Last 15 days

General News/UKSP Business:


Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:


General News/UKSP Business:

AGP Community Report 2020

from Natasha Jeffrey [December 1, 2020]

Dear Colleagues,

Please find attached the Chairs Community Report for the 2020 Astronomy Grant Round.

AGP Community Report 2020

A copy will also be added to the Astronomy Grant Panel Web page which can be found at: (select ‘Outcomes of Previous Round’ tab)

Please be advised the closing date for the 2021 round is Thursday 4th March; the guidance is in the process of being updated and we hope to have published by the end of next week (w/c 30th November).

Kind regards,

Chloe Woodcock (Senior Programme Manager, Astronomy Awards), Sent on behalf of the AGP Chair, Prof Mark Sullivan

Reminder: Plasma Physics Division PhD Research Award

from Natasha Jeffrey [December 1, 2020]

Dear colleague,

The PhD Research Award of the Plasma Physics Division of the European Physical Society (EPS), which has been created in 2005, will again be awarded in 2021.
As an active researcher in plasma physics, you might be aware of PhD work of exceptional quality in plasma physics in an EPS member state. In this case, I would like to invite you to make a nomination for one of the maximum of four prizes available.

An Independent Scientific Jury nominated by the Board of the Plasma Physics Division expects to receive only a small number of truly outstanding candidates. The decision will be made in early March 2021. The downloadable instructions must be strictly followed for a nomination to be registered. The required supporting documentation includes a nomination form. Candidatures should be sent electronically to the email:

For more information on the award and instructions for nominations, please have a look at:

The nomination deadline is December 4, 2020. Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Best regards,

Carlos Silva
Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear
Instituto Superior Técnico
Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa

The next UK-SOSS talk will be held on 10th of December, 10:00 (UK time)

from Marianna Korsos [November 26, 2020]

Speaker: Prof Philippa Browning (University of Manchester)
Title: Heating and particle acceleration in twisted flux ropes in solar and stellar flares
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 953 3817 1418

Twisted magnetic flux ropes are reservoirs of free magnetic energy. I will describe some recent advances in modelling plasma heating and non-thermal particle acceleration in twisted magnetic flux ropes in the context of solar flares. After an overview of twisted magnetic flux ropes in the corona, I will show how magnetic reconnection in fragmented current structures in kink-unstable twisted loops can both heat plasma and efficiently accelerate both electrons and ions. Forward modelling of the observational signatures of this process in EUV, hard X-rays and microwaves will be described, and the potential for observational identification of twisted magnetic fields in the solar corona discussed. Furthermore, the reconnection activity can drive oscillations which may be observable as oscillations in the microwave emission.
Then, coronal loops with multiple twisted threads will be considered, showing how instability in a single unstable twisted thread may trigger reconnection with stable neighbours, releasing their stored energy and causing an “avalanche” of heating events, with important implications for solar coronal heating. This avalanche can also accelerate charged particles throughout the structure.
Many other stars exhibit flares, and I will briefly describe recent work on modelling radio emission in flares in young stars (T Tauri stars). In particular, the enhanced radio luminosity of these stars relative to scaling laws for the Sun and other Main Sequence stars will be discussed.

With warmest regards,
Marianna Korsos, Chris Nelson, and Jiajia Liu
For information about previous talks, please visit the UK-SOSS website:
You can subscribe to the UK-SOSS newsletter on this link:
The UK-SOSS is supported by Aberystwyth University and Queen’s University Green Fund


RHESSI Nuggets in November 2020

from Hugh Hudson [November 24, 2020]

No. 393, “Self-Consistent Flare Model”, by Wwnzhi RUAN and Rony KEPPENS: Energy transport by fast particles made self-consistent with MHD flare modeling.

No. 394, “Probing the solar coronal heating function with slow magnetoacoustic waves,” by Dmitriii KOLOTKOV et al.: Coronal heating models meet damped slow magnetoacoustic waves.

No. 395. “What drives impulsive coronal heating?” by Pradeep CHITTA et al.: Impulsive footpoint emissions suggest magnetic reconnection in the chromosphere.

We welcome contributions to the RHESSI Nuggets, and the topics may wander some distance away from specifically RHESSI results if they are generally interesting. See for these and others. Comments about specific flares can often be found by searching for their SOLyyyy-mm-dd identifier from this home page.

