Visiting the Space Physics groups for vocational secondary school training

During the first week of October, Werner Karjalainen from the secondary school Helsingin yhteislyseo visited the space research groups, learning what constitutes a weeks work for a space physicist. He wrote a report of his experiences – read it below!

From left to right: Andreas (helped with spacecraft trajectory analysis), Markus (supervised the week), Werner, Yann, Diana, Lucile, and Urs

Hi, I’m Werner Karjalainen from 9th grade, and I was one week at the University of Helsinki at work practice program in the fall of 2019. During my week in the Space Physics team at the University of Helsinki, I interviewed 6 researchers: Urs Ganse, Emilia Kilpua, Yann Pfau-Kempf, Lucile Turc, Diana Morosan and Adnan Osmane.

I found out that there are three research groups. Adnan’s research group researches Earth’s radiation belts. Emilia’s group focuses on solar eruptions and coronal mass ejections. Vlasiator group researches high performance computing simulations of the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Researchers in one group work together with the same research project. Even though they work with same research in group, still almost everyone wants to find out something else than others. For example Urs wants to know that what are the plasma waves like and Lucile wants to find out that what creates plasma waves at near earth space even though they are in same research group.

Many of them said that their work has not been used commercially. However, Urs said that even though his work has not been used commercially, his simulations have been used at making of fusion reactors. Adnan also told that he will be working on upcoming years on propabilities and information theory that have commercial applications.

Many of them became researchers, because they liked learning and discovering new things. They all have of course studied physics at the university. Emilia’s case was interesting: She had just a summer job at the Space Physics team but after the summer she stayed and continued working there.

Why to become a researcher? Because it’s fun and interesting and you can make your own time schedule, you can be a part of larger space research, it can be challenging and you have a lot freedom to research. They really like their jobs and many of them like that they can work whenever they want and there is good atmosphere in the research group. Urs said that it feels like his job is from the future.

Negative things about job is that they have to apply for funding and there are only a few jobs at research in general and when you get higher up there are lots of administrative work.

Researching is interesting, even too interesting. Emilia said that there are so much interesting things to do that there isn’t enough time for everything. Lucile said that she can’t sometimes get her mind stop thinking about her work because it’s so interesting.

In addition to the interviewing I did, one day I studied the trajectories of the satellites Cluster and Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS) based on calculations of where they would be at a given time. I tried to find when those satellites were in conjunction at the Earth’s bow shock. I searched for it from trajectory pictures. So I tried to find good times for the satellites to collect extra “burst mode” data. Thanks to me those satellites will collect additional data for 2 hours and they might find something interesting.

Predicted spacecraft trajectories used for finding potential burst mode data segments

JOB OPENINGS: Postdoctoral Fellow Positions at the University of Helsinki, Space Physics Group, Finland

The Space Physics Group at the University of Helsinki, Department of Physics, is a leading research group specialised both in observations and modelling of space plasmas. We develop the unique global hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator to investigate the near-Earth space in ion kinetic scales utilising hybrid-Vlasov methods.

We are now opening several postdoctoral fellow positions funded through a European Research Council Consolidator grant, and the Academy of Finland. The positions are focussed on both developing Vlasiator as well as utilising it in investigating kinetic plasma processes (magnetic reconnection and shocks), and coupling with the ionosphere; both from electron and ion perspectives. The applicant should have a PhD in space physics or other relevant field. Other useful skills include: using/developing numerical simulations, Python, C++, data analysis, supercomputer environments.

We are a highly dynamic and international research group, working together as a team in a relaxed and inclusive atmosphere. The selected fellows will have excellent opportunities to network and to develop as a researcher. The 2-year positions are available immediately. The deadline for applications is 18.10.2019.

For more information, please visit:
http://helsinki.fi/vlasiator
http://blogs.helsinki.fi/spacephysics/
https://www.helsinki.fi/sustainable-space

For specifics about the positions, contact Professor Minna Palmroth (minna.palmroth’at’helsinki.fi). Interested candidates should send their informal application, CV, list of publications, and a maximum of three names to act as references to Mila.Hyytinen’at’helsinki.fi, and cc: Minna.Palmroth’at’helsinki.fi.

JOB OPENING: Two Postdoc Positions in Coronal Modelling

The Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics  is a leading European space physics group specialised both in observations and modelling of space plasmas. Our current research areas include physics of coronal mass ejections, their influence in the magnetospheric dynamics, as well as reconnection, shocks and particle acceleration. We are leading a Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space.

We are now opening two postdoctoral positions in the field of modelling of the solar corona. These positions are involved in the ERC Consolidator Grant project SolMAG (Unraveling the structure solar flux ropes and their magnetosheaths). One of the positions is involved to the development of data-driven coronal models (magnetofrictional and MHD simulations), the other one includes more applying the simulations and interpreting the simulation results. The candidate should have a good knowledge in space plasma physics as well as coding experience (e.g., Python, C/C++). The other useful skills include expertise in supercomputer environments, parallel computations, and coronal observations.

We offer a position in a dynamic and international research group, with a possibility to network and to develop as a researcher. As our Centre of Excellence also 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 can start at the earliest 1 Oct 2019 and are for two years at least. The positions are open until they are filled.

For specifics about the position, contact Associate Professor Emilia Kilpua (emilia.kilpua ‘at’ helsinki.fi).

Interested candidates should send their informal application, CV, list of publications, and maximum of three names to act as references to Mila Hyytinen (mila.hyytinen ‘at’ helsinki.fi)

JOB OPENING: A Postdoctoral Fellow Position

JOB OPENING: A Postdoctoral Fellow Position in Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Finland
 
The Space Physics Group at the Department of Physics is a leading European space physics group specialised both in observations and modelling of space plasmas. We develop the novel global hybrid-Vlasov simulation Vlasiator to investigate the near-Earth space in ion kinetic scales utilising hybrid-Vlasov methods.

We are now opening a postdoctoral fellow position. The postdoctoral fellow will focus on developing Vlasiator and modeling space plasmas. Prior knowledge in the following areas is required: high-performance computing, supercomputer environments, parallelisation algorithms, version control, C++. Other useful skills include: Python, plasma physics, adaptive mesh refinement. 

We offer a position in a dynamic and international research group, with a possibility to network and to develop as a researcher. The 2-year position is available immediately. The deadline for applications is 31.3.2019.
 
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, list of publications, and a maximum of three names to act as references to Hanna.Partio(at)helsinki.fi, and cc: Minna.Palmroth(at)helsinki.fi.

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!

Ingredients
– 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…)

Instructions
– 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) Helsinki.fi (Vlasiator) and Emilia.Kilpua (a) Helsinki.fi (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) Helsinki.fi (Vlasiator) and Emilia.Kilpua (a) Helsinki.fi (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 https://www.helsinki.fi/en/open-positions/assistant-professorassociate-professorprofessor-space-physics

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