Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

Charter amendment and MIST Council elections open

Nominations for MIST Council open today and run through to 8 August 2021! Please feel free to put yourself forward for election – the voting will open shortly after the deadline and run through to the end of August. The positions available are:

  • 2 members of MIST Council
  • 1 student representative (pending the amendment below passing)

Please email nominations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 8 August 2021. Thank you!

Charter amendment

We also move to amend the following articles of the MIST Charter as demonstrated below. Bold type indicates additions and struck text indicates deletions. Please respond to the email on the MIST mailing list before 8 August 2021 if you would like to object to the amendment; MIST Charter provides that it will pass if less than 10% of the mailing list opposes its passing. 

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

5.1 Members of MIST council serve terms of three years, except for the student representative who serves a term of one year.

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, alongside the student representative.

5.10 Candidates for student representative must not have submitted their PhD thesis at the time that nominations close.

SSAP roadmap update

The STFC Solar System Advisory Panel (SSAP) is undertaking a review of the "Roadmap for Solar System Research", to be presented to STFC Science Board later this year. This is expected to be a substantial update of the Roadmap, as the last full review was carried out in 2012, with a light-touch update in 2015.

The current version of the SSAP Roadmap can be found here.

In carrying out this review, we will take into account changes in the international landscape, and advances in instrumentation, technology, theory, and modelling work. 

As such, we solicit your input and comments on the existing roadmap and any material we should consider in this revision. This consultation will close on Wednesday 14 July 2021 and SSAP will try to give a preliminary assessment of findings at NAM.

This consultation is seeking the view of all members of our community and we particularly encourage early career researchers to respond. Specifically, we invite:

Comments and input on the current "Roadmap for Solar System Research" via the survey by clicking here.

Short "white papers" on science investigations (including space missions, ground-based experimental facilities, or computing infrastructure) and impact and knowledge exchange (e.g. societal and community impact, technology development). Please use the pro-forma sent to the MIST mailing list and send your response to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Quo vadis interim board


A white paper called "Quo vadis, European space weather community" has been published in J. Space Weather Space Clim. which outlines plans for the creation of an organisation to represent the European space weather community.
Since it was published, an online event of the same name was organised on 17 March 2021. A “Quo Vadis Interim Board” was then set up, to establish a mechanism for this discussion, which will go on until June 21st.

The Interim Board is composed of volunteers from the community in Europe. Its role is to coordinate the efforts so that the space weather (and including space climate) European community can:

  1. Organise itself
  2. Elect people to represent them

To reach this goal, the Interim Board is inviting anyone interested in and outside Europe to join the “Quo Vadis European Space Weather Community ” discussion forum.

Eligible European Space Weather Community members should register to the “Electoral Census” to be able to vote in June for the final choice of organisation.

This effort will be achieved through different actions indicated on the Quo Vadis webpage and special Slack workspace.

Call for applications for STFC Public Engagement Early-Career Researcher Forum


The STFC Public Engagement Early-Career Researcher Forum (the ‘PEER Forum’) will support talented scientists and engineers in the early stages of their career to develop their public engagement and outreach goals, to ensure the next generation of STFC scientists and engineers continue to deliver the highest quality of purposeful, audience-driven public engagement.

Applications are being taken until 4pm on 3 June 2021. If you would like to apply, visit the PEER Forum website, and if you have queries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The PEER Forum aims:

  • To foster peer learning and support between early career scientists and engineers with similar passion for public engagement and outreach, thus developing a peer support network that goes beyond an individual’s term in the forum 
  • To foster a better knowledge and understanding of the support mechanisms available from STFC and other organisations, including funding mechanisms, evaluation, and reporting. As well as how to successfully access and utilise this support 
  • To explore the realities of delivering and leading public engagement as an early career professional and build an evidence base to inform and influence STFC and by extension UKRI’s approaches to public engagement, giving an effective voice to early career researchers

What will participation in the Forum involve?

