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RAS Meetings

The RAS holds regular monthly meetings from October to May covering all aspects of astronomy and solid-earth geophysics, planetary sciences and solar-terrestrial physics. Usually, a pair of Specialist Discussion meetings for Fellows are followed by a more general Astronomy & Geophysics ('Ordinary') meeting, open to the public.

These regular meetings are held on the second Friday of the month, normally in the RAS and Geological Society lecture theatres (both at Burlington House, London). A map to these locations can be found here, and webcasts/podcasts of a number of meetings are available.

In April, the meeting is usually subsumed into the annual week-long RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM). 2013 and 2014 are exceptions, as NAM has been moved to July for both those years.

E-bulletins summarising imminent meetings can be subscribed to freely.

Specialist Discussion Meetings cover all branches of astrophysics and solid-earth geophysics (including, but not limited to, cosmology, astrobiology, astrochemistry, astroparticle physics, computational astrophysics; geophysical fluid dynamics, planetary sciences, solar-terrestrial physics). If you would like to give a talk at a Specialist Discussion Meeting, please contact the Meeting Organizer.

'Astronomy & Geophysics' (A&G) meetings, also called Ordinary Meetings, have more diverse programmes of talks, at a level accessible to a general audience of scientists (and advanced amateurs).  If you would like to give a talk at an A&G Meeting, please contact the Senior Secretary.

N.B.: A&G Meetings are open to all, with free admission. Registration charges are levied for the February BGA meeting,  and for non-Fellows attending any RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting. 




Energetic particles in the heliosphere and their influence on space weather and space climate
Date: 14 Nov 2014
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Simon Thomas* and Luke Barnard (Reading), Silvia Dalla and Timo Laitinen (UCLan)

*Contact: S.R.Thomas AT pgr.reading.ac.uk

 

Energetic particles are found throughout the heliosphere in a number of different forms. Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) originate from outside of the heliosphere and are constantly detected at Earth, providing information on long-term solar variability. Solar energetic particles (SEPs) are accelerated during flares and in the shock fronts driven by Coronal Mass Ejections, and are detected in intense short-term bursts. Both GCRs and SEPs are a Space Weather danger for spacecraft and humans in space. Within the magnetosphere, energetic particles are present in the radiation belts and particle precipitation is responsible for the aurora. This meeting will aim to address the passage of energetic particles through the heliosphere, and their detection at Earth, as well as the physical processes that they are subjected to en route, to get a full picture of their production and transport. The meeting aims to promote sharing of expertise by researchers studying different aspects of this problem and to emphasise the recent advances in this field.

 

Morning Session - Chairs: Luke Barnard & Simon Thomas

10:00 Coffee and welcome

10:30 Harm Moraal, North-West University, South Africa
Galactic cosmic rays and climate

11:00 Rami Vainio, University of Turku, Finland
Solar energetic particles and space weather

11:30 Keri Nicoll, University of Reading
Energetic particle measurements and effects in Earth's atmosphere

 

11:45 Short Break

 

11:55 Sarah Glauert, British Antarctic Survey
Where do the MeV electrons in the radiation belts come from?
12:10 Ian Richardson, NASA Goddard
Solar energetic particle events including ~25 MeV protons in Cycle 24 and previous cycles.
12:25 Ruth Bamford, RAL Space
Surfing the wave: SEP acceleration in CME driven shocks.
12:40 Mike Marsh, UCLan
SPARX: a propagation based modelling system for solar energetic particle radiation space weather forecasting

 

13:00 Lunch

 

Afternoon Session - Chairs: Silvia Dalla & Timo Laitinen

14:00 Chris Owen, Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Energetic particles in the terrestrial magnetosphere
14:25 Philippa Browning, University of Manchester
Generation of energetic particles by magnetic reconnection in solar flares
14:50 Duncan Stackhouse, University of Glasgow
The formation of the Kappa-distribution accelerated electron populations in solar flares
15:05 Alexander MacKinnon, University of Glasgow
Using gamma-ray continuum to diagnose ~GeV ion properties at the Sun

 

Poster Presentations
Hamish Reid, University of Glasgow
How the Type III Stopping Frequency Relates to Solar Energetic Electron Transport.
Karen Aplin, University of Oxford
The atmospheric electrical effects of the Carrington flare.
Kim Tucker-Hood, University of Reading
Validation of Genuine CME Arrival Predictions Made Using Real-Time Heliospheric Imager Observations.
Grace Ihongo, University of Aberdeen
The Relationship Between Galactic Cosmic Rays and the Solar Wind.
Jaroslav Dudik, University of Cambridge
Imaging and spectroscopic observations of a non-Maxwellian transient.
Nigel Meredith, British Antarctic Survey
Global Model of Low Frequency Chorus (fLHR < f < 0.1fce) from Multiple.
Timo Laitinen, UCLan
Energetic particle cross-field propagation in meandering fields.
Peter Zelina, UCLan
Multi-spacecraft observations of heavy-ion solar energetic particles.
James Threlfall, University of St. Andrews
Acceleration of particles in a 3D reconnecting magnetic separator.




The future of time-domain astronomy with the Liverpool Telescope and Liverpool Telescope 2
Date: 14 Nov 2014
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Iain Steele*, Mike Bode, Chris Davis, Chris Copperwheat (All LJMU)

*Contact: i.a.steele AT ljmu.ac.uk

 

The robotic 2m Liverpool Telescope, based on the Canary Island of La Palma, is owned and operated by Liverpool John Moores University, with operational support from STFC. It has a strong track record of service to the time domain community in the UK and beyond. The next decade will see time domain science becoming an increasingly prominent part of the astronomical agenda, and the LT will continue to be at the forefront, with large programmes exploiting new transient sources discovered with facilities such as iPTF, Gaia and LOFAR. Looking further into the future, the next generation of surveys such as LSST will revolutionise the study of the time variable sky, and facilities such as CTA will probe transient phenomena at previously unexplored wavelengths. New exoplanet finders, starting with NGTS and followed by the next generation of space missions, will improve on Kepler by discovering more planets with bright host stars in order to maximise the potential of ground based follow-up. In addition, the anticipated discoveries of electromagnetic counterparts to astrophysical gravitational wave and neutrino sources will open new windows on the transient universe. There will be a pressing need for follow-up facilities for scientific exploitation, in particular spectroscopic follow-up. With that in mind, plans are underway for Liverpool Telescope 2: a new 4-metre robotic telescope to be built on La Palma, with a world-leading response time for follow-up of the most rapidly variable objects.

 

http://telescope.livjm.ac.uk/RASMeeting/

 




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 14 Nov 2014
Time: 16:00

Talks:

KEITH RUNCORN THESIS PRIZE
Dr Richard Walters (Leeds):

Continental deformation and seismic hazard across the Middle East: a satellite's view

 

MICHAEL PENSTON THESIS PRIZE
Dr Joseph Elliston (QMU):

Observational predictions of generalized inflationary scenarios

 

HAROLD JEFFREYS LECTURE
Professor Alex Halliday (Oxford):

The origin of the Earth and Moon




Magnetic reconnection: where now and where next?
Date: 12 Dec 2014
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Anthony Yeates (Durham)*, Alexander Russell (Dundee), Jonathan Eastwood (Imperial)

*Contact: anthony.yeates AT durham.ac.uk

 

Magnetic reconnection is a critical process in highly-conducting plasmas ranging from the Sun's atmosphere to the Earth's magnetosphere and even laboratory experiments. It is the means by which these plasmas are able to release energy previously bound up in the magnetic connectivity. Yet despite more than a half-century of progress, researchers are still struggling with the complications of real plasmas, for example: What are the influences of kinetic effects on reconnection? How do we define and measure reconnection in three-dimensions? Can we predict where reconnection will take place in a complex magnetic field and how it will proceed? The theme of this meeting is to reflect on the cutting edge techniques and observations that are currently shedding light on reconnection, and to discuss where future efforts should be directed.

 

http://www.maths.dundee.ac.uk/rasreconnection/index.html

 




Towards gravitational wave astronomy: data analysis techniques and challenges
Date: 12 Dec 2014
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Matthew Pitkin (Glasgow)*, John Veitch (Birmingham) and Dr Ik Siong Heng (Glasgow)
*Contact matthew.pitkin AT glasgow.ac.uk 

 

The next few years promise to be exciting ones for the field of gravitational wave astronomy: ground-based gravitational wave detectors will begin taking data at unprecedented sensitivities; pulsar timing arrays are continuing to improve their timing accuracy; and several experiments are studying the cosmic microwave background polarisation in great detail. Together, these methods are probing a huge range of the gravitational wave spectrum, and detections will offer a wealth of new information on compact binaries, supermassive black holes, and general relativity in extreme environments from the early universe to black hole mergers. Exploiting the datasets provided by these cutting edge observations has spurred the development of novel data analysis methods to understand gravitational wave sources. This Royal Astronomical Society discussion meeting will bring together researchers from these diverse areas to encourage the sharing of techniques and foster further collaboration within the data analysis community.

 

Full Programme available at http://tinyurl.com/RAS-Towards-GW-Astronomy

 

 




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 12 Dec 2014
Time: 16:00

Programme:

 

2014 RAS James Dungey Lectureship: Professor Sandra C Chapman (University of Warwick): Reconnection and Turbulence: Thinking in Pictures

 

Ask anyone about Jim Dungey and reconnection and they are more than likely to make a sketch of magnetic field topology and dynamics. Topologies, symmetries, and dynamics are often easiest to see visually, in a series of drawings of snapshots of the magnetic field and flows. However, these sketches are more than illustrative, they are pictures that follow the rules of plasma electrodynamics and as such can be used as tools to further understanding.


Both reconnection and turbulence are ubiquitous in astrophysical fields and flows. They are key mechanisms for plasma heating and particle acceleration from the energy contained in large scale plasma flows and magnetic fields. A topical question is how turbulence and reconnection are related. Does turbulence enhance reconnection? Does reconnection modify the turbulence? What are the implications for plasma heating? These processes can be observed in-situ at first hand in our solar system using satellite-borne instrumentation. We now have a rich collection of such observations and in particular, multi-point and high time resolution observations are revealing new insights into reconnection and turbulence. Alongside this, it is now becoming feasible to perform numerical simulations that capture the full non-linear physics self-consistently down to kinetic scales, in three dimensions. Testing theory and simulations with data requires us to be quantitative, under the somewhat difficult circumstances of an observed natural system. The robust, reproducible features of turbulence are statistical. Tools developed to quantify the spatial texture of fractal patterns are used to quantify the statistical similarity of fluctuations in turbulent flows.
This talk will explore the intimate relationship between topology and physics in turbulence and reconnection, and what we can learn by thinking in pictures.




The dynamical chromosphere and its role in energy transfer through the solar atmosphere: Results from IRIS
Date: 9 Jan 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Louise Harra (MSSL/UCL)* and Alan Hood (St. Andrews)

*Contact: lkh AT mssl.ucl.ac.uk

 

Program tba




The kinematics of star formation: Theory and observation in the Gaia era
Date: 9 Jan 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Nick Wright (Hertfordshire)*,
Richard Parker (LJMU), Rowan Smith ( Manchester / Heidelberg)

*Contact: nick.nwright AT gmail.com

 

Program tba




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 9 Jan 2015
Time: 16:00

Talks tba




British Geophysical Association "New Advances in Geophysics"
Date: 5 Feb 2015
Time: 10:00

British Geophysical Association "New Advances in Geophysics" 2-day meeting

 

Day1 (Thursday 5th Feb): 09.15 (registration) and conference starts at 10.00; lunch from 12.20 – 13.20; End time: 19.00 (poster session & wine reception from 17:00 – 19:00)

 

Day2 (Friday 6th Feb): Start: 09.00; lunch from 13:00 – 14:00; End time: 16:00

Will also included BGA's AGM at lunchtime on Friday, 6th Feb.

 

More details to follow.




Meeting the challenges in Upper Atmospheric Science
Date: 13 Feb 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Andrew J. Kavanagh (BAS)*, Ian McCrea (RAL), Mervyn Freeman (BAS)

*Contact: andkav AT bas.ac.uk

 

Program tba




Surveying the transient Universe : from electromagnetic to gravitational waves
Date: 13 Feb 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Stephen Smartt (QUB)*, Paul O'Brien (Leicester)

*Contact: s.smartt@qub.ac.uk

 

Astronomical surveys seem poised to enter a new era when non-photonic messengers such as gravitational waves, high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos will be detected. We propose a cross-disciplinary meeting to bring together researchers working across these fields to ensure the fledgling collaborations that are springing up are given chance to blossom and to continue UK leadership. This meeting builds on a successful Royal Society meeting in 2012.

https://star.pst.qub.ac.uk/wiki/public/ras2015_surveying_the_transient_universe

 




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 13 Feb 2015
Time: 16:00

Talks tba




Building an Open UK SKA-Science Consortium?
Date: 13 Mar 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Paul Alexander (Cambridge)*, Rob Fender, Fillipe Abdalla, Matt Jarvis, Keith Grainge, Ben Stappers, Jonathan Pritchard, Aris Karastergiou, Melvin Hoare, Robert Nichol, Steve Eales, Philip Best

*Contact: pa AT mrao.cam.ac.uk

 

Program tba




Geology from Space: Tectonic Applications of High-resolution Topography and Imagery
Date: 13 Mar 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Richard Walker (Oxford), James Hollingsworth (Nice-Sophia Antipolis), Ed Nissen (Colorado School of Mines) and Barry Parsons (Oxford)*

*Contact: barry.parsons AT earth.ox.ac.uk

 

Program tba




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 13 Mar 2015
Time: 16:00

Talks tba




Accretion States and Feedback (AGN)
Date: 10 Apr 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Rob Fender (Oxford)*, Steve Balbus (Oxford), Chris Done (Durham), Christian Knigge (Southampton)

*Contact: rob.fender AT astro.ox.ac.uk

 

Program tba




Spectroscopy of Airless Bodies in wavelengths from the visible to the microwave: Orbital, Telescopic and/or Laboratory Measurements relevant to Mercury, the Moon and Asteroids
Date: 10 Apr 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Kerri Donaldson Hanna* and Neil Bowles (Oxford), Stephen Lowry (Kent), and Simon Green (Open University)

*Contact: DonaldsonHanna AT atm.ox.ac.uk

 

Program tba




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 10 Apr 2015
Time: 16:00

Talks tba




Astroseismology: high-precision stellar metrics for the exoplanet era
Date: 8 May 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Simon Jeffery (Armagh), Don Kurtz (UCLAN), Conny Aerts (KU Leuven)

*Contact: csj AT arm.ac.uk

 

Program tba




The geophysical response of the Earth to fluid migration: oil and magma.
Date: 8 May 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Kathy Cashman (Bristol), Quentin Fisher (Leeds), Michael Kendall (Bristol)

Contact: gljmk AT bristol.ac.uk

 

Program tba




2015 AGM
Date: 8 May 2015
Time: 16:00

The AGM is only open to Fellows; non-Fellows intending to attend the following A&G meeting are welcome to wait in the Lower Library of the Geological Society.




RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 8 May 2015
Time: 17:00

Talks tba

 

 

Please note that this meeting will follow the AGM (16:00 - 17:00 only open to Fellows).




National Astronomy Meeting 2015
Date: 5 Jul 2015
Time: 00:00

The National Astronomy Meeting 2015 will be held in Venue Cmyru, Llandudno, North Wales on the 5th to 9th July 2015 . Please hold the dates in your diary, www.venuecymru.co.uk

The opening reception will be held on the Sunday evening and the scientific programme will run from Monday to Thursday.
The Scientific and Local Organising Committees are being established and will provide information on the scientific programme, registration and accommodation options in the near future.




 

 


 

  1. FEES: Admission to the Society's Monthly A&G (Ordinary) Meetings is open to all, at no charge. Admission to the Specialist Discussion Meetings is normally free to RAS members and £15 to non-members (£5 to students), collected on the door, while  GSL members may normally attend "G" meetings at no charge. Note that special rates apply for the February BGA meeting. RAS and GSL members should bring their membership cards, and students their student cards, as identification

  2. membership fees for those joining on the day.

  3. Coffee/registration for Specialist Discussion Meetings will commence a half-hour before the formal start time.

  4. Tea will be served before A&G meetings (15:30, at Geological Society Lecture Theatre, Burlington House) A drinks reception will follow A&G meetings, in the Burlington House apartments of Royal Astronomical Society.

  5. Copies of the detailed programme will be circulated, to those who have asked for them, approximately two weeks in advance of each meeting. Any member who does not already receive these details but wishes to do so should notify the Executive Secretary.

  6. Those wishing to make a contribution at a Specialist Discussion Meeting should contact the appropriate organizers.

  7. Contributions/Speakers for Monthly A&G (Ordinary) Meetings are most welcome, and should contact the Secretary or Executive Secretary.

  8. The Society welcomes suggestions for venues and topics for half- or one-day regional meetings; contact the Secretary or Executive Secretary.

  9. Detailed notes for organizers are available for reference.