External Speaker Seminars

Organiser: Nadine Kalmoni, MSSL.

If you are interested in giving a seminar on any space plasma physics related topic at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory please contact nadine.kalmoni.13 [at] ucl.ac.uk

Upcoming Talks

Thursday 22 October, 11am
Prof. Gerhard Haerendel Max Planck Institute for  Extraterrestrial Physics

Current sheet avalanche and substorm breakup

Location and process of the initiation of a substorm have been a long-standing topic of discussion with two opposing views: Onset at the near-Earth edge of the tail or onset by reconnection near 20 RE. In the first case, the near-Earth onset may trigger reconnection further tailward. In the second case, onset near Earth, manifested by the breakup aurora, is the result of the arrival of flow bursts at the outer boundary of the dipolar magnetosphere. Timing arguments derived from observations of various substorms have been quoted in support of either sequence of events. In this talk it will be argued that the fundamental process is the thinning of the central current sheet during the growth phase. It is preconditioning both processes, an instability at the earthward edge of the tail as well as reconnection further outward. Both processes may start independently within a few minutes and in either sequence, so that timing arguments can be misleading. Whereas the process of reconnection has been studied in depth and is without doubt the energy supplier for the substorm as a whole, the cause of instability of the near-Earth transition from tail to dipolar magnetosphere is little understood. One possibility is a current sheet collapse. The observed breakup aurora is analyzed in the light of the above questions.

Past Talks

Date Speaker Affiliation Title
25 August 2015
Dr. Luke Barnard University of Reading
Solar Stormwatch CME Catalogue
28 July 2015
 Prof. Ken McCracken
University of Maryland The temporal variability of the cosmic radiation, solar activity, and the heliospheric magnetic field over the past 10,000 years
22 April 2015 Dr. Laurence Billingham  British Geological Survey The British Geological Survey Geomagnetism Team
18 March 2015 Dr. Heli Hietala Imperial College London Unravelling the solar wind drivers of the storm-time radiation belt response
24 February 2015
Nathan Pilkington 
University College London How does Plasma Shape Saturn's Magnetosphere?
18 February 2015 Dr. Robert Fear University of Southampton Observational tests of flux transfer event structure
 29 January 2015 Dr. Mick Denton Lancaster University A new empirical model of ion and electron fluxes at geosynchronous orbit
9 October 2014
David Miles
University of Alberta
Next- Generation Fluxgate Magnetometry at the University of Alberta
7 October 2014
Dr. Hanna Dahlgren
Royal Institute of
Technology KTH/ University of Southampton
Energy and flux characteristics of dynamic fine scale aurora
20 August 2014
Prof. Ian Mann
University of Alberta
The Impacts of Ultra Low Frequency Waves on the Dynamics of the Earth’s Van Allen Belts
14 August 2014
Dr. Andrew Walsh
 ESAC Automatic Georeferencing of Astronaut Auroral Photography: Providing A New Dataset for Space Physics
6 June 2014
Dr. Lorenzo Matteini
Imperial College London
 Kinetic Processes in the Solar Wind

12 May 2014
Prof. Michael Balikhin
University of Sheffield
System Approach to Solar-Terrestrial Physics: Advance in Physical Understanding and Space Weather Forcast
7 April 2014
John Coxon
University of Leicester
The Birkeland current system and its place in the expanding/contracting polar cap paradigm
18 March 2014
Dr. Catriona Jackman
University of Southampton
Dynamics of the magnetotails of Jupiter and Saturn from magnetic field and plasma flow measurements
10 October 2013
Dr. David Knudsen
University of Calgary
Thermal Ion Imaging and its Role on Swarm and the Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe Satellites
7th June, 2011 Dr. Jonathan Eastwood Imperial College Cluster observations of magnetic reconnection and the ion diffusion region in the Earth's magnetotail
20th April, 2011 Prof. E. Dubinin  Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), Germany Induced magnetospheres at Mars and Venus: Open questions
1st February, 2011 Dr. Craig Leff MSSL ExoMars PanCam Project Manager A review of MER surface operations, with implications for MSL and ExoMars
13th October, 2010 Dr. Yasir Soobiah Swedish Institute for Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden The search for Martian aurora signatures in MEX ASPERA-3 IMA observations
20th September, 2010 Prof. Rajmal Jain Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad Indian missions to study solar and interplanetary plasma

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