Last 32 days

General News/UKSP Business:

Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:



General News/UKSP Business:

Opportunity for teams and individuals to register their interest in participating in SKA Science Data Challenge 2

from Astrolists [September 16, 2020]

Details of the second SKA Science Data Challenge have been announced which will see participants analyse a simulated datacube 1 TB in size, in order to find and characterise the neutral hydrogen content of galaxies across a sky area of 20 square degrees.

Neutral hydrogen – or HI – exists in large quantities beyond the visible edges of most star-forming galaxies. Emitting light at a fixed radio wavelength during occasional electron ‘spin-flips’, HI traces the rotation of galaxies, allowing astronomers to infer the amount of mass – both visible and dark – contained within. The unprecedented sensitivity of the SKA will be used to map HI out to the formation of the first galaxies, just 380,000 years after the Big Bang. This period, known as “Cosmic Dawn”, began some 13.5 billion years ago. The challenge dataset will be a simulation of an SKA HI observation up to a distance of 4 billion light years.

In order to provide such a large dataset for analysis, the SKA has teamed up with high performance computing facilities around the world. Participants will be invited to compete in teams and create accounts at one of those facilities, on which the data will be accessed and processed directly.

Teams and individuals are asked to register their interest here so that the amount of computational resources required can be gauged.

Further details of the challenge can be found in the SKA’s Contact magazine (issue 5) at

Research Topic “Spectroscopic Instrumentation for Space-borne Solar Observations in the XXI Century”

from Sergei Shestov [September 11, 2020]

A new Research Topic “Spectroscopic Instrumentation for Space-borne Solar Observations in the XXI Century” was recently announced by Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Science.

Recent advances in the field of instrumentation, such as availability of high spatial-resolution detectors, advances in the optical systems and high-performance mirrors, increased on-board computational capabilities, as well as rapid growth and affordability of cube-sats, etc., provide further possibilities to build spectroscopic devices with better characteristics and of new types. These new instruments have the potential to be definite improvements over the traditionally used instrumentation, giving the openings to new discoveries.

This Research Topic is devoted to the new spectroscopic instruments, approaches, and accompanying technologies under preparation. We invite researchers to publish Original Research and Review articles on the key themes that include, but are not limited to:

i) Advanced concepts and designs of new spectroscopic instrumentation, which have been recently launched, are scheduled to be launched or are in a planning phase.

ii) Description of technologies and/or design solutions that provide new possibilities for spectroscopic observations.

iii) Scientific questions that can be tackled with the use of spectroscopic approach/spectroscopic data, potential direction for further progress.

iv) New theoretical models and approaches which can provide further progress in solar physics and adjacent fields.

Living Reviews in Solar Physics: The Parker Problem

from Frank Schulz [September 9, 2020]

A new review article has been published in the open-access journal Living Reviews in Solar Physics on 26 August 2020:

David I. Pontin and Gunnar Hornig The Parker problem: existence of smooth force-free fields and coronal heating. Living Rev Sol Phys 17, 5 (2020).

Parker (Astrophys J 174:499, 1972) put forward a hypothesis regarding the fundamental nature of equilibrium magnetic fields in astrophysical plasmas. He proposed that if an equilibrium magnetic field is subjected to an arbitrary, small perturbation, then—under ideal plasma dynamics—the resulting magnetic field will in general not relax towards a smooth equilibrium, but rather, towards a state containing tangential magnetic field discontinuities. Even at astrophysical plasma parameters, as the singular state is approached dissipation must eventually become important, leading to the onset of rapid magnetic reconnection and energy dissipation. This topological dissipation mechanism remains a matter of debate, and is a key ingredient in the nanoflare model for coronal heating. We review the various theoretical and computational approaches that have sought to prove or disprove Parker’s hypothesis. We describe the hypothesis in the context of coronal heating, and discuss different approaches that have been taken to investigating whether braiding of magnetic field lines is responsible for maintaining the observed coronal temperatures. We discuss the many advances that have been made, and highlight outstanding open questions..

Please, visit frequently our solar physics channel ( at for news.

Next UK-SOSS on 17th September, 2020, 10:00 am (UK time)

from Marianna Korsos [September 9, 2020]

The next seminar will be held on: 17th September, 2020, 10:00 am (UK time)

Speaker: Prof. William Chaplin (University of Birmingham)
Title: Probing the Solar Cycle with BiSON: The Solar-Stellar Connection
Zoom link:
Meeting ID: 953 3817 1418


In this talk I will review how we are utilizing helioseismic observations made by the Birmingham Solar-Oscillations Network (BiSON) to provide unique inferences on the solar activity cycle, using its unprecedented long timebase dataset that is now extending into a fifth cycle. I will also discuss how we are using these data together with asteroseismic data, collected on other Sun-like stars by the NASA Kepler Mission, to provide a broader perspective on stellar activity and dynamo action in main-sequence stars.

With warmest regards,

Marianna Korsos, Chris Nelson, and JiaJia Liu

For the previous talk, 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


New UKSP Nugget #113

from Iain Hannah [September 25, 2020]

113. Probing small-scale solar magnetic fields
by Mykola Gordovskyy and Philippa Browning (Manchester), Sergiy Shelyag (Deakin), Vsevolod Lozitsky (Kyiv)

A new method to detect strong sub-resolution magnetic flux elements.


UKSP Nuggets are published on a monthly basis highlighting solar physics research led from the UK.

Iain Hannah and Lyndsay Fletcher

New RHESSI Science Nuggets

from Hugh Hudson [September 22, 2020]

No. 382, “SOL2013-11-10 Eruptive Circular-ribbon Flare with Extended Remote Brightenings,” by Chang LIU et al.: a circular-ribbon event can launch an eruption by breaking through its separatrix dome.

No, 383, “Energy Partitioning in a Nonthermally Dominated Two-loop Solar Flare,” by Galina MOTORINA et al.: Modeling the prpagation of energy via GX Simulator in an early-impulsive flare.

No. 384, “Sunspot Differential Rotation in an X-class Flare,” by Richard GRIMES et al.: Observations suggesting how the coronal tail can wag the photospheric dog.

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 UKSP Nugget #112

from Iain Hannah [August 31, 2020]

112. Particle acceleration and transport in CME eruptions
by Qian Xia and Valentina Zharkova (Northumbria)

Simulations reveal the locations of most efficient flare particle acceleration.

112. Particle acceleration and transport in CME eruptions


UKSP Nuggets are published on a monthly basis highlighting solar physics research led from the UK.

UKSP Nuggets

Iain Hannah and Lyndsay Fletcher

Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:

European Astronomical Society Annual Meeting 2021 – call for session proposals

from Ineke De Moortel [September 15, 2020]

The European Astronomical Society Annual Meeting, previously known as the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) will take place in Leiden, the Netherlands, on 28 June – 2 July 2021. The meeting is organized by the European Astronomical Society (EAS), in collaboration with the Royal Dutch Astronomical Society (KNA).

The call for special sessions is now open and I would like to encourage you to consider submitting a solar physics session:

The deadline for session proposals is 30 Sept.

Online Advanced Study Program on Helicities in Astrophysics and Beyond

from Kirill Kuzanyan [September 14, 2020]

Following the preliminary announcement we are organizing the Online Advanced Study Program on Helicities in Astrophysics and Beyond.

We aim for 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 format of this activity is seen as a flexible communication platform rather than just a handful of meetings, so a wide bunch of scientists and students can optionally attend, participate and communicate with each other.

The proposed schedule of the Program will be spread over approximately 8 weeks between September through November/December 2020 with one or two sessions per week. Each session can be formed of either one 60+ minute talk, or two 30-40 minute talks with complementary discussion. We expect at least 15-20 presentations of various formats over the Program. The timing of each session can be arranged by convenience of the speaker and the community with account of their time zones. Afterwards, the lecture materials, such as podcasts, presentations files (at least brief) may be published fully or partly online. If you would like to give a talk, please contact the Scientific Program Committee (SPC) by email

The first 90-min session is planned on Friday 25 September starting at 13:00UTC. The Program will start with 60 min talk by Dr David MacTaggart (Glasgow, UK) “Magnetic winding – a key to unlocking topological complexity in flux emergence”, then followed at 14:00 UTC by Dr Julia Thalmann (Graz, Austria) “Magnetic helicity as indicator for solar eruptivity”.

The information about the Program and updates will be posted on
If you are interested please register at There will be information about the forthcoming events and access details sent around to registered participants.

Kirill Kuzanyan (IZMIRAN, Moscow, Russia),
on behalf of Online Organization Committee

European Space Weather Symposium 2020 (ESWS2020) – Registration Deadline 25th September 2020

from Natasha Jeffrey [September 14, 2020]

This is the final reminder of the registration deadline for the European Space Weather Symposium 2020 (ESWS2020) to be held via the Zoom platform 02-06 November 2020. Full details and updated information as it becomes available can be found here:

Registration instructions can be found here: – note that you must be registered in order to receive the Zoom links for joining each of the meeting days/sessions.

Please keep checking on the website for continued updates and information including the release of the programme before the end of September.

We are looking forward to seeing you, virtually, 02-06 November 2020 on Zoom.

Best wishes,


Dr Mario M. Bisi
ESWS2020 PC Chair
ESWS2020 OOC Vice Chair
On behalf of the ESWS2020 PC and OOC

RAS discussion meeting: Modelling and observing the lower solar atmosphere: new solutions to old problems.

from Ben Snow [September 11, 2020]

We are pleased to announce an RAS specialist discussion meeting entitled ”Modelling and observing the lower solar atmosphere: new solutions to old problems.” on 13th November 2020. The meeting will be held online.

This year, numerous telescopes and cutting-edge instruments are seeing first light as well as satellites being launched that will observe the solar photosphere, chromosphere, and transition region with unparalleled spatial, temporal, and spectral resolution. In this session, observational discoveries will be simultaneously compared to, and contrasted with, the latest breakthroughs from numerical models of the chromosphere.

Specifically, the following issues will be addressed:
1) Advances in instrumentation for observing the lower solar atmosphere.
2) New insights from numerical modelling and observations of chromospheric features such as fibrils, spicules, jets, Ellerman bombs, and flares, as well as the energy transported via particles and waves in such features.
3) The transport of energy between the chromosphere and the photosphere or corona, and how new discoveries alter our understanding of the fundamental energy budgets of the solar atmosphere.

The goals are the dissemination of new ideas and addressing ongoing debates informed by the latest information.

Abstract submission and registration information will follow on the 1st October 2020.

Ben Snow & Malcolm Druett

European Space Weather Symposium 2020 (ESWS2020) – Abstract-Submission Deadline 4th September 2020

from Mario M. Bisi [September 2, 2020]

Dear All.

This is the final reminder of the abstract-submission deadline for the European Space Weather Symposium 2020 (ESWS2020) to be held via the Zoom platform 02-06 November 2020. Full details and updated information as it becomes available can be found here:

Abstract-submission instructions can be found here: – not that you must be registered in order to submit your abstract.

Please keep check on the website for continued updates and information.

We are looking forward to seeing you, virtually, 02-06 November 2020 on Zoom.

Best wishes,


Dr Mario M. Bisi
ESWS2020 PC Chair
ESWS2020 OOC Vice Chair
On behalf of the ESWS2020 PC and OOC


Postdoc Fellow at the Institute for Astronomy (Pukalani, Hawai‘i) – DKIST Observation and Deep Learning

from Xudong Sun [September 17, 2020]

The Institute for Astronomy (IfA) at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) invites applications for a postdoctoral fellow position in solar physics, with a focus on using deep learning methods to interpret observations from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST).

The postdoctoral fellow is a non-regular, full-time, limited term (up to two (2) years in duration with possibility of extension for an additional year), RCUH non-civil service position. The position is located at the IfA Advanced Technology Research Center in Pukalani, Maui, Hawai‘i.

The successful candidate will work with Dr. Xudong Sun and several National Solar Observatory (NSO) scientists, in close collaboration with other IfA and UH computer science faculty. The candidate is expected to obtain and analyze spectropolarimetry data of the solar photosphere using traditional inversion and deep learning methods. For more information, please contact Dr. Xudong Sun (

Requirements: PhD from an accredited college or university in Physics, Astronomy, or related field (PhD candidates may apply but must submit evidence of PhD completion upon hire). One to three (1-3) years of research experience in solar physics or related field, with at least one (1) first-authored, peer-reviewed article in accredited scientific journals. Proficiency in scientific programming with Python. Demonstrated ability to analyze solar spectropolarimetry data. Demonstrated ability to conduct independent research and collaborate with colleagues.

Applicants should submit the following documents online: 1) Cover Letter, 2) Resume, 3) Three recommendation letters, 4) Copy of Degree(s)/Transcript(s)/Certificate(s), 5) List of Publications, 6) Statement of Research Interests. Please visit (Job Posting: #220421) for more details.

Application deadline is October 14, 2020, or until filled. Applications received after this deadline may be considered only if the position is not filled or up to the date a selection has been approved by the RCUH (whichever comes first).

Postdoctoral Research Associate at Durham University

from Natasha Jeffrey [September 15, 2020]

We are advertising an 18 month position for a postdoctoral researcher in the department of mathematical sciences at Durham university. The role is funded by the American Air force and is co-supervised by Dr Christopher Prior at Durham university and Dr David MacTaggart at Glasgow university. The closing date for applications is October 11th, ideally starting soon afterwards.

The role concerns the development of a predictive method for coronal active region eruptions, using a combination of numerical magnetic flux emergence studies and observed topological inputs (magnetic helicity and magnetic winding). The role will involve the development and execution of numerical simulations charting the rise of magnetic flux ropes from the upper convection zone into the solar corona. This modelling will be coupled with analysis of magnetogram data to predict what can be inferred about the structure of the emerging magnetic field.

For more information, see the job description or contact Dr Christopher Prior.