14th European Solar Physics Meeting in Dublin, Ireland

By . Published on 27 January 2015 in:
2015, January 2015, News, ,

From 8-12 September 2014, the European Solar Physics Division [ESPD] ran the 14th European Solar Physics Meeting [ESPM-14] in Dublin, Ireland.

ESPM-14 in Dublin, Ireland

The meeting was hosted by the active and rapidly growing solar physics team of Trinity College Dublin, led by Professor Peter T Gallagher. Dr Shaun Bloomfield chaired the Local Organising Committee. The Scientific Organising Committee consisted of the members of the ESPD Board and was chaired by its President, Professor Valery M Nakariakov (Warwick, UK). ESPMs are run every three years, and are a major international forum aiming to highlight all aspects of modern solar physics research, including observation and theory, that span from the interior of the Sun out into the wider heliosphere. These meetings provide a broad, yet stimulating, environment for European and international scientists to share and discuss recent findings of their research in solar physics. ESPM-14 turned out to be the largest one in the series, comprising 23 invited reviews, 70 contributed talks, and 180 poster presentations.

Recent research achievements were presented across eight sessions: The Sun as a Whole: Large-Scale Flows, Magnetism, Magnetoconvection & the Solar Cycle; Emergence and Evolution of Magnetic Flux in the Solar Atmosphere; Chromospheric Dynamics; Heating and Transient Activity of the Solar Corona: Waves, Flows, Reconnection and Jets; Solar Eruptive Events: Instabilities, Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections; Radio Emission and Particle Acceleration; and The Solar Wind and Space Weather Research.  Also, a dedicated session on new and upcoming solar and heliospheric observational and data assimilation facilities included invited reviews that presented future space missions Solar Orbiter (ESA), Solar Probe Plus (NASA) and InterHelioProbe (Russia), which aim to bring instrumentation closer to the Sun (e.g. down to 0.284 AU for Solar Orbiter) and explore the polar regions of the Sun. The Japanese Solar-C mission will study the Sun from the Earth’s orbit. The upcoming ground-based solar observational facilities include the Chinese Spectral Radio Heliograph that is under construction in Inner Mongolia, which will provide us with an unprecedented combination of time, spatial and spectral resolution; the largest European, 1.5-meter GREGOR solar telescope on Tenerife, to be commissioned later this year; and a 4-meter European Solar Telescope, a pan-European project, presently in its conceptual design study. Very interesting opportunities are also offered by solar observations in the underexplored sub-THz band with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, constructed at 5,000 meters altitude in Chile.

Oral and poster contributions described recent observational and theoretical advances in our understanding of fundamental physical processes operating in the Sun, including the generation of the magnetic field by dynamo and its manifestation in solar activity such as sunspots and active regions; energy and mass transfer through the solar atmosphere and the enigmatic problems of coronal plasma heating and solar wind acceleration; the novel technique for the diagnostics of the solar atmospheric plasma by MHD waves; mechanisms for powerful energy releases in solar flares and coronal mass ejections, and their initiation and evolution; acceleration of charged particles; solar radio emission and its potential for plasma diagnostics; and space weather – the effect of the solar activity on the near-Earth environment and its geophysical and technological implications – and its forecasting.

The Meeting also included elections of the new ESPD Board. Dr Manolis K. Georgoulis (RCAAM, Greece) was elected as the next President of ESPD.

ESPM-14 became an inspiring and stimulating forum, promoting further development of the European and international solar physics research community, escalating our understanding of our nearest star, the Sun, to a new level, and broadly disseminating recent research achievements.

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An interdisciplinary “pan-European” association

In 2013, the intergovernmental framework for European Cooperation in Science and Technology [COST]1 launched the targeted network TN1301: Next Generation of Young Scientists: Towards a Contemporary Spirit of R&I – Sci-GENERATION. Sci-GENERATION aims to elaborate contemporary scientific thought thereby disseminating a new spirit of research and innovation in Europe.