MIST

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.

Simultaneous Observation of an Auroral Dawn Storm with the Hubble Space Telescope and Juno

By Ben Swithenbank-Harris (University of Leicester)

Jupiter’s dawn storms are bright enhancements of the dawn flank of the main auroral emission, and produce the most powerful auroral events in the Solar System. These events have been observed numerous times with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and more recently by the Juno spacecraft, but their exact origins and related magnetospheric dynamics are not fully understood. For example, although consistent observations of this phenomena near local dawn suggested a relationship with the impinging solar wind, previous studies have shown no correlation between storm occurrence and solar wind conditions. Additionally, prior to the arrival of the Juno spacecraft at Jupiter in July 2016, auroral observations of dawn storms had not been supported by magnetospheric data from spacecraft in the dawn magnetosphere.

In this work, we present the first simultaneous magnetospheric in situ and auroral observations of the onset of a dawn storm. Magnetometer readings reveal brief reversals in the azimuthal magnetic field and decreases in the radial and total field magnitudes around the time of storm onset (Figure 1a-d). Furthermore, concurrent JADE (Figure 1e-h) and JEDI (Figure 1k-n) particle measurements reveal an increase in high energy particle populations and acceleration of magnetospheric protons towards corotational speeds, as well as long-lived hot plasma populations which persist in the outer magnetosphere beyond the expected lifetime of the enhanced auroral emissions. Ultimately, we associate this dawn storm with significant plasma heating and acceleration following reconnection at earlier local times.

Multi-panel plot showing time series of Juno observations.

Figure 1: Overview of the Juno in situ data, showing (1a-d) the radial, north-south, azimuthal and total magnetic field strength (nT) in cylindrical polar coordinates, (1e-h) the JADE ion time-of-flight energy spectra, electron and proton temperatures (K), number densities (cm-3) and proton azimuthal velocities (km s-1), (1i-j) Waves high frequency and electric field continuum emissions, (1k-n) JEDI particle spectra showing the total particle and proton energies (k-l) and the proton and heavy ion pitch angle distributions (m-n), (1o) and the expected spacecraft distance from the centre of the current sheet (RJ), calculated using the method of Khurana (1992). The light grey shaded regions show the times of HST observations, with the dawn storm interval denoted by the yellow shaded region. The darker grey shading denotes a magnetopause crossing, and the three dotted vertical lines mark the times of several successive reversals in the azimuthal magnetic field.

Please see the paper for full details:

Swithenbank‐Harris, B.G., Nichols, J.D., Allegrini, F., Bagenal, F., Bonfond, B., Bunce, E.J., et al. (2021). Simultaneous Observation of an Auroral Dawn Storm with the Hubble Space Telescope and Juno. Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, 126, e2020JA028717. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JA028717