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.

UK Solar Orbiter Workshop 2020

The third UK Solar Orbiter Workshop will take place at the University of St Andrews between the 13–14 January 2020, just prior to the launch of Solar Orbiter in February 2020. Abstract submission is open and details of how to submit an abstract can be found on the meeting webpage. Registration for the meeting will open shortly, further details to follow. The chairs of the SOC are Duncan Mackay and Gherardo Valori.

Information on travel to St Andrews and possible options for accommodation in both hotels and B&B’s can be found here. We recommend booking of accommodation as early as possible as St Andrews is a tourist destination.

Please note the key dates below:

  • Abstract submission closes : 5th December 2019
  • Scientific Program announced: 15th December 2019
  • Registration and payment closes: 6th January 2020
  • Workshop begins: Monday 13th January 10:30am
  • Workshop closes: Tuesday 14th January 4:30pm

RAS Specialist Discussion – Cometary science with Rosetta: Striking, timely, and more to come

Contributions are invited to the upcoming RAS Specialist Discussion, “Cometary science with Rosetta: Striking, timely, and more to come” which will be taking place on the 13 December 2019 at the RAS in London. More details can be found on the RAS website. If you would like to present your work, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday 15 November 2019 with a title, a short abstract, and whether you prefer an oral or poster presentation. Contributions from PhD students and early career scientists are particularly encouraged.

The invited presentations are:

  • “The active surface of comet 67P witnessed by Rosetta” by Ramy El Maarry (Birkbeck University, UK)
  • “The surprising plasma environment at comet 67P revealed by Rosetta” by Pierre Henri (LPC2E, Orléans/Observatoire de Nice, France)
  • “The future Comet Interceptor mission” by Geraint Jones (UCL, UK) — given by C. Snodgrass
  • “Future plans in cometary science building from what we have learned from Rosetta” by Dominique Bockelée-Morvan (Observatoire de Paris, France)

The abstract for the meeting is as follows:

The Rosetta mission was the first mission to escort a comet, a possibility to witness the evolution of the coma and the nucleus as it approached perihelion and departed from it. This dataset has been complemented by the measurements from the Philae lander, first probe to land on a cometary nucleus (November 2014), and by Earth-based observations. This RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting will highlight the great scientific advancement in cometary science which Rosetta has brought. It is extremely timely as the official post-operations period of the mission ended recently (September 2019) and a consolidated and enhanced dataset is becoming available to the scientific community via the ESA Planetary Science Archive (PSA). Finally, the Meeting will offer us a forum for highlighting and exploring new directions after Rosetta, including the recently-selected ESA “Comet Interceptor” mission.

Full programme to be available early December on the RAS website. The meeting will open at 10 am with the first presentation at 10:30 am.

Admission to Specialist Discussion Meetings is free for RAS Fellows, £15 for non-fellows (£5 for students), cash or cheque only, collected at the registration desk. Admission to the subsequent Open (Monthly A&G) Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society is open to all, at no charge.

Python in Heliophysics (PyHC) Fall 2019 meeting

The Python in Heliophysics Community (PyHC) Fall 2019 meeting will take place at LASP in Boulder, Colorado, over 4–6 November 2019. This meeting focuses on delving further into topics brought up in the Spring 2019 meeting, as well as considering several other relevant themes brought up since said meeting. We will be revisiting PyHC governance and standards, discussing funding opportunities for PyHC and PyHC community members' funded projects, and discussing and working in tandem on various other topics deemed important by the PyHC group. The meeting will generate a report with findings and recommendations that will be presented to the community.

The first two days (Monday and Tuesday) are full days, whereas the last day (Wednesday) is a half day. All days will have coffee/snacks provided, while full days will also feature catered lunches. For more information and to register, visit the conference website.

Autumn MIST 2019

Autumn MIST will be held at the Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, London, on Friday 29 November 2019. The meeting will commence at 10:30, with registration from 10:00 onwards, and will include a poster session, lightning talks, and oral sessions.



Contributions are welcome from all areas of MIST science. We will not have a theme this year, and we would like to instead celebrate the broad variety of science in the MIST community. Professor Mathew Owens (University of Reading) will be giving an invited talk as follows

Sun to mud: The challenges of forecasting within the coupled space-weather system."

Forecasting space weather with a lead time of more than an hour requires propagation of information through the whole Sun-Earth system. Changes in the dominant physical processes, as well as the characteristic spatial and temporal scales, means this is best achieved using separate models for each physical domain (e.g., the photosphere, corona, heliosphere, magnetosphere, ionosphere, etc). The fundamental sources of uncertainty and available observational constraints differ greatly across these models, meaning coupling them presents a wealth of scientific and engineering challenges.

Abstracts should be submitted by completing this form by the end of Friday 18 October.


Lightning Talks

This year we are also accepting lightning talk submissions, which can be submitted in addition to abstracts. Lightning talks are short (up to 2 minutes) with a maximum of 1 presentation slide. This format is ideal for presenting datasets, upcoming missions, analysis techniques, or public engagement projects that would be of interest to the MIST community. We emphasise that lightning talks should not be a poster advert.

Lightning talks should be submitted by completing this form by the end of Friday 18 October.


Registration fee

Due to the venue hire it is necessary to charge a registration fee of £20, or £10 for students. We will provide receipts, to allow you to claim with the rest of your travel expenses, but please make sure you bring the registration fee in cash on the day.


Although the meeting will start at 10:30, we will have access to the building from 10:00. Tea and coffee will be provided during the afternoon poster session.


Radiation belt modelling in the post Van Allen Probes era

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting on the topic of “Radiation belt modelling in the post Van Allen Probes era” will be held on Friday 10th January 2020 at the Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House. This meeting will include keynote talks from Lauren Blum (NASA GSFC), Ewan Haggerty (Airbus Space and Defense), and Yuri Shprits (UCLA & GFZ Potsdam). Further details can be found on the RAS website.

Abstracts can be submitted through a Google Form. The deadline for abstract submission is 4 October 2019.

RAS discussion meetings can provide a slightly different forum to that of a standard scientific meeting. It may be beneficial to particularly consider the "discussion" aspect of the meeting when submitting an abstract, i.e. open questions and future challenges, hypotheses, possible collaborations, negative results etc. Therefore, in addition to "standard" abstracts, we particularly welcome talk, poster and lightning talk abstracts that are specifically aimed at generating discussion.

Admission to Specialist Discussion Meetings is free for RAS Fellows, £15 for non-fellows (£5 for students), cash or cheque only, collected at the registration desk. Admission to the subsequent Open (Monthly A&G) Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society is open to all, at no charge.