New screen in Koskinen’s Korner and Aurora cake (with recipe!)

On Valentine’s day, a new big screen arrived in the UH Space Physics meeting room, a.k.a. Koskinen’s Korner.

The new screen in Koskinen’s Korner, displaying the FORESAIL logo.

In order to test the screen, we had our monthly Space Journal Club meeting right on the same day. Our journal club works in a special way: the person who is presenting a recent scientific article also bakes a cake for the whole team to enjoy during the meeting!

Getting ready for the Space Journal Club meeting.

Our presenter was Maxime Grandin, who recently joined the team and used to work in the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory on ionosphere and particle precipitation. The paper he presented was in fact about the beautiful Northern lights! In order to celebrate Valentine’s day and the beauty of auroras, he baked a delicious Valentine’s aurora-themed cake.

The Valentine’s Aurora cake.

Maxime took inspiration for his cake from here [Chichichoc et al., 2013].
…and here is his full recipe!

– 4 eggs (at room temperature)
– 150 g sugar
– 1 tbs water
– 125 g butter
– 70 g flour
– 45 g bitter cocoa powder
– 1 pinch of salt
– 500 ml milk
– a few drops of lemon/lime juice
– black cherry jam
– icing sugar
– decoration (coloured sugar, chocolate chips…)

– Pre-heat the oven at 160°C and put the butter to melt. Warm up the milk.
– Separate the egg whites and yolks. Add the sugar and the water to the yolks and mix for a couple of minutes. Add in the molten butter and mix for one more minute.
– Sift the flour in, and add the cocoa and the pinch of salt. Keep mixing and gradually add the lukewarm milk. The obtained batter should be quite liquid.
– Whisk the egg whites with a few drops of lemon/lime juice until stiff. Gently add the egg whites to the batter using a bowl scraper.
– Pour the batter in a circular cake mold (~25 cm in diameter), and let it cook in the oven for 50 min.
– Let it cool down before unmolding. Decorate the cake with icing sugar, black cherry jam and your imagination. Keep in the refrigerator until serving.

…et voilà! 

Cake and science is sure the best combination!

Kesätöitä/Summer jobs

Helsingin yliopiston avaruusfysiikan ryhmässä on useita kesätyöpaikkoja tarjolla. Kesätyöt liittyvät avaruussääsimulaatio Vlasiaattorin parissa työskentelyyn ja auringonpurkausten tutkimiseen koronassa ja planeettainvälisessä avaruudessa. Projekteissa on mahdollisuus työskennellä sekä mallintamisen, että data-analyysin parissa. Plussaa Python-ohjelmointikielen hallinnasta ja plasmafysiikan perusteiden tuntemisesta, mutta nämä eivät ole vaatimuksena. Kesätyön pohjalta on mahdollisuus tehdä kandityö tai pro-gradu.

Ota yhteyttä: Minna.Palmroth (a) (Vlasiator) and Emilia.Kilpua (a) (auringonpurkaukset)

Hakemukset Flamman kautta (Hakuajan jälkeen tulevissa mahdollisissa hakemuksissa ota yhteyttä Minnaan ja/tai Emiliaan)

University of Helsinki Space Physics research team offers several great summer job possibilities. Summer trainees will work with space weather simulation Vlasiator and with the projects investigating solar eruptions in the corona and interplanetary space. Both projects dealing with modelling and data analysis are possible. Experience with Python and basics of plasma physics are a plus, but not required. Summer trainee positions offer an excellent chance also for BSc and MSc theses topics.

information: Minna.Palmroth (a) (Vlasiator) and Emilia.Kilpua (a) (solar eruptions)

Apply through Flamma (for late applications contact Minna and/or Emilia)


Assistant professor/Associate Professor/Professor position in space physics

Faculty of Science invites applicants for an Assistant professor/Associate Professor/Professor position in space physics. Deadline for applications is 15 February 2018.

For more information please see

The post is tied to our new Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space.

“Space Corridor” at Exactum now officially opened

The Space Corridor inauguration party was organised on Thursday afternoon.  This event was also a perfect way to welcome several new researchers who have recently joined the UH Space Physics team. The party organising committee  had planned fun activities for getting to know each other better. We also voted for the best door sign and brainstormed for a name for our conference room.

Getting to know each other.
Our meeting room was named “Koskinen’s Korner” to honour Hannu Koskinen, a long-time space physics professor at the University of Helsinki and space pioneer in Finland.
Party committee Matti, Erika and Eleanna

FORESAIL has set sail!

The kick-off meeting of the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space was held at the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Helsinki-Tallinna cruise on 18-19 December.  UH Space Physics group leads the Observations and Modelling teams. We defined our detailed  research targets and discussed with the other teams the requirements for our FORESAIL nanosatellites.

Director of the centre Minna Palmroth opening the kick-off meeting
Jaan Praks tells how to build a satellite
Discussion continued after dinner

We are hiring: PhD student positions

JOB OPENING: PhD Student Positions in Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland
The Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics is a world-leading group specialised in modelling of the space environment. We develop the novel global hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator (, which is massively parallelised and regularly run on the largest European supercomputers.
We have recently obtained several new research grants, including a Finnish Centre of Excellence (2018 – 2025), a European Research Council grant (2016 – 2021), and an Academy of Finland grant (2018 – 2022).
We are now looking for PhD students in space physics, HPC or computational physics, to work on modelling of space plasmas, adaptive mesh refinement, communication reduction or other relevant HPC algorithms. Useful skills include: Python, C/C++, supercomputer environments, and code repositories.
We offer a position in a dynamic and international research group, with a possibility to network and to develop as a researcher. As our the Centre of Excellence builds and launches cubesats establishing new technologies with cutting edge scientific payloads, our community extends from space physics to space technology and entrepreneurial startups.
The positions are available from 1 Jan 2018, and they are open until they are filled.
For specifics about the position, contact Professor Minna Palmroth (minna.palmroth ‘at’ Interested candidates should send their informal application, CV, and maximum of three names to act as references to the above address.

UH Space Physics team moves to Exactum

The UH Space Physics team has relocated from Physicum to Exactum. Although we were sad to leave our fellow physicists, it is great that we are now all working close to each other. Our new premises are on the fourth floor (B407 – B427). Welcome to check the new “space corridor”!

Space corridor at Exactum
New headquarters of the Vlasiator key developers team (Markus, Urs and Tiago)
Eleanna and Erkka hanging up solar wind posters

Finnish Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Space

Academy of Finland has selected 12 new Centres of Excellence. One of these, the Finnish Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Space, is led by professor Minna Palmroth from the UH Space Physics team. The centre aims at  sustainable utilisation of space by focusing on understanding the near-Earth radiation environment and solving the space debris problem with innovative new technologies. Minna is in charge of the modelling team and associate professor Emilia Kilpua, also from the UH Space Physics team, leads the Observations team. The project partners are University of Turku (proferssor Rami Vainio, instrument development), Aalto University (assistant professor Jaan Praks, building satellites and radiation protection) and Finnish Meteorological Institude (research manager Pekka Janhunen, plasma brake and electric sail technologies)

Read more details from the UH press release