The European Community for Planetary Sciences

Europlanet Society Briefing
November 2021

In this Briefing

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Word from the President

Dear Colleagues, 
            The Europlanet Society and the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) together are central to the future development, sustainability and success of our support for the European planetary science community.  
            Despite the pandemic, we have continued to deliver a wealth of services to Europe’s planetary scientists through Europlanet 2024 RI. This unique scientific and organisational achievement is a testament to the dedication of its members (and their predecessors), and I thank them all for their outstanding efforts. This success has been recognised this month by the European Commission in a favourable report on the first 18 months of the project. 
            Through the Europlanet 2024 RI project and the Society, we are also experiencing a growing list of invitations to attend strategic (political and scientific) forums both in Europe and internationally.
            In 2022 we aim to still increase our activities, and support you to exploit the opportunities for our community in the Horizon Europe programme. For the Europlanet Society, we will work with you to ensure that the Society, beyond EPSC, is central to your professional life and we encourage you to help us to help you and our community by volunteering to take on roles in the Society.
            We look forward to the New Year with hope, and I wish you all a happy (and safe) festive season.
Nigel Mason
President, Europlanet Society
Coordinator, Europlanet 2024 RI

Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) News

Europlanet Telescope Network Science Workshop, 9-11 February 2022

The first Europlanet Telescope Network Science Workshop aims to encourage community-led proposals and to highlight scientific results achieved with the Europlanet Telescope Network and other medium-size/small telescopes. Interested astronomers and amateurs are invited to participate, to learn more about the instruments offered, their capabilities, and scientific potential.
Find out more>>

Planetary & Geologic Mapping Winter School, 7-11 February 2022

The second Planetary and Geologic Mapping Winter School will be held online from 7-11 February 2022. The programme for the Winter School, which is organised by Europlanet 2024 RI’s Geological Mapping (GMAP) activity, will include seminars, asynchronous interactions, and individual/project mapping work. Registration will open in mid- December 2021 and will close on 31 January 2022. Materials from the first Winter School in February 2021 (including videos, presentations, documentation and data) are now accessible for prospective participants to browse.
Find out more>>

VESPA Implementation Workshop

An online workshop, organised by IRAP/CNRS and Jacobs University, is taking place from 29 November to 1 December 2021 to open up new data services to the community via the VESPA virtual observatory. The new services will support solar and magnetospheric studies, asteroid characterisation and shape modelling, as well as the integration of lab and field data into VESPA from Transnational Access visits. Presentations from the workshop are available online.
Find out more>>

Europlanet Satellite Workshop Series blasts off in Botswana

To support the creation of a network for planetary science in Africa, Europlanet 2024 RI supported a workshop at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) from 15-17 November 2021. Over 40 space technology specialists, scientists and students joined the hybrid meeting virtually, with 25 participants attending the meeting in-person in Palapye.
Read the press release>> 
Dust Devil Diary 

Guest post by Daniel Toledo

Researcher Daniel Toledo (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (INTA), Spain) reports on the field trip funded by the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) Transnational Access (TA) programme to visit the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Botswanna. 

From 29 September – 6 October 2021, the trip was led by Fulvio Franchi (Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST)) who is responsible for the Botswana Planetary Field Analogue for Europlanet 2024 RI. 
Read the diary>>

Europlanet Society News

We need your help!

Volunteer to take on open roles in the Europlanet Society

Help us to help you in supporting the growth and development of the Europlanet Society by taking on roles within its organisation.

Vice Chair of EPSC 
We are looking for a volunteer to act as Vice-Chair of the EPSC Executive Committee for upcoming Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) meetings in 2022-2025. See details>>

Central Europe Hub Chair
 The Central Europe Hub was established in 2018 to promote planetary science and related fields for the benefit of the Austrian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Slovenian, Slovakian and wider European community, within the Europlanet Society. If you're interested in applying to become the Central Europe Hub Chair, please reach out to the Central Europe Hub team
James O’Donoghue and his animated Universe

By Federica Duras and Livia Giacomini 

Federica Duras and Livia Giacomini interviewed James O'Donoghue, winner of the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2021, about his outreach activity, how it started and what it means for him.
Astronauts’ Annual Gathering Comes to Hungary

The XXXIII Conference of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) took place in Hungary from 1-5 November 2021. During a Community Day in Budapest, students had the opportunity to meet and talk to the astronauts attending and listen to presentations. The Europlanet Central Europe Hub was represented by the Wigner Space Physics Research Group in a mini-expo of space companies and research institutes.

