EPSC 2017 Outreach sessions
October 1, 2017

EPSC 2017 Outreach Sessions – Abstracts and Presentations

Once again, the 2017 European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) had a comprehensive and well attended stream of outreach sessions. Below, you can find links to the abstracts, most of the presentations and some pictures of each of the sessions.

OEP 1 – Policy & Sociocultural Aspects of Planetary exploration: NA1-Networking of European planetary science communities and Citizen Science with Big Data
OEP2 Education, capacity building and training with Planetary Research
OEP3 Planetary science and exploration outreach through Arts
OEP4 International lunar decade – towards a self-sustaining space economy

OEP 1 – Policy & Sociocultural Aspects of Planetary exploration: NA1-Networking of European planetary science communities and Citizen Science with Big Data

Oral Programme, Thursday, 21st September, 14:-00-15:30

Inclusiveness program – a SWOT analysis – Melinda Dósa,  Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungary
The Inclusiveness Program was created with the aim to integrate currently under-represented countries into the mainstream of European planetary research. Main stages of the working plan include setting up a database containing all the research institutes and universities where astronomical or geophysical research is carried out. It is necessary to identify their problems and needs. Challenging part of the project is to find exact means that help their work in a sustainable way. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the program were identified based on feedback from the inclusiveness community. Our conclusions, further suggestions are presented.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Joint actitvity together with ISSI and NA1/WP12 – Karoly Szegö, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, Hungary
The International Space Science Institute, Bern, (ISSI) is a Beneficiary of the EUROPLANET consortium and a member of the Europlanet 2020 RI council. Between 2015-2019 in the framework of WP12, the networking activity NA1 (Innovation through Science Networking) together with ISSI is holding several meetings. The details of this cooperation will be presented.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Impact Through Outreach and Education with Europlanet 2020-RI – Anita Heward, Europlanet Media Centre

The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI), funded through the EC’s Horizon 2020 programme, was launched in 2015 to support Europe’s planetary science community and provide services, access to facilities, new research tools and a virtual planetary observatory. The exploration of our Solar System has long been recognised as a potential ‘hook’ for attracting people with many diverse backgrounds and interests into science. Europlanet 2020 RI’s Impact Through Outreach and Education (IOE) activities aim to engage the widest possible community with the work of Europlanet 2020 RI, and to involve the public, the media, policy makers, educators and students with the ongoing adventure of planetary science and the people that work in the field.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Policy Activities in Europlanet 2020 RI, Livia Giacomini, Europlanet 2020 RI, Italy

The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI) has received 9.945 million Euros from the European Commission to integrate planetary science across Europe, provide access to facilities, develop tools and build community cohesion. To help these processes and to increase engagement between our policy makers and the planetary science community, part of Europlanet 2020 RI’s efforts are dedicated to building connections and organising activities for and within the European Parliament. Since September 2015, Europlanet 2020 RI has contacted all 134 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on the ITRE Committee. More than 20 individual briefings have been held to date with MEPS and/or their representatives. In November 2016, Europlanet 2020 RI organized a very successful exhibition in the European Parliament as part of the 8th European Innovation Summit and the STOA Annual Lecture, and a dinner debates was held in the on the ‘Impact of the EU on planetary science’ in April 2016. These events enable members of the Europlanet community, politicians and interested parties to come together and discuss views on topics of interest or concern to the space and planetary sectors. Efforts in recent years have led to important opportunities for our community to feed into reporting and consultative processes. In this talk we will discuss the results achieved in the last two years of activities and the next steps foreseen by Europlanet 2020 RI.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Developing a user-friendly photometric software for exoplanets to increase participation in Citizen Science, Anastasia Kokori, Dublin City University
The Holomon Photometric Software (HOPS) is a user-friendly photometric software for exoplanets, with graphical representations, statistics, models, options are brought together into a single package. It was originally developed to analyse observations of transiting exoplanets obtained from the Holomon Astronomical Station of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Here, we make the case that this software can be used as part of a CS project in analysing transiting exoplanets and producing light-curves. HOPS could contribute to the scientific data analysis but it could be used also as an educational tool for learning and visualizing photometry analyses of transiting exoplanets. Such a tool could be proven very efficient in the context of public participation in the research. In recent successful representative examples such as Galaxy Zoo professional astronomers cooperating with CS discovered a group of rare galaxies by using online software. Also the project “planet hunters” asked people to discover planets in other solar systems using data from large telescopes. HOPS, being in the same direction, could be an effective way of participating in research whether as an amateur astronomer or as a person of the general public that wants to engage with exoplanetary research and data analysis. The software is free of charge under the scope of astronomical research and education. We plan to create an online platform, inspired by HOPS, in the near future. In this platform, everyone will have access by creating an account as a user. Amateur astronomers, who have obtained their own exoplanet observations, will be able to upload and analyse their data. For people who are not familiar with photometric analysis – amateurs or general public users – data, as well as educational video and audio material will be provided.
Full Abstract | Presentation

