Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

Representing the MIST Community in award nominations

MIST Council has recently launched an effort to create an award nominations task force with the following aims:

  1. Actively contribute towards more equal representation and a diverse range of nominees for awards
  2. Recognise and promote the work of overlooked members of the community
  3. Provide a means for students and ECRs to gain experience in preparing an effective nomination package

The initial plan is to start by considering those awards given out by the Royal Astronomical Society. This is so there will be sufficient time to prepare nomination packages by the RAS deadline (July 2020), and the wide range of awards will allow us to consider the entire MIST community. The task force is spearheaded by Oliver Allanson, Jasmine Sandhu, and Maria-Theresia Walach.

This task force is inspired by Liz MacDonald, a heliophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Liz Macdonald organized the Nomination Task Force within AGU’s Space Physics and Aeronomy (SPA) section, which has been summarised in an article in Eos. We plan to work in a manner similar to that described in the article, as we believe that by having a community task force we will be able to achieve community-wide representation in a timely manner.

If you would like to be part of the task force then please sign-up using our Google Form by Friday 4th October. At this stage we are not soliciting for specific ideas for nominees. Instead we are seeking to gauge support and receive feedback. We would like to emphasise that all members of the MIST community are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to sign-up to to join this task force, from PhD student to Emeritus Professor.

New MIST Chair and Vice-Chair elected

Congratulations to John Coxon on becoming MIST Chair, and to Jasmine Sandhu on becoming MIST Vice-chair in a unanimous vote at a Council meeting last week.
MIST Council elects a new Chair whenever the previous Chair steps down, and in addition this year, the council has decided to elect a Vice-Chair for the first time.
On behalf of the MIST community, we would like to thank Ian McCrea for doing a superb job as Chair during his tenure on the Council.

EGU elections now open

The call for candidates for the EGU 2019 elections is currently open, with a deadline of 15 September 2019. The following roles are up for election: Union President, General Secretary, and the Division Presidents. More details about these roles and how you can nominate yourselves/colleagues can be found on the EGU website. 
MIST Council would like to emphasise that this is an excellent opportunity to contribute to and shape the field on an international scale, and we hope to see members from the MIST community putting themselves forward.

Summer Science Exhibition 2020

The Royal Society is currently accepting proposals for the Summer Science Exhibition 2020, and the deadline for proposals is 10 September 2019. Further details on applying can be found here.
MIST Council would like to highlight that this is an excellent opportunity for cross-institutional collaborations! The MIST community is involved in a number of projects with a particularly timely aspect (e.g. Solar Orbiter and SMILE), which would be very appropriate to propose to the Royal Society. If you are currently preparing a proposal that you are happy to invite community members to join or you have an idea for a proposal that you would like to work with the community on, then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a short outline by 9 August 2019. We hope to then share these projects with the community to build support for the proposals and involve the wider community!
We will be discussing this further and sharing ideas on the #public-engagement channel on the MIST Slack workspace. If you aren’t on the MIST Slack workspace then click here for details.

2019 Rishbeth prize winners announced

We are pleased to announce that the Rishbeth Prizes this year are awarded to Affelia Wibisono and Michaela Mooney , both of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (UCL).
Affelia Wibisono wins the prize for the best MIST student talk, entitled “Jupiter’s X-ray Aurorae as seen by XMM-Newton concurrently with Juno”. Michaela wins the best MIST poster prize, for a poster entitled “Evaluating auroral forecasts against satellite observations”.
MIST Council would like to congratulate both Affelia and Michaela. As prize winners, Affelia and Michaela have been invited to write articles for Astronomy & Geophysics, which we look forward to reading.

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