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.

MIST Council comments on Draft SSAP Roadmap

29 October 2012

We welcome the identification of a theme on "Solar Variability and its Impact on Us". This is very important given the growing awareness of the risks posed by space weather and potential links, as yet not understood, to long-term climate. However, we can only pursue this through a balanced programme that looks at the whole chain of physics that connects the core of the Sun to Earth’s lithosphere and all the many regions in between. The present draft is heavily biased towards the solar end. This needs to be rectified.

The themes need to be based on the needs of the UK science community as a whole, and so we expect that STFC needs to take scientific leadership to ensure coordination across the UK community and with other national institutional interests (e.g. NERC, Met Office, UKSA, DSTL). The themes also need to reflect where UK scientists are leading world-class projects in solar system science, often in close collaboration with partners across Europe, in the US and China. The study of solar variability and its impact on Earth is a global enterprise with global impact; the UK needs to contribute at a level appropriate to its technical and financial ability.

The terrestrial impact of solar variability now has a major impact on technologies that are critical to the smooth operation of modern societies and their economies. This impact will continue to evolve in the coming years as technology advances. Thus the UK needs to maintain and develop its skills and knowledge in the area of science, in order to support and encourage innovation in ensuring the resilience of new technologies.

We are very concerned by the short timescale over which this exercise has been carried out. We have long experience of the development of science strategies and understand that the development of a good strategy needs a year or so, so that there would be scope for several iterations with the science community. These iterations are essential to build a robust and authoritative document. The present document would make a good first step in a longer term consultation. Unfortunately the timescale precludes further iteration, so the challenge to SSAP is to achieve a more balanced view, and a clear picture of the timeliness of the science, that the whole community will support.

MIST Council: Mike Hapgood (Chair), Emma Woodfield, Mario Bisi, Rob Fear and David Southwood.