Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

2020 Space Census

MIST members are invited to submit to the 2020 Space Census!

The 2020 Space Census is the first national survey of the UK space workforce. It is a 5-10 minute anonymous online demographic survey of individuals for anyone working in the UK space sector in any capacity. The results will be used to improve what it’s like to work in the sector, to tackle discrimination, and to make the sector more attractive to new recruits.

More information about the Census, along with answers to commonly asked questions, can be found here.

The UK Space Agency’s press release about the Census can be found here.

STFC Policy Internship Scheme now open

This year has proved the critical importance of science having a voice within Parliament. But how does scientific evidence come to the attention of policy makers? If you are a STFC-funded PhD student, you can experience this first-hand through our Policy Internship Scheme, which has just opened for applications for 2020/21. During these three-month placements, students are hosted either at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) or the Government Office for Science (GO Science).

POST is an independent office of the Houses of Parliament which provides impartial evidence reviews on topical scientific issues to MPs and Peers. Interns at POST will research, draft, edit and publish a briefing paper summarising the evidence base on an important or emerging scientific issue. GO Science works to ensure that Government policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking. Placements at GO Science are likely to involve undertaking research, drafting briefing notes and background papers, and organising workshops and meetings.

The scheme offers a unique opportunity to experience the heart of UK policy making and to explore careers within the science-policy interface. The placements are fully funded and successful applicants will receive a three-month extension to their final PhD deadline.

For full information and to see case studies of previous interns, please see our website. The closing date is 10 September 2020 at 16.00.

Applied Sciences special issue: Dynamical processes in space plasmas


Applied Sciences is to publish a special issue on the topic of dynamical processes in space plasmas which is being guest edited by Georgious Nicolaou. Submissions are welcome until 31 March 2021, and submission instructions for authors can be found on the journal website. For general questions, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MIST elections in 2020

The election for the next MIST councillors opens today, and will run until 23:59 on 31 July 2020. The candidates are Michaela Mooney, Matt Owens, and Jasmine Kaur Sandhu. 

If you are subscribed to this mailing list you should receive a bespoke link which will let you vote on the MIST website, which will be sent by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you don’t receive this link, please check your junk folder! The candidates’ platforms are on the voting platform, and also reproduced below for your convenience. 

Michaela Mooney

I’m a final year PhD student at MSSL standing for MIST Council as a student representative. During my PhD, I’ve been actively engaged in the department as a Student Rep in the Staff Student Consultation Committee and in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. I’m an active member of the MIST research community through proposals for RAS Discussion meetings and NAM sessions on geomagnetic activity. 

My main goals as a MIST Council representative would be to:

  • lobby funding bodies to reduce the impact of the pandemic on PhD students.
  • facilitate the organisation of virtual conferences and careers days to ensure that students continue to have opportunities to present research and access to careers information.
  • support good practises in equality, diversity and inclusion within the MIST community.

My key priority would be to limit the impact of the pandemic on students and ensure equality of opportunities.

Matt Owens

Now, more than ever, it’s vital our community address its diversity problems. If anyone is standing for MIST council from an underrepresented demographic, I’d encourage you to vote for them; MIST needs their experience and insight. If not, I’ll seek to ensure MIST council continues to promote equality of opportunity and diversity in science.

MIST’s primary role is to represent our solar-terrestrial science within the wider discipline. I’m predominantly a heliospheric scientist, but keep a toe in the solar physics community. E.g., I’ve served in editorial capacities for both JGR and Solar Physics, and have a good deal of experience with both NERC and STFC funding. As such, I’d hope to see MIST working closely with UKSP, as we have a lot of common interest. I am also keen that the MIST community coordinate to make the most of the industrial and operational forecasting opportunities that are open to it. Finally, I’m a very recent convert to open science. I would seek to increase the prevalence of research code publication and use of community tools within our field, for reasons of both efficiency and reproducibility.

