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    General News/UKSP Business:

    Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk (SWIMMR) – Project S5 – Call for proposals is now Open

    from Steve Brygan [February 26, 2021]

    STFC would like to invite proposals for the development and demonstration of a prototype network of compact instruments for ground-level neutron monitoring, ideally suitable for unattended operation in relatively remote locations, to mitigate the potential radiation hazards of space weather. This topic forms part of the UKRI Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk (SWIMMR) project which is funded as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strategic Priorities Fund (SPF).

    There are two phases to the project: the design phase and implementation phase. Applicants must firstly submit a proposal for a design study. Upon the successful completion of the design phase, and subject to funding, the team will be invited to apply for funding for the implementation phase of the project.

    Funding is split across the two phases as follows:
    1. Design Study – a maximum value of £140,000 (this is the Research Council 80% contribution), for a duration of up to 12 months.

    2. Implementation phase – it is expected that the maximum value of the implementation phase may be £1,260,000 (this is the Research Council 80% contribution) over a maximum of 24 months following successful completion of the design phase, but this budget is yet to be confirmed. The implementation phase must be completed by 31st March 2024 at the latest.

    Full proposals must be submitted via the Research Council’s Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system by 16:00 on Tuesday 13th April 2021. If any intending applicants are unable to meet this deadline due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, they should contact STFC as soon as possible (see below).

    Full details of the call, including the application process, eligibility requirements, assessment process and criteria are available on the UKRI website at the link provided below.

    Please note that this Call is for Project S5 only.

    For any enquiries, please contact:

    Sarah Garlick, Senior Programme Manager, STFC Programmes Directorate: or
    Ian McCrea, SWIMMR Senior Programme Manager, RAL Space:

    SunPy 2.1

    from Sophie Murray [February 24, 2021]

    The SunPy project is happy to announce the release of SunPy 2.1! SunPy is an open-source Python library for solar physics data analysis and visualization. This is an intermediate release between the 2.0 and 3.0 long term support releases. See for more details.

    This release contains some substantial upgrades, primarily to the Fido data search and retrieval tool. There is now support for GOES 16 and 17 XRS 1-second data, JSOC cutouts of regions of interest can be requested, metadata only searches are possible, and results are now returned in AstroPy table objects. Several functions in have been significantly sped up with improved algorithms with this release. Also it is now supported to transform coordinates with attached velocities, and the various ephemeris functions can optionally include velocity information.

    Learn more about how to install and use the publicly available code at, as well as information about how to get involved with the community!

    Grigory Vekstein

    from Philippa Browning [February 24, 2021]

    It is with great sadness that I have to report that Grigory (Grisha) Vekstein passed away on February 4th, having been in hospital for some weeks with Covid. Grisha was Emeritus Senior Research Fellow in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. After a distinguished career in Novosibirsk, he moved to the UK, spending a period at St Andrews before settling at UMIST (now Manchester). Although he formally retired several years ago, he remained a very active researcher and member of the UK solar physics community. He was an inspirational theoretical solar physicist and plasma physicist, with a talent for finding mathematical solutions and using mathematics to get to the heart of the underlying physics.

    He will be much missed by his family, and by colleagues at Manchester and around the world.

    Please contact me for details if you would like to send messages of condolence to the family.

    2021-22 ING Studentship Programme – Isaac Newton Group Of Telescopes

    from Steve Brygan [February 23, 2021]


    We welcome applications for six places on the ING studentship programme 2021/22.

    The deadline for applications is Wednesday 31st March 2021, 24:00 WET

    Details of the programme can be found on:

    The programme provides a unique opportunity for up to four PhD, MSc or undergraduate astronomy students to get hands-on experience of work at an international observatory. Successful applicants will spend one year on La Palma, supporting imaging and spectroscopy runs at the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT) and working on projects supervised
    by the ING staff. The studentship programme is open to anyone, but we particularly welcome applicants from our three partner countries: the Netherlands, Spain and the UK.

