Thursday, 12 July 2018

Vacancy: Joint Research Professorship of SGO and FMI

At the Sodankylä Space Campus, a joint research professorship by Finnish Meteorological Institute and University of Oulu in Atmospheric Research and Imaging Applications is now open for applications.

Application deadline is 10 August 2018.

Sodankylä Space Campus

University of Oulu and Finnish Meteorological Institute jointly invite applications for the position of Professor in Atmospheric Research and Remote Sensing, with emphasis on Space and Imaging Applications. This is a joint Research Professor position between both institutes and is placed at Sodankylä. The position is filled at the level of Assistant Professor/ Associate Professor/ Professor, according to the qualifications and merits of the selected applicant.

The professor will work in the interdisciplinary research programs of the Sodankylä Space Campus and will participate as a supervisor in doctoral programs, related to the fields of sciences driven at the Sodankylä Space Campus.

Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (SGO) is a separate research institute of University of Oulu, with a national task of carrying out geophysical measurements and related research. Research is both empirical and theoretical, including development of measurement methods and modelling.  SGO’s research of cosmic rays, magnetospheric physics, ionospheric physics and aeronomy of the middle and upper atmosphere belong to one of the strategic research spearheads of University of Oulu.

Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) operates at Sodankylä the Arctic Space Centre (FMI-ASC), which focuses on the Earth observation research and services, arctic climate change research and the development of weather-related intelligent traffic applications.

FMI and University of Oulu established in 2018 the Sodankylä Space Campus to enforce research co-operation by the two institutes at the Sodankylä Campus, in northern Finland.

FMI-ASC and SGO together operate a globally unique research infrastructure, providing integrated observations of the processes and couplings in the Earth-atmosphere-space system at high latitudes. Research at Sodankylä is carried out together with the wide international research community, based on utilisation and development of this infrastructure.

The new professorship aims to strengthen the joint research profile of the Sodankylä Space Campus targeted to atmospheric research, by applying these data for various applications in an advanced, more effective manner by taking full advantage of novel data inversion and assimilation approaches.

Please refer to the full announcement for more information and use the application form to apply. Please contact us directly for more information:

Professor Jouni Pulliainen, FMI, +358 50 5895821, jouni.pulliainen (at)
Director Esa Turunen, SGO, +358 50 5663264, esa.turunen (at)

Text: Esa Turunen, SGO; photo: Timo Rantala, SGO.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Tuleva revontulikausi

Klikkaamalla saa parempi kartta.
Meille tulivat jo ensimmäiset kysymykset milloin voidaan katsoa taas revontulet. Vastaus riippuu leveysasteesta. Etelässä pimeys palautuu aikaisemmin kuin pohjoisessa.

Kuinka pimeää pitäisi olla? SGO:n tieteelliset kamerat toimivat kun aurinko on vähintään 10° horisontin alapuolella. Toki on mahdollista nähdä erittäin kirkkaat revontulet jo ennen sitä.

Yllä oleva kartta näyttää minä päivänä aurinko on kesän jälkeen ensimmäistä kerta 10° horisontin alapuolella Suomessa. Kannattaa muistaa, että kesäaikana yön pimein aikaa on klo 01 ympäri.

Meidän tieteelliset revontulikamerat eivät ole vältämättä näinä päivinä alkamassa mittauksinsa operatiivisista syistä.

Kartta ja teksti: Thomas Ulich, SGO.

Start of the Northern Lights Season

Click on map for better resolution.

Almost three weeks after the summer solstice, we start to get questions regarding when the Northern Lights can be seen again after the Polar Day. The answer depends on where you are: the further south you are, the earlier it will get dark enough.

How dark does it need to be? Our scientific cameras operate when the Sun is at least 10° below the horizon. However, if there are particularly bright Northern Lights, you might be able to see them already earlier.

The map above shows the days on which the Sun will be at least 10° below the horizon in Finland. Be aware, however, that due to summer time (daylight saving time), the darkest time of the night is around 01:00h in Finland.

Note further, that our scientific cameras will not necessarily be back on location on the first day that it is dark enough. Their annual maintenance might well delay the schedule.

Map and text: Thomas Ulich, SGO.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

EISCAT Symposium and Radar School 2019

Sunset at Nallikari beach, Oulu, Finland. Photo: Th.Ulich, SGO.
The next International EISCAT Symposium 2019 will take place in Oulu, Finland, 19th to 23rd August 2019, at the University of Oulu, co-organised by the university's Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory and the Ionospheric Physics Group.

The EISCAT Radar School will take place during the week before the symposium, 12th to 17th August 2019, either in Oulu or Sodankylä. The radar school will be supported by the EISCAT Scientific Association.

Detailed announcements, and a dedicated web site, with deadlines will become available shortly.