Participants in the PEER Forum will meet face-to-face at least twice per year to share learning and to participate in session that will strengthen the depth and breadth of their understanding of public engagement and outreach.

Who can apply to join the Forum?

The PEER Forum is for practising early-career scientists and engineers who have passion and ambition for carrying out excellent public engagement alongside, and complementary to, their career in science or engineering. We are seeking Forum members from across the breadth of STFC’s pure and applied science and technology remit.

The specific personal requirements of PEER Forum membership are that members:

  • Have completed (or currently studying for – including apprentices and PhD students) their highest level of academic qualification within the last ten years (not including any career breaks)
  • Are employed at a Higher Education Institute, or a research-intensive Public Sector Research Organisation or Research Laboratory (including STFC’s own national laboratories)
  • Work within a science and technology field in STFC’s remit, or with a strong inter-disciplinary connection to STFC’s remit, or use an STFC facility to enable their own research
  • Clearly describe their track record of experience in their field, corresponding to the length of their career to date
  • Clearly describe their track record of delivering and leading, or seeking the opportunity to lead, public engagement and/or outreach
  • Can provide insight into their experiences in public engagement and/or outreach and also evidence one or more of
  • Inspiring others
  • Delivering impact
  • Demonstrating creativity
  • Introducing transformative ideas and/or inventions
  • Building and sustaining collaborations/networks
  • Are keen communicators with a willingness to contribute to the success of a UK-wide network
  • https://stfc.ukri.org/public-engagement/training-and-support/peer-forum/  

    Astronet Science Vision & Infrastructure Roadmap


    Astronet is a consortium of European funding agencies, established for the purpose of providing advice on long-term planning and development of European Astronomy. Setup in 2005, its members include most of the major European astronomy nations, with associated links to the European Space Agency, the European Southern Observatory, SKA, and the European Astronomical Society, among others. The purpose of the Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmap is to deliver a coordinated vision covering the entire breadth of astronomical research, from the origin and early development of the Universe to our own solar system.

    The first European Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmap for Astronomy was created by Astronet, using EU funds, in 2008/09, and updated in 2014/15. Astronet is now developing a new Science Vision & Infrastructure Roadmap, in a single document with an outlook for the next 20 years. A delivery date to European funding agencies of mid-2021 is anticipated. 

    The Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmap revolves around the research themes listed below:

    • Origin and evolution of the Universe
    • Formation and evolution of galaxies
    • Formation & evolution of stars
    • Formation & evolution of planetary systems
    • Understanding the solar system and conditions for life

    but will include cross-cutting aspects such as computing and training and sustainability.


    After some delays due to the global pandemic, the first drafts of the chapters for the document are now available from the Panels asked to draft them, for you to view and comment on. For the Science Vision & Roadmap to be truly representative it is essential we take account of the views of as much of the European astronomy and space science community as possible – so your input is really valued by the Panels and Astronet. Please leave any comments, feedback or questions on the site by 1 May 2021.

    It is intended that a virtual “town hall” style event will be held in late Spring 2021, where an update on the project and responses to the feedback will be provided.

    Minutes from remote meeting on 20 December 2018


    • Approving minutes from July 2018 onwards
    • NAM 2019 sessions
    • Autumn MIST feedback
    • MIST at RASreach


    Approving minutes

    • John to re-circulate minutes
    • Councillors to read through the minutes from previous meetings to approve them by 21 January
    • John to post minutes online after approval

    NAM 2019 sessions

    • Ian to email Mihalis about a joint session on capabilities etc
    • John to put a solar system PE session in with [redacted]
    • Several sessions have been submitted

