Geomagnetism and Aeronomy activities in Italy during IGY, 1957/58

Antonio Meloni, Lucilla Alfonsi


In 2007 several events were organized to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the International Geophysical Year
(IGY, 1957-1958). The celebrations will last until 2009 and are taking place within different contexts: the International
Polar Year (IPY), the International Heliophysical Year (IHY), the electronic Geophysical Year (eGY)
and the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE).
IGY offered a very appropriate and timely occasion to undertake a series of coordinated observations of various
geophysical phenomena all over the globe. Italy took part in the broad international effort stimulated by IGY. In
fact, Italy participated in observations and studies in many of the proposed scientific areas, in particular Geomagnetism
and Aeronomy. The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica (ING) started the installation of observatories,
and updated and ensured continuous recording of geophysical observations. Geomagnetism, ionospheric
physics, seismology, and other geophysical disciplines, were advanced. Although much of the work was undertaken
in Italy, some attention was also devoted to other areas of the world, in particular Antarctica, where Italy
participated in seismological observations. This paper gives a summary of the Geomagnetism and Ionospheric
Physics activities within IGY. Furthermore, we highlight the importance of this historical event and its outcomes
for the improvement of geophysical observations and the post-IGY growth of scientific investigations in Italy.


IGY – Geomagnetism – Aeronomy – History of Geophisics – Italy

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X