MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

MIST recognised in 2018 RAS awards

MIST Council would like to congratulate those who have been recognised for contributions to the field by the Royal Astronomical Society recently, but particularly we would like to congratulate those members of the MIST community who are to be honoured at the next National Astronomy Meeting.

Emma Bunce has won the Chapman Medal for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the magnetospheres of gas giants, Matt Taylor has won the Service Award for his exceptional work in co-ordinating and contributing to ESA's Rosetta mission, and Jim Wild has been awarded the James Dungey lectureship for his excellent and highly relevant work on substorms and reconnection in the magnetotail. We would also like to congratulate Kerri Donaldson Hanna for winning the Winton Award for planetary science.

MIST Council applauds each of the winners, alongside the other academics who will be recognised in Liverpool this spring!

More details are available at the RAS website.

New MIST councillors in 2017

Congratulations to Jasmine Sandhu and Jonny Rae, both at MSSL, who have been elected (and, in Jonny’s case, re-elected) to MIST Council. They join Ian McCrea (Chair - RAL), Sarah Badman (Lancaster), Luke Barnard (Reading) and John Coxon (Southampton), all of whom continue in their posts.

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Rishbeth Prizes 2017

Congratulations to Jade Reidy (University of Southampton) and Mervyn Freeman (British Antarctic Survey) for winning this year's Rishbeth prizes for their presentations at the National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Hull this July.

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Nigel Wade

Nigel Wade
Nigel Wade - University of Leicester

It is with deep sadness that we have to inform the MIST community of the untimely death after a short illness of Nigel Wade who worked in the Radio and Space Plasma Physics (RSPP) group at Leicester for over 30 years.

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New Members of MIST Council

After a hard-fought campaign by the five candidates, the results of the MIST Council elections are now in!

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Extended deadline for MIST Council elections

The deadline for voting in the MIST Council elections has been extended until 20:00 BST on 29 July, so please cast your vote this week! All members of the mailing list should have received information on how to vote; if you have not, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he will help you.

The nominees are:

  • Sarah Badman, Lancaster University
  • Biagio Forte, University of Bath
  • Ian McCrea, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
  • Rob Shore, British Antarctic Survey
  • Simon Thomas, Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Their statements are as follows!

Sarah Badman, Lancaster University

“MIST council plays an important role in communicating within the MIST community and representing its interests to other organisations. If elected I will broaden the Council’s representation of region (north-west) and research area (outer planets) while carrying out this role.”

Biagio Forte, University of Bath

“My research interest is on ionospheric scintillation and the effects the ionosphere can have on systems such as GPS, Galileo, EGNOS. This is an example of the impact adverse space weather conditions may have on our society.”

Ian McCrea, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

“I am a senior scientist at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, with a background in ionospheric physics as studied by ground-based radars. I have been a member of MIST Council since 2013 and Chair since 2014. I am standing again with the aim of continuing the initiatives which we have taken in the past three years, including the biennial Spring MIST meetings and closer links with the solar community in education and training. I also hope to work towards more support for doctoral training and thematic funding, on the NERC side of the STP community.”

Rob Shore, British Antarctic Survey

“I am a postdoctoral researcher currently based at the British Antarctic Survey. My 9-year research career has thus far focused on novel methods of discovering the workings of the Earth and its space environment via the magnetic field. I think that this post would be an excellent opportunity to learn the inner workings of MIST in more detail, and to provide a meaningful contribution to the ongoing health of the MIST community.”

Simon Thomas, Mullard Space Science Laboratory

“I’ve been in the MIST community now for 5 years and have been very active with MIST event during this time, attending almost all meetings and giving a number of presentations. I am currently a PDRA at Mullard Space Science Laboratory studying space weather with Prof. Lucie Green after completing a short PDRA with Prof Chris Owen on solar wind particles. My PhD was at the University of Reading with Dr. Matt Owens and Prof. Mike Lockwood on cosmic ray modulation in the solar wind. I also have an undergraduate in Physics from the University of Bath and an MSc in Meteorology from Reading. Therefore, I have a broad background of MIST science ideal for a council role. Throughout my career so far, I have thoroughly enjoyed MIST events when the community joins together and I have learnt a lot from the friendly community at meetings such as Autumn and Spring MIST. I am keen to keep up the excellent work of previous council members in promoting the work of early-career scientists and assisting in their development through these meetings and the giving out of awards such as the Rishbeth Prize. Furthermore, I am very keen to help to promote the work of members of the MIST community through outreach, be it through social media or by helping to organise public engagement events in our research area. I have gained a lot from the MIST community and standing for MIST council is an excellent way to give something back to the community. Therefore, I would be open to suggestions from MIST members for new ways to improve the community and our science output.”

Amendment of MIST Charter

December saw MIST Council propose an amendment to the MIST Charter which increases the size of the Council from five to six members. The amendment was passed with no objections from the MIST community, so the Charter will be amended accordingly, with the changes taking effect at the next MIST Council election.

Rishbeth Prizes 2015

Congratulations to Maria Walach (Leicester) and Joe Dods (Warwick) for winning this year's Rishbeth prizes for their presentations at NAM/MIST at Llandudno in July.

Maria won the prize for the best student talk, which was "A test of ionospheric convection predictions from the expanding/contracting polar cap paradigm"

Joe won the prize for the best poster, for "Network Analysis of Geomagnetic Substorms Using the SuperMAG Database of Ground Based Magnetometer Stations".

Articles by both winners will appear shortly in A&G!

Jim Dungey 1923-2015

It is with sadness that we report the death of Prof. Jim Dungey last Thursday (7th May), at the age of 92.

Jim was, of course, a pillar of the MIST community and a regular at MIST meetings until quite recently. His intellectual achievements need no introduction to anyone familiar with our field. Below is a short appreciation by Prof. David Southwood:

Jim Dungey passed away last week. A light went out for me. I feel some echo of that must have been felt by everybody in the MIST community. He was an extraordinary scientist, someone out of the ordinary. His style was terse. In two pages in Physical Review Letters in 1961 he resolved the basis of solar-terrestrial interaction. He famously conceived it whilst stirring a coffee at a pavement café on Boulevard Montparnasse in Paris. Almost every sentence contains a nugget. Conversations with him could be as dense. I suspect that I am not the only one of his students for whom meetings during his PhD supervision were a matter of grasping clues and only later, often much later, appreciating the true import of what had been said. Indeed, in respect of his 1961 paper, it took the community as a whole almost 20 years to grasp the basic idea. The enormity of the 1961 paper's ultimate impact distracts from the number of other seeds he sowed: geomagnetic pulsations were standing MHD waves in the magnetosphere, Kelvin-Helmholtz instability could be important at the magnetopause, that the radiation belts had an external origin, that whistlers could determine the equilibrium of the belts, that magnetospheric MHD waves could be excited by bounce-drift resonance. I could continue and will, indeed, say more elsewhere. Moreover, he was a theorist but he welcomed any kind of experimental data, ground-based, space based and he also appreciated, long before I did, the interpretation of computer simulations. He was a MIST community member and a regular attendee at early meetings. His students and 'grand-students' are all around us. Everybody in the UK MIST community should feel the loss but, I hope, also a small pride that he was one of us.