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General News/UKSP Business:

Astronomy Guidelines – 2019

from Sian Giles [December 14, 2018]

Dear Colleagues

This note is to advise that the closing date for the 2019 Astronomy Grant Round is 6th February 2019. Submissions are accepted from 1st December 2018.

The Astronomy Guidelines for Applicants have been revised and can be found at:

Applicants are strongly advised to read the guidelines in detail and contact the office with any queries.
Key points or revisions from the 2018 guidelines have been highlighted in yellow within the document and summarised briefly below for information:

– The structure of proposals – Please ensure the project case for support includes a clearly defined lead applicant and clearly defined roles for all PDRAs, Technicians and Applicants requesting funding.
– The AGP will consider projects as presented, if an Applicant chooses to propose a project with more than one PDRA they should be aware the panel will not recommend partial funding of the project (e.g. for only one PDRA of the two requested, it will either recommend funding or not funding the request).
– Page Limits – All pages (including references) must be written in standard Arial 11pt (or an equivalent regular sans serif universal font). Please note our preferred font is Arial 11pt.
– Facilities Table – this replaces the Je-S facilities section previously used, please see the revised guidance and template on page 8. This should be submitted as part of the case for support.
– Applicant Time – For projects requiring the management of a PDRA the AGP would expect the lead Applicant to request a minimum of 15%FTE support. In projects where two or more applicants have been requested at the same level of FTE a project lead must nonetheless be identified.

New groups submitting their first consolidated grant proposal or those considering a consortium grant submission are advised to inform the Office.

If you have any queries please contact the AGP Programme Manager (

Invitation to join Whole Heliosphere and Planetary Interactions campaigns

from Mario M. Bisi [December 14, 2018]

From Sarah Gibson (HAO/NCAR):

It’s solar minimum. In the tradition of Whole Sun Month (1996) and Whole Heliosphere Interval (2008), it’s time for Whole Heliosphere & Planetary Interactions (2019) – WHPI!

Goal? A coordinated observing and modeling effort to characterize the three-dimensional interconnected solar-heliospheric-planetary system. By focussing on specific solar rotations near solar minimum, structures and activity can be unambiguously traced throughout the heliosphere and into planetary space environments.

When? 3 target intervals:
Jul 2019 – Solar eclipse
Sep 2019 – Parker Solar Probe at perihelion
Dec 2019 – Parker Solar Probe Venus flyby

Who? Everyone is welcome – it’s a grassroots effort. Sign up – we will have telecons and workshops to coordinate analyses.

See for further details.

SOLARNET – Upcoming Call for Proposals

from Richard Morton [December 1, 2018]

The SOLARNET Trans-National Access Programme (2019 – 2022) will offer access to research infrastructures relevant for high-resolution solar physics: four solar telescopes on La Palma and Tenerife, the SUNRISE3 balloon mission (projected launch in 2021), and the Piz Daint supercomputer.

The first call for proposals will be issued on December 15 with a deadline on January 20, 2019. It will include the ground-based solar telescopes GREGOR, SST, THEMIS, and VTT. There will be some nationality restrictions for applicants but these will be different for each facility.

SOLARNET will be funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.


Two new RHESSI Science Nuggets

from Hugh Hudson [December 6, 2018]

No. 340, “The flight of FOXSI-3”, by Lindsay Glesener and Noriyuki Narukage: single-photon counting and direct imaging across hard and soft energies.

No. 339, “Stellar Flares and Starspots”, by Lauren Doyle: stellar flares don’t spatially coincide with their giant spots.


listing the current series, 2008-present, and

for the original series, 2005-2008.

We publish these at roughly two-week intervals and welcome contributions,
which should be related, at least loosely, to RHESSI science.

HMI Science Nuggets – November 2018

from Richard Morton [December 1, 2018]

We announce 3 new HMI Science Nuggets for November 2018.

#114: “What We Learned from a Long-term Study of Sunspot Physical Parameters”, contributed by Jing Li (

#115: “Investigation of White-light Emission in Circular-ribbon Flares”, contributed by Yongliang Song (

#116: “Limb Flare Loops Observed by SDO Instruments”, contributed by S. Jejčič (

We welcome submissions on work related to HMI scientific goals. More information can be found at .

Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:

Save the Date: “Scintillating Science: Cutting-Edge Science Achieved Through the Observations of Radio Scintillation” Workshop

from Mario M. Bisi [December 14, 2018]

Dear Colleagues.

We would like you to save the dates and draw your attention to our upcoming “Scintillating Science: Cutting-Edge Science Achieved Through the Observations of Radio Scintillation” focussed/specialist workshop which will be held in Hermanus (near Cape Town), South Africa, the week of 15th July 2019. The workshop will cover all aspects of scintillation from the science (including all the domains in which it can be applied, e.g. ionosphere, heliosphere, interstellar) through to engineering concepts/requirements including all aspects of its theory/modelling. Further details will follow early in 2019.

Enjoy the Holidays and see you in 2019!

Best wishes,

Mario M. Bisi (UKRI STFC RAL Space – SOC Co-Chair)
Mike Kosch (SANSA/Lancaster University – SOC Co-Chair/LOC Chair)

Deadline for NAM session proposals is 7th January

from Anthony Yeates [December 13, 2018]

This is a reminder that the deadline for submitting NAM 2019 parallel session proposals is soon: on 7th Jan 2019. We still have plenty of room for more solar sessions, as well as joint sessions with MIST or other areas of astronomy.

If you have any questions about the science programme, including opportunities for cross-discipline sessions, please contact the SOC at

Proposals should be submitted here:

Best wishes,

Anthony Yeates (on behalf of the SOC and organisers)

RAS Discussion meeting (G) – 8th March 2019 from 10:30 at the RAS Lecture Theatre, Burlington House, London

from Richard Morton [December 12, 2018]

Transitioning Research and Instrument Expertise in Heliophysics into Space Weather Monitoring Capabilities at L1 and L5

The UK has a world-class heliophysics programme in terms of both research and the underpinning instrumentation; this is illustrated by scientific missions such as SOHO, Cluster, STEREO and Solar Orbiter. Investment in these missions has resulted in major advances in our understanding of the physics of our solar system. This experience is crucial for understanding the “space weather” effects of solar-generated activity on human technology and health. Since the UK Government placed extreme space weather on the Risk Register of Civil Emergencies in 2011, the UK has been at the forefront of endeavours to develop an effective approach to space weather mitigation. This includes: establishment of the Space Environment Impact Expert Group to advise Government; formation of the UK Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre; engagement with ESA’s SSA Space Weather programme. The aim of the latter is to launch an operational space weather monitoring mission to the L5 Lagrange point, in conjunction with a US mission to L1. To this end, Phase A/B1 studies of the L5 spacecraft and payload are underway. Both the remote-sensing and in-situ instrument package studies (and one of the parallel system studies) are being led by the UK. It is, hence, timely to assess how best to coordinate the complementary research and operational aspects of the UK’s heliophysics programme. This discussion meeting is aimed at the transitioning of research and instrumental expertise acquired from our recent and on-going space science missions into operational space weather capabilities.

We invite contributions (both oral and posters) from the community. Please send a title and brief abstract to one of the organisers by February 15th.

Details of the meeting can be found at The meeting starts at 10:30 and finishes at 15:30.

Professor Richard A Harrison1, Dr Jackie A Davies1 and Dr Jonny Rae2
1. STFC RAL Space, Harwell Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX

2. Mullard Space Science Laboratory, Holbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey

E-mail –

EGU call for abstracts: ST4.5 Prediction of Solar Flares and Eruptions

from robertus erdelyi [December 11, 2018]

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention and invite you to consider submitting an abstract to session ST4.5 in the Space Weather and Space Climate programme group to be held at the EGU General Assembly 2019, April 7–12, in Vienna

Abstract submission:

The abstract deadline is 10 January 2019, 13:00 CET.

ST4.5 Prediction of Solar Flares and Eruptions: Observations, Theory and Modeling
Session details:
The session is intended as a discussion forum for reviewing and improving our current understanding of solar flare occurrence mechanisms and the prediction of flares and eruptions in both observational and modeling settings. In particular, this session will discuss, first, the apparent paradigm shift from simple flare and eruption prediction methods to interdisciplinary, multi-parameter investigations enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) and, second, the current and future synergies between academic and operational sectors in the framework of research to operations (R2O). Solar eruptions cause space weather phenomena that can affect space environment and sometimes impact our infrastructure, causing disruptions to our societal fabric. Prediction of solar flares and eruptions is essential to increase the lead time and the accuracy of space weather forecasts. Synergies are crucial for establishing operational prediction models and for effectively evaluating and validating these models. Such collaborative approaches are motivated by observational advances enabled by space missions (SDO, STEREO, SOHO, Hinode, RHESSI, GOES, Parker Solar Probe, and Solar Orbiter in the near future, etc.), empirical human forecasting for decades, statistical methods, advances in machine- and deep-learning techniques, big-data handling, as well as realistic, data-driven numerical simulations. We solicit contributions on solar flare and eruption prediction, including operational human forecasting, statistical models, AI investigations and state-of-the-art forecast models enabled by numerical simulations, aiming toward future operations. Abstracts on data and performance verification, validation and benchmarking are also welcome.

We look forward to receiving your contributions and thank you very much for your attention.

Sincerely yours, session conveners,
Mamoru Ishii,
Manolis Georgoulis ,
KD Leka,
Naoto Nishizuka

China-Europe Solar Physics Meeting – Second announcement

from Eduard Kontar [December 6, 2018]

Second announcement

2nd China-Europe Solar Physics Meeting (CESPM)
Advances in Solar and Heliospheric Physics
Hvar, Croatia, May 6 – 10, 2019

CESPM 2019 meeting is open to colleagues from all countries.

CESPM 2019 is the second meeting between Chinese and European solar physicists and aims to further strengthen the collaboration between European and Chinese scientists, in particular among the young scientists.

The registration for CESPM 2019 is now open and you can register and pay the registration fee by using the on-line form:

The abstract submission form is also available on-line (until 15 January 2019):

We would like to remind you of important CESPM 2019 deadlines:
Deadline for abstract submission: 15 January 2019 Deadline for early registration: 15 February 2019
Deadline for late abstract submission (poster only): 31 March 2018

We strongly encourage all participants to reserve the accommodation for CESPM 2019 early enough. Although early May is not the main touristic season in Hvar, prices and availability of certain type of accommodation can change. Suncani hvar hotels offer all CESPM 2019 participants accommodation in the hotels Amfora and Pharos with reduced prices (discount code is CESPM2019). All reservations at Amfora and Pharos hotels can be cancelled up to 8 days before the start of reservation and 100% of your payment will be returned to you. More information about the accommodation and link to hotel reservation are given at the bottom of webpage:

EWASS – Session on Coronal Mass Ejections, observations and models

from Paolo Pagano [December 5, 2018]

Dear Colleagues,

The European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (24 – 28 June 2019, Lyon) will host a Special Session on “Combining Observations with Models to Derive Coronal Mass Ejections Properties: Where We Stand and What’s Next”

The registration is open and the deadline for abstract submission is March, 3rd 2019.

AOGS2019 ST20 Solar Flare Forecasting Using Machine Learning

from robertus erdelyi [December 3, 2018]

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to Session ST20: Solar Flare Forecasting Using Machine Learning, of the 16th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS), 28 Jul – 02 Aug, 2019, Singapore.

Please note that the deadline for Abstract Submission is 12 Feb 2019. Submission can be made at:

ST20 Session Description:

Solar flares, one of the most powerful and energetic explosions in our Solar System, are often caused by very abrupt and sudden changes of magnetic field configuration in the Sun’s atmosphere. These violent solar activities could be potentially catastrophic to our satellites, ground-based infrastructure, and even threat the health and life of humans. Therefore, solar flare forecasting has drawn considerable attentions from scientists to governments in recent years.

Besides the physical models of solar flare forecasting, there are more and more successful large data-driven models developed on the basis of machine learning methods. Along with the rise of big data, the advantages and potentials of date-driven models became increasingly relevant. This session solicits presentations focusing on a wide variety of solar flare forecasting models, especially those about data-driven models. We particularly encourage submissions on addressing recent results of solar flare forecasting based on machine learning techniques. We would also welcome submissions addressing the design and operation of numerical forecasting of solar flares, delivering a cutting-edge, more reliable, accurate and near-real time automated solar flare forecasting.

Long Xu (NAOC, China),
Robertus Erdelyi (U of Sheffield, UKi),
Xin Huang (NAOC, China),

EGU session PS4.9: The radiation and particle environment of G-, K-, and M-dwarf stars and their influence on (exo)planetary habitability – Abstracts due January 10, 2019

from Konstantin Herbst [November 30, 2018]

Dear colleagues,

We invite abstract submissions to our session at EGU 2019 entitled: “The radiation and particle environment of G-, K-, and M-dwarf stars and their influence on (exo)planetary habitability”.

The General Assembly of EGU, this year takes place from 7 – 12th April in Vienna, Austria.

The deadline for abstract submission is January 10, 2019 — until 13:00 CET.

Abstracts can be submitted online at:

PS4.9 The radiation and particle environment of G-, K-, and M-dwarf stars and their influence on (exo)planetary habitability

Convener: Konstantin Herbst
Co-conveners: John Lee Grenfell , Athanasios Papaioannou , Klaus Scherer

Due to their large number within the Galaxy, their small radii, and closer-in habitable zones (HZ) G-, K- and M-dwarf stars are prime targets to detect habitable rocky (Earth-like) exoplanets. With upcoming missions such as the JWST, the E-ELT, PLATO as well as ESA’s most recently selected mission ARIEL, which, among others will be able to detect biosignatures (as an indicator for life) in exoplanetary atmospheres of planets orbiting distant stars, it is an opportune moment for theoretical background studies focusing on the particle- and radiation environment of Earth-like exoplanets in the HZ of G-, K-, and M-dwarf stars and their imprint on planetary habitability. However, although planets in the HZ of their host-stars could retain liquid water on their surface, its presence within the HZ is not the only requirement for life. This is because the presence of strong stellar winds, which can lead to the erosion of unprotected planetary atmospheres, and/or extreme stellar particle events as well as coronal mass ejections changes in the atmospheric chemistry as well as the atmospheric secondary particle environment may occur, and, therewith, may destroy atmospheric biosignatures and could prevent the creation and development of life. Thus, a detailed knowledge of the astrosphere as well as the astrospheric particle- and radiation environment is mandatory in order to study planetary habitability.

The session brings together scientists from all fields of research that are related to solar, astrophysical and exoplanetary sciences. It will allow sharing of expertise amongst researchers working on different aspects of this interdisciplinary scientific field, allowing showcases of recent advancements in their field of specialization.

We welcome contributions related but not limited to:
• Modeling stellar astrospheres and the corresponding energy-dependent CR flux
• Modeling the environment of close-in exoplanets around G-, K-, and M-dwarf stars, in particular modelling of mass-loss rates, angular momentum loss rates, the magnetic field configuration as well as the density and velocity of the stellar winds of G-, K- and M-dwarf stars
• Modeling stellar CMEs
• Evaluation and quantification of the solar UV-, X-ray, and energetic particle flux relationships and their extension to G-, K-, and M-dwarf stars
• The imprint of the stellar radiation field by modeling the magnetospheric transport and particle interactions within (exo)planetary atmospheres
• Atmospheric modeling studies of climate and (biosignature) photochemistry and the influence of stellar activity

Kind regards,
Konstantin Herbst

On behalf of
John Lee Grenfell, Athanasios Papaioannou and Klaus Scherer


PhD position in Solar Physics available at Northumbria University

from Richard Morton [December 5, 2018]

The Solar Physics Group at Northumbria University undertakes research in stellar and solar physics, and magnetohydrodynamic phenomenon, specialising in both observations and modelling of plasmas.

We are currently advertising a PhD position in Solar Physics to work with Dr Richard Morton on MHD waves in the Sun’s atmosphere, with the topic of the PhD focusing on the question – ‘Can a stars internal oscillations power their coronae?’. For further details on the project contact Richard ( or see:

The PhD is a fully funded 3-year position with stipend, and is open to applicants from any country. It is expected that applicants have at least a degree in Mathematics or Physics at the time the position starts and a record of academic excellence. Experience in solar physics research, numerical modelling or astronomical observations would be highly beneficial.

The deadline for applications is Friday 25 January 2019 with an expected start date of 1 October 2019.

Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) and National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) – Six Postdoc Positions in Solar Physics

from Richard Morton [December 1, 2018]

The Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) and the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) invite applicants for six (6) available postdoctoral positions in Solar Physics (see description below for details of these positions). The positions are intended for the science preparation of the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S) mission (for details of the mission: mission and initially for two-year full time employment with possible extension. The yearly salary depends on the applicant’s experience and qualification. The top-level scientific objective of ASO-S is to explore connections among solar magnetic field, solar flares, CMEs and other solar activities.

PMO, located in the beautiful Nanjing city, is the first modern astronomical institute of China and is known as the ‘Cradle of Modern Astronomy in China’. For more information please visit The NAOC headquarter is located in Beijing, the capital city of China and very close to the Olympics Park. Please visit for more information of NAOC. Successful applicants related to LST and HXI will work at PMO and those to FMG will work at NAOC.

The positions are available until they are filled. Applicants should hold a PhD in physics, preferentially in solar physics or a related field. Having a strong programming skill in IDL or Python is an asset. Good knowledge of the English language is essential. The application should include the CV, list of publications, certificate of the degree, at least two letters of recommendation by professors familiar with the applicants, and a statement of research interests and plan. Other information helpful to know the applicants is also acceptable. Applications for LST-related positions should be sent to Dr. Hui Li (LST PI) at . Those for HXI related ones to Dr. Yang Su (HXI PI) at while those for FMG-related to Dr. Yuanyong Deng (FMG PI) at All applicants should CC the application materials to Dr. Weiqun Gan (ASO-S PI) at

Description about the positions and their specific requirement are as follows.
The two LST-related positions: Successful applicants of these positions are expected to conduct study of solar activities, such as solar flares, CMEs, filaments/prominences, UV/EUV lines, including the Hydrogen Lyman-alpha line. The successful candidate are also expected to develop some models or run simulation codes (e.g., RADYN) to help interpret observation data of solar activities on the disk and in the corona. Tools and codes (in IDL or Python) developed during the postdoc period could be integrated into the data analysis software of the ASO-S mission. Backgrounds in the data analyses of similar instruments and their related theory are mostly welcome.

The two HXI-related positions: The successful candidates are expected to study flare X-ray bursts and magnetic reconnection using X-ray data obtained from RHESSI, Fermi, and Hinode, with the aid of multi-wavelength datasets from other missions with development of data analysis tools. Both theoretical and simulation works can be done. Tools and HXR image reconstruction methodology developed during research work may be integrated with data analysis software of the ASO-S mission. Research experiences on high energy solar physics are basically necessary and background on the X-ray imaging reconstruction and analysis could take a priority.

The two FMG related positions: These positions are aimed to the research and development of the Full-disk vector MagnetoGraph (FMG) onboard the ASO-S mission. The successful applicants are dedicated along with the scientific preparation, the polarization inversion of magnetic field, and development of magnetograph, etc. FMG is a birefringent filter-based magnetograph with 14cm diameter, 4k by 4k detector