Issue 6 of the Europlanet Magazine is out now!

Issue 6 of the Europlanet Magazine is out now!

In this issue:

In Focus

round up of news from Europlanet and the planetary community, including:

Cover of issue 6 of the Europlanet Magazine.
Cover of Issue 6 of the Europlanet Magazine.

• New Board Members of the Europlanet Society
• New EPEC Co-Chairs
• Join us on Discord!
• DPS-EPSC Joint Meeting 2023
• EPSC in Berlin and Beyond!
• GMAP Winter School
• Europlanet at Space Tech Expo Europe
• European Space Weather Week
• 1st Europlanet Latin America Workshop
• Europlanet Committee Funding Scheme Results 2023
• Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2023
• Farinella Prize 2023
• Students as Planetary Defenders
• Blink of a Star
• Polish Experiments to Fly on ISS
• EXPLORE Apps for Lunar, Stellar & Galactic Research

Machine Learning for a Data Driven Era of Planetary Science 

Stavro Ivanovski (INAF-Trieste Astronomical Observatory, Italy), Angelo Pio Rossi (Constructor University, Germany), Jeronimo Bernard-Salas (ACRI-ST, France), and Anita Heward (DFET, UK) look at how Machine Learning (ML) is revolutionising planetary science

Planetary Perspectives: Meet the New Europlanet Society Board

This edition of Planetary Perspectives finds out more about interests, backgrounds and ambitions for the Europlanet Society of the members of the Executive Board elected and taking up new roles in November 2023. 

Supporting Astronomy in Ukraine

Gražina Tautvaišienė (Vilnius University, Lithuania), describes how a Europlanet programme is supporting Ukrainian colleagues to continue their research.

ERIM 2023: A New Kind of Europlanet Meeting 

Anita Heward (Chair of the ERIM Organising Committee and Europlanet Sustainability Committee) reports on how the Europlanet Research Infrastructure Meeting (ERIM) in Bratislava has helped to lay the foundations for a sustainable Europlanet. 

EPEC Annual Week: A Melting Pot of Ideas 

James McKevitt (University of Vienna, Austria and UCL, UK) reflects on the outcomes of the Europlanet Early Career event, EPEC Annual Week, held in Bratislava, Slovakia in June 2023. 

Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Science 

The Europlanet Policy Team reports on a policy workshop that took place as part of the Europlanet Research Infrastructure Meeting (ERIM) 2023 last June. 

The Ecological Footprint of Astronomy 

Thibaut Roger (University of Bern, Switzerland) reports on a session at ERIM to initiate a discussion about the ecological impact of astronomy and planetary research activities 

ERIM Goes to Schools 

Thibaut Roger (University of Bern, Switzerland) and Barbara Cavalazzi (University of Bologna, Italy) bring astrobiology and planetary science to schools in Bratislava.

Diving into the Heavens: The Solar System Scope Project 

Jozef Bodlak (Solar System Scope) tells the story behind the Solar System Scope – an app that takes users on an immersive journey with the aim of bringing the grandeur of space to the fingertips of people around the world. 

The Making of ‘The Making of Juice’ 

Maarten Roos-Serote (Lightcurve Films, Portugal) shares a unique view behind the scenes of the making of the Juice mission

Molėtai Magic 

Alejandro Luis García Muñoz reports on the Europlanet Summer School 2023 at the Molėtai Astronomical Observatory in Lithuania. 

Orionids Workshop 2023 

Miloš Obert, Chair of the Slovak Union of Astronomers, reports on the Orionids 2023 astro-camp on meteor observations. 

Dusting the Moon 

Karolien Lefever and Sylvain Ranvier (BIRA-IASB, Belgium) report on DUSTER, a project that gets to grips with lunar dust in preparation for future exploration missions. 

Commkit – The Dream of AI

Thibaut Roger (University of Bern, Switzerland) examines how AI can be useful for scientific outreach and communication, as well as the limitations.

