The European Community for Planetary Sciences

Europlanet Society Briefing
February 2021

In this Briefing

Word from the President

Firstly, a belated Happy New Year! 

We ended 2020 with most of us still facing the restrictions due to the pandemic. However, let us be optimistic that later this year we will have opportunities to once again travel, conduct research visits and meet in person.  

In the last month, we have completed our first annual review of the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure, and despite Covid-19, the range of activities and results are very impressive. Thank you to everyone both in the RI and Society who have led to this success. 

We received over 100 applications for the second call for Europlanet Trans-national Access (TA) visits, 25% more than the first call. We can also look forward to greater TA and Virtual Access (VA) collaborations with our Korean and Chinese colleagues, thanks to recently announced national funding. These global connections also support the aims and ambition of the Europlanet Strategy for Global Collaboration and International Development, published in December. 

We have a lot to look forward to in the coming year so please continue to support the Society (renew your membership) and help us move forward. 

Nigel Mason
President, Europlanet Society
Coordinator, Europlanet 2024 RI

Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) News

Highlights from Year 1 of Europlanet 2024 RI

Europlanet 2024 RI celebrated its first birthday this week. Despite the pandemic, there has been a great deal of activity and progress over the past twelve months. The project is on track in its work to support the planetary community and provide state-of-the-art access to services and facilities for research in planetary science and related fields. Find out more here>> 

Europlanet Global Collaboration and Integration Development Strategic Plan Published

Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure has published a Strategic Plan for Global Collaboration and Integration Development. The long-term goals at the root of the Strategy are to create the conditions for new scientific partnerships between EU and non-EU countries, with a particular emphasis on Africa. Find out more here>> 

Europlanet Partners Present… Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU)

Beneficiaries of the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) project used the forum of the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2020 to present their activities and research on planetary topics.

This month, we feature two playlists of presentations involving researchers from the Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU).

Browse and watch the two playlists here>> 

China-EU Project Launched to Support Planetary Geological Mapping

The new project ‘Key Technologies and Demonstration of Standardised Planetary Geologic Mapping’, led by Prof Zhizhong Kang of the China University of Geosciences, Beijing (CUGB), has received funding within the framework of the China-EU co-funding mechanism (CFM) on research and innovation cooperation. 

The project team involves several partners from the Europlanet 2024 RI consortium. Read more about the project's tasks and get to know its partners>>

Geology and Planetary Mapping Winter School 

The first winter school on planetary geological mapping and 3D geological modelling was held virtually 1-5 February 2021 with 100 applicants attending. 

The Winter School is organised by the PLANMAP project and Europlanet's GMAP activity. The programme has included lectures and practical experience in creating planetary geological maps, providing an overview of the technical and scientific skills needed by the next generation of planetary mappers. Find out more here>>

Pan-Africa Planetary and Space Science Network launches mobility scheme for planetary researchers

The Pan-Africa Planetary and Space Science Network has been awarded a grant of 1.4 million Euros by the European Commission through the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) under the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme. 

The Network aims to create a continent-wide mobility scheme for students, academic and support staff with an interest in planetary and space science disciplines. 
Learn more here >>

The second TA call receives over 100 applicants

Successful applicants will be announced by the end of March 2021

We are delighted that the second call for applications for the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) Transnational Access (TA) got 100 applicants, which is 25% more applicants than the first call. 

The call was closed on January 6th and selected applicants will be announced by the end of March 2021.

First successful observations at the Europlanet Telescope Network

One month after the first projects to observe at the Europlanet Telescope Network were granted in December, the first successful observations took place in January at the Moletai Observatoria in Lithuania. Learn more here >>

Europlanet Society News

EPEC is now live on Twitter!

If you are an Early Career planetary researcher, follow @epec_epn and @europlanetmedia to stay updated on the network activities. 

EPSC 2020 Planetary Science Wiki Edit-a-thon

Adelaide Ames 

The EPSC2020 Planetary Science Wiki Edit-a-thon, organised by the Diversity Committee of the Europlanet Society in collaboration with Women in Red and WikiDonne, aims to highlight diversity within the planetary science community. The Edit-a-thon has continued since EPSC2020, with new and translated Wikipedia profiles of planetary scientists continuing to be added.

This month, we are sharing the story of Adelaide Ames, a remarkable planetary scientist, whose profile is now available in Dutch, thanks to the Edit-a-thon participants.