The Radio Meteor Zoo: searching for meteors in BRAMS radio observations Hervé Lamy Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy
The Radio Meteor Zoo is a citizen science project where users are asked to identify meteor echoes in BRAMS radio data obtained mostly during meteor showers. The project will be described in details and preliminary results obtained during the Perseids and Geminids 2016, Quadrantids 2016 and 2017, and Lyrids 2017 are shown. Discussion about improvements will also be provided.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Session OEP1 Posters

Europlanet-2020 NA1 Exchange Program, Maria Genzer, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland

The task of Exchange Program of NA1 is to support the activities of EPN2020 with experts and scientific exchange whenever it is needed. Short visits (up to 1 week) with the goal of improving infrastructure facilities and services offered to the scientific community are supported from this task. Since the start of the EPN2020 in September 2015 we have received and approved 14 applications for exchange program travel. More general and specifically targeted calls are planned for the future. The calls are announced on Europlanet-2020 NA1 web site.
Full abstract

Orbit Modeller — Virtual Astronomical Laboratory, Galina Ryabova,Tomsk State University, Russia
We present a virtual astronomical laboratory project — “Orbit Modeller” (OM). This should be an interactive web-tool enabling one to simulate numerically the orbital motion of any celestial body within or beyond the solar system. Another function of OM is a repository of old observations and documents.
Full abstract

OEP2 Education, capacity building and training with Planetary Research

Oral Programme, Thursday, 21st September, 09:-00-12:30

Public Engagement in Planetary Science through Europlanet Social Media – Thilina Heenatigala Europlanet, Sri Lanka

From ‘Save the Hubble’ campaign to ESA’s Rosetta mission, social media has played a major role in public engagement and continues to grow. However, with this growing number of social media platforms and the amount of content that goes public daily, the ‘noise’ level is high – making it difficult to reach a good, relevant audience. Hence, it’s important to use different strategies with the content created, from launching a video to live session to issue a press release. Under the Horizon 2020, the Europlanet Media Centre[1] identifies the importance of using social media for outreach. Europlanet uses primary and secondary social media platforms strategically to engage with the followers and a new audience.
Full Abstract | Presentation

OpenPlanetaryMap: Building the first Open Planetary Mapping and Social platform for researchers, educators, storytellers, and the general public – Nicolas Manaud, SpaceFrog Design, France

We will present at this conference the first public version and lessons learnt from OpenPlanetaryMap, a new collaborative project to build an Open Planetary Mapping and Social platform for researchers, educators, storytellers, and the general public. We hope to engage with and collect feedback from the scientific and outreach community.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Public Outreach with NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling – Brian Day, NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute, United States

NASA’s Trek family of online portals is an exceptional collection of resources making it easy for students and the public to explore surfaces of planetary bodies using real data from real missions. Exotic landforms on other worlds and our plans to explore them provide inspiring context for science and technology lessons in classrooms, museums, and at home. These portals can be of great value to formal and informal educators, as well as to scientists working to share the excitement of the latest developments in planetary science, and can significantly enhance visibility and public engagement in missions of exploration.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Cutting in front with ESTCube-2: How building a satellite makes an attractive employee – Kadri Bussov Estonian Student Satellite Foundation, Estonia

Estonian Student Satellite Foundation (ESTCube Foundation) is student founded non-profit space technology education development organization giving students unique opportunity to gain experience in fast paste space technology sector during their university studies. With mentors varying from industry professionals to world class scientists and emphasis on creating each part of the satellite from the scratch ESTCube differs significantly from usual student satellite organization.
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Inclusive Planetary Science Outreach and Education: a Pioneering European Experience, Andres Galvez, European Space Agency

Universal access to space science and exploration for researchers, students and the public, regardless of physical abilities or condition, is the main objective of work by the Space Inclusive Network (SpaceIn). The purpose of SpaceIn is to conduct educational and communication activities on Space Science in an inclusive and accessible way, so that physical disability is not an impediment for participating. SpaceIn members aim to enlarge the network also by raising awareness among individuals such as undergraduate students, secondary school teachers, and members of the public with an interest and basic knowledge on science and astronomy. As part of a pilot experience, current activities are focused on education and outreach in the field of comparative Planetary Science and Astrobiology. Themes include the similarities and differences between terrestrial planets, the role of water and its interaction with minerals on their surfaces, the importance of internal thermal energy in shaping planets and moons and the implications for the appearance of life, as we know it, in our planet and, possibly, in other places in our Solar System and beyond. The topics also include how scientific research and space missions can shed light on these fundamental issues, such as how life appears on a planet, and thus, why planetary missions are important in our society, as a source of knowledge and inspiration. The tools that are used to communicate the concepts include talks with support of multimedia and multi-sensorial material (video, audio, tactile, taste, smell) and field trips to planetary analogue sites that are accessible to most members of the public, including people with some kind of disability. The field trips help illustrate scientific concepts in geology e.g. lava formations, folds, impact features, gullies, salt plains; biology, e.g. extremophiles, halophites; and exploration technology, e.g. navigation in an unknown environment, hazard and obstacle avoidance, mobility in all types of terrain, etc. This paper describes all the current activities and the future plans for traineeships and other actions at European level.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Archaeoastronomy as a Tool for Understanding Celestial Phenomena – Stratos Koufos/Eleni Chatizchristou (presenting), Greece

To key feature of the wise and Modern Man was, is and will be the observation of the sky. The acquisition of knowledge by observing the majesty of the sky and studying these phenomena (stars, planets, sun, moon, comets, asteroids, meteors, orbits, seasons, etc.). decisively influenced all human cultures. Therefore the research on the astronomical knowledge and their usefulness for each culture may reveal important anthropological data. With this scientific article the ARCHAEOASTRONOMY engaged in a global dimension. With common ground among even distant peoples. The purpose of the speech is both the externalization of ARCHAEOASTRONOMY secondly the education and students interested in astronomy in a simple manner and methodology as used by our ancestors in order to better understand the basic rules of the celestial dome. Applied methods with the participation of students from local schools and experiments in ancient monuments in Rhodes existed before with great success since the beginning of 2000 and continues today enriching the resources and people of all ages, the island where noted and considered the “father” astronomy of Hipparchus, the island where construction probably the “Antikythera mechanism”
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NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office at NASA HQ, Doris, Daou, NASA – Headquarters, United States

NASA and its partners maintain a watch for near-Earth objects (NEOs), asteroids and comets that pass close to the Earth, as part of an ongoing effort to discover, catalog, and characterize these bodies.
The PDCO is responsible for:
• Ensuring the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) – asteroids and comets whose orbit are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth; and of a size large enough to reach Earth’s surface – that is, greater than perhaps 30 to 50 meters;
• Tracking and characterizing PHOs and issuing warnings about potential impacts;
• Providing timely and accurate communications about PHOs; and
• Performing as a lead coordination node in U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Planets in a Room, Livia Giacomini, Italy