The Italian Hub Catches a Comet

The return of Comet 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko to our skies has been celebrated in a live-streamed event on 8 November 2021 as part of EduINAF’s ‘Il Cielo in Salotto’ (Sky in your Living Room) series. Researchers from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) shared tips on how to observe the comet, submitted images, as well as memories of the the Rosetta mission and the Philae probe's historic landing.
Watch the recording (Italian with English subtitles) >>

Europlanet Community Corner

EPEC Profiles

Joana S. Oliveira

Joana S. Oliveira is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow at the Space Magnetism Laboratory from the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), close to Madrid, Spain.
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

The second edition of EPSC Goes Live For Schools took place throughout November 2021, coordinated by the outreach project, Lecturers Without Borders (LeWiBo). A selection of EPSC2021 presentations were highlighted to schools and teachers, with the aim of giving students an insight into contemporary planetary science. 

Classes in the 12-18 age group were also invited to take part in live webinars and Q&A sessions on a range of planetary science topics, with presentations in six languages included in the programme. A Q&A session for teachers also presented Europlanet’s Mars Collection of Educational Resources, which have now been translated into seven languages thanks to LeWiBo volunteers.

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

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 is organised by the Diversity Committee of the Europlanet Society, in collaboration with Women in Red and WikiDonne. After a successful EPSC21, we are organising a Planetary Wiki Edit-a-thon on 8 December 2021 at 18:00-20:00 CET.

If you want to take part to our Wiki edit-a-thon but you never wrote on Wikipedia, you are always free to join! There will be time for questions, feedback, and depending on the number of new people, we could give a short intro to edit in Wikipedia.
Register here>>

Maria Cunitz

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

Maria Cunitz was an accomplished Silesian astronomer, and the most notable female astronomer of the early modern era. She authored a book Urania propitia, in which she provided new tables, new ephemera, and a simpler working solution to Kepler's Area Law for determining the position of a planet on its elliptical path. The Cunitz crater on Venus is named after her. The minor planet 12624 Mariacunitia is named in her honour.
Read the Wiki page >>

Events & Opportunities

RED'22 Astrobiology Introductory Course, 13-19 March 2022

The 2022 session of the Rencontres Exobiologiques pour Doctorants (RED'22/Astrobiology Introductory Course) will take place (Covid restrictions permitting) from 13-19 March 2022 at the Reserve Ornithologique du Teich (France). The RED'22 / Astrobiology Introductory Course programme is open to students and young researchers. Lectures will be held in English. Registrations are open until 30 January 2022. Some grants to participate are available, more about it on the website. 

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 PhD in Physics or a related field by the date of hire, 1 July 2022.

Applications are being accepted via the UC Recruit website and reviews of submitted applications will commence on 1 November 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

Understanding the Diversity of Planetary Atmospheres

Editors: François Forget, Oleg Korablev, Julia Venturini, Takeshi Imamura, Helmut Lammer, Michel Blanc

This book brings together 15 review chapters on the physical and chemical processes that control the nature of atmospheres. It identifies commonalities between various Solar System atmospheres, analyses the dynamic processes behind different atmospheric circulation regimes, and outlines key questions remaining in solar system science. Through this comprehensive overview, the volume will help researchers understand the possible nature of the exo-atmospheres to be discovered in the coming decades thanks to upcoming new generations of telescopes. Previously published in Space Science Reviews in the Topical Collection 'Understanding the Diversity of Planetary Atmospheres', all papers resulted from an Europlanet and ISSI Workshop held in November 2018.
Find out more here>>

Automated Exploration of Prebiotic Chemical Reaction Space: Progress and Perspectives

Siddhant Sharma, who was part of our fabulous team of social media interns at ESPC2021, has published his first first-author paper in the journal, Life.
Find out more >>

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Society Members' Area

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.