MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

UK Space Agency call for nominations for the position of Chair of the Science Programme Advisory Committee

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) is seeking a new Chair for the Science Programme Advisory Committee (SPAC). The position of Chair of the Science Programme Advisory Committee will become vacant on 1 July 2019.

The UK Space Agency welcomes applications from the UK space science community. The full position and person specifications are on the Government's website.

 

UKRI 2019 Opportunities Call

The Opportunities Call is designed to support the STFC PPAN community by providing funding for ‘pump-priming’ activities. The closing date is 13 June 2019, and proposals will be considered from any consortia or university groups eligible to apply for UKRI funding. For further details please visit the UKRI website.

This call considers ‘the PPAN community’ to encompass the following broad areas of STFC’s remit: particle physics, particle astrophysics, astronomy, nuclear physics, accelerator physics, solar and planetary science, and computing that underpins these areas.

The Opportunities Call supports pump-priming activities as opposed to substantive research programmes. Examples of pump-priming activities could include: networking; partnership building; workshop development and delivery; design studies; proofs of concept; or other pilot approaches.

In line with the call aims, pump-priming activities may be proposed for entirely new programmes of work, or to allow existing projects to move in new or interesting directions.

To enable the support of a portfolio of projects of varying scale, proposals to the Opportunities call will be aligned in two separate rank ordered lists: one for proposals of values up to £50k and another for proposals of value £51k–140k. Subject to the advice of the assessment process, STFC anticipates supporting approximately 15 projects in total as a result of the Opportunities Call.

Special Issue of Annales Geophysicae on “Satellite observations for space weather and geo-hazard”

We solicit research articles on the subject of “Satellite observations for space weather and geo-hazard” for a forthcoming Special Issue of Annales Geophysicae. This Special Issue is not a conference proceedings volume and is not limited to research presented at the EGU conference. All submissions must be original papers that meet the quality and peer-review standards of Annales Geophysicae. The deadline for manuscript submission is 31 August 2019 and the editors are M. Piersanti, L. Conti, X. Shen, and G. Balasis.

Measurements from LEO satellites can provide a global view of near-Earth electromagnetic, plasma and particle environments and are complementary to ground-based observations, which have limited spatial coverage. The AMPERE project and integration of the SWARM data into ESA’s Space Weather program are relevant examples of this approach. The availability of thermosphere and ionosphere data from the DEMETER satellite and the new operative CSES mission demonstrates that satellites that have not been specifically designed for space weather studies can also provide important contributions to this research field. On the other hand, there is evidence that earthquakes and artificial emitters can generate electromagnetic anomalies into the near-Earth space. A multi-instrumental approach, by using ground-based observations (magnetometers, magnetotelluric stations, ionospheric sounders, GNSS receivers, etc.) and LEO satellite (DEMETER, SWARM, CSES, the scheduled CSES-02 mission, etc.) measurements can help in clarifying the lithosphere–atmosphere–ionosphere coupling (LAIC) mechanisms due to electromagnetic emissions before, during and after large earthquakes as well as from thunderstorm activity.

 

STFC Public Engagement Early-Career Researcher (PEER) Forum

The STFC has issued a call for applications to join their Public Engagement Early-Career Researcher (PEER) Forum, which is designed to support talented scientists and engineers in the early stages of their career in developing their public engagement and outreach goals. This forum is geared towards PhD students and early-career postdocs developing ideas for public engagement with similarly-minded researchers in a context that allows them to feed suggestions for the improvement of STFC's programmes back to STFC itself, and involves meeting twice a year. The deadline for applications is 4pm on 3 June 2019. For more information and more detail on what the scheme involves, you can visit the PEER Forum webpage or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The aims of the PEER Forum are as follows:

  • To foster peer learning and peer support between early career scientists and engineers with a passion for public engagement and outreach.
  • To improve understanding of the support STFC provides for public engagement and outreach (including funding mechanisms, evaluation, and reporting) and how to successfully utilise this support.
  • To stimulate discussions that help to develop and influence STFC’s approaches to public engagement.

ESA Science Programme Committee greenlights SMILE

The Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) has been given the green light for implementation by ESA's Science Programme Committee. SMILE will explore the Sun-Earth connection in a very novel way, by mapping solar wind-magnetosphere interactions in soft X-rays. SMILE is a joint mission by ESA and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CSA). The UK is one of many countries contributing to the payload development.

The SMILE payload comprises four instruments: a soft X-ray imager (SXI), a UV auroral imager (UVI) and an in situ measurement package composed of a light ion analyser and a magnetometer. The UK leads SXI, Canada leads UVI, and China leads the ion analyser and magnetometer. SMILE will fly in a highly elliptical polar orbit with an apogee of 20 Earth radii to image the magnetosphere and the Northern Lights for more than 40 hours continuously per orbit. The launch is planned in November 2023.

