MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

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.

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.

MIST Charter

At the 2007 Spring MIST meeting it was agreed that rather than a single MIST co-ordinator, MIST Council should be formed to organise and manage MIST activities. It was hoped that MIST Council would energise the MIST community whilst improving the visibility and impact of MIST science. The first MIST Council developed a charter, which now acts as a guiding document as to both the activities of the community and MIST Council.

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar Terrestrial science community (MIST)

Charter Statement

Last amended 1 April 2019

Article I – What is MIST?

1.1 This is the charter for the Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar Terrestrial science community, also known as "MIST". It is a community of UK-based scientists with interests in physical processes within the Sun-Earth system, other solar system bodies and exo-planets; in particular the solar/stellar wind, moons and planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres.

1.2 MIST is recognised by the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) as a specialist group and as such is affiliated to the RAS.

Article II – Purpose

2.1  Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among MIST scientists, students and other parties interested in MIST related science to advance our understanding of the energy transfer from the Sun through the solar system and associated subjects.

2.2  Promote our science and interests to the public, wider scientific community and other stakeholders in MIST.

2.3  Conduct meetings to advance the state of knowledge of MIST related science and to promote and facilitate the sharing of ideas and techniques between members of the MIST community.

2.4  Distribute relevant information to its members via the MIST website, MIST mailing lists or other appropriate methods.

2.5  Promote discussions of programmatic issues relevant to the development of MIST related science.

2.6  To provide a means of influencing UK policy on MIST related science.

Article III – Membership

3.1  Any UK-based individual who is an active scientist in a MIST related science and who joins the MIST mailing list is considered a part of the MIST community. Active scientists based in other countries are also welcome to join the MIST mailing list and will be considered a part of the MIST community.

3.2  Any individual who is interested in supporting MIST related science who joins the MIST mailing list is considered a part of the MIST community.

3.3 Membership of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) is not required for membership of MIST, but is encouraged.

Article IV – MIST Council

4.1  MIST council is the collective term for the officers of MIST and consists of six individuals from the MIST community.

4.2  MIST council is responsible for ensuring that MIST fulfills its purpose as outlined in Article II.

4.3  MIST council will elect one member to act as Chair of MIST council. All other roles and responsibilities of the individual members of the council are decided by the council; these are reviewed after each election (including the Chair of MIST council). Possible roles are outlined in Appendix 1.

4.4  A minimum of one MIST council meeting will be held each year. Other meetings may be called by the Chair, or a majority of the council members. The MIST council may meet and transact business by telephone conference call or email. Formal MIST councils require at least three members to participate.

4.5  The MIST council may, from time to time, charter additional members or subcommittees to address specific issues and business with specified portfolios.

4.6  MIST council can be removed from office via a vote of no confidence from the MIST community. To facilitate a confidence vote an extraordinary MIST business meeting must be called (by any member of the MIST community) if more than 10% of the MIST community (defined as 10% of the people subscribed to the MIST mailing list) is in agreement. The meeting must be held within a month of the announcement at an agreed venue. The complete MIST council will be removed if 2/3 of the meeting attendees declare no confidence in the MIST council.

Article V – MIST Elections

5.1  Members of MIST council serve terms of three years.

5.2 Elections will be announced at the Spring MIST meeting and voting must begin within two months of the Spring MIST meeting. Two slots on MIST council will be open in a given normal election year.

5.3  In a normal election the MIST council will appoint one (or more) member(s) of the MIST community to act as returning officer. The returning officer will not be eligible for election to MIST council and can be a current member of MIST council who is not seeking re-election.

5.4  Elections for the position of MIST council member will be held via an internet poll or electronic mail at the discretion of the returning officer. All members of the MIST community must be offered the opportunity to vote.

5.5  The returning officer will solicit nominations from the MIST community. Members of the MIST community can self nominate. To be eligible for election nominated candidates must be based in the UK. In the absence of a nomination MIST council reserves the right to co-opt members of the MIST community to serve on MIST council.

5.6  Upon closure of nominations, the returning officer will prepare the ballot and publicize the ballot to all members of the MIST community via the MIST mailing list and the MIST web page. The ballot will contain candidate names alphabetical by family name and home institute. The returning officer will allow for at least one month between electronic mailing and the election deadline.

5.7  Those candidates receiving the most valid votes will be elected to MIST council. In the case of a tie the position on MIST council will be decided by the drawing of lots by those candidates with a tied number of votes.

5.8  Members of MIST council can stand for election for only two consecutive terms.There is no restriction on the absolute number of times that a member of the MIST community can stand for election.

5.9  A MIST council member can resign his/her position at any time by writing to the MIST council chair stating their intention to resign. MIST council will then co-opt a member of the MIST community to sit on council for the remainder of the resigning member’s term.

Article VI – MIST Meetings

6.1 Spring MIST and Autumn MIST meetings will be held each year. The Spring MIST meeting will be held in the spring or summer, and the Autumn MIST meeting will be held in the autumn.

6.2  A MIST business meeting will be held annually, usually during the Spring MIST meeting. This meeting is open to the entire MIST community.

6.3  Minutes from MIST council and business meetings will be taken and made public on the MIST website.

6.4  MIST will provide an on-line forum to allow ongoing discussions and the formulation of ideas prior to public dissemination. This forum will be private, visible only to registered members; membership is restricted to active MIST scientists and is offered at the discretion of MIST council chair.

6.5  From time to time MIST council has the authority to call for a meeting of active MIST scientists to discuss programmatic issues. Each meeting shall decide on the form of meeting outputs and how they shall be disseminated.

Article VII – Amendment of Charter Statement

7.1  This charter statement can only be modified following consideration of the amendment by the MIST community.

7.2  Any member of the MIST community can offer a suggestion to amend the MIST charter. Any suggestion to amend must include the proposed text of the amendment.

7.3  Suggested amendments must first be put to the MIST council who will vote on whether to put the motion to amend to the MIST community.

7.4  Once a motion to amend passes MIST council it must be put to the community via electronic mail or an internet poll.

7.5 If greater than 10% of the MIST community (defined as 10% of the people subscribed to the MIST mailing list) votes against the motion to amend, the motion is not carried.

 

Appendix 1

Potential roles and responsibilities within MIST council:

  • Council chair
  • Web-site design and upkeep
  • Spring MIST meeting co-ordinator
  • Autumn MIST meeting co-ordinator
  • MIST mailing list moderator
  • Public relations and press releases