RAS Specialist Discussion Meetings have been announced

The Royal Astronomical Society have announced this year's programme of Specialist Discussion Meetings, which are held on the first Friday of most months from October 2017 until summer 2018. Although there are many meetings which may be of interest to the MIST community, the two which appear to be most relevant to MIST research are a meeting on dynamic coupling in the terrestrial atmosphere (convened by Tracy Moffat-Griffin et al) and a second meeting on the ground effects of space weather events (convened by Ciaran Beggan et al). If you'd like to find out more, follow the links to the MIST pages about both meetings; if you'd like to see the full list of Specialist Discussion Meetings, then visit the RAS website.

RAS Meeting: Ground effects of severe space weather events

This RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting is to be held at Burlington House on 9 March, organised by Ciaran Beggan (BGS); Jim Wild (Lancaster); and Mark Gibbs (Met Office). If you'd like more details, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The abstract is as follows!

As a society, the UK is reliant on continuously available electricity supplies and technology such as instantaneous satellite data and communications in order to function safely and efficiently. For example, systems such as transportation networks are increasingly automated and the computer networks which run them require accurate real-time information from embedded electronic sensors and other peripheral data such as timing derived from GPS. However, this dependence increases the exposure to impacts on technology from so-called severe space weather events. Space weather is usually defined as the response of Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere to sudden rapid changes in the properties of the solar wind such as increases in speed, density and magnetic field strength.

These changes in the magnetosphere and ionosphere cause the magnetic field at the Earth's surface to vary rapidly giving rise to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) which can flow through conductive grounded equipment, such as high-voltage transformers, affecting the reliability of electricity supplies. The additional energy input from the solar wind also changes the conductivity structure of the ionosphere and pushes the auroral oval equatorward. This affects the propagation of radio waves through the atmosphere delaying GPS signals and leading to spatial and temporal errors on the ground; HF communications to circumpolar aircraft may also be disrupted. As well as the impact on electricity grids, GICs also cause additional unwanted corrosion in pipelines and the potential for signalling or other faults to develop in rail networks.

We seek presentations on a broad topic of ground effect of space weather in the UK (but specifically excluding satellite or spacecraft effects), in particular to GIC in power networks, railways and pipelines and topics such as impacts on surveyors and others end users (e.g. airlines/port authorities) of precise GPS location and timing data.

This specialist discussion meeting, aimed at academic and industry researchers and relevant end users, will discuss the latest research in the UK on understanding and ameliorating these impacts in light of recent developments in the field.

RAS Meeting: Dynamic coupling in the terrestrial atmosphere

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting is to be held at Burlington House on Friday 8 December. The meeting is being convened in conjunction with the Royal Meteorological Society, and is convened by Tracy Moffat-Griffin and Andrew Kavanagh (BAS); Nick Mitchell (Bath); and Alan Gadian (Leeds). If you'd like more details, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The abstract is below!

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the lower, middle and upper atmosphere are more strongly coupled than was once thought to be the case and that atmospheric waves play a central role in this coupling. Generated by a variety of sources, these waves carry energy and momentum vertically, and are a principle driver of atmospheric circulation, transporting important chemical species through the atmosphere. In the lower atmosphere global scale waves (tides and planetary waves) are generated; smaller scale waves (such as gravity waves) are generated by weather systems, topographic flow and the polar vortex as well as by processes in the upper atmosphere (via space weather effects). There is growing evidence that space weather can have an effect on surface conditions in the Polar Regions yet the coupling mechanism is not fully understood. This meeting aims to bring together the lower, middle and upper atmosphere communities to explore these coupling effects and their impact on global circulation.

13th International Conference on Substorms (ICS-13)

The 13th International Conference on Substorms (ICS-13) will be held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA on 25–29 September 2017. The meeting venue will be the Portsmouth Sheraton hotel; Portsmouth is located on the coast of the state, about an hour north of Boston, Massachussetts.

The meeting's official website provides further information, but prospective attendees will have to wait until January 2017 for instructions on registering, submitting abstracts and grants to support travel. Concurrent THEMIS and MMS Science Working Group meetings are tentatively planned, but have also not yet been confirmed.

Jimmy Raeder (University of New Hampshire) is the chair of both the Science Organising Committee and the Local Organising Committee; Steve Milan (University of Leicester) represents the MIST community on the SOC. More details can be found on the ICS-13 website.

RAS Meeting: High-latitude magnetospheres: Earth, Jupiter and Saturn

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting which bridges the terrestrial and planetary groups within MIST is to be held at Burlington House on Friday 10 March. The meeting is being convened by Licia Ray and Sarah Badman (Lancaster), and Jonny Nichols (Leicester). For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

RAS Meeting: Understanding the space environment before the space age

Friday 10 February 2017 sees a RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting to be held at Burlington House, London. Convened by Luke Barnard, Chris Scott and Mat Owens (Reading), details are still to be confirmed. For more information, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Future MIST meetings

Two dedicated MIST meetings are held each year; a one-day meeting in London in November, and a multi-day 'out-of-town' meeting in the spring. Spring MIST is held at the National Astronomy Meeting every other year, with this occurring in odd-numbered years. The dates of upcoming MIST meetings are:

 

  • Autumn MIST, 25 November 2016, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London
  • MIST at NAM, 3–7 July 2017, University of Hull
  • Autumn MIST, autumn 2017, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London
  • Spring MIST, spring–summer 2018, University of Southampton

Future RAS meetings with a MIST theme

Members of the MIST community propose and organise one-day meetings on MIST themes as part of the RAS specialist discussion meeting series. Meetings in the current academic year include:

  • Multi-scale dynamic auroral processes – 13 January 2017
  • Understanding the space environment before the space age – 10 February 2017
  • High-latitude magnetospheres: Earth, Jupiter and Saturn – 10 March 2017

For a full list of upcoming RAS specialist discussion meetings, please see the RAS website.

Other relevant meetings

Here is a list of national and international meetings which will be of interest to members of the MIST community. If there is a meeting you would like to have listed in this section, please send details to the MIST web master. See also the list of meetings maintained on the AGU Space Physics and Aeronomy website.

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