Jasmine Kaur Sandhu

I am a post-doctoral research associate at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL, with a research focus on inner magnetospheric physics. During my time as a Council member I have led a number of initiatives, primarily the MIST Student’s Corner, the MIST Nugget Series, and the MIST online seminar series. If elected, I will continue to focus on supporting early career researchers in ways that promote diversity of both science and the scientists within our community. This will include developing a set of up-to-date, comprehensive, and informative resources on funding opportunities available to early career researchers for travel funding and fellowships. This will be supported by a mentor-like scheme for assistance and guidance on applications.

A Summary of the SWIMMR Kick-Off Meeting

The kick-off event for the Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk Study (one of the Wave 2 programmes of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund) took place in the Wolfson Library of the Royal Society on Tuesday November 26th. Seventy-five people attended the event, representing a range of academic institutions, as well as representatives from industry, government and public sector research establishments such as the UK Met Office. 

The morning session of the meeting consisted of five presentations, introducing the programme and its relevance to government, the Research Councils and the Met Office, as well as describing details of the potential calls. The presentations were as follows:

  •  Prof John Loughhead (Chief Scientific Advisor to BEIS) - Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk Programme (a governmental perspective). The slides from Prof John Loughhead's talk are available here.
  • Prof Chris Mutlow (Director of STFC RAL Space) - SWIMMR: Project funded by the Strategic Priorities Fund (a perspective from STFC).  The slides from Prof Chris Mutlow's talk are available here.
  • Jacky Wood (Head of Business Partnerships at NERC) - Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk (SWIMMR) - A NERC perspective.  The slides from Jacky Wood's talk are available here.
  • Dr. Ian McCrea (Senior Programme Manager for SWIMMR) -  SWIMMR: Space Weather Innovation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk: A wave 2 programme of the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund.  The slides from Dr Ian McCrea's talk are available here.
  • Mark Gibbs (Head of Space Weather at the UK Met Office) - SWIMMR (Met Office perspective and detailed description of the calls.  The slides from Mark Gibb's talk are available here.

During the lunch break, the Announcement of Opportunity for the five NERC SWIMMR calls was issued on the NERC web site.  The afternoon therefore began with a brief introduction by Jacky Wood to the NERC Announcement of Opportunity, and the particular terms and conditions which it contained.

The remainder of the afternoon session was spent in a Question and Answer session in which attendees were able to ask questions to the speakers about the nature of the programme and the potential timing of future calls, and finally to an informal discussion session, in which participants gathered into groups to discuss the opportunities for funding which had been outlined. 

Minutes from remote meeting on 20 December 2018


  • Approving minutes from July 2018 onwards
  • NAM 2019 sessions
  • Autumn MIST feedback
  • MIST at RASreach


Approving minutes

  • John to re-circulate minutes
  • Councillors to read through the minutes from previous meetings to approve them by 21 January
  • John to post minutes online after approval

NAM 2019 sessions

  • Ian to email Mihalis about a joint session on capabilities etc
  • John to put a solar system PE session in with [redacted]
  • Several sessions have been submitted

Autumn MIST feedback

  • Detailed summary of feedback has been compiled by Jasmine
  • People commented that abstracts were accepted too late; not enough time before the meeting
  • We could reduce the chance of this next year by:
  • Giving the Autumn MIST organiser more autonomy over the process
  • Could also have an earlier abstract deadline
  • It was suggested that we could move to IOP at King's Cross
  • Comments on the theme:
    • Less focus on students/postdocs
    • Discourages people for whom theme is not relevant?
  • Ian asked Geolsoc for the last Friday in November
    • It's booked that day, so we got 22 November 2019 instead
    • If we move forward with this we would need to publicise this widely and in advance
    • Ian did get a booking for last Friday in November 2020
  • Oliver is writing the article for A&G, the deadline is February 2019
  • MIST at RASreach

    • Sheila Kanani offered to let us share with RASreach, which is to be held in Newcastle in 2019
    • John plans to submit a parallel session to NAM so it's possible that two events in one year is overkill
    • Council says that NAM is the obvious choice
    • [redacted] 

    MIST website

    • John to email PE projects about contact emails
    • Oliver to investigate options for putting seminar speaker list into Google Sheets
    • Jasmine to start sending nuggets to the MIST list

