The European Community for Planetary Sciences

Europlanet Society Briefing
October 2021

In this Briefing

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Word from the President

Dear Colleagues, 
            It has been a very busy start to the academic year. Many thanks to all the extended team who delivered a second successful EPSC virtual meeting and allowed the community to interact and share many exciting results, despite the pandemic. All presentations are available until next September, so you still have time to catch up on the wealth of content from the meeting.
         We are delighted to welcome new faces in leadership roles in the Europlanet Society, including a new Treasurer of the Executive Board and a new Chair of the EPSC Executive Committee. We are looking for a Vice-Chair of EPSC, so please consider standing or volunteering elsewhere in the Europlanet Society or the Regional Hubs - we need your support to both propose ideas and run events.
          The Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) has also been very active, and has just submitted a report to the European Commission that summarises the amazing range of work performed and the opportunities available
         Finally, I am pleased to see that the planetary science community is actively responding to the first calls of the Horizon Europe programme. If you need any advice or support from the Europlanet Offices please do not hesitate to ask.    

Nigel Mason
President, Europlanet Society
Coordinator, Europlanet 2024 RI

Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) News

Fast Track Call for Transnational Access Applications Launched

Deadline: 14:00 CET, 3 November 2021 

The first Fast Track Call for Applications for the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) Transnational Access (TA) programme is out now. The next full TA call will be announced in spring 2022. In the meantime, Fast Track TA calls will support 'emergency applications' for high impact science, career impact (PhD & post docs contracts) or field work only possible over summer 2022. Results will be announced mid-December.

For details, please consult the call page>> 

TA visit reports

You can now find publishable summaries of all TA visits that have taken place to date on the Europlanet website, along with guest posts, full summaries and picture galleries for some of the field and lab campaigns.

If you are planning a TA visit, contact the outreach and media team to discuss promoting your visit. 
Read more>>

Workshop: Satellite for Space Science and Technology in Africa

Registeration deadline: 12 November 2021

Registration is now open for the workshop ‘Satellite for Space Science and Technology in Africa‘, which will take place from 15-19 November 2021 in Palapye, Botswana, and online.
Learn more>>

Webinar: EANA Lecture: Prospection for Fossil Life on Mars

Nora Noffke

The webinar "Prospection for Fossil Life on Mars" will be presented by Nora Noffke, Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA on December 1st, 2021 at 4 pm CET. The webinar is supported by Europlanet 2024 RI.
Register here>>
Know more>>


Europlanet Telescope Network Open Call

The Europlanet Telescope Network has a rolling call for proposals for observations. Decisions are made within two months of submission. For further information on the Europlanet Telescope Network, its opportunities and how to apply, visit the call page>>

Europlanet Expert Exchange Programme

The Expert Exchange Programme provides funding for short visits (up to one week) to support the mobilisation of the planetary community to share expertise and to prepare new facilities and services for integration into the research infrastructure. Apply now>>

Europlanet Society News

Welcome and thanks to those taking up new leadership roles in the Europlanet  Society.

Treasurer of Europlanet Society

Dr Didier Moreau Elected

Dr Didier Moreau, of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (IASB-BIRA), was elected as the Treasurer of the Europlanet Society's Executive Board at the General Assembly on 23 September 2021. Didier will serve a four-year term until 2025.  
Read more>>

Incoming Chair of Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) Executive Committee

Prof Lena Noack appointed

Prof Lena Noack is the Incoming Chair of the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) Executive Committee. As well as the EPSC2022 meeting in Granada next year and the postponed meeting in Helsinki in 2024, Lena will lead the organisation of joint meetings with the American Astronomical Society's Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS) in 2023 in San Antonio, Texas, US, and in 2025 (European venue TBD).

A call for a Vice Chair of EPSC is now open. See details>>

EPEC Working Groups

Gloria Tognon is the new Co-Chair of the EPEC Communications Working Group.
EPSC2021 may be over, but if you haven't yet had time to look through all the presentations, you have until September 2022 to catch up!

2021 Farinella Prize

Awarded to Diana Valencia and Lena Noack

Prof Diana Valencia, a physicist working at the Department of Physical Sciences and of the University of Toronto, and Prof Lena Noack, a planetary scientist working at the Department of Earth Sciences at Freie Universität Berlin, have been awarded jointly the 2021 Paolo Farinella Prize for their significant contributions in our understanding of the interior structure and dynamics of terrestrial and super-Earth exoplanets.
Watch the 15-minute prize lectures at EPSC2021>>
Read more here>>

Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2021

Awarded to Dr James O’Donoghue 

The 2021 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement has been awarded to Dr James O’Donoghue (JAXA) for his work in creating high-quality space science animations. With more than 80 animated visualisations of space topics, he has reached 200 million views on YouTube and social media, and received hundreds of citations in international news articles.
Read more here>>

Winners announced for the machine vs stellar and instrument noise data challenge 

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts from around the world have been competing for the opportunity to help astronomers to explore planets in our local galactic neighbourhood. Read more here>>


#InspiredByOtherWorlds Arts Contest 2021

**Deadline extended to 31 October 2021**

The Europlanet Society Congress 2021 (#EPSC2021) is inviting schools and space enthusiasts of all ages to get creative and share their artworks and performances on the theme of 'Ingenuity' in the #InspiredByOtherWorlds contest.
Find out more here >>
Contest FAQs>>

Winner of the #PlanetaryScience4All Video Contest 2021

The Video Contest for Virtual Science Communication

Congratulations to Dimitrios Athanasopoulos from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, winner of the 2nd edition of the #PlanetaryScience4All EPEC-EPSC Video Contest. Dimitrios will recieve a free registration for EPSC2022 in Granada.
Watch the 2021 Entries>>

Europlanet Community Corner

EPEC Profiles

Carina Heinreichsberger

Carina Heinreichsberger is working on the upper atmospheres of Earth, Venus, and Mars with a 1D hydrodynamic Code developed at the Institute of Astrophysics in Vienna.
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 >>

EPSC Goes Live For Schools

This autumn, EPSC2021 is opening its doors to schools to give students a glimpse of how contemporary science is done. We are organising Q&A 'Meet a scientist' sessions with schools (12-18 yo. range), in multiple languages. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to meet a 'real' scientist, and understand who are the people making science happen. 

Members of the planetary community are invited to participate in 20-30 min sessions to reply to questions from curious students. You pick a time and date, and we invite the schools!

To find out more, contact Ulysse Pedreira-Segade:

Translations of the Europlanet Mars Collections of Educational Resources are now available in French, Greek, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish, with more lanaguages coming soon.

Planetary Science Wiki Edit-a-thon
Louise du Pierry

The Planetary Science Wiki Edit-a-thon adds new and translated Wikipedia profiles of planetary scientists to highlight diversity within the planetary community. The project, which was launched at EPSC2020 and continued at EPSC2021, is organised by the Diversity Committee of the Europlanet Society, in collaboration with Women in Red and WikiDonne. 

This month, we are sharing the story of Louise du Pierry, whose profile is now available in Italian, thanks to the Edit-a-thon participants.

Louise du Pierry was a French astronomer and professor. In 1789, she became the first female professor at the Sorbonne university in Paris as the leader of the Cours d’astronomie ouvert pour les dames et mis à leur portée for female students. It was the first class geared towards women. The course was a huge success, despite many student fearing at first the subject matter would be too difficult for women. She published many works involving the collection of astronomical data.
Read the Wiki page >>

Events & Opportunities

Astronet – Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmap for Europe

The Astronet consortium of European funding agencies and community bodies is producing a new draft Science Vision and Infrastructure Roadmap for European Astronomy. Feedback from the Planetary Community is requested. Find out more>>

Workshop: Planet Mars 5

24 to 29 April 2022

This workshop "Planet Mars 5" is taking place from 24 to 29 April 2022 in les Houches, Ecole de Physique, France. The deadline for registration is 26 November, 2021. Students and postdocs are especially encouraged to register and submit a poster.
Learn more>>


Abstract Submission deadline 11 February 2022

COSPAR aims to promote on an international level scientific research in space, with emphasis on the exchange of results, information and opinions and to provide a forum, open to all scientists, for the discussion of problems that may affect scientific space research. The Science Program Committee (SPC) and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for Athens 2022 are inviting the scientific community to participate and submit abstracts to over 140 sessions proposed so far.
Submit your abstract>>
Learn more>>

UCLA faculty position opening in experimental space physics

The UCLA Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences (EPSS) invites applications for a tenure-track/tenured faculty position in Space Physics at any rank/level. Candidates are expected to hold a Ph.D. in Physics or a related field by the date of hire, July 1, 2022.

Applications are being accepted via the UC Recruit website and reviews of submitted applications will commence on November 1, 2021 and continue until the position is filled.

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

The Europlanet Mentorship programme is looking for new mentors and mentees. We are particularly looking for mentors in fields related to:
  • Exoplanets and brown dwarfs
  • Planetary science, exploration missions, mission instrumentation
  • Space medicine, digital health, impact of space research on human life on Earth, life in extreme environments
  • Space debris observation and mitigation
  • Simulations/modelling
  • Observational astronomy.
Find out more or sign up here>>

Planetary Science Highlights

The Europlanet Science Congress EPSC2021

The Europlanet Society Congress 2021 (EPSC2021) has brought experts and professionals from the planetary science community together to attend the largest planetary science meeting in Europe. We share with you some exciting results from a wide range of talks, workshops and poster sessions. 

Cloud-spotting on a distant exoplanet

Astronomers have not only detected clouds on exoplanet WASP-127b, but also measured their altitude with unprecedented precision.  Find out more here>>

From city railings to space

Italian researchers have studied an orange leafy lichen to shed light on the possibility of life in extra-terrestrial habitats such as Mars. Discover more here >>

Mushballs hide missing ammonia at ice giants

Giant hailstones called mushballs may carry ammonia deep into ice giants’ atmospheres, hiding the gas from detection beneath opaque clouds.
Discover more here >>

Seasons hint at water for future Mars astronauts

Researchers have used seasonal variations to identify likely sub-surface deposits of water ice for use by future human explorers. Learn more here >>

Dashcam Detective Work Leads to Recovery of Space Rocks from Fireball over Slovenia 

Meteorite fragments recovered from a fireball, captured by cars’ dashcams in February 2020, have had their origins tracked in the Solar System. Learn more here >>

Life support cooked up from lunar rocks

Engineers have successfully shown how water and oxygen can be extracted by cooking up lunar soil, in order to support future Moon bases. Discover more here >>

European facility prepares for haul of samples returning from planetary bodies

A new sample analysis laboratory to study rock and dust samples from planetary bodies is under construction at the German Aerospace Center. Read more here >>

Exotic Mix in China’s Delivery of Moon Rocks

Rocks delivered by Chang’e-5, China’s first sample return mission to the Moon, may contain fragments from volcanic vents and impact craters. Read it here >>

Exploring Mars from Etna

International students have taken part in a campaign on the Sicilian volcano, Etna, in preparation for the arrival ESA’s next mission to Mars in 2022. Read more here>>

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Funding Opportunities and Policy Reports

The Europlanet Society provides policy news and 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.