The European Community for Planetary Sciences

Europlanet Society Briefing
Covid-19 Update

In this Briefing

Word from the President
Dear Members,
These are difficult times for everyone. We hope that you are all safe and well wherever you are.
The Europlanet team is monitoring the global Covid-19 outbreak and assessing the consequences for space projects and the Europlanet Society. To date the effects on the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure are relatively small. Where possible, we will hold meetings virtually and are continuing to develop on-line tools for the Virtual Access programme. The call for Transnational Access (TAs) is open and you have just under a month to make your application for visits that can be held until the end of 2021. The main consequence for the Society is for EPSC due to be held in Granada at end of September. We are reviewing several options for EPSC2020 to ensure that our community will continue to have an opportunity to share science and network in September. Further news and plans will follows in May.
We will do our best to keep you up-to-date in what remains a continually changing situation. In the meantime do please take care and Happy Easter.
Nigel Mason
President, Europlanet Society
Coordinator, Europlanet 2024 RI
The teams in both Europlanet Offices are working remotely and will endeavour to respond to any queries you may have about the impact of Covid-19 on the Europlanet Society or Europlanet 2024 RI.

Europlanet Society News

EPSC 2020 

The EPSC Executive Committee is monitoring the situation with Covid-19 closely. As of 31st March, the Committee has taken the decision to suspend temporarily the call for abstracts for EPSC2020 while various options for the meeting are considered. The Committee will announce a revised timetable for submissions as soon as possible on the EPSC2020 website

Meet the Europlanet Society's Executive Board

Maria Cristina de Sanctis 

M. Cristina De Sanctis is a senior researcher at the Italian Astrophysical National Institute (Rome), where she studies planets and minor bodies. She leads and contributes to the definition and development of instrumentation (cameras and spectrometers) on NASA and ESA missions and to the exploitation of the acquired data. She also works on modelling of the thermal evolution of minor bodies in the Solar System and she has led many observational campaigns from the ground using large telescopes. It has been always been a priority for M. Cristina to encourage close links between education and research, as well as networking among scientists in different fields. M. Cristina is a strong supporter of the importance of Europlanet Society in enlarging, fortifying and disseminating planetary science research. 

Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure

Greenland transnational access field site for Europlanet 2024 RI

Europlanet 2024 RI – Transnational Access

Call for Proposals – Deadline: 5 May 2020

The deadline for Europlanet's 2024 RI call will remain 05 May 2020. However, as the situation with Covid-19 may stretch over the summer 2020, the time period during which the TA visits can be undertaken has been extended to the end of 2021. The Transnational Access (TA) programme will support researchers with free access to five planetary analogue field sites and planetary simulation and analysis laboratories within 24 distributed facilities. Find out more on the call page!

Europlanet Telescope Network

Report on Kick-Off Meeting - 30th March 2020

Europlanet 2024 RI is establishing a network of small telescope facilities within Europe and beyond. On 30 March, a full-day virtual meeting was held to officially kick-off the activity. The web-conference was attended by 37 participants representing Europlanet 2024 RI and the Work Package team but also a diverse set of different telescope facilities from all over Europe. Read the full report.

Education & Outreach

Europlanet is working to compile and translate educational materials that can support educators and home-schoolers in various languages during the current crisis. If you have recommendations please let us know.

Featured Events

BepiColombo Earth Flyby Photo Contest

BepiColombo, the first ESA mission to Mercury is on its way to the planet. To get there it will pass close to Earth on 10th April at 04:25 UTC at a low altitude of 12,700 km! ESA is seeking observations of this flyby with a telescope. Images of BepiColombo on its close passage to Earth will contribute to the mission and will demonstrate how small telescopes can contribute to find small objects coming close to Earth! We’d also like to see selfies and images or videos of you making observations. Find out more.

Europlanet Community Corner

EPEC Profiles - Melissa Mirino

Melissa Mirino is currently studying for a PhD in the field of planetary geology at the Open University (UK). For her doctoral dissertation, she is studying ancient river systems on Mars called inverted channels. Melissa is supporting EPEC’s activities as Co-Chair of the Communications Working Group. Read Melissa's full profile.

EPEC Profiles - Call for submissions

The EPEC Communications Working Group is offering a new opportunity to early career professionals to showcase their research. Each month, Europlanet will share on the Society website and on social media a short biography and a summary of your experiences.
This initiative aims to raise awareness about EPEC members’  involvement in the space sector and highlight their research and important contribution to the planetary community. Find out how to participate.

Transnational Access Tours

Don't forget that you can explore some of the laboratory and field sites that you can visit - FREE - to carry out your research. This month, find out more about the Light Gas Gun at the University of Kent.
📽️ Explore the playlist of other facilities and start to plan your TA visit!

Motivational Journeys – the video series from EPEC

In this interview, Dr Murthy Gudipati, tells us about the journey that his career has taken him on from a small village in southern India to becoming an astrochemist working at NASA JPL-Caltech. His key pieces of advice include to be resilient, think out of the box, keep reprioritising your activities and make sure that you have back-up plans.
📽️ Join the journey and let the interview motivate you!

Inspiring Stories – From shopping mall to science roulette 

In this EPEC Inspiring Outreach Story, an early career scientists at the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Göteborg, tells us about his experience taking part in the Göteborg Science Festival in Sweden, one of the largest scientific outreach fairs in Europe.

Planetary Science Highlights

BepiColombo Flybys of Earth and Venus

On 10 April, BepiColombo will make is first – and only – Earth flyby, as the spacecraft makes its way to Mercury, the innermost planet of the Solar System. This is the first of a series of nine gravity-assist manoeuvres that the spacecraft will use to reach its final destination. The next two flybys will see BepiColombo proceed towards Venus in October 2020 and August 2021. An international campaign of coordinated observations involving two space agencies, three missions and multiple ground-based telescopes aims to shed new light on the thick and complex atmosphere of Venus. 

Planetary Interiors

Recent years have been an exciting time to unravel the mysteries of planetary interiors. Nature recently presented a collection with the latest research on planetary interiors – from icy and dusty small bodies and moons to the magma oceans of terrestrial (exo-) planets to the secrets beneath the whirling clouds of gas and ice giants!

Planetary Science Journal

The first papers of the Planetary Science Journal are now available online. This new open access online journal, from the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and its Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS), showcases significant developments, discoveries, and theories about planets, moons, small bodies, and the interactions among them not only in our own solar system but also in planetary systems around other stars. Its editor is Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Faith Vilas. 

Policy Updates

European Parliament

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the European Parliament (EP) and its political leaders have modified the calendar of activities for the next several weeks, due to force majeure. Various meetings, events, conferences and summits, including those organised by committees and political groups, have been postponed or cancelled. At this time, a revised calendar of EP activities is continuously updated as news about the outbreak are evolving daily.

Policy Podcasts

The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) publishes often podcasts regarding topical EU Policy areas, Science and Technology Developments and their policy implications and impact to society, as well as 60 sec podcasts about the impact of the EU on daily life. These are worth keeping an eye on for eventual productions on space-policy issues. Click here to consult the podcasts.

COVID-19 Initiatives by ESA

The essential role of satellites in monitoring the decline in pollution levels during the coronavirus outbreak is a clear opportunity for lawmakers and stakeholders to recognise the value of space systems when it comes to natural hazards and appreciate the consolation and inspiration offered by space science during challenging times. ESA has issued two new initiatives related to understanding the effects that COVID-19 is imposing on society, the economy and the environment. A further Announcement of Opportunity (AO) by ESA in collaboration with Italian Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitalization (MID) invites companies to submit their ideas for deploying and demonstrating services to respond to the emergency that Europe, and especially Italy, is facing because of the spread of the coronavirus. 

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
Did you know? As Europlanet Society member, you can share your planetary science news via our newsletter. Contact the editorial team!
Not a member yet? Click here to join the Europlanet Society!
Copyright © 2020 Europlanet Society, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp