The 120th anniversary of the birth of Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) occurs next year and the event gives us an opportunity to commemorate his work. While the study of continental drift was a significant part of that work, Wegener's influence is also apparent in other areas of the geosciences, including solar-terrestrial physics, the physics of the upper atmosphere, and meteorology.

Wegener's research in these areas was a continuation of a series of early studies by a number of scientists trying to explain atmospheric phenomena with the known laws of physics. His studies of noctilucent clouds and of auroras, for example, are significant in the context of the history of science as early experiments to explain the terrestrial atmosphere from a profoundly physical point of view. His contributions are building blocks to modern, comprehensive, physical interpretations, just as previous studies were building blocks to his. Wegener followed the same goal, namely the physical explanation of observed and recorded phenomena, and he belonged therefore to that group of researchers who contributed to the early development of geoscience and cosmoscience and whose heritage should be conserved.