New Hinode/EIS Science Nugget

from Deb Baker [November 24, 2020]

Dear all,
We are pleased to announce the new Hinode/EIS science nugget by David Stansby entitled: ‘Directly comparing the coronal and solar wind elemental fractionation’.

The link to the nugget is here:

The nugget archive is here:

We welcome contributions from the community. Please contact deborah dot baker at ucl dot ac dot uk.

Best wishes,
Deb Baker

Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:

First announcement of the Solar Orbiter school at Ecole de Physique des Houches (France)

from Miho Janvier [December 1, 2020]

First announcement of the Solar Orbiter school at Ecole de Physique des Houches (France)

We are pleased to announce that we are organising a school dedicated to Solar Orbiter, to be held at the Ecole de Physique des Houches, April 6th-9th (2021).

Overview and objectives:

The exploitation of the ESA Solar Orbiter mission will shape the activity of the international heliophysics community for the years to come. Its success will depend on our ability to combine in situ and remote sensing data. This school held in the French Alps, will provide training to young scientists in using the extremely various datasets and the tools specifically developed to analyze them. It targets an international audience primarily composed of PhD students and junior postdoctoral researchers.

It will provide short presentations of the mission instruments and first results, hands-on activities for data analyses, as well as sessions for presentation by students. The school is organised by the French community, but is open to everyone.

While we are still facing an on-going worldwide pandemic, the conference center may open but only to a very limited amount of participants. Furthermore, different situations from different locations in the world may mean that international travels will not be possible at the time the school will be held. Therefore, we will provide a live access to the online lectures/hands-on sessions/presentations as well. We will need interested participants (for both on-site and remote participants) to register online, to assess the interest in the community (note that registration for remote participation will be capped to allow proper online interactions).

While we monitor the situation, the current calendar is as follows: pre-registrations will open on December 15th, 2020 on the school website and will close on January 31st, 2021. Applicants will be notified early March, 2021 at the latest.

For more information about the program and updates see:

Scientific and local organising committee:

Miho Janvier (IAS)

Matthieu Kretzschmar (LPC2E)

Nicolas André (IRAP)

Frédéric Auchère (IAS)

Éric Buchlin (IAS)

Vincent Génot (IRAP)

Alexis Rouillard (IRAP)


Online Advanced Study Program on Helicities in Astrophysics and Beyond: Final sessions of 2020 and plans for 2021

from Kirill Kuzanyan [December 1, 2020]

We have organized the Online Advanced Study Program on Helicities in Astrophysics and Beyond, see earlier announcement . The aim of the Program for is not just an online replacement of traditional off-line meetings such as Helicity Thinkshops but more flexible communication involving rather broader community, by scientific interests, age, geographic coverage and experience in science, which would never physically gather for a traditional off-line focus event.

The initial schedule of the Program is for approximately 8 weeks and we already had five session completed between September through November 2020. Now we are going to arrange three more sessions in December. Each session is usually formed by one 60 minute talk, and one shorter 30 minute talk which includes questions and complementary discussion. The timing of each session is arranged by convenience of the speaker and the community with account of their time zones. Afterwards, the lecture materials, such as podcasts, presentations slides (at least brief) are published fully or partly online. The information about the Program, downloads and updates are available on, see also the announcement on

If you are interested please register at The information about the forthcoming events and access details are available there and they are sent around to registered participants.

The next two sessions are as follows:
Session 6 on Thursday, December 3:
13:00-13:30 UTC Shin Toriumi (JAXA/ISAS, Tokyo, Japan) “Convective Flux Emergence Simulations of the Generation of Flare-prolific Active Regions”
13:30-14:30 UTC Olga Khabarova (IZMIRAN, Moscow, Russia) “Polar magnetic tornadoes – the structures that connect the Sun and the heliosphere”
Session 7 on Friday, December 11:
1300-1330 Sung-Hong Park (ISEE Nagoya, Japan) “Magnetic Helicity Flux across Solar Active Region Photospheres: Hemispheric Sign Preference in Solar Cycle 24”
1330-1430 Avishek Ranjan (IIT Bombay, India) “On the generation and segregation of kinetic helicity in geodynamo simulations”
Session 8 is tentatively planned for the following week before December 18. The Program supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) grant 20-02-22008 will be over in December this year but we consider extending it and volunteering for further session after the New Year 2021. If you would like to give a talk at the future sessions, please use the submission function in your account on Have you further questions, please contact the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) by email and


JOB OPENING: Two Postdoctoral Fellow Positions in Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland (remote work possible)

from Minna Palmroth [December 3, 2020]

The Space Physics Group of the University of Helsinki is a leading European space physics group specialised both in observations and theoretical/computational modelling of space plasmas. We develop in particular the global magnetospheric hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator and have a strong focus on solar eruptions and planetary radiation belts.