    We would be grateful if you would draw the attention of suitable candidates to this opportunity.

    Marc Balcells
    Director ING

    director ‘at’

    Dr. Marc Balcells, Director
    Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes
    Science and Technology Facilities Council –
    United Kingdom Research and Innovation
    38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
    Tel. +34 922 425 403

    Sobre la privacidad y el tratamiento de Datos de Carácter Personal, aqui
    Disclaimer on privacy and the treatment of sensitive personal information, here

    Boulby Feasibility Study Community Days

    from Steve Brygan [February 23, 2021]

    Dear all,

    Please see below details of the Boulby Feasibility Study Community Days. For more information please contact

    Feasibility Study for Developing the Boulby Underground Laboratory into a Facility for Future Major International Projects
    H Araújo, J Dobson, C Ghag, S Greenwood, V Kudryavtsev, P Majewski, S Paling, V Pec, R Saakyan, P. Scovell, N Smith, T J Sumner

    Call for community input
    We are carrying out a feasibility study for STFC into the use of the Boulby Underground Laboratory as a host facility for future major international rare event search experiments. As part of that study we would like to elicit input from the wider community on interest in use of Boulby and consequent infrastructure needs. We plan to do this using two (DMUK) community meetings; the first is to introduce the results of the study so far and hear any preliminary expressions of interest, and the second is to have more detailed focussed discussions with interested parties. Any new use cases put forward will be listed in the final report to STFC, planned for mid-2021.

    The meetings will be held using zoom – details to follow.

    The first meeting is planned for Friday 26th February from 14:00 – 17:00
    The second meeting is planned for Friday 12th March from 14:00 – 17:00

    Both underground and surface facilities are being considered. For the underground sector new excavations are included to give ~2,500m2 additional floor area. Two possible sites are included: one at the existing laboratory depth of 1100m and the other somewhat deeper at 1400m. We envisage a large central cavern of height ~25m with a floor area of ~450m2 surrounded by a network of caverns providing space for support activities (workshops, cleanrooms, staging areas, storage, mess rooms, etc). For the surface sector a new building is foreseen to cater for both a larger facility staffing level, increased user numbers as well as laboratory/storage areas for preparation activities.

    An agenda for the first meeting will be circulated closer to the meeting. If you would like to be added to the agenda please send an email to

    If you are planning to attend could you also send an email to


    from Steve Brygan [February 23, 2021]

    (apologies if you receive this message from more than one source)


    The semester 2021B announcement of opportunity for observing time at the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes on La Palma can be found at:

    Please feel free to distribute this announcement in your institute.

    Further details of the proposal submission process can be found at:

    Current instrumentation at ING is described at:

    Marc Balcells

    15 Feb 2021

    director ‘at’

    Dr. Marc Balcells, Director
    Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes
    Science and Technology Facilities Council – United Kingdom Research and Innovation
    38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain Tel. +34 922 425 403

    Sobre la privacidad y el tratamiento de Datos de Carácter Personal / Disclaimer on privacy and the treatment of sensitive personal information:

    ECR Needs Analysis survey

    from Steve Brygan [February 17, 2021]

    STFC Food Network (SFN+) have recently launched a ECR Needs Analysis survey, primarily aimed at STFC researchers (either those working for STFC, or based at Universities and working on related areas). SFN+ are requesting individuals participate in the survey via the link below. They are also keen to hear from people who have not previously worked on food-related research.

    Link to survey here:

    If there are any questions please contact Gareth Crockett at SFN+

    STFC Community Survey: Technology R&D Options for Accelerators, Detectors and Computing

    from Steve Brygan [February 17, 2021]

    STFC is looking to gather information from its science communities to consider the technology R&D requirements across accelerators, detectors and computing to achieve the long-term future aims in your field. Given the overlaps and potential synergies within and between STFC communities, it is important to us that we incorporate as many relevant stakeholders as we can. To achieve this, STFC has created a survey to explore potential technology R&D options through to 2040 and beyond, and we would therefore please like to ask you to both complete the survey and disseminate it amongst your organisations and networks, as appropriate. The survey is available on the link below, with your response to be completed by 01 March 2021.

