UK Solar Physics 2009

Principal contact: P. Browning ( )

Scientific Organising Committee: P. Browning (Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, University of Manchester), Lyndsay Fletcher (University of Glasgow), Steve Tobias (University of Leeds), Stefaan Poedts (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), Giulio del Zanna (University of Cambridge)

The UKSP09 Conference showcases recent advances in the field from the UK and beyond, covering all aspects of the Sun, both theoretical and observational, from interior to atmosphere. We expect many new results from space missions such as Stereo, Hinode, RHESSI and SoHO as well as theory and modelling developments which underpin our understanding of processes in the Sun.

There is an emphasis on looking at the Sun in a wider context. Thus, some underlying themes are: the Sun as a star; the Sun as the centre of the solar system, which affects the Earth in many ways; the Sun as a plasma laboratory. Many sessions are joint with MIST, emphasising our common science, and astronomers are strongly encouraged to attend relevant sessions.

As well as a wide range of science sessions, there will be a Missions Forum (joint with MIST) and a USKP Business lunch (which all are encouraged to attend).

Scientific Programme

  • First (presenting) author only listed - see Abstracts for full author lists.
  • All timings include questions and changeover (unless otherwise stated) - so standard contributed talks are 12 minute talk + 2 minutes questions/discussion + 1 minute changeover
  • All posters will be on display throughout the Conference (poster viewing in all coffee breaks and lunchtimes). Note dedicated poster session on Monday.
Monday 20th April Plenaries including
09:00 - 10:30 STEREO - from the Sun to the Earth Richard Harrison
Monday 20th April Structure and activity in the solar atmosphere
11:00 The Role of Magnetic Fields in the Scattering of p-modes Andrew Gascoyne
11:15 Probing the 3D structure of the F-corona with the STEREO Heliospheric Imagers Daniel Brown
11:30 Nanoflare heating of the solar corona Alan Hood
11:45 Demystifying Active Region Outflows detected by Hinode's EIS using Numerical Simulations Michelle Murray
12:00 X-ray emission from an erupting filament observed by RHESSI and TRACE Nicolas Labrosse
12:15 Hinode EIS observations of a limb active region Brendan O'Dwyer
Monday 20th April Solar Coronal Seismology
14:00 Transverse Waves and Oscillations in the Solar Corona Erwin Verwichte
14:30 Kink Oscillations of Cooling Coronal Loops Robertus Erdelyi
14:45 Seismology of Transversely Oscillating Coronal Loops and Prominence Threads Inigo Arregui
15:00 Detection of Three Periodicities in a Single Oscillating Coronal Loop Tom Van Doorsselaere
15:15 Coronal Seismology of 3D Numerical Simulations of Transverse Loop Oscillations Ineke De Moortel
Monday 20th April Magnetic Reconnection (with MIST)
16:30 A comparison of 2D PIC simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection in sheared and unsheared current sheets Thomas Neukirch
16:45 Magnetosonic Mach number dependence of the efficiency of reconnection between the interplanetary and terrestrial magnetic fields Adrian Grocott
17:00 Oscillatory Reconnection driven nonlinear fast magnetoacoustic wave propagation in the neighbourhood of a 2D magnetic X-point James McLaughlin
17:15 Interchange reconnection signatures in the solar wind linked to eruption from an active region inside a coronal hole - STEREO, ACE and Hinode data combined Deborah Baker
17:30 Effect of non-uniform resistivity on forced magnetic reconnection Mykola Gordovskyy
17:45 The nature of separator reconnection Andrew Haynes
Tuesday 21st April Particle Acceleration I
11:00 Solar acceleration and transport of energetic particles - observations (Review Talk) Lyndsay Fletcher
11:20 Particle acceleration in solar flares - An overview of theoretical ideas (Review Talk) Thomas Neukirch
11:30 Investigation of acceleration sources of the major SEP event on 13 December 2006 Chuan Li
11:55 Effect of polarisation electric field on particles acceleration in a reconnecting current sheet Taras Siversky
12:10 Detecting and interpreting Quiet Sun energetic neutrons in the inner heliosphere Alex MacKinnon
12:25 Poster Reports  
Tuesday 21st April Solar /stellar interiors
14:00 Large- and small-scale turbulent dynamo action (Review Talk) David Hughes
14:30 Probability distribution function of self-organised shear flows Eunjin Kim
14:45 Noise Reduction to reveal low frequency p-modes Guy Davies
15:00 Hydrodynamic instabilities in the solar tachocline Fayyaz Rashid
15:15 The influence of spatial correlations on mean induction and diffusion Alice Courvoisier
Tuesday 21st April The Sun as a star
16:00 Comparison of the Soft X-ray Emission from Capella and the Quiet Sun Kenneth Phillips
16:10 The EUV spectral irradiance of the Sun from 1997 to date Giulio del Zanna
16:20 Non-equilibrium effects observed in soft X-ray spectra during stellar flares Urmila Mitra-Kraev
Tuesday 21st April Particle Acceleration II
16:30 Electron acceleration efficiency in solar flares Siming Liu
16:45 Hard X-ray emission from a flare-related jet Hazel Bain
17:00 Precipitation of impulsive and stationary injected beams in converging magnetic loops Valentina Zharkova
17:15 Electron Beam-Driven Langmuir Wave Interactions in the Inhomogeneous Flaring Solar Corona Iain Hannah
Wednesday 22nd April The unusual (?) solar minimum I (with MIST)
11:00 When did Solar Cycle 23 go wrong?(Review Talk) Keith Strong
11:20 Stark differences between solar activity data and oscillation frequencies observed in BiSON data Anne-Marie Broomhall
11:35 Observational periodicities of sunspots and background magnetic fields and their role in the future prediction Valentina Zharkova
11:50 Open solar flux and irradiance during the current exceptional solar minimum: implications for reconstruction of past solar variability (Review Talk) Mike Lockwood
12:10 Heliospheric observations of a deep solar minimum (Review Talk) Mathew Owens
12:25 Poster Reports  
Wednesday 22nd April UKSP Business Lunch (Chair: L Fletcher; Secretary, D Mackay)
12:30-14:00 All are encouraged to attend - including students and postdocs. Lunch provided (for registered participants).
Wednesday 22nd April The unusual (?) solar minimum II (with MIST)
14:00 The 3D heliosphere at the minimum of Solar Cycle 23 Robert Forsyth
14:15 Monitoring the first-light spectra from SphinX on Koronas-Photon during the present solar minimum Kenneth Phillips
14:30 The solar cycle, the mean global temperature and solar irradiance Arnold Wolfendale
Wednesday 22nd April From the Sun to the Earth (with MIST)
14:45 Simultaneous Interplanetary Scintillation and STEREO Heliospheric Imager observations of coronal mass ejections and stream interaction regions Andy Breen
15:00 Flux Rope Eruption From the Sun to the Earth: What do reversals in the azimuthal magnetic field gradient tell us about the evolution of the magnetic structure? Kimberley Steed
15:15 The apparent layered structure of the heliospheric current sheet: multi-spacecraft observations Claire Foullon
Wednesday 22nd April Solar/STP Missions Forum (with MIST)
  STP space missions
16:00 Cluster, THEMIS, MMS, Cross-Scale (inc. 10m questions/discussion) Christopher Owen
  Solar wind in situ and solar remote
16:20 STEREO, Solar Orbiter (inc. 5m questions/discussion) Richard Harrison
  Solar wind in situ and solar remote
16:35 SOHO extended mission, Solar Probe Plus Andrzej Fludra
16:45 Hinode and Solar C (inc 5m questions/discussion) Louise Harra
16:55 RHESSI, Coronas-Photon/TESIS and SphinX Kenneth Phillips
17:00 ILWS/SDO Robert Walsh
  Ground-based solar and STP
17:05 ROSA, ATST, EST Mihalis Mathioudakis
Sarah Matthews
17:10 EISCAT Stephen Crothers
17:15 Questions and discussion on ground-based  
17:20 General discussion on future priorities for Solar/STP missions and facilities  
Thursday 23rd April Dynamics of Solar Magnetic Fields
11:00 State of the Art Dynamo Simulations Incorporating Helioseismology and Surface Magnetic Data (Review Talk) Petrus Martens
11:30 Anatomy of a solar flare - corona to the photosphere and beneath? Sarah Matthews
11:45 The role of nanoflares in coronal heating Michael Bareford
12:00 Modelling the Global Solar Corona: The origin of the hemispheric pattern of solar filaments Duncan Mackay
12:15 CME initiation by magnetic flux emergence Stefaan Poedts


Session Summaries

Structure and activity in the solar atmosphere

This session looks at various aspects of the structure and activity of the solar atmosphere, from both theoretical and observational points of view. This includes flares, coronal heating and structure.

MHD Coronal Seismology

Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) waves and oscillations are observed to be a common feature of various natural plasma systems, from ionospheres and magnetospheres of the Earth and other planets to the solar and stellar coronae and winds, and magnetospheres of pulsars and magnetars. The waves, being natural probes of the plasma systems, provide us with an excellent and often unique approach to the diagnostics of physical conditions in the plasmas and processes operating in them. The stunning recent progress in observational and theoretical studies of MHD wave phenomena in natural plasmas gave rise to novel and rapidly developing branches of Astrophysics and Space Science: solar coronal seismology, Earth's and Ganymede's magneto-seismologies, and seismology of astrophysical objects. These research areas have a common theoretical background and methodology, however they are historically split between several research disciplines. The primary aim of the proposed session is to establish dialogue between different parts of the MHD wave research community. The specific goals of the session are to discuss the current state of the field; to create a joint forum for the specialists working on various aspects of MHD wave diagnostics of natural plasmas; to stimulate the knowledge transfer between the disciplines by discussing similarities and differences in theory, interpretation of observed phenomena, and data analysis approaches; to set up interdisciplinary research collaboration; to broaden research experience of younger researchers.

Organisers: Valery Nakariakov (Warwick;; Ineke De Moortel (St Andrews;; Mihalis Mathioudakis (QUB;; Martin Volwerk (Graz, Austria;

Magnetic Reconnection

This is a joint session between MIST and UKSP and is open to any papers discussing magnetic reconnection - theoretical or observational - in space, solar and astrophysical plasmas.

Particle Acceleration and Transport in the Heliosphere and Beyond

This is a joint UKSP/MIST session. Energetic particles are universally observed at the variety of astronomical scales: from extragalactic jets through supernova explosions down to Earth's ionosphere. The myriad of spacecrafts orbiting the Earth and traveling in the interplanetary space provide us with unprecedented quality observations of the Sun, heliosphere and various astrophysical objects in a broad range of energies with the angular resolution never available before: from gamma rays, through Xrays, UV/optical, radio and can detect particles directly in interplanetary space. Although the spatial and temporal scales are different, the questions how energetic particles acceleration are evenly vital for various astrophysical communities.

Organisers: Eduard Kontar (Glasgow,, V.Zharkova (Bradford,, David Burgess (Queen Mary), Sandra Chapman (Warwick).

Solar/stellar interiors

This session will discuss all aspects of the interiors of the Sun and other stars, including dynamos, convection and helioseismology.

The Sun as a Star/Stars as the Sun

This session aims to build links between solar physics and stellar astronomy. The themes are both viewing the Sun as a star, and studying features of other stars which were first investigated on the Sun (such as stellar magnetic fields, stellar flares, astroseismology). To what extent is the Sun a "typical" star?

From the Sun to the Earth

This joint session between UKSP and MIST looks at the heliosphere as a whole system, focussing on the ways in which the Sun affects the Earth and its environment.

The Unusual (?) solar minimum

Ongoing observations of both solar and heliospheric phenomena are revealing that the current solar minimum at the end of solar cycle 23 is remarkably different from any other during the past 40 years. This period corresponds approximately to the era of modern space and ground-based observational techniques and it is more difficult to tell whether similar minima are common on longer timescales of solar activity. The present polar photospheric magnetic field strength is almost half of the typical value from recent cycles, polar coronal holes are less well formed and show evidence of a lower temperature, the strength of the heliospheric magnetic field at 1 AU is about a third lower than previous minima, and the dynamic pressure of the solar wind is of the order of 20% lower than the previous cycle at all latitudes, the weakest it has been during the era of in-situ spacecraft measurements. This session will aim to attract observational studies of both the solar and heliospheric aspects of this unusual minimum and papers attempting to interpret and explain what is happening. Can we tell if this solar minimum is indicative of a longer term change in solar activity or simply an outlier on the broad spectrum of solar activity variations?

Organisers: Robert Forsyth, (Imperial College,; Sarah Matthews (MSSL,

Solar/STP Missions Forum

This is a joint UKSP/MIST session. Short presentations will be given by UK leaders of main solar and STP missions and projects, focusing on future opportunities and on how the communities can get involved. There will be time for discussion and questions.

Dynamics of Solar Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields of various scales in the Sun govern the dynamic phenomena that drive solar activity and variability. Thus, one of the major goals in Solar Physics is to find how magnetic fields, which are generated by the solar dynamo in the convection zone, are transported through the photosphere and how their excess energy is dissipated in the outer solar atmosphere (chromosphere, transition region and corona). The nature of this coupling (magnetic and energetic) between the interior and the outer solar atmosphere is the main topic of our session. More precisely, the focus will be on the three following areas: 1. The exact process of emergence of large-scale, active region magnetic fields from the solar interior to the outer atmosphere is still unknown. Thus, an objective of the proposed session is to consider state-of-the-art numerical simulations and high-resolution observations of the rise of large-scale magnetic fields that emerge from the interior of the Sun, form sunspots and active regions at the photospheric levels and finally extend into the corona in arches and loops. 2. Observations of the visible surface of the Sun outside active regions, show that it is carpeted with many small-scale emerging magnetic features. The origin of these structures is unknown and their time evolution is still puzzling. We will focus on the process of how small-scale magnetic structures appear on the surface of the Sun and how they interact with each other releasing additional magnetic energy. 3. Finally, we invite papers on the study of explosive events on the surface of the Sun (e.g., Solar Flares and CMEs). The fact that both eruptive events derive their energy from magnetic fields is key to understanding the onset of these dynamic events. Thus, it is important to understand the coupling between flux emergence, dynamics of solar magnetic fields and eruption of explosive events.

Organisers: Vasilis Archontis and Alan Hood (St Andrews;,

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