Europlanet Prize 2013 Announcement
September 10, 2013

Europlanet honours NEO champion and Spaceguard Centre founder Jay Tate with Prize for Excellence in Public Engagement with Planetary Science

The 2013 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science has been awarded to Mr Jonathan (Jay) Tate for his outstanding efforts in furthering public understanding of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and the asteroid and comet impact hazard.

The Spaceguard Centre, founded by Tate in 2001, serves as a professional facility for astronomical research, a focus for public outreach and media activities relating to NEOs, as well as a unique educational centre. In the Autumn of 2012 the Spaceguard Centre was given formal recognition as the official UK National NEO Information Centre.

The Prize, which includes an award of 4000 Euros, was presented to Tate during the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2013 in London on Monday 9 September. The presentation was made by Jean-Pierre Lebreton, Project Scientist for the Huygens mission, which landed on Saturn’s moon Titan in 2005.

Thierry Fouchet, Europlanet Outreach Coordinator and Chair of the Prize Judging panel, said: “The Judges were impressed by the energy, efforts, time and enthusiasm Jay has devoted to promote the awareness of the general public to the immediate Earth space environment. In founding the Spaceguard Centre, he has created an important and valued source of information on the threats and hazards posed by the Near Earth Objects. He has addressed the issue in a sober, serious, science-based approach, when more alarmist messages were in circulation. His work has been a model of putting planetary sciences high on the political agenda and raising the profile of planetary sciences with policy-makers.”


Further details about the Spaceguard Centre can be found at:


About the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC)

EPSC is the major European meeting on planetary science. EPSC 2013 is taking place at University College London (UCL) from Sunday 8 September to Friday 13 September 2013. It is the first time that the Congress has been held in the UK. The 2013 programme includes around 75 sessions and workshops. Details of the Congress and a full schedule of EPSC 2013 scientific sessions and events can be found at the official website:

EPSC 2013 is organised by Europlanet, UCL and Copernicus Meetings and the event is sponsored by the UK Space Agency, UCL, Astrium and the Science and Technology Facilities Council. To celebrate EPSC coming to London, a ‘Festival of the Planets’ has been organised across the Capital in collaboration with partners including the Baker Street Irregular Astronomers, the Bloomsbury Theatre, the British Astronomical Association, the British Interplanetary Society, the Natural History Museum, the Open University, Queen Mary University of London, the Royal Astronomical Society, Royal Museums Greenwich and University College London. More information about the events can be found at:

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About Europlanet

Europlanet is a network of planetary scientists, whose aim is to bring together the disparate European community so that Europe can play a leading role in space exploration. Europlanet’s activities complement the mission activities of the European Space Agency through field work at planetary-analogue terrains on Earth, laboratory measurements, computer modelling and observations from ground-based telescopes. Founded in 2002 and funded by the European Commission from 2005-2012, Europlanet has evolved into a community-based organisation that will carry on this work and plan for future missions and mission support.

About UCL (University College London)

Founded in 1826, UCL was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to admit students regardless of race, class, religion or gender and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world’s top universities, as reflected by our performance in a range of international rankings and tables. According to the Thomson Scientific Citation Index, UCL is the second most highly cited European university and the 15th most highly cited in the world. UCL has nearly 27,000 students from 150 countries and more than 9,000 employees, of whom one third are from outside the UK. The university is based in Bloomsbury in the heart of London, but also has two international campuses – UCL Australia and UCL Qatar. Our annual income is more than £800 million. | Follow us on Twitter @uclnews | Watch our YouTube channel