    This activity is being undertaken by STFC Programmes Directorate via the ‘task and finish’ Particle Physics Technology Advisory Panel. PPTAP has a degree of cross-membership with the roadmapping activities being undertaken globally via the European Committee for Future Accelerators (ECFA) and the Laboratory Directors Group (LDG). These bodies and their task forces (TFs) are also seeking input from UK communities, and you are encouraged to engage. ECFA is now seeking input, and of its nine task forces, currently looking for responses to questionnaires regarding (i) Electronics and On-detector Processing (TF7), and (ii) Training and Education in Instrumentation (TF9). Further information on the ECFA process and TFs can be found here:

    (i) For the TF7 questionnaire and how to submit your response by the end of February 2021, please follow this link:

    (ii) For TF9, Iacapo Vivarelli would very much appreciate receiving your input directly ( by the end of February 2021 on the following questions:

    • Areas of particular national strength or of minimal significant activity within the topics covered by TF9
    • Current national plans for strategic investment relevant to TF9
    • Significant opportunities for seeking future resources, particularly (though not only) through European schemes (also in synergy with other science areas) that should be considered when highlighting training priorities
    • to the best of your knowledge the list of university programs in your country dedicated to HEP instrumentation training
    • to the best of your knowledge the list of international schools that are regularly held in your country in this field
    • any other personal views you would like to add to this important subject

    Note that a public list of international schools, educative programs and lectures in instrumentation already exists here:

    Many thanks
    STFC Programmes Directorate and the PPTAP Members


    Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:

    Registration Deadline Approaching: RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting on MHD oscillations and waves from the photosphere to the corona

    from Jiajia Liu [March 2, 2021]

    Dear Colleague,

    There will be a Royal Astronomical Society Specialist Discussion Meeting on Friday, 14 May 2021 ( The topic is “MHD oscillations and waves from the photosphere to the corona”. The deadline for registration is 25 March 2021.

    The vast presence of MHD waves and oscillations in the solar atmosphere is now unquestionable. However, it is still an open question as to how these waves and oscillations contribute to the heating of the solar atmosphere and the acceleration of the solar wind. A range of new instrumentation including e.g. the PSP, DKIST and Solar Orbiter, have recently become available providing us data with unprecedented resolution observed from close to the Sun to the Earth for studying MHD oscillations and waves.

    Discussions will take place around topics including but not limited to: the propagation of waves from the lower to the upper solar atmosphere; the application of solar magneto-seismology (SMS) to structuring in the atmosphere of the Sun; the detection of MHD waves and oscillations in the solar atmosphere and interplanetary space; and the prospects for major advances using the next generation of solar instrumentation.

    Hereby, we cordially invite colleagues to contribute to and participate in the discussions. We also encourage all those interested to present their related SUCs or specific observing sequences that would help to achieve the wave-related science goals with the upcoming 4-m class solar telescopes.

    The meeting will be hosted online. It will consist of a series of invited and contributed talks together with discussions. Invited speakers include Dr. Anne-Marie Broomhall (Warwick), Prof. Hui Tian (PKU), and Prof. Manuel Collados (IAC, TBC). Depending on the number of contributions we may hold a virtual poster discussion.

    Online registration is now open until 25 March 2020 via

    Quo Vadis European Space Weather Community

    from Marianna Korsos [March 2, 2021]

    We, a group of European space weather actors, believe that now is the right time to frame the Space Weather and Space Climate discipline in Europe for the coming years. The series of reasons for this have been formulated in an article that has been submitted to the JSWSC. Based on this reflexion, we open a discussion on the organisation and sustainability of the European Space Weather community and its assets in the (near) future. More specifically, we identify that the European Space Weather community lacks a uniting organisation to help the community to sustain and further develop the successful efforts made thus far. Our aim is to question our practices and organisation in front of several changes that have occurred in the recent years and to set the ground to make coordinated answers to these questions being posed in Europe, and to discuss them.

