Chris Arridge

Dr Chris Arridge is a physicist studying the giant planets of our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) and how they interact with the Sun and the rest of the Solar System.

He studied physics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and applied mathematics at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge (at Darwin College) before studying for a doctorate in The Department of Physics at Imperial College London. He studied some of the first data to be returned from the Cassini spacecraft at Saturn and was awarded his PhD in 2007. From 2006 to 2009 he was a postdoctoral researcher at University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory based in the Surrey hills 13 miles from Guildford, followed by a Science and Technology Facilities Council Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Since October 2012 he has been a Royal Society University Research Fellow and proleptic lecturer.

Chris' work focuses on the space environments surrounding giant planets, also known as their magnetospheres. Although we think of space as a vacuum, the space surrounding the planets is filled with atoms, molecules, and charged particles some of which have come from the planets, their ring systems and moons, and the Sun. His recent work has involved trying to understand how our Sun's 11-year "Solar Cycle" affects the magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, trying to understand the origin of Saturn's aurorae (also known as the northern lights) and auroral radio emissions, and examining how tiny charged ice grains move near Saturn's enigmatic moon Enceladus. He is not only involved in the Cassini mission to Saturn, but is also involved in developing missions such as the JUICE to Jupiter and its moon Ganymede, and in trying to get a spacecraft launched to Uranus. Chris' work is funded by the Royal Society, Science and Technology Facilities Council, the European Space Agency, and NASA.

Chris is active in public engagement and regularly speaks to a wide variety of audiences from schools to astronomical societies and astronomy festivals. He also works directly with young people, supervising summer projects for A-level students through the Nuffield Research Placements and CREST schemes, and also judging such projects at regional and national science fairs such as The Big Bang.

Chris lives near Brighton and enjoys dancing Rockabilly Jive, Lindy Hop and Balboa, reading, running, triathlons, playing and writing computer games, and cooking and eating very spicy food.

Main Research Interests

  • Giant planets: their magnetospheres and radiation environments.
  • Robotic exploration of the solar system and space instrumentation.
  • Planetary and magnetospheric magnetic fields.
  • Astrophysical magnetospheres.

Recent publications

Jasinski, J.M., C.S. Arridge, L. Lamy, J.S. Leisner, M.F. Thomsen, D.G. Mitchell, A.J. Coates, A. Radioti, G.H. Jones, E. Roussos, N. Krupp, D. Grodent, M.K. Dougherty, J.H. Waite, Cusp observation at Saturn's high latitude magnetosphere by the Cassini spacecraft, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, doi:10.1002/2014GL059319, 2014.

Walsh, A.P., C.S. Arridge, A. Masters, G.R. Lewis, A.N. Fazakerley, G.H. Jones, C.J. Owen, A.J. Coates, An indication of the existence of a solar wind strahl at 10 AU, Geophys. Res. Lett 40(11), 2495-2499, doi:10.1002/grl.50529, 2013.

Arridge, C.S., N. André, H.J. McAndrews, E.J. Bunce, M.H. Burger, K.C. Hansen, H.-W. Hsu, R.E. Johnson, G.H. Jones, S. Kempf, K.K. Khurana, N. Krupp, W.S. Kurth, J.S. Leisner, C. Paranicas, E. Roussos, C.T. Russell, P. Schippers, E.C. Sittler, H.T. Smith, M.F. Thomsen, M.K. Dougherty, Mapping Magnetospheric Equatorial Regions at Saturn from Cassini Prime Mission Observations, Space Sci. Rev., 164(1-4), pp. 1-83, doi:10.1007/s11214-011-9850-4, 2012.

Arridge, C.S., C.B. Agnor, N. André, K.H. Baines, L.N. Fletcher, D. Gautier, M.D. Hofstadter, G.H. Jones, L. Lamy, Y. Langevin, O. Moussis, N. Nettelmann, C.T. Russell, T. Stallard, M.S. Tiscareno, G. Tobie, A. Bacon, C. Chaloner, M. Guest, S. Kemble, L. Peacocke, N. Achilleos, T. Andert, D. Banfield, S. Barabash, M. Barthelemy, C. Bertucci, P. Brandt, B. Cecconi, S. Chakrabarti, A. Cheng, U. Christensen, A. Christou, A. Coates, G. Collinson, J.F. Cooper, R. Courtin, M.K. Dougherty, R.W. Ebert, M. Entradas, A.N. Fazakerley, J.J. Fortney, M. Galand, J. Gustin, M. Hedman, R. Helled, P. Henri, S. Hess, R. Holme, O. Karatekin, N. Krupp, J. Leisner, J. Martin-Torres, A. Masters, H. Melin, S. Miller, I. Müller-Wodarg, B. Noyelles, C. Paranicas, I. de Pater, M. Pätzold, R. Prangé, E. Quémerais, E. Roussos, A.M. Rymer, A. Sénchez-Lavega, J. Saur, K.M. Sayanagi, P. Schenk, G. Schubert, N. Sergis, F. Sohl, E.C. Sittler Jr., N.A. Teanby, S. Tellmann, E. Turtle, S. Vinatier, J.-E. Wahlund, P. Zarka, Uranus Pathfinder: Exploring the Origins and Evolution of Ice Giant Planets, Exp. Astron., doi:10.1007/s10686-011-9251-4, 2012.


Email: c DOT arridge AT ucl DOT ac DOT uk

Twitter: @chrisarridge

LinkedIn: Chris Arridge

Telephone: +44 (0)1483 204 150 (direct dial) 204 100 (switch-board)

Fax: +44 (0)1483 278 312

Postal: Dr. Chris Arridge
Mullard Space Science Laboratory
University College London
Holmbury St. Mary
United Kingdom



2012 - present

Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London
Royal Society University Research Fellow

2009 - 2012

Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London
STFC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

2006 - 2009

Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London
Postdoctoral Research Associate

2003 - 2006

Space and Atmospheric Physics Group, The Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College London
STFC-funded PhD student
Thesis title: "On the configuration and dynamics of Saturn's magnetosphere"
Supervised by Prof. Michele K. Dougherty and Dr. Nick Achilleos

2002 - 2003

Darwin College, University of Cambridge
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Student studying Part III of the Mathematical Tripos


University Courses of Svalbard, Norway
ERASMUS European exchange student


Anglo-Australian Observatory, Australia
Summer student helping develop the Echidna FMOS instrument

1998 - 2002

Department of Physics (now Institute of Mathematics and Physics), University of Wales, Aberystwyth
MPhys (Hons) Physics with Planetary and Space Physics

Current Students

Former Students



This page last modified 23 May 2014 by Chris Arridge

Photograph of me speaking at AstroFest 2011 - Credit: Max Alexander/Astronomy Now

Credit: Max Alexander / Astronomy Now

image of Saturn from Cassini's ISS instrument

illustration of Jupiter's magnetosphere

picture of me on Svalbard

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