The Last Word – Europlanet: A Page Turns 

Ann Carine Vandaele, President of the Europlanet Society, reflects on sustainability plans for Europlanet

Winners of 2024 Best Iberian Thesis Prize Announced

Winners Announced of the 2024 Europlanet Early Career Prize for Best Iberian Thesis in Planetary Sciences

The Europlanet Iberian Hub is proud to announce the winners of the first planetary early-career prizes in Spain & Portugal: 

  • Abraham Zacut” Award: Best Iberian PhD Thesis in Planetary Sciences & Exploration
    • Winner: Jennifer Huidobro
    • Thesis Title : Exploring Martian and Lunar Geochemistry through the study of meteorites, analogs, laboratory simulation, and mission data analysis”.
    • Tutors: Juan Manuel Madariaga Mota and Julene Aramendia Gutiérrez
    • University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU)
  • Pedro Nunes” Award: Best Iberian Master’s Thesis in Planetary Sciences & Exploration
    • Winner: Vasco Cardoso
    • Thesis Title: Collisional Evolution of Jupiter Trojans
    • Tutors: Nuno Peixinho and Paula Benavidez
    • University of Coimbra and University of Alicante

Find out more

EXPLORE – Career Profiles

EXPLORE – Career Profiles

Europlanet’s sister-project, EXPLORE, has been funded by the European Commission to develop Machine Learning and advanced visualisation tools to support the astronomy and planetary communities. One of the real strengths of the EXPLORE project is the diverse skills-set of the team. As the project comes to a close, we’ve asked people working on the project to reflect on their careers, their inspirations and the advice that they would pass on. Click on the images below to read their career profiles. If they look familiar, many of the team are also part of the Europlanet 2024 RI project’s GMAP activity and comms team.

We have produced an edited set of the profiles for download:

EXPLORE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004214.

EXPLORE Career Profiles: Lian Greijn

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Lian Greijn
EXPLORE Project Role: Intern
Professional Role and Affiliation: Intern at Acri-ST & MSc student Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft
Nationality: Dutch
Current location: Toulouse, France.

1. What did you want to be when you were 10?

For a long time, I wanted to become a judge. However, when I was old enough to learn how monotone judicial texts are I quickly abandoned that dream. 

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

My favourite subject was history, I really like reading and I enjoyed how it offers a perspective on how past events shape our modern world.

3. What did you study at university? Why did you choose those topics and the places to study?

I am still studying and in my final year for my MSc in aerospace engineering, I also completed my BSc in this field both at TU Delft. I always had a big passion for space and was very intrigued by the complexity of space missions. They have such challenging design criteria and really push the boundaries of engineering, I wanted to learn more about how we design and develop them. I chose Delft because it has a very strong international aerospace programme.

4. How did you get your first job? How many jobs have you had since?

I am of course still studying and haven’t had my first ‘real’ job yet, but I found this internship by asking around a lot in my university. For example, by approaching professors, the alumni relation office, and people I met through career events.

5. What’s been the biggest piece of luck or ‘surprise twist’ you have had in your career to date?

I was very adamant about going to Toulouse for my internship due to the strong aerospace industry in this city and because I studied French for a semester. It is however quite tough to find a position from abroad especially as a non-native French speaker. I had found an alumnus of my university who worked here and asked if he could help me. He happened to approach my current supervisor at their kid’s schoolyard to ask if he would know a position, which is what got me on this project.

6. Have you had a mentor or person that inspired you? How did they help you?

I have been inspired by almost everyone I worked with. I think working together on assignments or just discussing problems can really help with thinking outside the box and with motivation in general.  

7. What are the main things you do each day?

As part of the project, I mostly spend my day programming in Python (and therefore also a lot of time googling issues). I also spend a bit of time working on public outreach, such as editing video tutorials. 

8. What do you like best about the work that you do and what do you like least?

I really enjoy the required creativity and problem solving that comes with programming. You constantly find a new issue and try to figure out how to solve it. Sometimes tasks seem very daunting at the start, but when you manage to solve it, it is very rewarding. 

What I like least is probably that most of the work is done just sitting behind a computer, I would love to move a little more and have a bit more of a change in scenery. 

9. Do you have ambitions or things that you would like to do next?

Mostly to graduate next year! 

10. What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

A bit cliché but I would say to just enjoy life as a kid. I would also tell myself that I am not nearly as bad at maths as I like to make myself believe. 

Quick CV

  • Academic qualifications
    • BSc in Aerospace Engineering
  • Main or selected jobs to date: 
    • Internship at Acri-ST

More EXPLORE Career Profiles

EXPLORE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004214.

EXPLORE Career Profiles: Giacomo Nodjoumi

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Giacomo Nodjoumi
EXPLORE Project Role: Co-leader of the development of L-EXPLO and L-HEX Lunar Scientific Data Applications
Professional Role and Affiliation: PhD Candidate, Constructor University
Nationality: Italian
Current location: Bremen, Germany.

