Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

RAS Awards

The Royal Astronomical Society announced their award recipients last week, and MIST Council would like to congratulate all that received an award. In particular, we would like to highlight the following members of the MIST Community, whose work has been recognised:
  • Professor Nick Achilleos (University College London) - Chapman Medal
  • Dr Oliver Allanson (University of Birmingham) - Fowler Award
  • Dr Ravindra Desai (University of Warwick) - Winton Award & RAS Higher Education Award
  • Professor Marina Galand (Imperial College London) - James Dungey Lecture

New MIST Council 2021-

There have been some recent ingoings and outgoings at MIST Council - please see below our current composition!:

  • Oliver Allanson, Exeter (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), to 2024 -- Chair
  • Beatriz Sánchez-Cano, Leicester (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), to 2024
  • Mathew Owens, Reading (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), to 2023
  • Jasmine Sandhu, Northumbria (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), to 2023 -- Vice-Chair
  • Maria-Theresia Walach, Lancaster (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), to 2022
  • Sarah Badman, Lancaster (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), to 2022
    (co-opted in 2021 in lieu of outgoing councillor Greg Hunt)

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.

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