Teaching planetary science using a spherical projector to show the planets’ surfaces is a very effective but usually very expensive idea. Whatsmore, it usually assumes the availability of a dedicated space and a trained user. “Planets in a room” is a prototypal low cost version of a small, spherical projector that teachers, museum, planetary scientists and other individuals can easily build and use on their own, to show and teach the planets. The project of “Planets in a Room” was made by the italian non-profit association Speak Science with the collaboration of INAF-IAPS of Rome and the Roma Tre University (Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica). This proposal was funded by the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme in 2016.“Planets in a room” will be presented during EPSC 2017 to give birth to the second phase of the project, when the outreach and research community will be involved and schools from all over Europe will be invited to participate with the aim of bringing planetary science to a larger audience.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Space Detectives: using space to showcase science, Jose Saraiva, Portugal

Space Detectives is an activity for kids, designed to take them in an exploration of science by following a storyline riddled with challenges and mystery, based on an imagined space mission.
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Stories of Tomorrow: schoolkids and the conquest of Mars, Rosa Doran, Portugal

Stories of Tomorrow is a EU-funded project that provides a platform for schoolkids to create their own stories about the conquest of Mars, using any form of artistic expression and based on scientific knowledge.
Full Abstract | Presentation

A School Competition on the computation of the solar parallax using observations from the Mercury Transit of 9 May 2016 – Results and Discussion, Joe Zender, ESA/ESTEC, Netherlands

We report on the school event, a competition like activity, around the Mercury transit on 9 May 2016. With the historical background in mind, especially the fact that the Mercury transit data were never used to calculate the solar parallax, we asked all participating schools to do actually this. From the participating schools we received not only interesting results, but very positive feedback on the excitement “to be a scientist” for a day.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Transits in our Solar System for educational activities: Mercury Transit 2016 and Total Solar Eclipse 2017 – Miguel Pérez-Ayúcar, European Space Astronomy Center, ESAC-ESA Spain
Solar transits are rare astronomical event of profound historical importance and with an enormous potential to engage nowadays students and general public into Planetary Sciences and Space. Mercury transits occur only about every 13-14 times per century. Total solar eclipses occur around 18 months apart somewhere on Earth, but they recur only every 3-4 centuries on the same location. Although its historic scientific importance (examples, to measure the distances in the solar system, to observe the solar corona) has diminished since humanity roams our solar system with robotic spacecrafts, transits remain a spectacular astronomical event that is used very effectively to engage general public and students to Science and Space in general. The educational project CESAR (Cooperation through Education in Science and Astronomy Research) has been covering since 2012 such events (Venus transit 2012, live Sun transmissions, solar eclipses, ISS transits …). We report the outstanding outcome of the two public educational and outreach events since last year: the May 2016 Mercury Transit, and the recent August 2017 Total Eclipse. And the follow up activities expected for future transits.
Full Abstract | Full Presentation

Lobachevsky Year at Kazan University: Center of Science, Education, Intellectual-Cognitive Tourism “Kazan – GeoNa – 2020+” and “Kazan-Moon-2020+” projects, Alexander Gusev, Kazan State University, Russian Federation
Center “GeoNa” will enable scientists and teachers of the Russian universities to join to advanced achievements of a science, information technologies; to establish scientific communications with foreign colleagues in sphere of the high technology, educational projects and Intellectual-Cognitive Tourism. The Project “Kazan – Moon – 2020+” is directed on the decision of fundamental problems of celestial mechanics, selenodesy and geophysics of the Moon(s) connected to carrying out of complex theoretical researches and computer modelling.
Full Abstract | Presentation

OEP2 Session Posters

Astronomy Map of the World, Dimitri Veras, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
I have created an online clickable and zoom-enabled world map — now viewed over 5,400 times — that contains weblinks to institutions where astronomy is either researched professionally and / or and taught in classrooms at the university level. Not included are stand-alone museums, planetariums, amateur astronomical societies, virtual institutes, nor observatories which do not fulfill this criteria. One can click on a marker to access the relevant institute. The map currently contains 697 institutes, and has multiple potential uses for undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, faculty and journal editors.
Abstract | Poster Presentation

