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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 March 2015 at 2pm
Dr. Heli Hietala
Imperial College London

Unravelling the solar wind drivers of the storm-time radiation belt response

Our inability to predict the response of Earth’s outer Van Allen radiation belt during geomagnetic storms has attracted attention of both space scientists and the space weather application community. "Killer electron" dynamics are a result of competing acceleration, transport and loss processes that are ultimately driven by the solar wind. While under normal conditions, the solar wind is highly varying and appears almost random, drivers of geomagnetic storms arrive in characteristic sequences lasting from tens of hours to days.

Here we present a new framework to study the time evolution and dynamics of the outer Van Allen belt electron fluxes. The framework is entirely based on the large-scale solar wind storm drivers and their substructures. The Van Allen Probe observations, revealing the electron flux behaviour throughout the outer belt, are combined with continuous, long-term (over 1.5 solar cycles) geosynchronous orbit dataset from GOES and solar wind measurements. A superposed epoch analysis, where we expand/contract each solar wind substructure to the population mean and use multiple reference times, allows us to distinguish the effects arising from the various driver structures.

We show that the radiation belt response is not chaotic: The electron flux variations are determined by the combined effect of the structured solar wind driver and pre-storm electron flux levels. In particular, we find that loss mechanisms dominate during stream interface regions, CME ejecta and sheaths while enhancements occur during fast streams trailing the stream interface or the CME.

Past Talks

Date Speaker Affiliation Title
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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