Come to the TESS Meeting

The Triennial Earth-Sun Summit, or TESS, is rapidly approaching. This is a new meeting for the space physics community: a joint venture between the Space Physics and Aeronomy section of AGU and the Solar Physics Division of AAS. I am sure that many people have been involved in planning this new conference, but I know that Jim Klimchuk, a solar physicist who has just served as AGU’s SPA President, was instrumental in bringing the leadership of the two communities together to make this meeting happen. I would like to strongly encourage everyone in space physics to attend TESS this year and help make it a great meeting. It’s not too late to decide to go, either: the abstract submission deadline was shifted to February 24, so you still have time!


There are a lot of common physical processes between solar research fields and those of the rest of the SPA scope of subjects: plasma physics, the transition from collisional to collisionless transport, ion-neutral interactions, energetic particle acceleration, magnetic reconnection, wave excitation and wave-particle interactions, and the relationship between plasma, currents, and magnetic fields, just to name a few. Not to mention the traditional “one-way” interactions of solar EUV/X-ray impacts on planetary upper atmospheres and solar wind influences on planetary magnetospheres and ionospheres; a meeting like this can help Earth and planetary scientists better understand the origins of these driving phenomena on the systems they study.

To relate it to JGR Space Physics, I really hope that this meeting spawns new collaborative investigations and eventually papers submitted to the journal. I think that this meeting will be a fantastic opportunity for cross-disciplinary discussions that hopefully will lead to new insights and research initiatives. I am greatly looking forward to this meeting, not only for myself as a researcher but also in my role as Editor-in-Chief. I will have my eye out for special section opportunities, but if you would like to suggest one as a follow-up to this (or any other) meeting, then please feel free. The form is here.

As the “triennial” in the name implies, the SPA and SPD leadership would like this meeting to become a regular every-third-year event on our schedule. However, I think that “Earth-Sun” is a little limiting…I don’t think that the plan was to exclude planetary space environment scientists from the exchange, and in fact a number of the invited speakers are planetary experts who will almost certainly discuss the connection to planets other than Earth. So, I would like to make a special call to planetary scientists to consider attending TESS: please feel welcome to submit at abstract.

Note that TESS is organized a little differently than a “normal” AGU meeting. With this first one being managed by AAS, they are largely following their format of not scheduling special sessions but rather having “open” abstract submissions. The conference organizers will sort the submissions into sessions and produce a meeting plan based on what people will talk about. I think it will work out just fine and allows a lot of flexibility to organize cross-cutting sessions that hopefully serve the purpose of bringing the communities together.

Finally, I’d like to make a plug for the location. Indianapolis is a enjoyable city with a great walking downtown area with lots of restaurants, shopping, and local attractions. I visit Indy occasionally and I like it a lot. I hope that you do too. SPD apparently had a meeting there recently and liked it so much that they suggested it for the inaugural TESS conference. Good choice!


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