Measuring planetary field parameters by scattered “SSSS” from the Husar-5 Rover, Agota Lang, Szechenyi Istvan Gimnazium, Hungary
HUSAR-5 Rover reloaded:
For 2 years ago the Hunveyor-Husar Team in our school made yet a similar project. The ground idea was, we try to keep step with the main trends in the space research, in our recent case with the so called MSSM (Micro Sized Space- Mothership) and NPSDR (Nano, Pico Space Devices and Robots). [1]Of course, we do not want to scatter the smaller probe-cubes from a mothership, but from the Husar rover, and to do it on the planetary surface after landing. We have fabricated the rover with the ejecting tower and we have shown it on the EPSC 2015.The word “reloaded” means not only a new shape of the bullets, but a new mission with a new team. There are more pupils working in this project. The new bullets SSSS will be printed by a 3D printer.

OEP 3 – Planetary science and exploration outreach through Arts

Oral Programme, Thursday, 21st September, 16:00-17:30

Space is the Place – MoonVillage ArtScience Residency – Bernard Foing, ESA/ESTEC
Space and Moon-Mars Exploration Through Art offers you a MoonVillage Artscience Residency workshop dream ticket to ESTEC the technical heart of ESA, the European Space Agency.
Full Abstract | Presentation

The Moons of Jupiter/ Journey to the Stars – Jessica Litwak/Eleni Chatzichristou (presenting)

The Moons of Jupiter/ Journey to the Stars uses the arts, most particularly theatre arts to inspire curiosity about science education. Using characters which include famous scientists as well as mythological figures, the project provokes thought and offers opportunity for discovery. The play and the subsequent creative teaching tools are accessible to scientists, artists and lay people in an out of the classroom.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Visualizing planetary data by using 3D engines – Stephan Elgner, German Aerospace Center (DLR)

We examined 3D gaming engines for their usefulness in visualizing large planetary image data sets. These tools allow us to include recent developments in the field of computer graphics in our scientific visualization systems and present data products interactively and in higher quality than before. We started to set up the first applications which will take use of virtual reality (VR) equipment.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Offering the Moon to the Public – Konstantinos Papaioannou
Il Mondo della Luna is a project that puts forward a series of activities with the aim to communicate and inspire young people and the public in general to explore space and planetary science through artistic actions. The focus of the action is F. J. Haydn’s Opera “Il Mondo della Luna”.
Full Abstract | Presentation

King on the Moon/King on Mars / Exploring Space – Creating Space – Niek Verschoor, Willem de Kooning Academy of Applied Arts, Rotterdam
The main goal of the practice ‘King on the Moon’ and ‘King on Mars’ is the search for new areas to discover and to develop. You examine issues and generate solutions to explore and take possession of new public/private spaces.
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OEP 3 Session Posters
WOLF experiment is developing a reaction wheel-based control system, effectively functioning as active nutation damper. One reaction wheel is used to reduce the undesirable lateral rates of spinning cylindrically symmetric free falling units, ejected from a sounding rocket. Once validated in REXUS flight, the concept and the design developed during WOLF experiment can be used for
other application which require a flat spin of the free
falling units.
Full Abstract | Presentation

OEP 4 – International lunar decade – towards a self-sustaining space economy

Oral Programme, Thursday, 21st September, 11:00-12:30

MoonVillage: Frame & Opportunity for Space Economy, Bernard Foing, ESA / ESTEC
We shall discuss the frame and opportunity for space economy in the context of elaborating the concept of a Moon Village with the goal of a sustainable human presence and activity on the lunar surface as an ensemble where multiple users can carry out multiple activities. This enterprise can federate all interested Nations and partners, in particular from terrestrial and non space commercial sectors .
Full Abstract | Presentation

