Newsletter Editor editor at igpp.ucla.edu
Sat Mar 30 17:35:32 PDT 2019

Volume XXVI, Issue 22


Table of Contents

1. MagQuest Challenge Opportunity

2. MEETING: VarSITI Closing Symposium (Sofia, Bulgaria, 10-14, 2019): Deadline of Abstract Submission Is March 31

3. MEETING: Partially Ionised Plasmas in Astrophysics (PIPA2019) -- Deadline Extended to April 15, 2019

4. CHIANTI Database Version 9.0 Has Been Released

5. JOB OPENING: Geospace Postdoc at JHU/APL

6. JOB OPENING: University of Colorado, Boulder CIRES/NOAA SWPC Solar Magnetic Field Data Scientific Programmer

7. JOB OPENING: Postdoctral Fellow Position in ISEE, Nagoya University

8. JOB OPENING: A PhD Student Position in the Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland


Announcement Submission Website: http://goo.gl/forms/qjcm4dDr4g


MagQuest Challenge Opportunity

From: Mark Moldwin (mmoldwin at umich.edu)

Dear SPA Colleagues,

Submissions are now open for MagQuest, a $1.2 million global challenge from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). MagQuest calls upon innovators to submit novel approaches to geomagnetic data collection for the World Magnetic Model (WMM). The WMM is embedded in thousands of systems. More than a billion smartphone users depend on the WMM to point them in the right direction when they use mobile navigation apps.

We’d love your help spreading the word to CubeSat and aerospace innovators. Could you share this competition with your state program? There will also be an informational webinar next week for any teams interested in learning more about entering MagQuest. 

About MagQuest

This open innovation challenge is designed to attract new ideas to increase the efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of geomagnetic data collection. NGA is seeking spaceborne, aerial, terrestrial, and other potential solutions. MagQuest is open to U.S. and international solvers and is structured in two phases:

* Phase 1 seeks written concepts. Submissions are now open, and are due by 4:59 p.m. EDT on May 16, 2019. Up to 10 winners will be selected to share a prize pool of $200,000.

* Phase 2 seeks detailed designs. Phase 2 will be open to solvers from Phase 1, as well as new solvers who did not participate in Phase 1. Submissions are expected to open June 2019 and close August 2019. Up to 5 winners will be selected to share a prize pool of $1 million.

URL for MagQuest: https://www.magquest.com/#7

For Webinar: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/magquest-informational-webinar-registration-58642644729


MEETING: VarSITI Closing Symposium (Sofia, Bulgaria, 10-14, 2019): Deadline of Abstract Submission Is March 31

From: Kazuo Shiokawa and Kayta Georgieva (shiokawa at nagoya-u.jp)

The deadline (March 31) of abstract submission for the VarSITI Closing Symposium (http://newserver.stil.bas.bg/VarSITI2019/) is quickly approaching.   We are looking forward to meeting you in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

VarSITI completion symposium

VarSITI, the scientific program of SCOSTEP, is coming to an end. For five years, more than 1,100 scientists from 71 countries have been working on its four scientific projects:
-SEE (Solar Evolution and Extrema),
-MiniMax24/ISEST (International Study of Earth-affecting Solar Transients),
-SPeCIMEN (Specification and Prediction of the Coupled Inner-Magnetospheric Environment), and
-ROSMIC (Role Of the Sun and the Middle atmosphere/thermosphere/ionosphere In Climate).

VarSITI focuses on the recent and expected future solar activity and its consequences for the Earth, over various time scales from thousands of years to milliseconds, and at various locations from the solar interior to the Earth's atmosphere. In particular, VarSITI focuses on the interconnections in the Sun-Earth system, and encourages the interaction among scientists working on different aspects of this complex system.

It is now time to summarize the results of the program: what progress has been made, what new scientific questions have emerged, what should be the focus of the next scientific program. These will be discussed at the VarSITI Completion Symposium to be held during June 10-14, 2019 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The provisional agenda includes the following sessions:

1. Mechanisms of solar variability and its Earth-affecting manifestations
2. Long-term solar variability and its impacts on the heliosphere and the terrestrial system including solar wind, geomagnetic field, and Earth's climate (Space climate)
3. Short-term solar variability and Earth-affecting events, and the reaction of the terrestrial system to solar/heliospheric drivers (Space weather)
4. Coupling between the Earth's atmosphere and space under quiet or active Sun
5. Sun to Earth event case studies
6. Sun-Earth related data: definition, maintenance, archiving
7. Predictability of the Variable Solar-Terrestrial Coupling (PreSTo): The science behind 

The Scientific Organizing Committee consists of the VarSITI co-chairs and its projects’ co-leaders, plus the leader of the committee for the definition of SCOSTEP’s next scientific program.

All VarSITI members are cordially invited to attend this closing symposium. Please mark your calendars for the period 10-14 June 2019. The symposium’s web-page will soon be added to VarSITI web-page www.varsiti.org.

Katya Georgieva and Kazuo Shiokawa
VarSITI co-chairs

SOC Members of the VarSITI Completion Symposium
Aude Chambodut, Ioannis Daglis, Katya Georgieva, Nat Gopalswamy, Shrikanth G Kanekal, Emilia Kilpua, Jan Lastovicka, Franz-Josef Luebken, Dan Marsh, Piet Martens, Yoshizumi Miyoshi, Kalevi Mursula, Dibyendu Nandi, Vladimir Obridko, Craig Rodger, Annika Seppala, Kazuo Shiokawa, Manuela Temmer, Ilya Usoskin, William Ward, David Webb, Jie Zhang


MEETING: Partially Ionised Plasmas in Astrophysics (PIPA2019) -- Deadline Extended to April 15, 2019

From: Istvan Ballai (i.ballai at sheffield.ac.uk)

The deadlines for abstract submission and registration have been extended to April 15, 2019.

Conference dates: June 3--7, 2019

Place: Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Conference website: http://solar1.uib.es/pipa2019/

The meeting will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas between participants from all areas of Astrophysics in which partially ionised plasmas play a capital role, from the Earth's ionosphere to partially ionised regions in galaxies, solar phtosphere and chromosphere, interstellar medium, stellar formation, protostellar discs, planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres, etc.

The PIPA2019 meeting LOC,

Ramón Oliver, Elena Khomenko, Istvan Ballai


CHIANTI Database Version 9.0 Has Been Released

From: Kenneth Dere (kdere at gmu.edu)

This release also includes Version 9.0 of the CHIANTI-IDL software and Version 0.8.2 of the ChiantiPy package

With Version 9.0, CHIANTI explicitly includes the processes of dielectronic recombination and autoionization.  While this does not change the predicted spectrum at low densities, it allow for the exploration of the density sensitivity of some of the satellite lines at high densities.  The atomic models for which these changes have been implemented include lithium sequence ions with significant astrophysical abundances and the iron ions Fe XVIII through Fe XXIII.

In addition, existing datasets are updated, new ions added.  New total recombination rates for several Fe ions are included and the ionization equilibrium has been recomputed.

A new file type, with a filename suffix .auto, contains the autoionization rates for a given ion, such as fe_18.auto for Fe XVIII.  Consequently, the new database and IDL programs are incompatible with the previous CHIANTI versions and vice-versa.  Also, ChiantiPy versions 0.8.0 and later are required for the new database.

If you use CHIANTI through SolarSoft that is automatically mirrored, the update will occur automatically within the next few days.  Otherwise, you will need to manually update your the SolarSoft directories.

If you use CHIANTI through the stand-alone tar files, we recommend that you download and install the new tar files in your CHIANTI directories. The new tar file can be found at our web site:

http://www.chiantidatabase.org/ in the download directory

The Version 8.0.2 release of ChiantiPy can be found on Github https://github.com/chianti-atomic/ChiantiPy/releases or on
The Python Package Index PyPI https://pypi.org/project/ChiantiPy/


JOB OPENING: Geospace Postdoc at JHU/APL

From: Ethan Miller (Ethan.Miller at jhuapl.edu)

Are you looking to take your geospace plasma or atmospheric numerical modeling capabilities to the next level?  Maybe you have ideas for in situ or remote sensing instrumentation for the ionosphere or thermosphere? Perhaps you are even entrepreneurial and passionate about "doing space science" in novel and exciting ways?  

If so, we're looking for someone like you to join our team at APL.  The Geospace and Earth Science Group in the Space Exploration Sector of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) is seeking applicants for a postdoctoral researcher position.  In addition to numerical model or instrument development experience, evidence of scholarship potential (publication/presentation record, collaborations, and research community leadership) is essential for this position.

The start date is negotiable and the position is renewable annually for up to four years depending on funding and performance.  A PhD in a field closely related to geospace physics is required to start.  For full details or to apply, please visit the advertisement here:


Additional questions may be directed to Ethan Miller (Ethan.Miller at jhuapl.edu).


JOB OPENING: University of Colorado, Boulder CIRES/NOAA SWPC Solar Magnetic Field Data Scientific Programmer

From: Eric Adamson (eric.adamson at noaa.gov)

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder has an immediate opening for a scientific programmer at the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC). NOAA SWPC currently relies on the National Solar Observatory (NSO) to run the six worldwide sites comprising its Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG), collect the solar magnetogram and H-alpha data, ship it back to a central location at NSO, and process the raw data to create high level products. The plan for the future is to have NOAA take over the real-time processing of the raw data and the creation of the products used in the operational forecast center and to feed SWPC's numerical models.

This position will focus on the installation, maintenance, and upkeep of real-time, operational, data processing software, as well as the verification and validation of the processed solar magnetogram and H-alpha data. The data ingest and processing system will duplicate and operationalize the current system run by the NSO, on NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center resources. These GONG data are a critical element of the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center data and modeling system and are used by forecasters in the Space Weather Forecast Office and as input to the solar wind and coronal mass ejection model, WSA-Enlil. The successful candidate will also support the addition of the Air Force Data Assimilative Photospheric Flux Transport (ADAPT) model into SWPC's operational framework, improving upon the current GONG-WSA-Enlil modeling system by accounting for a more realistic evolution of solar active regions.

Further information and the job application link are available at: https://jobs.colorado.edu/jobs/JobDetail/?jobId=16781

For more information, please contact: Dr. Eric Adamson (eric.adamson at noaa.gov)


JOB OPENING: Postdoctral Fellow Position in ISEE, Nagoya University

From: Kanya Kusano (kusano at nagoya-u.jp)

There is an announcement of Postdoctral fellow position in ISEE, Nagoya University, Japan, at:   

For those who are interested in this position, please contact ISEE researchers 
related to your topic.   The list of the ISEE staff is available at:


JOB OPENING: A PhD Student Position in the Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland

From: Lucile Turc (lucile.turc at helsinki.fi)

The Space Physics Group of the University of Helsinki is a leading European space physics group specialised both in observations and modelling of space plasmas. For example, we develop the novel global hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator and have a strong focus on solar eruptions combining observations and models.

We are now opening a doctoral student position. The research of the PhD student will focus on the dynamics of the Earth's radiation belts. Prior knowledge of space plasma physics and numerical simulations is considered an advantage. Other useful skills include: Python, C/C++.

We offer a position in a dynamic and international research group, with a possibility to network and to develop as a researcher. The position is available immediately. Applications are open until 30 April 2019.

For more information, please visit:

For specifics about the position, contact Professor Minna Palmroth (minna.palmroth ‘at’ helsinki.fi). Interested candidates should send their informal application, CV, and a maximum of three names to act as references to Hanna.Partio 'at' helsinki.fi, and cc: minna.palmroth 'at' helsinki.fi the above addresses, before 30 April 2019.


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