Institutional Research Information Service
UCL Logo
Please report any queries concerning the funding data grouped in the sections named "Externally Awarded" or "Internally Disbursed" (shown on the profile page) to your Research Finance Administrator. Your can find your Research Finance Administrator at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/finance/research/rs-contacts.php by entering your department
Please report any queries concerning the student data shown on the profile page to:

Email: portico-services@ucl.ac.uk

Help Desk: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ras/portico/helpdesk
 More search options
Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Holmbury St. Mary
Mx AFFELIA WIBISONO profile picture
  • Student
  • Dept of Space & Climate Physics
  • Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences

After working in science communication for a decade, I am currently undertaking a PhD in Planetary Science at UCL’s Mullard Space Science Laboratory. My research involves using observations by space telescopes and spacecraft to investigate how and why Jupiter produces intense X-ray northern and southern lights. 

I have continued with my science communication work alongside my PhD. With a vast portfolio, from writing for the Guardian, NASA and the Royal Observatory Greenwich, to media interviews with BBC News and Sky News, to performing at festivals through the UK including Cheltenham Science Festival to Camp Bestival, and being a part of the production team for the Royal Institution's 2021 Christmas Lectures, I am often called upon to communicate complex theories in an entertaining and digestible manner, using my scientific knowledge and science communication expertise to educate, engage and enthuse everyone in astronomy from toddlers, to grandparents to school groups.

Research Groups
Research Summary

The shimmering, dancing curtains of light from our planet’s aurorae have mesmerised people for generations. However, it wasn’t until 1979 that the first extra-terrestrial aurora was detected during Voyager 1’s visit to Jupiter. The gas giant planet’s auroral emissions span several wavebands that includes X-rays. Studies show that Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field accelerates ions primarily from the local environment into the planet’s atmosphere above the polar regions. The ions undergo charge stripping before they charge exchange with atmospheric neutrals and produce soft (low energy) X-rays. These emissions also often pulse with periods of tens of minutes. A ring of high energy auroral X-rays arising from electron bremsstrahlung usually surrounds the soft X-ray emissions. Jupiter’s X-ray aurora are fixed on the planet’s frame so that as Jupiter spins on its axis, the aurorae rotate in and out of view, rather like how a pulsar’s beam of radiation sweeps across the sky.


How a planet can produce such intense X-rays is the main question that my project aims to answer. We are fortunate that the Juno spacecraft is currently orbiting Jupiter, as connections between the in-situ measurements that it takes, and X-ray signatures detected remotely by XMM-Newton can be made to achieve this aim.

Some IRIS profile information is sourced from HR data as explained in our FAQ. Please report any queries concerning HR data shown on this page to hr-services@ucl.ac.uk.
University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

© UCL 1999–2011

Search by