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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

18 February 2015 at 2pm
Dr. Robert Fear
University of Southampton

Observational tests of flux transfer event structure
Various reconnection-based mechanisms have been proposed to explain the structure underlying flux transfer events (FTEs), which are bursts of reconnection at the dayside magnetopause. Understanding which of these mechanisms take place is important, because an assumption about FTE structure is implicitly made in calculations of the flux transfer rate contributed by FTEs. These implicit assumptions may explain the order-of-magnitude mismatch between the largest estimates of the flux transported by FTEs that are inferred from in situ observations, and the (much larger) transfer rate estimated from some studies based on ionospheric measurements. In this talk, we investigate two specific predicted differences between some FTE mechanisms: a seasonal bias in the in situ signatures, and the axial direction of FTE structures during periods of high magnetic shear. Our results are consistent with FTEs being formed by longer X-line mechanisms, with reconnection at multiple X-lines playing a major role.

24 February 2015 at 11am
Nathan Pilkington
University College London

How does Plasma Shape Saturn's Magnetosphere?
For over ten years, the Cassini spacecraft has patrolled Saturn's magnetosphere and observed its magnetopause boundary over a wide range of prevailing solar wind and interior plasma conditions. We use these observations to study Saturn's magnetopause in unprecedented detail, utilising data from the magnetic field and plasma instruments on board. These observations reveal a dynamical interaction where, in addition to the external influence of the solar wind pressure, internal drivers and hot plasma dynamics in particular can take almost complete control of the system's dayside shape and size, essentially defying the solar wind conditions. The transition between plasma-loaded and plasma-depleted states can cause the boundary to move by up to 10-15 planetary radii at constant solar wind dynamic pressure. In addition, they reveal a significant departure from the axisymmetric (about the planet-Sun line) shape assumed in previous studies and significant asymmetries in its location related to planetary season and the flow of plasma around the planet.

Past Talks

Date Speaker Affiliation Title
 29 January 201 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 Aucust 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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