    Minutes from remote meeting on 25 October 2018


    • List of seminar speakers for the MIST community
    • NAM sessions/plenaries
    • Oliver's suggestion
  • Autumn MIST submissions
  • MIST communications


    Seminar speakers for the MIST community

    • Useful for early career researchers to make themselves known to group seminar organisers
    • UKSP does this as an on-request service but it might be better for us to do it on the website
    • List should include name, email address, seniority, institution, and topic(s) they can talk on
    • Oliver to send emails and construct list
    • John to add Oliver to the website and add initial list

    NAM sessions/plenaries

    • MIST strategy day/bolt-on planning:
      • Sarah raised idea of MIST strategy day at end of NAM, no resistance from Lancaster
      • Ian talked with Mihalis (UKSP chair) about the idea of a parallel UKSP/MIST strategy slot at NAM
      • Mihalis invited MIST people to annual mission forum on 10 January at Burlington House
        • Jonny has been to these before
      • Mihalis indicated that he'd be open to a collaborative follow-up at NAM
      • Sarah to email HOGS and keep organising this
    • We should make sure that UKSP/MIST sessions are proposed:
      • A member of the community has approached Jasmine about co-convening an MHD waves session
      • Oliver mentioned a ‘from Sun to mud’ session being talked about at Reading, including Rad Sat and SWIGS from the MIST side and UKSP
      • [redacted] suggested that exoplanetary magnetospheres aren't advanced enough yet to have a session which includes solar system bodies
        • If the title includes habitability or atmospheres that might open it up to more exoplanetary researchers
    • Suggestions for plenary speakers are sought:
      • Council to suggest speakers by next meeting (as Lancaster internal deadline is end of December)
      • Since 2013, there has been:
        • 3x solar talks (Green '17, Dougherty '16, Fletcher '15)
        • 1x gas giant talk (Bunce, 2018)
        • 1x cometary talk (Taylor, 2015)
        • 1x terrestrial talk (Lester, 2013)
      • [redacted] could be a good suggestion
      • A terrestrial talk might be nice given the last was 2013
      • Mercury/Venus/Mars are not at all represented
      • Gas giants were covered very recently (last year)

    Autumn MIST submissions

    • Six talk/poster abstracts so far
    • Zero lightning talks so far
      • Might be worth making criteria more flexible in the next reminder email
    • Jasmine to send reminder email with plug for lightning talks

    MIST communications

    • John has asked Q to redirect This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Jonny to join the MIST Slack

    Minutes from meeting on 11 September 2018

    Approval of minutes of previous meeting

    • The minutes of the last face-to-face meeting were approved
    • Jim Wild is now the AGP grants chair
    • Newsletter
      • We were going to restart the newsletter but this fizzled—it may be the case that this is not something the community want?
      • It was suggested that we should do either the newsletter or individual emails from the list, not both
      • Nuggets were eventually divorced from newsletters and they are currently flourishing under Jasmine
    • Tweets were successfully sent during Autumn MIST and this was generally a success
    • We found out about why people didn’t attend MIST@NAM, which basically translated to lack of good advertising, cost, difficulty of going to Hull, and other good meetings
    • Spring MIST and EWASS occurred
    • Geophysics fora did not continue owing to the combination of the research councils into UKRI
    • The last teleconference minutes were discussed and the actions had been completed

    Welcomes to MIST Council

    • Oliver was welcomed and John was re-welcomed to MIST Council

    A&G special issue

    • Sarah to construct a list of A&G articles that it would be good to reprint in a virtual issue
    • Sue Bowler needs pictures
      • John has asked for images for aurora from [redacted]
      • Councillors to seek pictures of the aurora for the article and contact Sue Bowler
      • John sought conference photos from the mailing list and has specifically emailed [redacted] about the recent Spring MIST photos
      • John to submit his conference writeup to A&G
      • John to chase pictures if not enough have been submitted by the time he’s back from leave
      • Oliver to let Mike Lockwood know that his article is with Sue Bowler and thank him for writing it
      • It’s ended up looking like a great issue!