Adelaide Ames, born in 1900, was an American astronomer and research assistant at Harvard University. She contributed to the study of galaxies with her co-authorship of A Survey of the External Galaxies Brighter Than the Thirteenth Magnitude, which was later known as the Shapley-Ames catalogue. Ames was a member of the American Astronomical Society. She was a contemporary of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and her closest friend at the observatory.

Ames died in a boating accident in 1932, the same year the Shapley-Ames catalogue was published. 

Read the Wiki page >>
Find out more here >>


#InspiredByOtherWorlds Arts Contest - Winners announced!

The winning artworks for the #InspiredByOtherWorlds Arts Contest 2020 were announced during a virtual award ceremony on 22nd December. 

View all the entries to the contest or watch the recording of the awards ceremony.

Europlanet Community Corner

EPEC Profiles

Juan Luis Rizos

Juan Luis Rizos is a postdoc researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias working on machine learning tools to exploit spectral data from Solar System missions. Read more >>
EPEC Profiles - Call for submissions
If you are an early career professional and want to showcase your research in an EPEC Profile: 
Find out how to participate here >>

Inspiring Stories

Instagram Infographics to Share Space Science

In this EPEC Inspiring Outreach Story, Lanre Logan, Space Exploration Systems Masters student at the University of Leicester, tells us how to share a passion for science on Instagram. Read it here >>

Science outreach online workshop

Theatre as a Tool for Science Outreach

Following the seminar Theatre as a Tool for Science Outreach organised in November 2020, the Europlanet Society Benelux Hub organised three half-day workshops in December 2020 to support science otureach through storytelling. The online workshops, facilitated by Andrea Brunello and Pierre Echard, supported 10 selected BIRA / IASB / Europlanet researchers in the creation and delivery of a science outreach story to a general audience.

Participants had the chance to prepare one short story on their topic of interest and to present it to invited artists. The activity was supported by the Benelux Hub and received funding from the Europlanet Society through its Committee Funding Scheme. Read more>>>


Seeking partners for an ESA Tender


The European Institute of Law, Science and Technology (EILST) is looking for interested partners to participate in the ESA BIODIVERSITY+ PRECURSORS EXPRO+ tender. Please note that the invitation for tenders is open and will close at 13:00 CET on 19 February 2021

If you are interested in partnering with the EILST Institute, please reach out to
Find more funding opportunities here. 

Early Careers Training and Education Platform

Search for your next opportunity on Europlanet's Early Careers Training and Education Portal, with information on PhD positions, job opportunities, summer schools, and meetings relevant to early career professionals working in planetary science and related fields.
Find out more here>>

Early career opportunities should be mailed to

Planetary Science Highlights

Cross-comparison of global simulation models applied to Mercury’s dayside magnetosphere. 

Planetary and Space Science

by Sae Aizawa et al

A first comparison of multiple global simulations of the solar wind interaction with Mercury’s dayside magnetosphere has been published in the journal Planetary and Space Science. Four simulation approaches are cross-compared with MESSENGER observations. Part of the work for the study has been conducted in the framework of the Sun Planet Interactions Digital Environment on Request (SPIDER) activities of the Europlanet 2024 RI project.
Find out more here>>

Publications from EPEC/Europlanet Society members

Asymmetric magnetic anomalies over young impact craters on Mercury, Geophysical Research Letters by V. Galluzzi, J. S. Oliveira, J. Wright, D. A. Rothery, L. L. Hood. URL

Tectono‐Magmatic, Sedimentary, and Hydrothermal History of Arsinoes and Pyrrhae Chaos, Mars, JGR Planets by E. Luzzi, A. P. Rossi, C. Carli, F.Altieri. URL 

Gas flow in Martian spider formation, Icarus, by N. Attree, E, Kaufmanna, A. Hagermann. URL 

Seeing the Bigger Picture: Rosetta Mission Amateur Observing Campaign and Lessons for the Future, The Planetary Science Journal, H. Usher, C. Snodgrass, S.F. Green, A. Norton and P. Roche. URL

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Society Members' Area

Funding Opportunities and Policy Reports

The Europlanet Society will be providing information about upcoming calls and funding opportunities relevant to planetary science and space on its website. Members should log into their account to access details on funding opportunities and the full monthly policy reports.
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Europlanet 2024 RI has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149.