MIST

Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial

Latest news

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.

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/  

    Weak Turbulence and Quasilinear Diffusion for Relativistic Wave-Particle Interactions Via a Markov Approach

    By Oliver Allanson (Exeter University)

    Quasilinear diffusion theory forms the basis of much of the modelling and interpretation of particle transport and energization due to interactions with electromagnetic waves; at terrestrial and planetary radiation belts; in the solar atmosphere and solar wind; and for the dynamics of cosmic rays.

    We present a derivation of weak turbulence and quasilinear diffusion theories in energy and pitch-angle space that differs from the most standard methods of derivation (based upon the Vlasov equation [1]). We

    1. start from solutions to the single-particle Lorentz force equation
    2. expand the relevant equations of motion up to second order in a small parameter (magnitude of magnetic perturbations to background field)
    3. ensemble average the solutions to obtain the diffusion coefficients.

    The approach used in this paper builds upon the work by [2], in which only pitch-angle dynamics were considered.

    The main conclusions and results of this paper are as follows:

    1. A derivation and discussion of the general Fokker-Planck equation to describe stochastic charged particle dynamics. This equation includes all possible advective and diffusive dynamics, in principle. The form of the drift and diffusion coefficients are then to be determined on a system-by-system basis. We solve for the diffusive dynamics only, and leave investigations of the drift coefficients and drift-diffusion relations for future works
    2. The weak turbulence diffusion coefficients: i) display an interesting dependency on time (see Figure1); ii) and also explicitly incorporate the effects of non-resonant particles, as well as the standard effects of cyclotron-resonant particles
    3. We recover the standard form as used in the resonant-diffusion limit of relativistic quasilinear theory [3], when we consider elapsed timescales much greater than a gyroperiod
    4. Our new derivation has a number of benefits, including: 1) the relationship between a more general weak turbulence theory and the standard resonant diffusion quasilinear; 2) the general nature of the Fokker-Planck equation that can be derived without any prior assumptions regarding its form; 3) the clear dependence of the form of the Fokker-Planck equation and the transport coefficients on given specific timescales.

    Figure showing time-dependency is relevant for diffusion.

     See paper for full details: Allanson O, Elsden T, Watt C and Neukirch T (2022) Weak Turbulence and Quasilinear Diffusion for Relativistic Wave-Particle Interactions Via a Markov Approach.  Front. Astron. Space Sci. 8:805699. doi: 10.3389/fspas.2021.805699 

     

    1: C. F. Kennel and F. Engelmann , "Velocity Space Diffusion from Weak Plasma Turbulence in a Magnetic Field", The Physics of Fluids 9, 2377-2388 (1966)

    2: Don S. Lemons , "Pitch angle scattering of relativistic electrons from stationary magnetic waves: Continuous Markov process and quasilinear theory", Physics of Plasmas 19, 012306 (2012)

    3: Glauert, S. A., and Horne, R. B. (2005), Calculation of pitch angle and energy diffusion coefficients with the PADIE code, J. Geophys. Res., 110, A04206