Professor Nicholas Achilleos, UCL Department of Physics and Astronomy / Centre for Planetary Sciences:
Exploration of the Solar System

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Photograph credit: Ingrida Bertasiute

Background : I work with the Planetary Plasmas Group / Atmospheric Physics Laboratory within UCL's Department of Physics and Astronomy. We are also part of the UCL Centre for Planetary Sciences. My current research interests broadly cover the magnetospheres and ionospheres of giant planets (Jupiter and Saturn) and how these systems are coupled together. Previously, I have been a mission planner for the team who manage the magnetometer instrument onboard the Cassini spacecraft, currently orbiting the planet Saturn - I am a science co-investigator at present for the Cassini magnetometer team, as well as the JMAG magnetometer team for the JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) mission, currently being developed and due for launch in 2022. The Principal Investigator for Cassini-MAG and JMAG is Professor Michele Dougherty of Imperial College. JUICE aims to revisit the Jovian magnetosphere, and in particular study the interaction between the magnetic fields of Jupiter and one of its moons, Ganymede.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Image Credit: Spacecraft: ESA/ATG medialab; Jupiter: NASA/ESA/J. Nichols (University of Leicester); Ganymede: NASA/JPL; Io: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona; Callisto and Europa: NASA/JPL/DLR

Brief Curriculum Vitae :

Affiliations :

Magnetic geometry and pressure distributions from theoretical
model of Saturn's magnetodisc region, developed in
collaboration with colleagues Patrick Guio and Chris Arridge from UCL and U. Lancaster.
Flow velocities in the UCL 2D axisymmetric model of Jupiter's upper
atmosphere, developed by Chris Smith. We have recently adapted this model
to allow for different physical states of the planet's magnetosphere.
Here we see azimuthal velocity on a colour scale, and meridional flow
directions as arrows. The problem of magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling is one of the important challenges in planetary science.

Lecture Materials and Videos :

Graduate Lectures in Planetary Magnetospheres and Astrophysical Discs :

The links below can be followed to lecture notes associated with the topics Planetary Magnetospheres (given at the 2015 Colorado Heliophysics summer school) and Discs in Astrophysical Systems (given at the IAFE at Uni of Buenos Aires in 2015, condensed version given at UCL in 2016):

Graduate Lectures in Planetary Atmospheres :

Conference Presentations and Invited Talks :

Resources from Visit to JAXA, Aug-Sep 2012:
Seminar by N. Achilleos: Modelling Planetary Magnetodiscs (PDF)
'Magnetospheric Cusp Processes' by S. V. Badman (AOGS Meeting, Singapore)
'Magnetospheric Boundary Processes' by A. Masters (AOGS Meeting, Singapore) (PDF)
'Auroral Processes at Different Planets' by N. Achilleos (AOGS Meeting, Singapore) (PDF)

Last Updated: Jan 2021 by N. Achilleos

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