For more information, visit the European Space Agency, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, or Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

Nominating colleagues for awards

There are a multitude of awards available which recognise research done by geophysicists, and MIST physicists have been successfully nominated for these awards in the past. The list below may not be complete; if you have any suggestions for awards not listed, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Awards in the UK

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)

The RAS presents several awards and prizes annually which are available to MIST researchers. The main family of RAS awards have a deadline for nominations at the end of July each year, and are available for everyone from postdocs to the most senior professors, as well as recognising consortia such as EISCAT or SuperDARN (both previous winners). The awards are paired, with geophysics and astrophysics equivalents for each.

The RAS also awards the Annie Maunder medal (with a deadline for nominations on the last Friday in September) for achievements in outreach. This has so far been won by outreach professionals rather than by academics with strong public engaegment records, but this may change over time.

Finally, the Keith Runcorn thesis prize has a deadline for nominations at the end of January, and is for the best PhD thesis in geophysics in the preceding year.

Institute of Physics (IOP)

The IOP have a large family of awards and medals but we think that the following two medals are those that are relevant to the MIST community. The nominations period for these awards runs from October to the end of January.

  • The Edward Appleton Medal (formerly the Chree Medal) is awarded for contributions to environmental, Earth or atmospheric physics, and has been won by MIST physicists such as Michele Dougherty and Michael Lockwood.
  • The Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Medal is awarded for contributions to plasma, solar or space physics. This medal has also been won by MIST physicists; most recently Steven Schwartz. 

International awards

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

The AGU also has a large family of awards, the deadline for which is in March. The list of awards given by AGU as a whole can be explored on their website, and of particular relevance to members of the MIST community is the John Adam Fleming Medal. The Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) section of AGU also gives honours to eligible physicists, and the most relevant honours they bestow are listed below.

European Geosciences Union (EGU)

The EGU's awards and medals are given out annually, and have a deadline for nominations in mid-June. We have tried to list the most relevant awards below, but we encourage members of the community to browse the full list.

European Physical Society

The Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society has three awards which are awarded annually. Each award has its own deadline, but all of them appear to be in November.

European Space Weather Week

European Space Weather Week awards three medals annually to researchers in the field. At the time of writing, the deadline for nominations appears to be the start of September.

  • The Kristian Birkeland medal, for "a unique ability to combine basic and applied research to develop useful space weather products that are being used outside the research community", and whose contributions have significantly advanced the field.
  • The Baron Marcel Nicolet medal, for demonstrating an ability to link the space weather community in the spirit of peace and friendship, and who has educated both inside and outside the community.
  • The Alexander Chizhevsky medal for outstanding and innovative achivements in space weather research by a young researcher.

Previous award winners

This table is a list of those MIST physicists who have won awards in the field since 2006. If any names or accolades are omitted, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Year Institution Award Winner
2019 Royal Astronomical Society Gold Award Margaret Kivelson
    Chapman Medal Tom Stallard
    Group Achievement Award The Cluster Science and Operations Team
    James Dungey Lectureship Mark Clilverd
2018 American Geophysical Union  Basu U.S. Early Career Award for Research Excellence Julia Stawarz
  European Space Weather Week Baron Marcel Nicolet Medal Hermann Opgenoorth
  Institute of Physics Richard Glazebrook Medal Michele Dougherty
  Royal Astronomical Society Chapman Medal Emma Bunce
    Service Award Matt Taylor
    James Dungey Lectureship James Wild
2017 Institute of Physics Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin Medal Steven Schwartz
  Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal Michele Dougherty
    Chapman Medal Mervyn Freeman
    Price Medal Richard Holme
    Fowler Prize Christopher Chen
    Winton Capital Award Zhonghua Yao
    Group Achievement Award The Super Dual Auroral Radar Network (SuperDARN)
    Service Award Richard Harrison
    James Dungey Lectureship Christopher Owen
2016 European Space Weather Week Baron Marcel Nicolet Medal Mike Hapgood
  Royal Astronomical Society Fowler Prize Sarah Badman
    Group Achievement Award The European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT)
    James Dungey Lectureship Betty Lanchester
    Keith Runcorn Thesis Prize Rishi Mistry
2015 Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal Michael Lockwood
2014 Royal Astronomical Society Group Achievement Award The Cassini magnetometer team
    Service Award Mark Lester
2013 Royal Astronomical Society Chapman Medal Stephen Milan
    Service Award Michael Hapgood
2012 European Geosciences Union Julius Bartels Medal Michael Lockwood
  Royal Astronomical Society Chapman Medal Andrew Fazakerley
    Fowler Award Mathew Owens
2011 Royal Astronomical Society Winton Capital Award Leigh Fletcher
2009 Royal Astronomical Society Harold Jeffreys Lectureship Emma Bunce
2007 Institute of Physics Chree Medal Michele Dougherty
2006 European Geosciences Union Julius Bartels Medal Stanley Cowley
  Royal Astronomical Society Fowler Prize Duncan Mackay