    Autumn MIST feedback

    • Detailed summary of feedback has been compiled by Jasmine
    • People commented that abstracts were accepted too late; not enough time before the meeting
    • We could reduce the chance of this next year by:
    • Giving the Autumn MIST organiser more autonomy over the process
    • Could also have an earlier abstract deadline
  • It was suggested that we could move to IOP at King's Cross
  • Comments on the theme:
    • Less focus on students/postdocs
    • Discourages people for whom theme is not relevant?
  • Ian asked Geolsoc for the last Friday in November
    • It's booked that day, so we got 22 November 2019 instead
    • If we move forward with this we would need to publicise this widely and in advance
    • Ian did get a booking for last Friday in November 2020
  • Oliver is writing the article for A&G, the deadline is February 2019
  • MIST at RASreach

    • Sheila Kanani offered to let us share with RASreach, which is to be held in Newcastle in 2019
    • John plans to submit a parallel session to NAM so it's possible that two events in one year is overkill
    • Council says that NAM is the obvious choice
    • [redacted] 

    MIST website

    • John to email PE projects about contact emails
    • Oliver to investigate options for putting seminar speaker list into Google Sheets
    • Jasmine to start sending nuggets to the MIST list

    Minutes from remote meeting on 25 October 2018


    • List of seminar speakers for the MIST community
    • NAM sessions/plenaries
    • Oliver's suggestion
  • Autumn MIST submissions
  • MIST communications


    Seminar speakers for the MIST community

    • Useful for early career researchers to make themselves known to group seminar organisers
    • UKSP does this as an on-request service but it might be better for us to do it on the website
    • List should include name, email address, seniority, institution, and topic(s) they can talk on
    • Oliver to send emails and construct list
    • John to add Oliver to the website and add initial list

    NAM sessions/plenaries

    • MIST strategy day/bolt-on planning:
      • Sarah raised idea of MIST strategy day at end of NAM, no resistance from Lancaster
      • Ian talked with Mihalis (UKSP chair) about the idea of a parallel UKSP/MIST strategy slot at NAM
      • Mihalis invited MIST people to annual mission forum on 10 January at Burlington House
        • Jonny has been to these before
      • Mihalis indicated that he'd be open to a collaborative follow-up at NAM
      • Sarah to email HOGS and keep organising this
    • We should make sure that UKSP/MIST sessions are proposed:
      • A member of the community has approached Jasmine about co-convening an MHD waves session
      • Oliver mentioned a ‘from Sun to mud’ session being talked about at Reading, including Rad Sat and SWIGS from the MIST side and UKSP
      • [redacted] suggested that exoplanetary magnetospheres aren't advanced enough yet to have a session which includes solar system bodies
        • If the title includes habitability or atmospheres that might open it up to more exoplanetary researchers
    • Suggestions for plenary speakers are sought:
      • Council to suggest speakers by next meeting (as Lancaster internal deadline is end of December)
      • Since 2013, there has been:
        • 3x solar talks (Green '17, Dougherty '16, Fletcher '15)
        • 1x gas giant talk (Bunce, 2018)
        • 1x cometary talk (Taylor, 2015)
        • 1x terrestrial talk (Lester, 2013)
      • [redacted] could be a good suggestion
      • A terrestrial talk might be nice given the last was 2013
      • Mercury/Venus/Mars are not at all represented
      • Gas giants were covered very recently (last year)

    Autumn MIST submissions

    • Six talk/poster abstracts so far
    • Zero lightning talks so far
      • Might be worth making criteria more flexible in the next reminder email
    • Jasmine to send reminder email with plug for lightning talks

    MIST communications

    • John has asked Q to redirect This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Jonny to join the MIST Slack

    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

    Minutes from remote meeting on 2 August 2018

    MIST Council meetings

    • Face to face meeting will be at RAS on 19 September at 11am, with biscuits

    Autumn MIST

    • Ian has asked for a new quote with just afternoon catering, and is waiting to hear back
    • We can pay after the meeting to prevent people needing to register in advance
    • Theme of radiation belt physics, in honour of their 60th anniversary

    MIST Charter

    • John has set up a Slack for MIST because the charter says we must provide a forum
    • John will start putting minutes online
    • John suggested some amendments to the charter because we are currently in violation
      • Councillors to suggest changes to his circulated email before September
      • John to send out to the MIST list after the face-to-face meeting