    Spring MIST 2018

    • Rishbeth prize articles are in A&G and winners will be notified
    • [redacted]

    Autumn MIST 2018

    • On 30 November
    • Announcement to go out on 1 October
    • Abstract deadline on 1 November
    • Ian got a new quote and put arrangements in place for the meeting at the GeolSoc
    • We have the venue
      • Costs approx £1800 (so charge £20 per person)
      • From 9:30–17:30
      • Meeting to run 10:30–17:30
      • Ian said 100 attendees
      • 15 double-sided poster boards
      • Tea with biscuits in the afternoon
      • We’re allowed to bring lunch into the library
    • John to look up stickers for attendees
    • We have to have someone on the door (as per GeolSoc rules)
      • Ian to ask Sue Caldwell to do this
    • Organisational details:
      • Theme: Radiation belts
        • Keynote talk and the morning session
        • Emphasise planetary radiation belts?
      • Ian to ask Richard Horne to deliver the keynote speech
      • Jasmine to organise the meeting
        • Oliver to co-organise
        • Organisers to ask people to write notes for the article
        • John to construct a document which guides the logic of assigning the oral presentations
      • Jasmine to include requests for lightning talks in abstract submission forms
        • A third type of presentation
        • Not for poster adverts
        • Designed for public engagement efforts, techniques, datasets, etc.
      • Jonny to consult the UCL diversity/inclusion rep about how best to navigate the location of the after-meeting socialising

    Future NAM/Spring MIST meetings

    • NAM 2019 SOC will be set up by the end of the month
    • Then the call for sessions will go out (approx. November, deadline January)
    • Should Council construct a basic schedule of key sessions it would be useful to have (some interdisciplinary)? Should we avoid the open MIST session?
    • Ian to contact Mihalis M:
      • Get UKSP’s opinion on what sessions they would like to see
      • And which ones would make good cross-disciplinary sessions?
      • Have a few hour long UKSP+MIST joint forum embedded in NAM?
      • Councillors to think about this and come back at the next teleconference
        • End of Oct/beginning of Nov
      • Sarah to push NERC involvement in the community sessions
      • Is there scope for a joint UKSP+MIST out-of-town meeting after NAM?
    • NAM 2020:
      • Jonny to ask RAS Council what they have planned
    • We should consider UKSP/MIST joint meetings!

    G-MIST discussion meetings

    • Three upcoming meetings
      • Jasmine’s Sandhu’s storms and substorms meeting
      • Steve Miller and Nick Achilleos‘ H3+ meeting
      • Richard Harrison’s L5 space weather meeting
        • John to put this on the website
    • Should we encourage people to suggest meetings?
      • Ian to check with Mark Lester whether ideas are ‘in the pipeline’
      • The deadline will probably be March 2019
    • The MIST+PE occurred:
      • One of the meeting outcomes was that a press list would be useful
        • John to contact the RAS about their press list
        • John to include a note about a press list on the MIST website
          • Possibly with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
        • One outcome was that continued discussion would be good
          • John to email Sheila at RAS to see whether there’s scope for getting funding for a series of MIST+PE meetings under the RAS200 banner
          • John to suggest MIST+PE session to NAM 2019
          • Encourage lightning talks at Autumn MIST?
        • Is the MIST website/social media aiming at the public? Should it be?
          • John and Jasmine’s gut feeling is ‘no, and no’. The MIST website is aimed at the community.
        • How do we use online resources to support the MIST+PE community?
          • New page on the website to highlight MIST+PE work
            • John to populate this and then announce it to the community for feedback
          • #public-engagement channel on Slack

    Summer schools

    • We think that [redacted] would be a good host for 2024
      • Last year Jonny had an action to sound them out for a future summer school
      • Jonny to check whether that happened/follow that up
    • Ian to talk to Mihalis M to see what the plan is for the next phase of summer schools
    • John to get any extant feedback from Rob Fear and Claire Foullon
      • With a view to passing it to the 2019 summer schools
    • It might be best to avoid having two institutions be the same affiliation (UKSP/MIST) in the same year

    Community consultations

    • Last consultation was the SSAP consultation
    • These are often announced very close to the deadline
    • Should we have venues to discuss MIST tactics on funding? A “MIST forum”?
      • Solar missions forum is (somewhat) the UKSP equivalent
    • Sarah and Jonny to discuss a MIST forum in or near Lancaster for the day after NAM
      • RAS out-of-town meeting?

