MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

Debye mission proposal for ESA F-class call

We are currently preparing a proposal for the space mission “Debye” in response to ESA’s F-Class call. As the first dedicated electron-astrophysics mission, Debye will use the solar wind as a testbed to study universal small-scale electron processes throughout the universe. The mission's key science question is: “How are electrons heated in astrophysical plasmas?”
 
Debye will consist of up to four spacecraft that will orbit the Lagrange point L2. The main spacecraft will measure electron distribution functions with unprecedented cadence and very high resolution, electric fields, magnetic fields, and plasma ions. The deployable spacecraft will provide multi-point and multi-baseline measurements of the magnetic field to determine the nature of fluctuations on electron scales.
 
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RAS Specialist Discussion suggestions invited

The RAS is inviting suggestions from Fellows of the RAS for Specialist Discussion meeting topics in the academic year 2019/20. These meetings are held on the second Friday of the month between October and May in a given academic year; the April meeting will be moved due to the second Friday being Good Friday. 

If you would like to organise one of these meetings, you can do so by submitting a proposal no longer than one A4 page. Geophysics proposals, including MIST science, should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and the deadline is 1 March 2019.

Your proposal should include the title of the meeting; the names of the co-convenors (at least one of whom should be a RAS Fellow); the topics you intend to cover; the rationale (including timeliness); suggestions for invited speakers; and the preferred date for the meeting. More information, including detailed guidance, can be found on the RAS website.

 

RAS awards for 2019 announced

MIST Council would like to extend their congratulations to the 2019 Royal Astronomical Society award winners, as well as the recent AGU award winners. In particular, we congratulate the following MIST members recognised for their significant achievements:
  • Margaret Kivelson (UCLA) has been awarded the Gold Medal in Geophysics for a lifetime of outstanding achievement in understanding planetary magnetospheres and their connections to the planets they surround.
  • Tom Stallard (Leicester) has been awarded the Chapman medal in Geophysics for outstanding contributions to understanding planetary upper atmospheres and their interactions with their magnetospheres.
  • The Cluster Science and Operations Team have been awarded the Geophysics Group Award for their continued success ensuring the operations and scientific exploitation of the European Space Agency’s Cluster mission.
  • Mark Clilverd (British Antarctic Survey) has been awarded the James Dungey Lecture for their excellent research on energetic particle precipitation and its effects on the upper atmosphere and climate, and their vast experience delivering outstanding scientific talks to a broad range of audiences.
  • Julia Stawarz (Imperial College London) has been awarded the Basu United States Early Career Award for Research Excellence in Sun-Earth Systems Science for significant contributions in furthering understanding of collisional plasma turbulence and kinetic scale processes. 
MIST Council would also like to congratulate Fran Bagenal (Colorado), who has been awarded the AGU Van Allen Lecture for exceptional work on the understanding of planetary magnetospheres and outstanding contributions to planetary missions.

New community resources now available

MIST Council are pleased to announce three resources for the MIST community on the MIST website.

List of research groups

The list of MIST research groups has been updated to include the latest members of the MIST community, and to incorporate the latest links to their presences online. Old groups, or groups at institutions which have merged since the original list was written, are now excised, and the list should be an exhaustive and up-to-date list of British MIST institutions.

List of seminar speakers

We asked the MIST community to come forward and be listed on our list of seminar speakers, and the uptake has so far been very encouraging. The list ranges from relatively junior PhD students to academics at various institutions, and if you're arranging seminars for your research group, we would encourage you to take a look.

List of public engagement projects

Following the success of the recently-held Public Engagement in MIST (MIST+PE) symposium, there was an appetite for MIST Council to better advertise the public engagement being done at MIST institutions across the UK. The Public Engagement page on the MIST website aims to advertise the MIST community's strengths to the rest of the community.

If you spot omissions on any of the above pages, or would like us to include content, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New mailing list for Python in space science

A new mailing list for space scientists who use Python has been founded. Angeline Burrell writes: 

There's been a recent push for more community python development and peer-to-peer support. Much of this is focused in the US at the moment, but as the results of the recent survey showed, MIST scientists are active or interested in python as well. If you would like to become involved, you can join the email list by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The mailing list will comprise discussion as well as webinars/telecons from Python users, so the list should be useful for a range of abilities with Python. To join, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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