    A&G issue

    • Oliver to tell Mike Lockwood about the deadline for his article and details (2000–2500 words, 3–4 figures)
    • John to talk to Sue Bowler about specific deadline for articles and also reprinting Henry Rishbeth's article
    • John to email the mailing list to see whether people have conference group photos, and get the Test MIST Special photo from Rob Fear
    • Jonny to ask Mervyn Freeman about his Rishbeth prize article
    • Ian will start an article looking back at the MIST community since 1997 with contributions from councillors to be circulated on/before 17 August

    Awards nominations

    • This part of the minutes discussed specific members of the MIST community and has been redacted

    SSAP consultation

    • Jonny thinks that it might be worth having forums in MIST to corral the community behind consultations
    • Sarah suggests consulting the community on this at Autumn MIST

    Notes from MIST Council meeting 29/10/12

    29 October 2012, Conference room 13, RAL

    Participants: Mike Hapgood, Emma Woodfield, Mario Bisi, Rob Fear, David Southwood

    1. Agree agenda
      1. Agenda agreed
    2. Draft SSAP report
      1. Draft and Agreed note to send on behalf of STP community
      2. Sent 4 minutes before formal deadline at noon
      3. Put on MIST web site
    3. Autumn MIST
      1. Coffee and rooms are booked
        1. RAS LT for talks
        2. Council room for coffee
      2. Can have 3 sessions and run until about 17:00
      3. Tim Horbury to give invited talk
      4. Will need talk on state of MIST
      5. Deadline is coming Friday (2 Nov) - already have 6 abstracts
      6. Posters
        1. Suggestion to put boards against Council table
        2. But this limits us to use one side of board
        3. Will review when we know how many posters we have
    4. Dungey Special Meeting and Lecture
      1. Reviewed David's draft annoucement
      2. David chasing up other old students of Jim
      3. Looking for younger scientists to talk about topics on which Jim has worked
        1. ULF waves
        2. reconnection
        3. radiation belts
      4. Meeting is in GeolSoc LT so can handle 200+
        1. but some concern we may exceed this
        2. do we need tickets so numbers are controlled?
        3. David may ask Imperial secretary to collect registrations
    5. NAM 2013
      1. Plenaries
        1. First choice is Mark Lester as Mark missed slot at NAM 2012
        2. Other possibilities
          • Andrew Fazakerley - follow up to his Chapman Medal
          • Malcolm Dunlop - SWARM
          • Richard Horne - RBSP
        3. Mike to discuss with SOC
      2. How to build programme?
        1. Need to make a Call for Ideas
        2. Start Call at Autumn MIST
    6. MIST web site
      1. Rob and Emma now in control of web site
      2. Reviewed content on-line and agreed some changes
      3. Remove old links
      4. Tidy up list of groups
      5. Collect data on indicators of esteem for MIST scientists
        • Fellowships
        • Awards and Named Lectures
    7. Promoting our science
      1. Briefing papers
        1. Mike to chase up old list ot proposed papers
        2. Some exist in draft form
        3. EISCAT_3D should be a priority
        4. Re-prompt for ideas at Autumn MIST
        5. Can authors recycle material from proposals
        6. Other options
          • Rad belts - can Spacecast help?
          • Artificial aurora - Lancaster?
          • History - David interested to write about Alfven, Chapman, Dungey and Birkeland
      2. Promote outreach sites
        1. SunEarthPlan.net
        2. SolarStormWatch
    8. AOB
      1. Should we have a MIST equivalent to UKSP nuggets?
        1. How to sustain?
      2. MIST Council election 2013
        1. needs to take place before "Spring MIST" @ NAM2013
        2. Mike to flag this at Autumn MIST
        3. circulate note to Heads of Groups - ask them to encourage candidates so we have a good election
      3. Date of next MIST Council meeting
        1. telecon in Feb/Mar 2013
      4. Rishbeth Prize money
        1. Mike to check status with RAS