MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

MIST Council nominations are now open!

We would like to invite nominations for members of MIST Council. There are two positions available and elected candidates would join Ian McCrea, Sarah Badman, Jonny Rae, and Jasmine Sandhu as councillors for a three year term.

It is important that the council is representative of our community and all members (research scientists, academic staff, students, postdocs, etc.) are eligible to stand. If you would like to find out more about what is involved please get in touch with a member of the council or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you would like to stand for election or you are nominating someone else (with their agreement) please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 18 May. If there are more than two nominations we will carry out an online vote as in previous years. Please include a brief introduction with your nomination, in the form of ~100-150 words on your research interests and motivation for standing for Council, that can be circulated to the MIST list and posted online.

We look forward to welcoming the elected members onto the council!

MIST recognised in 2018 RAS awards

MIST Council would like to congratulate those who have been recognised for contributions to the field by the Royal Astronomical Society recently, but particularly we would like to congratulate those members of the MIST community who are to be honoured at the next National Astronomy Meeting.

Emma Bunce has won the Chapman Medal for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the magnetospheres of gas giants, Matt Taylor has won the Service Award for his exceptional work in co-ordinating and contributing to ESA's Rosetta mission, and Jim Wild has been awarded the James Dungey lectureship for his excellent and highly relevant work on substorms and reconnection in the magnetotail. We would also like to congratulate Kerri Donaldson Hanna for winning the Winton Award for planetary science.

MIST Council applauds each of the winners, alongside the other academics who will be recognised in Liverpool this spring!

More details are available at the RAS website.

New MIST councillors in 2017

Congratulations to Jasmine Sandhu and Jonny Rae, both at MSSL, who have been elected (and, in Jonny’s case, re-elected) to MIST Council. They join Ian McCrea (Chair - RAL), Sarah Badman (Lancaster), Luke Barnard (Reading) and John Coxon (Southampton), all of whom continue in their posts.

Read more ...

Rishbeth Prizes 2017

Congratulations to Jade Reidy (University of Southampton) and Mervyn Freeman (British Antarctic Survey) for winning this year's Rishbeth prizes for their presentations at the National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Hull this July.

Read more ...

Nigel Wade

Nigel Wade
Nigel Wade - University of Leicester

It is with deep sadness that we have to inform the MIST community of the untimely death after a short illness of Nigel Wade who worked in the Radio and Space Plasma Physics (RSPP) group at Leicester for over 30 years.

Read more ...

Brian Anderson to speak at workshop on Joule heating

Brian Anderson has been announced at a one-day workshop, “System-Scale Data Analysis to Resolve Thermospheric Joule Heating”, which will be held at the British Antarctic Survey (Cambridge, UK) on Friday 27 April 2018. The abstract submission deadline for this meeting is Monday 19 March and registrations will close the week of the meeting, on Monday 23 April.

If you're interested in registering, you can do so by visiting the conference page on Eventbrite – postgraduate students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance to apply, as some money has been provided by the Royal Astronomical Society for this purpose. If you would like to submit an abstract, you can do so through the dedicated abstract submission form provided.

The aim of this workshop is to give a forum for discussing of the interdisciplinary utility of data-driven analytical techniques, and the best ways to harness the potential of the available large datasets which are driving advances in near-Earth space research. The specific focus of the workshop is on the intrinsically interdisciplinary problem of resolving Joule heating – the transfer of energy from electrical currents in the ionosphere to the neutral particles of the upper atmosphere.

The meeting is convened by Robert Shore (who is also the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at the British Antarctic Survey, alongside Anasuya Aruliah, John Coxon and Elizabeth Tindale.

Test MIST Special programme announced

The programme for the upcoming Spring MIST meeting in Southampton has been announced, and can be found on the Spring MIST website.

Each slot of 18 minutes, which comprises a 15 minute presentation and 3 minutes for questions. Posters will be A0, but the orientation has not yet been confirmed. The abstract book will be available online in the near future and will also be provided on a USB stick at the conference.

The meeting's chair, Rob Fear, wrote on the MIST mailing list, “For those of you wondering about the subject line to this email, the name of this year’s spring meeting makes reference to two things. Firstly, following the tradition of naming the spring meeting after local geographical features, it refers to one of our local rivers, the Test, which is one of the main tributaries of Southampton Water. The ‘special’ honours the fact that 2018 is MIST’s 50th anniversary year. Any similarity to low frequency emissions on 198 kHz is purely coincidental!”

Spring MIST details released

The next Spring MIST meeting has been announced by the conference chair, Rob Fear. The cconference will be held 26–28 March 2018, on the University of Southampton's Highfield Campus.

There is just over a week left to submit your abstracts for the meeting – the abstract deadline, for both talk and poster presentations, is Sunday 11 February 2018.

In order to submit an abstract it is necessary to register first – please include your conference booking number in your abstract email. Conference registration will remain open until Friday 2nd March, and options are available both including and excluding accommodation, as well as for people who would just like to attend for one day. All bookings for the entire conference include the conference dinner.

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 email 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.