We are now opening two postdoctoral fellow positions for a 2-year project with possible extension, funded by the Academy of Finland. The postdoctoral fellows will focus on:
Postdoc 1: Using, developing and running Vlasiator to model space plasmas in extreme conditions
Postdoc 2: Applying Extreme Value Theory to in situ measurements of electron fluxes in the Earth’s radiation belts.

Prior knowledge and useful skills:
Postdoc 1: Supercomputing environments and/or model development and/or data analysis
Postdoc 2: Statistical methods and/or machine learning and/or deep learning

We offer a position in a dynamic and international research group, with a possibility to network and to develop as a researcher. We are innovative, high-spirited and a close community, and Finland is the happiest country in the world offering a great environment fostering equality, equality of opportunities, the best schooling system, vacations, and possibilities for work-family balance.

The positions are available immediately. Remote working will be possible for part of the project. We start reviewing the applications on 17 December 2020, but the positions will remain open until filled.

For more information, please visit:

For specifics about the position, contact Minna Palmroth (minna.palmroth(at), position 1; Adnane Osmane (adnane.osmane(at), position 2. Interested candidates should send their informal application, CV, list of publications, and a maximum of three names to act as references to the position’s responsible person above and cc the other.

4 Fully-funded PhD Opportunities (Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

from James McLaughlin [December 1, 2020]

Please find below 4 fully-funded PhD adverts in the areas of Solar Physics and Magnetosphere, Ionosphere and Solar-Terrestrial (MIST), for PhD opportunities within the Solar Physics research group at Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK). The Solar Physics group is a large and successful research group, and our long-term programme is to understand all aspects of the solar-terrestrial connection. Evidence of the group’s success includes funding from STFC (including an Ernest Rutherford Fellow), NERC, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Astronomical Society, the US Air Force, and a UKRI Future Leader Fellow. The group also plays multiple roles in the UKRI SWIMMR (Space Weather Instrumentation, Measurement, Modelling and Risk) programme in support of the UK Met Office.

The 4 PhD opportunities are:
• Oscillatory Reconnection: the physics of time-dependent, wave-generating reconnection

supervised by Professor James McLaughlin

• Can a star’s internal oscillations power their coronae

supervised by Dr Richard Morton

• Energy transfer in Earth’s Radiation Belts through global electromagnetic waves

supervised by Professor Jonathan Rae

• The substorm source of Earth’s outer radiation belt

supervised by Professor Clare Watt


Deadline is 7 January 2021, and the PhD starting date is anticipated to be March 2021.

For informal questions, please contact the relevant supervisor, and/or contact Professor James McLaughlin .

Details on the research group can be found here :

PhD Opportunities in Space Physics at Imperial College London 2021

from Adam Masters [November 25, 2020]

The Space & Atmospheric Physics Group at Imperial College London is now receiving applications for admission to our Space Physics PhD programme in October 2021. The following projects are on offer this academic year. Applicants are encouraged to contact potential supervisors in advance.

Surface waves above the magnetic poles
Supervisors: Dr Martin Archer & Dr Jonathan Eastwood

Plasma environment around Ganymede
Supervisor: Prof Marina Galand

Emissions from the coma of comet 67P
Supervisor: Prof Marina Galand

Bow shocks of Venus and Mercury
Supervisor: Dr Heli Hietala

How does the Sun create the solar wind?
Supervisor: Prof Tim Horbury

Aeronomy of Jupiter or Mars & Venus
Supervisor: Dr Ingo Mueller-Wodarg

Laboratory Astrophysics: Spectroscopy of astrophysically important elements and applications of the new atomic data to astrophysics
Supervisor: Prof Juliet Pickering

Probing the nonlinear dynamics of turbulence in space plasma
Supervisor: Dr Julia Stawarz


This is an open call for applications, but positions are generally filled following interviews in the January to March timeframe. The final number of studentships we have available is confirmed around this time.

Studentships typically include a stipend to support living costs. Fees for home (UK, (pre-)settled status holder, indefinite leave to remain or enter) students, are covered, but not international student fees. EU students who do not have a (pre-)settled status will be considered international students. Applicants who are not UK nationals are particularly encouraged to contact supervisors before submitting an application.