    Geophysics forums

    • Jonny to ask MISTHOGS whether Geophysics Forums are a good thing and get ball rolling on re-establishing them
      • On proviso that every group needs to send 1–2 people
      • Chaired by Mark Lester
      • Follow-up actions to be taken

    RAS and other awards

    • John to resubmit his Maunder award nomination
    • We could nominate [redacted] for [redacted] next year
    • IOP award deadline coming up in January
      • Submit RAS award nominations to the IOP award?
    • John to add the Alfvén award and the AGU awards to the website

    MIST website

    • It has received an upgrade courtesy of John and Q
      • John to chase Q to see how to pin posts (e.g. on the Nuggets page)
      • John to look at whether This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and other email addresses could be set up to redirect to various members of Council
      • John to look at getting a Twitter widget embedded on the website
      • John to split summer school list into past/future schools
      • John to check whether we have analytics


    • Jasmine has been doing great work on nuggets
    • John to replace ‘Science’ tab with ‘Nuggets’ tab on main menu
    • Jasmine to give guidelines on appropriate level for nuggets
      • Aimed at undergrad physics knowledge
      • No references!
      • Short text
      • One figure

    MISTHOGS mailing list

    • Being used, and has generally been well-received

    Doctoral Training Partnerships/Centres for Doctoral Training

    • Jonny fed into NERC at a relatively high level that a CDT is necessary
    • Next one is not us, but we think we are on the list of upcoming ideas
      • Jonny to see whether we’re still on the list
    • If CDTs are supposed to be cross-council, what about NERC+STFC?
    • How will UKRI affect this? They have a CDT on artificial intelligence
      • Jonny to speak to Robyn Thomas on how this has evolved
    • Lancaster has a PhD student starting on the new STFC data science CDT
    • Jonny put a comment into the SSAP consultation to use the UK spaceport for sounding rocket flights, balloons etc as a way to have PhD students (and the wider community) designing, building, analysing such missions
      • SSAP may endorse it in the report of unselected bits
      • If this occurs, Jonny to touch base with UKSA to try and move it forward

    MIST Council membership

    • Ian was elected Chair
    • Ian and Sarah will be at the end of their terms next year
    • We need to start thinking about who should succeed Ian
    • Some people asked whether they needed to be in post throughout the term they were standing for, and the answer is no — we should highlight that in future elections

    MIST Charter

    • John to put amendments to the vote with the MIST community
    • John also to remove “No intermediate counts will be revealed. Final vote totals will be released only to the candidates.”

    Any Other Business

    • We discussed the Strategic Priorities Fund:
      • Ian McCrea talked to Janet Seed, one of the things that UKRI do is look for overlapping bid ideas and combine them when they’re found
      • Other bodies are also allowed to bid into the process e.g. UKSA, Met Office
      • Ian McCrea requested STFC funding for a space weather idea. Others similar:
        • [redacted]
      • Ian’s idea is going through to phase two
    • Ian to talk to Lucy Carpenter to look at success rates of NERC standard grants

    Minutes from remote meeting on 2 August 2018

    MIST Council meetings

    • Face to face meeting will be at RAS on 19 September at 11am, with biscuits

    Autumn MIST

    • Ian has asked for a new quote with just afternoon catering, and is waiting to hear back
    • We can pay after the meeting to prevent people needing to register in advance
    • Theme of radiation belt physics, in honour of their 60th anniversary

    MIST Charter

    • John has set up a Slack for MIST because the charter says we must provide a forum
    • John will start putting minutes online
    • John suggested some amendments to the charter because we are currently in violation
      • Councillors to suggest changes to his circulated email before September
      • John to send out to the MIST list after the face-to-face meeting

    A&G issue

    • Oliver to tell Mike Lockwood about the deadline for his article and details (2000–2500 words, 3–4 figures)
    • John to talk to Sue Bowler about specific deadline for articles and also reprinting Henry Rishbeth's article
    • John to email the mailing list to see whether people have conference group photos, and get the Test MIST Special photo from Rob Fear
    • Jonny to ask Mervyn Freeman about his Rishbeth prize article
    • Ian will start an article looking back at the MIST community since 1997 with contributions from councillors to be circulated on/before 17 August

    Awards nominations

    • This part of the minutes discussed specific members of the MIST community and has been redacted

    SSAP consultation

    • Jonny thinks that it might be worth having forums in MIST to corral the community behind consultations
    • Sarah suggests consulting the community on this at Autumn MIST

    Notes from MIST Council meeting 29/10/12

    29 October 2012, Conference room 13, RAL

    Participants: Mike Hapgood, Emma Woodfield, Mario Bisi, Rob Fear, David Southwood

    1. Agree agenda
      1. Agenda agreed
    2. Draft SSAP report
      1. Draft and Agreed note to send on behalf of STP community
      2. Sent 4 minutes before formal deadline at noon
      3. Put on MIST web site
    3. Autumn MIST
      1. Coffee and rooms are booked
        1. RAS LT for talks
        2. Council room for coffee
      2. Can have 3 sessions and run until about 17:00
      3. Tim Horbury to give invited talk
      4. Will need talk on state of MIST
      5. Deadline is coming Friday (2 Nov) - already have 6 abstracts
      6. Posters
        1. Suggestion to put boards against Council table
        2. But this limits us to use one side of board
        3. Will review when we know how many posters we have
    4. Dungey Special Meeting and Lecture
      1. Reviewed David's draft annoucement
      2. David chasing up other old students of Jim
      3. Looking for younger scientists to talk about topics on which Jim has worked
        1. ULF waves
        2. reconnection
        3. radiation belts
      4. Meeting is in GeolSoc LT so can handle 200+
        1. but some concern we may exceed this
        2. do we need tickets so numbers are controlled?
        3. David may ask Imperial secretary to collect registrations
    5. NAM 2013
      1. Plenaries
        1. First choice is Mark Lester as Mark missed slot at NAM 2012
        2. Other possibilities
          • Andrew Fazakerley - follow up to his Chapman Medal
          • Malcolm Dunlop - SWARM
          • Richard Horne - RBSP
        3. Mike to discuss with SOC
      2. How to build programme?
        1. Need to make a Call for Ideas
        2. Start Call at Autumn MIST
    6. MIST web site
      1. Rob and Emma now in control of web site
      2. Reviewed content on-line and agreed some changes
      3. Remove old links
      4. Tidy up list of groups
      5. Collect data on indicators of esteem for MIST scientists
        • Fellowships
        • Awards and Named Lectures
    7. Promoting our science
      1. Briefing papers
        1. Mike to chase up old list ot proposed papers
        2. Some exist in draft form
        3. EISCAT_3D should be a priority
        4. Re-prompt for ideas at Autumn MIST
        5. Can authors recycle material from proposals
        6. Other options
          • Rad belts - can Spacecast help?
          • Artificial aurora - Lancaster?
          • History - David interested to write about Alfven, Chapman, Dungey and Birkeland
      2. Promote outreach sites
        1. SunEarthPlan.net
        2. SolarStormWatch
    8. AOB
      1. Should we have a MIST equivalent to UKSP nuggets?
        1. How to sustain?
      2. MIST Council election 2013
        1. needs to take place before "Spring MIST" @ NAM2013
        2. Mike to flag this at Autumn MIST
        3. circulate note to Heads of Groups - ask them to encourage candidates so we have a good election
      3. Date of next MIST Council meeting
        1. telecon in Feb/Mar 2013
      4. Rishbeth Prize money
        1. Mike to check status with RAS