• Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq on Unsplash
  • Photo by Nicolas Tissot on Unsplash
  • Photo by NASA on Unsplash
  • Photo by USGS on Unsplash

Code for writing an Academic Article

start writing; 

revision_new = 0;


    {  revision_old = revision_new;

        if  ( (mind == full) || (mind == blocked) )    procrastinate ++;

        prepare draft;

        send to co-authors;

        address all comments and revise;

        revision_new = revise; 

    } while  (revision_new < satisfied);

submit paper;

for  (paper = submit; paper <= final; paper ++)

    {  paper submitted in journal;

        editor assigned;

        if  ( paper == rejected ) 

            printf ("\n The paper was rejected. Revise and submit to another journal. \n"); 

        else if  ( paper == passed to reviewers )

            { wait for eternity;

               address reviewer1;

               address reviewer2;

               don't hate reviewers; address reviewer3;

               revise for the billionth time;

               submit paper; 

               if  ( paper == still rejected ) 

                    printf ("\n The paper was rejected. Add more data, revise and submit to another journal. Try not to overthink about your life and curse your luck. \n");


               else if  ( paper == accepted )

                    wait for eternity;

                       pay fees to publish your own work;

                       printf("\n Celebrate. Go back to work on another paper. \n");  }

    } }

Shivangi Sharan is a second year PhD student at the Laboratory of Planetology and Geodynamics in France. Her research focusses on the study of the magnetic field of Mars and to infer its internal structure from it. She is an active member of the IAGA Blog Team and can be contacted via e-mail here.



Aurorae Events of November 3-4, 2021 : A Summary

People up and down the United Kingdom have been able to see the northern lights this month- a rare occurrence, considering that the aurora borealis are only usually visible at higher latitudes (think Iceland, or northern Finland!)

So, what has been happening up there in space? For those of you readers that do not know about the origins of the northern lights, what causes them is what is commonly known as the solar wind- a string of charged particles which stream outwards from the sun constantly in all directions. These particles then interact with the Earth’s magnetic field, causing them to curve to higher latitudes where the magnetic field lines pass through the Earth’s atmosphere. As these particles enter the upper atmosphere, they excite and ionise the upper layers of gases, which in turn causes light emission- the aurora borealis in northern latitudes, or aurora australis in southern latitudes. This is not unique to our planet- Jupiter has aurora as well, for example.

Demonstrating how the aurora form. Particles from the Sun are deflected towards the poles. The early November event also saw enhanced aurora in the southern hemisphere, including sightings in New Zealand. Credit: NOAA

The widespread aurora seen on the week of the 1st of November was caused by exciting solar activity. The sun released an X class flare (the highest class) on Thursday 28th October, and we saw some geomagnetic activity here on Earth on the 30th-31st October (though, according to the British Geological Survey, most of the effects of the flare and the associated coronal mass ejection missed the Earth to the south). The 03-04 November event was mostly due to a coronal mass ejection and M-class flares (the second highest class) which occurred on the 2nd of November on the surface of the sun. Though the speed of propagation through the solar system is very fast (hundreds of km per second, in fact), it still takes several days for the effects to reach us on Earth. The effects were strong and did interact with the Earth’s magnetic field rather than missing it (in 3D space, it is very likely that any given event will not interact with us, considering the Earth is so small). In addition, the direction of the IMF (interplanetary magnetic field) was in the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field, leading to a strong connection between the two and stronger space weather impacts.

Photo of Northern Lights over Derwent Water, Cumbria, early November 2021. Image Credit: Owen Humphries (PA).

On Earth, we experienced large differences in the geomagnetic field compared to quiet periods, which produced a high value of the Kp index (which we use to quantify the changes in the magnetic field).

The northern lights are, however, hit and miss. If there is cloud cover, or you are looking at the wrong time or in an area with a lot of light pollution, you may not see the aurora even if they are directly overhead. I found this, to my chagrin, when I went looking for this particular event with another colleague working in geomagnetism. However, when this happens to you, you simply need to come back another time. Aurora are rare at lower latitudes, but there will be another opportunity. Sometime in the future, you may yet see a faint, translucent green light on the northern horizon.



Samuel Fielding is a first year PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, working on the real-time forecasting of space weather using machine learning and satellite data. He can be contacted via e-mail here.


WDC archive - Preservation of Old data

In 2020, the World Data Centers for Solid Earth Physics and Solar‐Terrestrial Physics (Moscow, Russia) continued the work on the “Preservation of Old Data” project, aimed at digitizing analog data from observatories into electronic documents by in‐line scanning. 




The data of the 8 ionospheric stations (43,500 documents) were transferred to a digital form. This includes the results of a vertical sounding of the ionosphere (tables and graphs of hourly mean values of the ionospheric parameters), measurements of absorption, ionospheric winds, atmospheric radio noise, parameters of electronic density of the ionosphere. 



Digital documents have been verified and edited. For the data in PDF format, the catalog and metadata have been compiled, a data archive has been formed and published on the website. The data archive for the hourly average values of the elements of the geomagnetic field, recorded by the former USSR observatories from 1957 to the beginning of the 90s, that had been previously fully scanned and translated into PDF files, has undergone verification process and editing. 

In 2020, 82 annual datasets of 4 observatories were checked, edited and added to the archive. Currently the time tables of the 26 observatories containing hourly average values of the elements of the geomagnetic field are ready and located in the WDC archive.

Contributed by the Chair of the Interdivisional Commission on History, Dr. Anatoly Soloviev, from the Geophysical Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. The Commission encourages historical geophysical research and preservation of IAGA's history.