan, NASA 2014 Science Plan, and the 2013 National Research Council Decadal Strategy for Solar and Space Physics report, Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society. To improve our understanding of the Sun and its interactions with the Earth and the Solar System, including space weather, we currently seeks to answer three big questions: