MIST

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.

    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 is to be cancelled or postponed, so we will not be holding the meeting on 29 November as originally planned. Click here for more details.

    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. 

    Abstracts

    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.

    Ensemble forecasts in space weather: Science and operations workshop

    A Lorentz Center @ Snellius Workshop will take place in Leiden, Netherlands, between 2–6 September 2019, with the aim of making concrete steps towards improving space weather forecasts by implementing ensemble techniques. Researchers from academia, operations, and industry across all space weather disciplines will learn from experts in terrestrial weather forecasting and discuss next steps. The workshop is convened by Eelco Doornbos, Jordan Guerra, and Sophie Murray.

    There are limited workshop spaces still available, therefore the co-convenors invite applications to attend the workshop. Please register your interest before 12th July via the workshop page on the Lorentz Center website, where you will also find more information. Note that there is no registration fee to attend, and some limited travel support may also be available (please indicate if this is needed in your application).

     

    Ensemble techniques, which use a set of predictions to improve on a single-model output, have been very successful in improving operational weather forecasting and are also used in many other fields such as data science and economics. Their use in space weather forecasting could not only improve forecast accuracy but also provide simple model uncertainties that are crucial for improving end-user understanding of the products available. The main goal of this workshop is to make concrete steps towards improving the SW forecasting capabilities by implementing ensemble techniques that have been successful in other forecasting fields, especially terrestrial weather.