    This discussion will be organized as:

    – A virtual kick off zoom meeting, on March 17th, 12 UT (13 CET) to present our findings, to make propositions to the European Space Weather community at large (scientists, engineers, forecasters, users, educators …) for a future organization. A Q&A chat will be open during the presentations.
    – A follow-on two months discussion involving the European actors of space weather in order to take concrete actions in the near future.

    To participate to the virtual kick off meeting, please register at

    To download freely the paper:

    Jean Lilensten, Mateja Dumbović, Luca Spogli, Anna Belehaki, Ronald Van der Linden, Stefaan Poedts, Teresa Barata, Mario M. Bisi, Gae ̈l Cessateur, Erwin De Donder, Antonio Guerrero, Emilia Kilpua, Marianna B. Korsos, Rui F. Pinto, Manuela Temmer, Ioanna Tsagouri, Jaroslav Urbāř, and Francesca Zuccarello.

    20th RHESSI Workshop

    from Eduard Kontar [February 26, 2021]

    The 20th RHESSI Workshop will be a virtual event, consisting of several 3-4 hour blocks in the morning in the US and the afternoon/evening in Europe, scheduled over the period from July 6 – 9, 2021.

    The website is now open at Abstract submission will open on March 1 and close on May 31.

    UK SKA Science Committee Town Hall Meeting – Update

    from Steve Brygan [February 26, 2021]

    Dear All,

    With the UK SKA Town Hall Meeting fast approaching, please find below additional information ahead of the day. If you are yet to register, registration is still open and you can register for free here. Registration will close at midnight on the 28th February.

    The meeting will be split into two sections. The first Overview Session (13:30 to 15:00) will be a webinar during which we will receive presentations from Robert Braun (SKAO), Anna Bonaldi (SKAO) and Matt Jarvis (Oxford). The webinar login details will be distributed to registered participants on the afternoon of 1st March. Please dial into the webinar just before 13:30 (GMT).

    During the Coffee Break at 15:00, we will transfer over to to begin the second session. Login details to will also be distributed to registered participants on the 1st March. Prior to the Town Hall Meeting, please follow the links for a Tutorial on using and its System Requirements. Especially for those who have never used, it is important to test the platform out beforehand in case there are any technical issues.

    For the Science Working Group Introduction session, a virtual table will be created within for each of the Science Working Groups. Discussions at each table will last for 15 minutes before attendees will be asked to rotate to another virtual table. Attendees will be advised on Monday 1st March of the virtual tables they should attend, in line with their interests identified when registering. Please find below the list of Science Working Groups and Discussion Leads. Please note that the discussion times may be subject to change depending on the level of interest in each Science Working Group.

    Science Working Group – Discussion Leads
    Cosmology – Laura Wolz (University of Manchester)
    Gravitational Waves – Samaya Nissanke (University of Amsterdam, GRAPPA)
    Cradle of Life – Josep Miquel Girart (Institute of Space Sciences, ICE)
    Epoch of Reionization – Andrei Mesinger (Scuola Normale Superiore)
    Abhirup Datta (IIT Indore)
    Extragalactic Continuum – Beatriz Mingo (The Open University)
    Mark Sargent (University of Sussex)
    Extragalactic Spectral Lines – Sebastien Muller (Chalmers)
    HI Galaxy Science – Anastasia Ponomareva (University of Oxford)
    Magnetism – Valentina Vacca (INAF)
    Our Galaxy – Jan Forbrich (University of Hertfordshire)
    Pulsars – Lina Preston (University of Manchester)
    Solar, Heliospheric and Ionospheric Physics – Hamish Reid (Glasgow University)
    Transients – David Williams (University of Manchester)
    VLBI – Alasdair Thomson (University of Manchester)

    Further details of the Town Hall Meeting can be found at: Please contact Simon Haynes and Hugh Alabaster if you have any questions.

