Last 32 days

General News/UKSP Business:Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:Jobs/Studentships:Nuggets:

General News/UKSP Business:

Congratulations to Prof. James McLaughlin

from Richard Morton [August 24, 2017]

The UKSP Council wish to congratulate Professor James McLaughlin on his recent promotion to Professorship at Northumbria. Well done James!

UK Solar Physics Facilities Review – request for community input

from Richard Morton [August 1, 2017]

The Science and Technology Facilities Council periodically conduct reviews of its programme. STFC Science Board has identified a need for a strategic review of the UK need for, and access to, current and potential future solar physics facilities to ensure that the strategic landscape in this research area is well-defined.

A Roadmap for Solar System Research was produced by the Solar System Advisory Panel (SSAP) in 2015. This latest review will consider recent developments and future opportunities in observational solar physics. It is especially timely given the current and potential future UK investments in the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) and the European Solar Telescope (EST) as well as space missions such as HINODE, STEREO and Solar Orbiter

The Panel have been asked to submit a written report to the STFC Science Board in October 2017. The Panel are tasked with producing a report highlighting changes since the 2015 Roadmap for Solar System Research showing the pathway and recommendations for the development of future capabilities and facilities and highlighting inter-dependencies, overlaps and key points for investment.

As part of the review process, the Panel wish to consult the Community and is particularly interested to receive input on how STFC could best support your research to address the STFC Science Challenges now and in the future.

We strongly encourage all in the UK Solar Physics community (including Research Fellows, PDRAs and PhD students) to please submit your views via the short questionnaire;

The closing date for responses is 21stAugust 2017.

UK Solar Physics Facilities Review Panel


The UK Solar Physics Facilities Review Panel membership is:

Prof G Doyle (Armagh Observatory) – Chair, Dr D Brown (UCLAN), Prof W Chaplin (Birmingham), Prof I De Moortel (St Andrews), Dr H Morgan (Aberystwyth) , Prof R von Fay- Siebenburgen (Sheffield)


European Solar Physics Division: call for Board Member candidates

from Ineke De Moortel [August 1, 2017]

The Solar Physics Division of the European Physical Society and the European Astronomical Society is inviting nominations for membership of its governing Board. Candidates are expected to be based at a European Institution. If elected, they will serve for a period of three (3) years, with a possibility to serve a second three-year term upon a successful re-election. The ESPD elections will be held during the 15th European Solar Physics Meeting (ESPM-15) in Budapest, Hungary, in early September. The meeting’s website can be found at .

Please send nominations or expressions of interest to Ineke De Moortel ( by Friday, August 4.

For more information on the ESPD, please refer to its website, at

The ESPD statutes and bylaws clarifying the Divisions governance and election processes can be found at

Reminder: RCUK Policy Internships for STFC-funded PhD Students

from Sian Giles [July 27, 2017]

STFC participates in the Research Councils Policy Internships scheme, a programme in which STFC-funded PhD students are given the opportunity to spend three months working in Parliament or Government. Opportunities are available with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) or the Government Office for Science (GO-Science).

Applications for the 2018 scheme are now open.

The scheme presents a unique opportunity for PhD students to gain an insight into the political process. Fellows learn how policy is developed, interact with policy makers and develop the skills needed to communicate effectively with non-academic audiences.

• POST is an independent office of the Houses of Parliament whose role is to provide clear, expert, impartial advice on science to MPs and Peers. Its goal is to keep them up to date on current scientific issues and allow them to make informed decisions. Fellows either work on a ‘POST Note’ or research project, or provide specialist advice to a Parliamentary Select Committee or the House of Commons Library.

• GO-Science looks to ensure that Government policies and decisions are informed by the best scientific evidence and strategic long-term thinking. Placements are likely to involve undertaking research, drafting briefing notes and background papers, and organising workshops and meetings. They will offer opportunities to work with a number of different teams and across a wide range of science and technology policy topics in GO-Science.

Successful applicants will receive funding for their secondment period and will receive a three-month extension to their STFC PhD status. Interns will receive a stipend equivalent to that of a London-based PhD student for three months. Interns based at non-London institutions will receive an additional sum to cover the costs of relocating to London for three months.

Applications for 2018 Internships will close at 4pm on Thursday 10 August 2017. More details about the hosting partners and the application form can be found on the RCUK site.

Further information:

STFC Policy Internships (includes past case studies)
Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
Government Office for Science


New UKSP Nugget #81

from Iain Hannah [August 1, 2017]

81. Time dependence of heavy ion ratios in solar events
by Peter Zelina and Silvia Dalla (UCLan)

Studying SEP transport through modelling and observations of heavy ions.

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

Iain Hannah and Lyndsay Fletcher

CESRA highlights in July

from Eduard Kontar [August 1, 2017]

Oscillation of solar radio emission at coronal acoustic cut-off frequency
by T. Zaqarashvili et al.

Siberian Radioheliograph: First Results
by S.V. Lesovoi et al.
CESRA publishes Highlights of Solar Radio Physics aka CESRA Nuggets approximately every two weeks. These short communications are written in the language accessible to a non-expert in the specific area and designed to keep solar and heliophysics communities informed and up-to-date about current research. The highlights can be followed, discussed, commented and shared via and

RHESSI Science Nugget No. 304

from Hugh Hudson [July 31, 2017]

“RHESSI and the Megamovie,” by Hugh Hudson, Laura Peticolas, and Juan Carlos Martinez Oliver’s: A wholly new way to observe a solar eclipse, and to do solar astrometry.

See (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.

RHESSI Science Nugget No. 303

from Hugh Hudson [July 24, 2017]

“Bastille Day 2017”, by Hugh Hudson and Sa”m Krucker. Interesting flares really do happen on Bastille Day…


listing the current series, 2008-present, and

for the original series, 2005-2008.

We publish these at roughly two-week intervals and welcome contributions.

Meetings/Workshops/Summer Schools:

Solar Orbiter: Synergy Between Observations and Theory – Abstract Submission Open

from Duncan Mackay [August 22, 2017]

RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting

“Solar Orbiter: Synergy Between Observations and Theory”

Friday 10th November 2017


Dear Colleagues,
The Royal Astronomical Society will host a Specialist Discussion Meeting on November 10th 2017 on, “Solar Orbiter: Synergy between Observations and Theory”.

Information regarding the scope of the meeting, abstract submission and the science programme can be found at,

Please note that the closing date for abstract submission is 7th October 2017.

Organisers: Duncan Mackay, Andrzej Fludra, Louise Harra, Tim Horbury and Chris Owen

“Into the Red Dragon’s Lair: Four-in-One Workshop Tackling Outstanding Problems in Heliophysics and Space Weather” at the Clayton Hotel, Cardiff, Wales, UK (03-08 December 2017) – Second Announcement.

from Mario Bisi [August 1, 2017]

Dear Colleagues.

It is with great pleasure that we remind you that early registration (deadline 13 August 2017) and abstract submissions are open for our workshop entitled “Into the Red Dragon’s Lair: Four-in-One Workshop Tackling Outstanding Problems in Heliophysics and Space Weather”. Please register soon to stay ahead of the coming price increase – and please remember to pay in the second step of the process as registration is no complete until the second step is completed – we are only expecting around 40 participants to be able to maintain the workshop environment.

***Full details and deadlines can be found on the workshop website here:***

Our Workshop encompasses four main themes:
– The “Fourth Remote-Sensing of the Inner Heliosphere Workshop”;
– “Where are we on Bz?” (a SEREN follow-on);
– “Novel Ionospheric Studies with Advanced Observing Techniques”; and
– The “11th LOFAR Solar Physics and Space Weather Key Science Project”.
(The combined workshop also incorporates the MWA SHI and future potential SKA SHI SWG science.)

The workshop aims to gather experts from the various fields of remote-sensing observations of the inner heliosphere, including EUV, white-/visible-light, and radio observations, together with modellers, in order to tackle key outstanding heliophysics issues. It is also intended to establish closer working relations and devise the best ways our group can move the field forward as a whole, tapping into observational capabilities that can be used to aid the upcoming Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe Communities, as well as Space Weather science and forecasting enhancements in general.

The workshop registration fee (£120 early/£150 late) includes lunches, excursions, welcome reception, and workshop dinner (the latter three are all Welsh themed allowing participants an insight into Wales’ culture and recent history). Menus and excursion details have been updated accordingly on the website along with some other updates.

Several invited speakers have already been confirmed to include Sarah Gibson (UCAR), Colin Lonsdale (MIT Haystack), Jackie Davies (STFC RAL Space), Curt de Koning (NOAA SWPC), Anthony Yeates (Durham), David Jackson (Met Office), and Giovanni Lapenta (KU Leuven).

We look forward to welcoming you to Cardiff!

Best wishes,

Mario (SOC and LOC Chair, on behalf of the SOC and LOC).

Science Organising Committee (SOC):
Mario M. Bisi (STFC RAL Space, UK) (Chair)
Michael (Mike) A. Hapgood (STFC RAL Space, UK)
Richard A. Fallows (ASTRON, NL)
Kent Miller (EOARD, UK/AFRL, USA)
Bernard (Bernie) V. Jackson (UCSD, US)
David (Dave) F. Webb (BC, US)
Biagio Forte (University of Bath, UK)
Alexander (Alec) MacKinnon (University of Glasgow, UK)
Gottfried Mann (AIP, DE)

Local Organising Committee (LOC):
Mario M. Bisi (STFC RAL Space, UK) (Chair)
Catherine A. Baker (Baker-Bisi Executive Assistance, UK)
Annabel Cartwright (Cardiff University, UK)

Fall AGU – SH012: Space Weather Forecasting: Science, Operations, Future Missions, Missing Information, and the Economic Case – FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT

from Mario Bisi [August 1, 2017]

Dear All.

This is our final call for contributed abstracts to Space Weather Forecasting: Science, Operations, Future Missions, Missing Information, and the Economic Case session at the upcoming Fall AGU in New Orleans, 11-15 December 2017 ( The FINAL abstract-submission deadline is 02 August 2017 at 11:59 P.M. EDT/03 August 2017 at 03:59UT.

To submit, the first author must be the submitting author and an AGU member. First authors can submit one contributed abstract, or one contributed abstract and one invited abstract, or two invited abstracts to science sessions. You can be presenting author on multiple abstracts.

To submit your abstract, please go here:

Please note that this session is being organized as one of the alternate-format sessions; please see: for further AGU details on the alternate format sessions.

The confirmed invited abstract is by Stacey Worman (Abt Associates) on the NOAA SWPC Space-Weather Socio-Economic Study, and the confirmed panelists to date include Doug Biesecker (NOAA NWS SWPC), Chi Wang (State Key Laboratory of Space Weather, China), Jangsuk Choi (Korean Space Weather Center, South Korea), Elsayed Talaat (NASA HQ, USA), with additional expected panelist representations from NSF and/or COSPAR.

This is a follow-on from last-years very-successful session which attracted 69 abstracts covered over three dedicated oral sessions, one of which was a panel session, as well as a full and active poster session.

Best wishes, and thanks,

Mario (on behalf of all the SH012 Conveners).

Session ID#: 23441

Session Description:
Society is ever-more reliant on energy supplies and technologies proving increasingly susceptible to everyday and extreme space weather (SW) (power grids, GNSS-positioning/timing, aviation/maritime/rail, communications, etc.). The present solar cycle’s SW has proven to be, perhaps surprisingly, mostly driven by solar-wind structures rather than CME events.

Following the highly-successful sessions at Fall-AGUs-2015/2016, this intends to follow-up and further expand/continue the assessment of state-of-the-art global SW forecasting capabilities and establish where additional-services/improvements are necessary to advance our SW forecast/prediction capabilities with a focus on Lagrange missions.

We solicit contributions of: provisions/justifications of suitable observations/measurements; model developments to utilize future missions’ data; ongoing developments in SW forecasting; science from SW operational missions (SWFO/ESA-UK-L5/GOES/DSCOVR/etc.); and identifications of data/model gaps. We also encourage submissions that quantify the economics of SW. It is time to review the economic assessments status and identify the paths forward to further-improve the societal-economic case for SW research and operations.

Primary Convener: Mario Mark Bisi, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, RAL Space, Harwell Campus, Didcot, United Kingdom.
Co-Conveners: Antti A Pulkkinen, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States; Edward J. Oughton, University of Cambridge, Judge Business School, Cambridge, United Kingdom; and David F Webb, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, United States.

Co-Organized between:
SPA-Solar and Heliospheric Physics (SH), and SPA-Magnetospheric Physics (SM)

NH – Natural Hazards
P – Planetary Sciences
PA – Public Affairs
SA – SPA-Aeronomy

Index Numbers:
4305 – Natural Hazards: Space Weather
7594 – Solar Physics, Astrophysics, and Astronomy: Instruments and techniques
7924 – Space Weather: Forecasting
7999 – Space Weather: General or miscellaneous


JOB OPENING: Six (6) Postdoctoral and PhD Student Positions in Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland

from Minna Palmroth [August 22, 2017]

The Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics ( is a leading European space physics group specialised both in observations and modelling of space plasmas. For example, we develop the novel global hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator and have a strong focus on solar eruptions. Our current research areas include physics of coronal mass ejections, their influence in the magnetospheric dynamics, as well as reconnection, shocks and particle acceleration.

We have recently obtained several new research grants, including a Finnish Centre of Excellence (2018 – 2025), two European Research Council grants (2016 – 2021, 2017 – 2022), and two Academy of Finland grants (2018 – 2022).

We are now opening six positions, of which four are postdoctoral positions, and two are for PhD students. We are especially looking for expertise in modelling of the solar corona, experimental solar wind research, observations and modelling of the inner magnetospheric waves and wave-particle interactions.

Strong expertise in space plasma physics is required. Other useful skills include: Python, C/C++, supercomputer environments, experimental data analysis techniques. Previous knowledge of cubesat projects is also considered an advantage.

We offer a position in a dynamic and international research group, with a possibility to network and to develop as a researcher. As our the Centre of Excellence builds and launches cubesats establishing new technologies with cutting edge scientific payloads, our community extends from space physics to space technology and entrepreneurial startups.

The positions are available from 1 Jan 2018, initially for one year with a possibility to extend. The positions are open until they are filled.

For specifics about the position, contact Professor Minna Palmroth (minna.palmroth ‘at’ and Assistant Professor Emilia Kilpua (emilia.kilpua ‘at’ Interested candidates should send their informal application, CV, list of publications, and maximum of three names to act as references to the above addresses.

Rutherford International Fellowship Programme

from Sian Giles [July 31, 2017]

Rutherford International Fellowship Programme

A call is now live for applications for the Rutherford International Fellowship Programme (RIFP).

RIFP provides 2-year post-doctoral fellowships which can be undertaken at any STFC National Laboratories department or Diamond, including STFC Particle Physics Department, RAL Space, UKATC or STFC Technology Department, as well as ISIS Neutron and Muon Source, the Central Laser Facility and the Accelerator Science and Technology Department. Applicants need to have a PhD or 4-years equivalent research experience, and can’t have lived in the UK for more than 1 year in the past 3 years (there’s a slightly different criterion for those returning from a career break).

Full details of the RIFP scheme and the application procedure can be found here:

SMILE SXI Instrument Software Scientist at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory

from Richard Morton [July 24, 2017]

SMILE SXI Instrument Software Scientist at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory
UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics
Ref: 1657829
Salary: £ 31,076 – 38,183 per annum
Closing date: 22 August 2017

A new postdoctoral position has been created at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL, based at Holmbury St. Mary, near Dorking in Surrey), the home of UCL’s Department of Space and Climate Physics.

The position will entail creating and analysing science and instrument simulations, and designing and coding elements of the Soft X-ray Imager (SXI) Pipeline Processing Software. The SXI is the primary instrument onboard the SMILE (Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer, mission which is currently under joint development by the European Space Agency and the Chinese Academy of Sciences and is due for launch at the end of 2021. For further details see:

This full time post is available from September 1st, 2017, initially for a period of 19 months, with the likelihood of being renewed for a further 3 years. The salary will be at Research Grade 7 (in the range £ 31,076 – 38,183 per annum).

Further details about MSSL can be found on For further information regarding the post please contact Prof. Graziella Branduardi-Raymont ( If you have any queries regarding the vacancy or the application process, please contact Libby Daghorn (

Research Associate (Solar Physics)

from Rebecca Crookall [July 24, 2017]

Research Associate (Solar Physics)
University of Central Lancashire – School of Physical Sciences & Computing
Reference number: REQ003025
Hours: Full time (1.0 FTE)
Basis: Fixed term contract for 36 months
Grade: G (£29301 – £33943)
Closing Date: 24 September 2017
Interview Date: To be confirmed

The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute based within the School of Physical Sciences and Computing at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK is seeking a Research Associate to work with Professor Robert Walsh in the area of activity and dynamics of the solar atmosphere.

The successful applicant will focus upon the analysis and interpretation of appropriate datasets from satellite missions (SDO, STEREO, IRIS and Hinode) as well as lay the groundwork for the scientific exploitation of data from a number of planned observing rocket programmes (including MaGIXS and the reflight of HiC). Comparison with active region coronal plasma loop simulations will also be undertaken. The role is complementary to the work stream in UCLan’s new Engineering Innovation Centre (EIC) around space engineering.

The appointee will also be required to participate in targeted public engagement projects as well as possibly contribute to teaching or demonstrating for not more than six hours per week.
The postholder will have a BSc or equivalent and a PhD or submission of thesis before appointment, in relevant subjects. With experience in the field of space physics, you will have the demonstrated ability for undertaking independent research as well as work effectively as part of a team. You will have the ability to create and deliver new research ideas alongside a developed approach to problem solving. You will have excellent oral and written communication skills and be able to interact with a wide range of stakeholders. Additionally, you will also have good IT, computing and report writing skills.

The Jeremiah Horrocks Institute is comprised of nearly 30 academic staff members with a wide range of interests ranging from solar physics to stellar and extragalactic astrophysics. The Solar Physics group includes Prof Robert Walsh, Dr Silvia Dalla, Dr Danielle Bewsher and Dr Daniel Brown. Further information about the Jeremiah Horrocks Institute at the University of Central Lancashire can be found at

Should you have any queries about the position, please contact Professor Robert Walsh at or on +44 1772 894282.

Applicants need to meet all essential criteria on the person specification to be considered for interview. This position is based in Preston.

Please apply online via if you cannot apply online please contact Human Resources on 01772 892324 and quote the reference number. CVs will not be considered unless accompanied by a completed application form.