Introducing Jonathan Nichols

Jonathan Nichols is a Lecturer and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Advanced Fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Leicester.  His background is the magnetic fields and auroras of the outer planets, and more recently exoplanets and ultra-cool dwarfs.   He obtained his PhD from the University of Leicester in 2004 and, following a spell at Boston University, returned to the Leicester, where he is now in the 4th year of an Advanced Fellowship and a lecturer. 

Jonathan uses a combination of computational modelling, spacecraft data analysis (where available!) and remote sensing to study the magnetospheres and auroras (“northern/southern lights”) of Jupiter, Saturn and similar bodies beyond the solar system.  Specifically, he uses the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the UV auroras on the outer planets, and compares these with theoretical models in order to discover how their magnetospheres behave.  Similar ideas regarding the dynamics of these magnetosphere can be applied to exoplanets and brown dwarfs, leading to novel methods of characterising or possibly even detecting these objects.  

Jonathan normally tweets at @jonny_nichols