International Lunar Decade Status – Vid Beldavs, University of Latvia
The International Lunar Decade is a global decadal event designed to provide a framework for strategically directed international cooperation for permanent return to the Moon. To be launched July 20, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the giant leap for mankind marked by Neil Armstrong’s first step on the Moon, the ILD launch will include events around the world to celebrate space exploration, science, and the expansion of humanity into the Solar System. The ILD framework links lunar exploration and space sciences with the development of enabling technologies, infrastructure, means of financing, laws and policies aimed at lowering the costs and risks of venturing into space. Dramatically reduced costs will broaden the range of opportunities available in space and widen access to space for more states, companies and people worldwide. The ILD is intended to bring about the efflorescence of commercial business based on space resources from the Moon, asteroids, comets and other bodies in the Solar System.
Full Abstract | Presentation

The Resurrection of Malthus: space as the final escape from the law of diminishing returns, Vid Beldavs, University of Latvia
If there is a self-sustaining space economy, which is the goal of the International Lunar Decade, then it is a subject of economic analysis. The immediate challenge of space economics then is to conceptually demonstrate how a space economy could emerge and work where markets do not exist and few human agents may be involved, in fact where human agents may transact with either human agents or robotic agents or robotic agents may transact with other robotic agents.
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Commercial Lunar ISRU for the Space Launch Industry: Cruder is Better – Michael Turner, Project Persephone
Lunar ISRU scenarios typically focus on making relatively high-added-value products (such as solar PVs) for off-Earth use only. Discussion of space mining in general focuses on high-value trace substances (e.g. platinum group metals) as exports to Earth, and hydroxyls and other volatiles for use only in space. This paper considers two potential bulk commodities with high availability on the lunar surface: space-weathered basalt fines and the oxygen in metal oxides. Basalt fiber can be produced by a simple process, and is strong enough that a tapered rotating sling could propel payloads at lunar escape velocity. Basalt aerobrakes could be flung to LEO depots to aid in aerocapture, reentry, and thermal protection of upper stages. Lunar oxygen (O2 being most of the mass of most liquid-fueled rockets) could aid in powered descent. In short, abundant substances on the Moon could make cost-saving exports possible sooner than later, for the satellite launch industry.
Full Abstract | Presentation

Space strategy for Europe and the International Lunar Decade – Vid Beldavs, University of Latvia
The 2020-2030 decade offers extraordinary opportunity for the European space sector that is largely not recognized in present space strategy which does not recognize commercial space activities beyond communications satellites, launchers, and earth observation and navigation and downstream activities. Lunar and cislunar development can draw on the extensive experience of Europe in mining, clean energy, ecological systems as well as deep experience in managing the development of technologies through TRL1 through commercial sale via Horizon 2020 and previous Framework programs. The EU has unrivalled experience in coordinating research and advanced technology development from research centers, major firms and SMEs across multiple sovereign states. This capacity to coordinate across national boundaries can be a significant contribution to a global cooperative program like the International Lunar Decade. This paper will present a European space strategy for beyond 2020 and how this can mesh with the International Lunar Decade.
Full Abstract | Presentation

OEP4 Session Posters

Rationalisation of the Solar System exploration – Leszek Czechowski, University of Warsaw
Present attitude to space exploration is often a result irrational political pressure. The better cooperation between space agencies could be beneficial for the space exploration and for national space programs.
Full Abstract

“Journal of Space Economics – theoretical and practical considerations” – Vid Beldavs, University of Latvia
This paper will address theoretical and practical considerations for the emerging field of space economics and propose an editorial policy for a journal of space economics to provide a forum for the discussion of space economics issues. It is anticipated that initially the Journal of Space Economics will operate from two different nodes one offering a European perspective (University of Latvia) and the other a U.S. perspective (University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee). The first edition of the Journal of Space Economics will focus on issues likely to arise during the course of the International Lunar Decade 2020-2030.
Full Abstract | Presentation