We will be holding a virtual open day on Friday 15th January via Microsoft Teams. Potential supervisors will talk about their projects, and there will be opportunities to talk to individual supervisors in “breakout” rooms.

For more information about the projects on offer, the upcoming open day, and for instructions on how to apply, please see the below webpage.

Research Fellow in Solar and Magnetospheric Theory – University of St Andrews

from Duncan Mackay [November 25, 2020]

School of Mathematics and Statistics
Salary: £33,797 – £38,017 per annum
Start Date: February 2021, Fixed Term: 16 months

The Solar and Magnetospheric Theory Group has an opening for a Research Fellow to work in the field of solar or magnetospheric physics. Funded by an STFC Consolidated Grant, this project will mainly be in collaboration with Profs I De Moortel, A Hood, D Mackay, T Neukirch and C Parnell and Drs V Archontis and A Wright. Applications are sought from all areas of solar and magnetospheric physics. However, preference may be given to applicants with interests in (i) global magnetic field modelling, (ii) active region modelling and (iii) magnetic flux emergence. You should have completed or expect to obtain shortly a PhD in either solar physics or magnetospheric physics or a closely related subject.

This post is initially for a term of 16 months.

Informal enquiries to Prof Alan Hood, email: or Prof Duncan Mackay, email:

Also check the on-line details at,

Applications are particularly welcome from women, people from the Black, Asian, Minority or Ethnic (BAME) community and other protected characteristics who are under-represented in Research Fellow posts at the University.

The University is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through our working on diversity awards (ECU Athena SWAN/Race Charters; Carer Positive; LGBT Charter; and Stonewall). More details can be found at

Closing Date: 31 December 2020

Please quote ref: AR1741DD
School of Mathematics and Statistics
Salary: £33,797 – £38,017 per annum
Start Date: February 2021
Fixed Term: 16 months

PhD Studentships at the University of Warwick

from Heather Cegla [November 24, 2020]

The Astronomy & Astrophysics Group at the University of Warwick is recruiting PhD candidates to start in October 2021. All applications must be submitted by January 15th 2021, 12:00 pm GMT.

Available projects include:
-Stellar Variability and Exoplanet Characterisation (Supervisor: Heather Cegla)
-Extrasolar planetesimal belts (Supervisor: Grant Kennedy)
-The Population of Compact Double White Dwarf Binary Stars (Supervisor: Tom Marsh)
-Remnants of planetary systems around white dwarfs (Supervisor: Boris Gänsicke)
-Stellar and planet formation history across the disk and halo of the Milky Way (Supervisor: Pier-Emmanuel Tremblay)
-Exoplanet atmospheres at high spectral resolution and simulation of future observations of bio-markers (Supervisor: Matteo Brogi)

Further details on how to apply and the available, and potential, projects can be found here:

Applicants are encouraged to contact the project supervisors for further information on the projects and/or the Department.

Warwick is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in the research, with world leading expertise in white dwarfs and exoplanets, and is home to the cross-disciplinary Research Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability. Our group is involved in many major ground and space-based projects, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, ESA’s CHEOPS satellite and upcoming PLATO mission, the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), and the Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO). We are also involved in the development of theoretical models using the University’s super-computing facilities, and are experts in the exploration of large and heterogenous data sets, adopting novel techniques including machine learning.

Moreover, Warwick is an excellent place to begin your scientific career, where you will be exposed to a wide range of research topics. You will be immersed in a friendly, collaborative and supportive environment, working with and learning from experts in very different areas, ranging from instrumentation to theoretical physics. At Warwick, personal development is a priority, and incoming PhD students will be invited to join our network of international collaborators, lead projects, and present their work on an international platform.

Both the Physics Department and the University of Warwick hold Athena SWAN Silver awards, a national initiative to promote gender equality for all staff and students. The Physics Department is also a Juno Champion, which is an award from the Institute of Physics to recognise our efforts to address the under-representation of women in university physics and to encourage better practice for both women and men.

At the University of Warwick, we strongly value equity, diversity and inclusion, and encourage applications from all under-represented groups.

More information on the Warwick Astronomy & Astrophysics Group can be found here:

More information on the Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability can be found here:

Non-UK candidates should consult the Scholarship and Funding Opportunities:, and contact the relevant project supervisor to discuss potential applications well in advance of the deadlines.