UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


External Speaker Seminars

Organiser: Jasmine Sandhu, MSSL. 

If you are interested in giving a seminar on any space plasma physics related topic at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory please contact Jasmine Sandhu, Colin Forsyth, Chris Owen, or Daniel Verscharen.

Upcoming Talks

12 AUGUST 2019 - 11:00 - MSSL Common Room

Speaker: Prof Sandra Chapman
Title: 'Data analytics’ approaches to space weather
Abstract: The plasma and magnetic field of earth’s near-space environment is highly dynamic, with its own space weather. Space weather and solar terrestrial physics observations are increasingly becoming a data analytics challenge and there are common approaches with other fields such as earth climate observations.

Where there are multiple observations such as the SuperMAG collated 100+ magnetometer stations in the auroral region we can test for spatio-temporal patterns of correlation using dynamical networks. Whilst networks are in widespread use in the data analytics of societal and commercial data, there are additional challenges in their application to physical time series. We are able to construct dynamical networks direct from SuperMAG. The transient dynamics of the auroral current system is captured by the spatio-temporal patterns of correlation between the magnetometer time-series and can be quantified by (time dependent) network parameters. Cross-correlation lags can be used to construct directed networks which give directions and timescales for propagation. This offers the possibility of characterizing detailed spatio-temporal pattern by a few parameters, so that many events can then be compared with each other and with differing theoretical predictions of the ‘typical’ substorm current system.

Where there are single point, long term observations we can quantify the space climate effects of the variability between each unique solar cycle.  Over the last five solar cycles we have parameters characterizing solar wind driving and magnetospheric response. These vary with the different activity levels of each solar cycle but we found certain properties of the statistical distribution are reproducible from one solar maximum to the next. Observations of the past heliospheric climate may assist prediction of that of the next solar cycle. Over the last 14 cycles we have less well resolved geomagnetic indices and we can attempt to use these to quantify how the likelihood of super-storms depends on solar cycle modulated activity and to set the Carrington event in context.

Quantifying how the frequency and intensity of large, rare events is changing in time is a generic challenge. A topical question is whether heatwaves are becoming more intense and more frequent. The potential for addressing this question solely from the data will be discussed using a new analysis of earth surface temperature timeseries.

Past Talks

10 June 2019Joe EggingtonImperial College LondonMagnetopause Reconnection and its Ionospheric Signatures in Global Magnetospheric Simulations
09 May 2019Dr Sarah BentleyUniversity of ReadingTowards a probabilistic model of Earth’s radiation belts: the uncertainty in ultra-low frequency plasma waves
16 April 2019Dr John CoxonUniversity of SouthamptonTemporal behaviour of Birkeland currents in AMPERE
19 March 2019Dr Maria-Theresia WalachLancaster UniversityTime variability in high-latitude ionospheric convection at Earth.
30 January 2019Dr Luca FranciQueen Mary University of LondonHybrid Simulations of Plasma Turbulence and Magnetic Reconnection in the Solar Wind: Comparison with In-situ Observations.
22 January 2019Dr Kristopher KleinUniversity of ArizonaThermodynamics far from Equilibrium: Studying Plasma Heating and Instabilities in the Solar Wind.
29 November 2018Samuel WhartonUniversity of LeicesterThe Resonant Response of the Magnetosphere to Changing Geomagnetic Conditions
09 October 2018Dr Thomas ElsdenUniversity of St AndrewsMagnetospheric Field Line Resonances in 3D
08 October 2018Dr Ferdinand PlaschkeSpace Research Institute, GrazJets in the Magnetosheath: Origin, Evolution, and Impact
17 September 2018David StansbyImperial College LondonPreparing to re-visit the inner heliosphere
22 August 2018Dr Imogen GingellImperial College LondonInstrument-induced production of negative hydrogen ions under solar wind bombardment
10 July 2018Prof. Benjamin Chandran University of New HampshireAlfvén-Wave Turbulence and the Origin of the Solar Wind
29 June 2018Dr. George LivadiotisSouthwest Research InstituteKappa Distributions: Theory and Applications in Space Plasmas
23 May 2018Dr. Robert BurstonUniversity of BathPlanets, Plasmoids, Leaky Taps, Springs and Chaos 
8 May 2018Dr. Christopher ChenQueen Mary University of LondonTurbulence and Heating in the Solar Wind 
1 May 2018Dr. Chadi SalemSSL, UC BerkeleyCombining Radio Receivers and Electrostatic Analyzers for Accurate Measurements of Solar Wind Electrons: WIND Observations
25 January 2018Dr. Owen RobertsESA ESTECThe solar wind power spectrum observed from Cluster: insights in three dimensions and at sub ion scales
22 October 2015Prof. Gerhard HaerendelMax Planck Institute for  Extraterrestrial PhysicsCurrent sheet avalanche and substorm breakup
25 August 2015Dr. Luke BarnardUniversity of ReadingSolar Stormwatch CME Catalogue
28 July 2015 Prof. Ken McCrackenUniversity of MarylandThe temporal variability of the cosmic radiation, solar activity, and the heliospheric magnetic field over the past 10,000 years
22 April 2015Dr. Laurence Billingham British Geological SurveyThe British Geological Survey Geomagnetism Team
18 March 2015Dr. Heli HietalaImperial College LondonUnravelling the solar wind drivers of the storm-time radiation belt response
24 February 2015Nathan Pilkington  University College LondonHow does Plasma Shape Saturn's Magnetosphere? 
18 February 2015Dr. Robert FearUniversity of SouthamptonObservational tests of flux transfer event structure
 29 January 2015Dr. Mick DentonLancaster UniversityA new empirical model of ion and electron fluxes at geosynchronous orbit
9 October 2014David MilesUniversity of AlbertaNext- Generation Fluxgate Magnetometry at the University of Alberta
7 October 2014Dr. Hanna DahlgrenRoyal Institute of 
Technology KTH/ University of Southampton 
Energy and flux characteristics of dynamic fine scale aurora
20 August 2014Prof. Ian Mann University of AlbertaThe Impacts of Ultra Low Frequency Waves on the Dynamics of the Earth’s Van Allen Belts
14 August 2014Dr. Andrew Walsh  ESACAutomatic Georeferencing of Astronaut Auroral Photography: Providing A New Dataset for Space Physics 
6 June 2014Dr. Lorenzo Matteini Imperial College London  Kinetic Processes in the Solar Wind
12 May 2014Prof. Michael Balikhin University of Sheffield System Approach to Solar-Terrestrial Physics: Advance in Physical Understanding and Space Weather Forcast
7 April 2014John Coxon University of Leicester The Birkeland current system and its place in the expanding/contracting polar cap paradigm
18 March 2014Dr. 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 CalgaryThermal Ion Imaging and its Role on Swarm and the Enhanced Polar Outflow Probe Satellites 
07 June 2011Dr. Jonathan EastwoodImperial CollegeCluster observations of magnetic reconnection and the ion diffusion region in the Earth's magnetotail
20 April 2011Prof. E. Dubinin Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), GermanyInduced magnetospheres at Mars and Venus: Open questions
01 February 2011Dr. Craig LeffMSSL ExoMars PanCam Project ManagerA review of MER surface operations, with implications for MSL and ExoMars
13 October 2010Dr. Yasir SoobiahSwedish Institute for Space Physics, Kiruna, SwedenThe search for Martian aurora signatures in MEX ASPERA-3 IMA observations
20 September 2010Prof. Rajmal JainPhysical Research Laboratory, AhmedabadIndian missions to study solar and interplanetary plasma