[GEM] THE GEM MESSENGER, Volume 27, Number 48

Newsletter Editor editor at igpp.ucla.edu
Tue Oct 24 20:02:39 PDT 2017


Volume 27, Number 48

Reminder: Please fill out the GEM Workshop Format Poll at https://goo.gl/forms/Kjfyq3oRVzBWErOB3 by November 10.

Table of Contents

1. 2017 GEM Workshop Report: Testing Proposed Links between Mesoscale Auroral and Polar Cap Dynamics and Substorms Focus Group

2. Solar Wind 15 Conference, Brussels, 18-22 June 2018

3. Postdoctoral Position in Space Plasma Physics


1. 2017 GEM Workshop Report: Testing Proposed Links between Mesoscale Auroral and Polar Cap Dynamics and Substorms Focus Group
From: Kyle Murphy, Toshi Nishimura, Emma Spanswick, and Jian Yang (kyle.r.murphy at nasa.gov)

The Testing Proposed Links between Mesoscale Auroral and Polar Cap Dynamics and Substorms Focus group (FG) intends to elucidate connections between auroral structures and their magnetospheric counterparts, and to bring closure to the question of substorm triggering. This report covers the three stand-alone sessions we had, and the report from the ULF FG will cover a joint session we had together. Session 1 had talks and discussions on tail flows, injections, and MI coupling. Session 2 was devoted to event discussions. Session 3 was for general contributed talks.

1. Tail flows, injections and MI coupling

The first session was dedicated to discussion regarding the coupling of tail-ionosphere system during substorms concentrating on the link between flow bursts, injections and MI coupling during substorms. The session had 4 speakers who discussed various aspects of each phenomena. Yan Song discussed the formation of discrete aurora in ionosphere and the role of Alfven waves and parallel electric fields.  Bob McPherron presented a data-model comparison of substorm dynamics tail flow bursts. Christine Gabrielse provided a comprehensive overview of the propagation and evolution of the injection region from multi point in-situ THEMIS observations and ground-based all-sky imager and riometer observations. Eric Donovan presented a detailed overview of “STEVE”, a new auroral arc identified by citizen scientists apart of the Alberta Aurora Chasers Facebook Group group working with www.Aurorasaurus.org.

2. Event discussion

Prior to the workshop, the FG co-chairs selected a substorm event (2017-3-3) based on availability of colored all-sky imager data and THEMIS satellite conjunction and asked three substorm scientists (Toshi Nishimura, Kyle Murphy and Tetsuo Motoba) to analyze the event from their viewpoints. A particular emphasis was placed on the precursor sequence of the large substorm event. In this session, they presented their interpretations of the events and opened lively discussions with the audience. All three presenters agreed that a precursor streamer and weak but distinct tail flows were present. This became the third event (among 8 events) where we had a consensus of the substorm sequence in this FG activity. However, it was noted by Kyle Murphy that the event was embedded in a geomagnetic storm and decoupling auroral activity to test causality is extremely difficult during such active events. Robert McPherron and Anna DeJong commented that this is not an SMC event but they consider this a substorm. Eric Donovan showed that equatorward moving proton aurora in this event suggested the presence of a substorm growth phase. A certain level of preceding activities was unavoidable due to the selection of a large substorm in order to address past comments from attendees that we should discuss a large event for detecting signals more definitively than those during small isolated substorms. This point may be addressed by selecting and comparing both types of events.

Another activity we had in the second session was modeling of BBFs and streamers. Robert McPherron and Mostafa El-Alaoui presented an MHD simulation of 2008-3-14 substorms and streamers. They emphasized a presence of a series of BBFs, sometimes with more than one of them aligned azimuthally. The BBFs showed tilting and winding, originating in a dynamic X-line. They found an overall qualitative agreement with THEMIS observations of flows.

3. Contributed talks

James Weygand showed spherical elementary current (SEC) distributions and demonstrated how the SECs could be used to characterize the rate of change of the ionospheric magnetic field dB/dt during substorms. Understanding the geographical distribution of dB/dt during substorms is a key component to characterizing geomagnetically induced currents during substorms. Robert McPherron reported statistics of substorm waiting times, and bay size (amplitude and duration) using the SML index. Shin Ohtani showed an ionosphere model of PBIs and proposed ionosphere triggering of PBIs. He discussed with the audience how his model relates to magnetospheric signatures of PBIs. Grant Stephens reported an updated version of Tsyganenko magnetic field model with AL effects considered. The model magnetic field successfully reproduced substorm-time magnetic field variations. Christine Gabrielse presented a statistical study of ionospheric fast flows associated with auroral streamers. Ionospheric measurements were found powerful for characterizing 2-d structure and evolution of flow channels that are difficult to measure in space. Drew Turner showed multi-point measurements of narrow and wide injections. The last two presentations led to a discussion of potentially holding a joint session with the dipolarization FG for combining multipoint space and ground conjunction studies of 2-d injection evolution.

2. Solar Wind 15 Conference, Brussels, 18-22 June 2018
From: Giovanni Lapenta (giovanni.lapenta at kuleuven.be)

MEETING:  Solar Wind 15, Brussels, Belgium, June 18-22, 2018


The three-annual Solar Wind conference reaches the 15th edition and for this special occasion will convene in one of the most famous venues for physics conferences: the Hotel Metropole in Brussels where the Solvay Conference of 1911 kicked-off modern physics.

The conference will cover all aspects of solar wind physics, with invited and contributed presentations that examine the current research and outline the future directions in all the relevant fields. In line with tradition,  Solar Wind 15 will cover the following sessions:

1.   Origin and acceleration of the solar wind close to the Sun 
2.   Solar wind evolution during its propagation in the heliosphere  
3.   Connection of CMEs and ICMEs
4.   Suprathermal and energetic particles in the solar wind 
5.   Solar wind interaction with solar system objects and dust 
6.   Interaction of the solar wind with the interstellar medium 
7.   Current and future solar and heliospheric missions

But the 15th edition of Solar wind comes also at the particular exciting time close to the launch date of the new missions Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe: these missions will receive special attention in the program.

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION will soon open with a deadline of February 28, 2018. 

General inquiries:  giovanni.lapenta at kuleuven.be

Giovanni Lapenta, StefaanvPoedts, Andrei Zhukov, Luciano Rodriguez, Viviane Pierrard

MEETING WEBSITE: www.solarwind15.be

3. Postdoctoral Position in Space Plasma Physics
From: Rumi Nakamura (rumi.nakamura at oeaw.ac.at)

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral researcher position in the area of space plasma physics focusing on the physical interpretation of the in-situ plasma measurements. 

The space plasma physics group at the Space Research Institute (IWF) Graz, a research insti-tute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) is involved in a number of space plasma missions, for which IWF’s hardware contribution enables in-depth analysis and interpreta-tion of the data, e.g., Geotail, Cluster, THEMIS, MMS, Solar Orbiter, BepiColombo, JUICE. The successful candidate is expected to work on research topics in space plasma physics and to play an active role in the scientific activities of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mis-sion.

The applicant must hold a PhD in physics, geophysics, astrophysics, or a related field. Experience in analysis/interpretation of spacecraft data such as plasma, electric and magnetic field is a prerequisite. The appointment begins as early as January 1, 2018 and will be initially for two years (extension up to a total of six years is possible, depending on performance). Gross salary will be Grade IV/2 according to the scale of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, which is 41,580 Euro per year or higher, depending on previous records.  

Applications include 1) a curriculum vitae, 2) list of publications, 3) statement of the applicant's past and current research experience (up to 2 pages), 4) certificates for full academic record, and 5) up to three letters of recommendation. Please send the application in PDF format to rumi.nakamura at oeaw.ac.at by 15 November 2017.

Inquiries about the positions should be directed to Dr. Rumi Nakamura (+43-316-4120573)
Find more information at http://www.iwf.oeaw.ac.at/en/research/space-plasma-physics/.

The Austrian Academy of Sciences is an equal opportunity employer.

The Geospace Environment Modeling (GEM) program is sponsored by the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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