Mark your calendars, and welcome to join us for these events!

Monday, 7 May 2018

PhD Opportunity: Ionospheric Physics

Applications are invited for a four-year, full-time doctoral student position. The successful candidate will develop data analysis tools for the EISCAT and EISCAT_3D ionospheric radars and will use them for studies of space weather effects on the high-latitude ionosphere. The project will utilise Bayesian techniques in radar data analysis.

The position will be placed in the Ionospheric Physics research unit at the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, where the coupled magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere system is studied by utilising data from different satellite missions (e.g. Swarm and Cluster) and from versatile ground-based instruments. The EISCAT incoherent scatter radars have a central role in the unit’s research.  Capabilities of the present EISCAT radars will be surpassed by the high-resolution, volumetric observations of the EISCAT_3D radar system by 2022. 

We are looking for candidates with MSc degree in Physics, Space Physics, Computational Physics or a closely related field. Experience in programming and earlier studies in Space Physics are an advantage.

To apply, please see the full job description and use the electronic application

Further information can be obtained from: Dr Ilkka Virtanen (ilkka.i.virtanen at or Prof. Anita Aikio (anita.aikio at

Application deadline is 30 May 2018 (24:00 Finnish local time).

Photo: Aerial view of Linnanmaa Campus; copyright University of Oulu, all rights reserved.

Friday, 6 April 2018

EISCAT Peer-Review Programme: Call for Proposals

EISCAT VHF Incoherent Scatter Radar in Tromsø, Norway.
The EISCAT Scientific Association invites applications for observing time on the EISCAT facilities in 2018, by individual scientists, research groups, and consortia throughout the world on equal, competitive basis. This means that anyone can apply, independent of whether or not the applicant is from an EISCAT associate country.

While evaluations are merit based, in the case of two applications having similar merits in evaluation, preference will be given either to those applicants who are new to the EISCAT facilities, in order to enlarge the EISCAT user community and further more open access to the facilities, or to the applicant showing stronger educational impact in their proposal.

The present call is the second one for 2018. In total, 200 hours of experiment time are open for international, peer-reviewed competition, and are available for the use of any of the current EISCAT facilities. Roughly half of this time has been allocated in the first call.

Please refer to the details of the call at

for more information.

The deadline for proposals is 1st May 2018 at 24:00 UTC.

Text: EISCAT. Photo: Th.Ulich.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

PhD Opportunity: Middle-Atmosphere Physics and Chemistry

Mesospheric Ozone Receiver Antenna. 
The University of Oulu in Northern Finland, with approximately 16,000 students and 3,000 employees, is an international, multidisciplinary research university with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. The strengths of the University include broad, multidisciplinary research interests, a modern research and study environment, and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes.

The Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory (SGO) is a separate institute of the University of Oulu. Established in 1914, SGO carries out continuous, long-term geophysical measurements of Earth’s high-latitude environment. This activity is a National Task and includes measurements of Earth’s geomagnetic field, ionosphere, northern lights, cosmic radiation and seismic activity. SGO employs about 30 staff, two thirds of which have an academic degree. SGO scientists routinely collaborate with more than 100 institutes world-wide.

The PhD student position is part of the project "Mesospheric Monitoring of Ozone above the Polar Vortex (MeMO)”, which is a spearhead project funded by the university’s Kvantum Institute within the thematic focus area "Earth and near-space system and environmental change."

The PhD project investigates the response in mesospheric and stratospheric ozone and related chemistry as consequence of exceptional space weather events such as solar proton events. The study will be conducted using e.g. the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM) and satellite-based observations, as well as a wealth of atmospheric measurements located at the Sodankylä Space Campus of the University of Oulu and the Finnish Meteorological Institute. Ground-based measurements include, among others, a lidar, a microwave radiometer, a high-resolution Fourier Transform Spectrometer, UV and UV-visible spectrophotometers, balloon-borne and UAV borne instrumentation.

The successful candidate will have a M.Sc. degree in physics, space physics, atmospheric physics or chemistry, meteorology or atmospheric geophysics. Experience in the use of instrumentation and/or atmospheric computer models is highly beneficial, as is experience in data analysis using a high-level programming language (e.g. Python, Matlab). Excellent command of both spoken and written English is essential.

The PhD student position is for 4 years from 1st May 2018 (unless agreed otherwise).  The salary will be based on the levels 2-4 of the demand level chart for university-level teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 46.3 % of the job-specific component). The salary is thus in practice roughly 2300€ – 3000€ per month, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience.

Apply online latest on 16th April 2018 (click on "Apply for the job" at the bottom of that page). The application must be submitted using the electronic application form together with a motivation letter (max 1 page) and full CV. A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position.

Contact: Dr Thomas Ulich, e-mail: thomas.ulich(at), tel.: +358405490403.