    The Organising Committee

    UK Space Safety Engagement Meetings: A short series of UK Space weather and space safety engagement meetings – First Announcement

    from Mario M. Bisi [February 19, 2021]

    Dear Colleagues.

    We would like to draw your attention to the above mini-series of UK-focussed space-weather (and space safety) meetings that are of interest to the international space-weather and space-safety communities and are not restricted to UK-only participants. The mini-series runs during the afternoons (UK time) 24-26 March 2021 (inclusive) thus making them as widely accessible as possible. We are also looking at options of hosting at least some of the recordings online following the mini-series.

    To find out further information and to register, please visit the website: – registration is free (please see the registration page from the menu and select which of the days you would like to register for) and the meetings will take place over the Zoom platform – you must register in order to receive the Zoom link – and this link will be E-Mailed out to registrants on Monday 22nd March 2021. The deadline for registration is: 19 March 2021 (12:00 UT) – this will not be extended.

    This three-day mini-series starts on Wednesday 24 March 2021 with an overview of the UK’s Space Environment Impact Experts Group (SEIEG) work on a set of Reasonable Worst-Case Scenarios (RWCS) for space weather that produced both a technical document (Hapgood et al., 2020) and a full descriptive peer-reviewed article (Hapgood et al., 2021). This is followed by an afternoon of the Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk (SWIMMR) ~£20M project including its progress to date and plans/opportunities for the future on Thursday 25 March 2021. We conclude on Friday 26 March 2021 with a full day follow-on UK Space Safety Meeting picking up where we left off on 20 August 2020 and providing relevant updates, progress on “actions”, etc… This last day holds the strongest UK focus and is more specific to the UK’s interest in UK and ESA Space Safety Programmes.

    We look forward to seeing you virtually towards the end of March 2021!

    Best wishes,
    Mario M. Bisi (UKRI STFC RAL Space)

    On behalf of the full Online Organising Committee:
    Mario M. Bisi (UKRI STFC RAL Space)
    Clare Garland (IOP)
    Mike Hapgood (UKRI STFC RAL Space)
    Ian McCrea (UKRI STFC RAL Space)
    Mike Willis (UKSA)
    Derek Smale (UKSA)
    Marie Tilbee (UKSA)

    EAS2021 Special Session “Science with WEAVE” on 1 July 2021

    from Steve Brygan [February 17, 2021]

    Dear colleagues

    We are happy to announce our Special Session 17 “Science with WEAVE, the WHT’s next-generation spectroscopic survey facility” on 1st of July as part of EAS2021.

    At the start of the eight community-led surveys with WEAVE, this timely session will focus on

     WEAVE’s design and capabilities
     WEAVE’s surveys
     First results from WEAVE’s commissioning
     Proposing for WEAVE’s open time
     Accessing WEAVE data

    and is designed for all future WEAVE users inside and outside the collaboration. We therefore appreciate if you could circulate this announcement widely among your colleagues.

    Details can be found on the conference website: and registration and abstract submissions for contributed talks are possible and welcome until March 2.

    We actively encourage open-time proposals, synergies with other existing and future instruments and archive use for a variety of science cases that can be realised with WEAVE, so please join us on the 1st of July to discuss scientific possibilities with WEAVE, review first results and share experiences!

    With best wishes,
    Ulrike Kuchner, Gavin Dalton, Shoko Jin, Maria Monguió Montells and Scott Trager
    (SS17 SOC)


    Webb Fellowships – NOTE Closing date now 18 March

    from Steve Brygan [February 17, 2021]

    Webb Fellowships

    An exciting opportunity is being advertised by STFC-UKRI to exploit the science from the Webb space telescope and to promote community engagement. STFC will be offering 2 dedicated fellowship positions to be held in UK research institutions for up to 5 years. The UK is playing a major role in the Webb and particularly its mid-InfraRed instrument, MIRI and we are looking for excellent and dynamic early career astronomers to champion this amazing facility.

    Closing date is: 1600 GMT 18 March. Details will be found on the UKRI Funding Finder: