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The European Community for Planetary Sciences

Europlanet Society Briefing December 2019

In this Briefing
> Europlanet Society News
> Open Calls for applications
> Featured Events
> Europlanet Community Corner
> Planetary Science Highlights
> Policy Highlights

Word from the President

Dear Members,

May I wish you all a very merry Festive Season and Happy New Year. We have made a lot of progress structurally over the first year of Society operations. In 2020, the Society will become fully active, with many events and actions planned by our Regional Hubs and Committees. We aim to follow the success of EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019 in Geneva with a wonderful EPSC 2020 in Granada. We also anticipate the launch of the new Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure project, with which the Society will work closely in support the community. On behalf of the Society, the Executive Board and the Executive Office, I look forward to engaging with you in 2020.

Nigel Mason, President, Europlanet Society

Europlanet Society News

Meet the Europlanet Society's Executive Board

Angelo Pio Rossi entered Planetary Science by chance, while undergraduate. A geologist by background, and nowadays Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at Jacobs University Bremen, he has been involved in Europlanet since its early days and was fascinated by the way it shared knowledge, provided professional and cultural exchanges, enabled access to data and facilities, involved and engaged people. Angelo is a firm believer of planetary science uniqueness, which derives from its heterogeneous and transdisciplinary nature. As Vice President of the Europlanet Society, he envisions it as a broad, diverse and open community, engaging practitioners with the rest of the science community and the general public (particularly young people) through outreach, education and training actions.

Review of Europlanet Highlights in 2019 

2019 has been another packed year for Europlanet, with the first anniversary of the launch of the Europlanet Society, the first elections of the Society’s Executive Board, the completion of the Europlanet 2020 RI project and preparations for a new, bigger and more comprehensive research infrastructure. The outreach team has chosen the highlights from the past 12 months to share with you. 

Open Calls for Applications

Scientific data exploitation 

The EC H2020 programme has announced the next call for supporting the data exploitation of European missions and instruments, in conjunction, when relevant, with international missions. Europlanet supported the announcement of this call so we are keen to see a good response. Please let us know if you plan a bid!

Featured Events

European Lunar Symposium

Padua, Italy, 12-14 May 2020

The abstract submission portal for the 8th European Lunar Symposium (ELS) is open till the 17th January 2020. One of the main aims of this meeting is to bring together the European scientific community interested in various aspects of lunar exploration. In addition, lunar experts from countries engaged in launching lunar missions are also invited to attend (ELS).  Visit the event website >> 

EPSC 2020

Granada, Spain, 27 September – 2 October 2020

The wheels are set in motion for next year's EPSC meeting to be hosted in the Palacio de Congresos de Granada. Mark your calendar & stay tuned for more information in our next newsletter! 

Europlanet Community Corner

Motivational Journeys – the video series from EPEC

“Recognise and encourage different mindsets". This is the advice passed on by Dr Nader Haghighipour of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Hawai’i to early career researchers 
📽️ Join the journey and let the interview motivate you!

Bites ... of Astronomy Research!

Astrobites is a postgraduate student-run blog, featuring short summaries of recent articles in astrophysics literature. Reading scientific literature is a skill that takes time and practise to learn. For over a decade now Astrobites make it easier for students to understand and keep up to date with the latest research in the field. Learn more in this EPEC inspiring story by Elena González Egea and Joanna Ramasawmy, PhD students at the University of Hertfordshire.

Planetary Science Highlights

Lift-off for the exo-planets mission CHEOPS!

ESA’s CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite) mission was launched on 18 December 2019. The space telescope, a partnership between ESA and Switzerland with contributions from 10 other ESA Member States, will be tasked with the characterisation of already known exoplanets beyond our Solar System and, notably, provide accurate measurements of their size. Check out the images from the launch and find out more about CHEOPS here!

Exoplanets: The race to find new planets and life beyond our solar system

Exoplanetary research is developing at a startling rate and Horizon 2020 has contributed to high-profile scientific breakthroughs, such as the discovery of exoplanets as seen with the SPECULOOS project. Whilst larger consortiums on exoplanet research are less common, there are many smaller projects being led by young, passion-driven astronomers who are making large contributions to our understanding of exoplanets and our galaxy. A recent publication by CORDIS highlights the most exciting EU-funded research in the ongoing hunt for planets beyond our solar system. Read more >>

Comet I2/Borisov Observation Campaign

An Italian team of astronomers led by Gabriele Cremonese (INAF, Padua Observatory) is observing I2/Borisov, the second interstellar object discovered within two years at the TNG, the Italian telescope in la Palma (Canary Islands). The observations will go on till the end of December. They are of interest also because interstellar objects could be a target of Comet Interceptor, the recently approved ESA F-class mission, of which some of the team members are co-investigators. Read the full article >> (in Italian)

Policy Highlights

Record funding for European space investments 

“At Space19+, ministers decided on a boost of space science in Europe for the first time after 25 years,” says Prof. Günther Hasinger, ESA Director of Science, in ESA's official announcement. “This enables Europe to embark on some of the biggest upcoming scientific opportunities. Observing supermassive black holes mergers, analysing at the same time the light as well as the gravitational waves, will tell us how these gargantuan monsters alter time and space.”

The 10% increase for Science will allow for more small but fast-developed missions in close cooperation with ESA Member States like Cheops and Comet Interceptor. 

The European Space Sciences Committee (ESSC) participated at ESA’s Council at Ministerial level Space 19+ and welcomed the outcome of the meeting. Representing the scientific community, ESSC addressed a statement to the delegations acknowledging the well-balanced strategy of the Space 4.0 program.
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