1. What did you want to be when you were 10?

Space game developer, professional bass player, fighter jet pilot/astronaut… I had too many different interests and dreams.

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

Natural Sciences and informatics were the most interesting for me. But I also enjoyed chemistry and English. I really disliked humanities; now I regret that I was not more interested in those fields.

3. What did you study at university? Why did you choose those topics and the places to study?

Both my Bachelor’s and Master’s were in geology, so I mainly studies scientific fields, from chemistry to petrography and so on. My Master’z was focused on engineering geology and risk assessment and management, so the topics shifted a bit to more practical problems for risk assessment and mitigation, such as slope stability or geophysics, remote sensing and so on.

I chose these subjects for the love of natural sciences, and the desire to know more about our Earth. The Master’s was chosen essentially for the course in remote sensing (feeding my nerdy side).

4. How did you get your first job? How many jobs have you had since?

My Master’s thesis supervisor offered me one, since I made a working prototype of a multi-camera instrument for monitoring landslide. I’ve had two jobs including my actual position. The first one in the company of my supervisor, but it lasted only for three months, it was not fulfilling my expectations.

5. What’s been the biggest piece of luck or ‘surprise twist’ you have had in your career to date?

A colleague and close friend, aware of my passion for remote sensing and space, put me in contact with my current PhD supervisor. Since I always thought that working in planetary science was impossible for me, it was a life-changing event, especially since I had to move to another country for longer periods of time. The ‘surprise twist’ (even if I would describe it as a very, very biggest piece of bad luck for the whole world) was that the Covid-19 pandemic started almost immediately after my arrival in Bremen.

6. Have you had a mentor or person that inspired you? How did they help you?

No one in particular, maybe Baden-Powell (founder of the Scout Movement) inspired me in my “youth days”, but since then I’d say that any person that I met, lived with, or worked with, left me some sort of lesson which helped me grow up in different aspects of my life.

One of Baden-Powell’s mottos, ‘Estote Parati,’ which translates to ‘Be Prepared’ in English, inspired me to be ready for everyday challenges. Additionally, a point of the Scout’s Law, “A Scout’s duty is to be useful and to help others”, motivated me to strive to be a better person. 

7. What are the main things you do each day?

Drink coffee, analyse planetary data, develop Python tools, read scientific papers, write papers for my PhD, keep updated with trending technologies and – last but not least – drink more coffee!

8. What do you like best about the work that you do and what do you like least?

I really like the fact that I am pursuing almost all my passions, even if it can be very stressful and challenging.

9. Do you have ambitions or things that you would like to do next?

I would like to continue developing something that may help future generations that wants to join the planetary science community.

10. What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

I know that may sounds a classic answer but “Listen to your mother, think less, enjoy life more, and do more exercises!”

Quick CV

  • Academic qualifications
    • Bachelor’s in Geology
    • Master’s in Engineering Geology and Risk Assessment
    • PhD Candidate in Planetary Sciences
  • Main or selected jobs to date: 
    • MsC in Engineering Geology (2016-2019)
    • Junior Remote Sensing Analyst (2019-2020)
    • PhD Candidate in planetary sciences (2020-Present)

More EXPLORE Career Profiles

EXPLORE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004214.

EXPLORE Career Profiles: Javier Eduardo Suárez Valencia

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Javier Eduardo Suárez Valencia
EXPLORE Project Role: Researcher on the L-EXPLO and L-HEX Lunar Scientific Data Applications
Professional Role and Affiliation: PhD Candidate in Planetary Science at Constructor University.
Nationality: Colombian
Current location: Bremen, Germany

1. What did you want to be when you were 10?

I wanted to be an astronaut, especially to go to different planets.

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

Biology.

3. What did you study at university? Why did you choose those topics and the places to study?

Geology. I choose it because there was not an astronomy program in my country, and geology was still a really interesting natural science. Eventually, I was able to link the two

4. How did you get your first job? How many jobs have you had since?

My first job was as a risk management geologist, doing maps for a location in Colombia. Since then, I had two other jobs.

5. What’s been the biggest piece of luck or ‘surprise twist’ you have had in your career to date?

To start my PhD in Bremen Germany. I always worked in planetary science just for passion, but now I can make a living from it.

6. Have you had a mentor or person that inspired you? How did they help you?

Yes, another Colombian geologist, Fabian Saavedra. He showed me that we can study other planets – my professor did not have any idea of how to do that. 

7. What are the main things you do each day?

Working in my PhD, advising students in Colombia, reading.

8. What do you like best about the work that you do and what do you like least?

What I most enjoy is looking at spatial data of planetary surfaces to understand its geology. I do not enjoy debugging code!

9. Do you have ambitions or things that you would like to do next?

I want to be a university professor in a Colombian university.

10. What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?

The Universe is big and full of wonders. No matter what happens do not lose your curiosity to learn from it!

Quick CV

  • Education
    • (2021-ongoing) PhD candidate in Planetary Science, Constructor University, Bremen, Germany.
    • (2015-2018) MSc in Geology, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.
    • (2010-2015) Geologist, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Work
    • (2021-ongoing) Researcher, Constructor University, Bremen, Germany.
    • (2019-2021) Occasional professor, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia.

More EXPLORE Career Profiles

EXPLORE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101004214.

Expert Exchanges – Call Now Open

Europlanet Expert Exchanges – Call Now Open

A new call has been launched for the Expert Exchange Programme, funded through Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI), which aims to share expertise and best practice within the planetary community, and to prepare new facilities and services for integration into the RI.

Applications should be made before the next call deadline of 17 January 2024. Visits through this call should take place between 1 February and 15 May 2024.

The programme provides funding for short visits (up to one week).

Objectives for an Europlanet Expert Exchange might be:

  • To improve infrastructure facilities and services offered to the scientific community by Europlanet 2024 RI laboratories or institutes.
  • To provide training on theoretical or practical aspects of the laboratory/fieldwork required to plan a future TA application.
  • To foster cooperation between academia and industry (SMEs).
  • To support early career professionals to develop skills to use or manage RI facilities or services.
  • To widen participation from Under-Represented States in RI activities and services.
  • To support the inclusion of amateur communities in European planetary science campaigns.
  • To support engagement with wider society e.g. through the involvement of outreach providers, educators, journalists, artists etc.

For more details, see the Expert Exchange Call Page.

EPEC Profiles – Jessica Hogan

EPEC Profiles – Jessica Hogan

In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.

Jessica Hogan is a PhD student in Astrobiology at The Open University, UK.

Just one month away from beginning her first year as a PhD student in the School of Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences – we reflect on key experiences in her career to – date.

Jessie graduated with a B.Sc. in Planetary Science with Astronomy from Birkbeck, University of London in 2021. Her interest in Astrobiology influenced a final dissertation on the habitable zone modelling of exoplanets.

Following her studies, she was supported by a Europlanet grant to present this thesis at EPSC 2022 in Granada, alongside other early-career researchers.

The turning point came upon securing an internship in the Operations Development Division with the European Space Agency (ESA) in Madrid, Spain. Here is where she studied the icy surface of Enceladus (one of Saturn’s Moons), by analysing Cassini Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) data and modelling photometric parameters. Investigating this potentially habitable environment can further knowledge of active surface processes that may take place on icy worlds in our Solar System – in preparation for interpreting ESA’s JUICE mission findings.

Inspired by the astrobiological significance of Enceladus and other icy bodies, she is continuing to build on her existing research with her current PhD in this field.

Maintaining a personal interest in improving youth access to education, she has previously volunteered with Unibuddy to support prospective students in adjusting to the challenges that accompany higher education. Jessie was also an Ambassador for Birkbeck, where she hosted pop-up stands in colleges throughout London to share her journey as a woman in STEM.

“EPEC has been key in getting me where I am today – supporting myself and other early-careers in navigating our first conference experience, and facilitating vital collaborations between researchers in different fields. It’s an invaluable network to be a part of. Having gained knowledge and connections with other planetary scientists, my journey with EPEC has come full-circle as I contribute back via the EPEC Communications Working Group, who continue to organise all-important events and outreach activities.”

JESSICA HOGAN

More information about Jessica Hogan:

Contact: jessica.hogan@open.ac.uk

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jhog

Jessica Hogan. Image credit: J. Hogan.

If you are an Early Career member of the Europlanet Society and would like to be featured in an EPEC Profile, find out more about how to submit your profile.

See all the EPEC Profiles.

Results of Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme 2023

Results of Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme 2023

The results have been announced of a call by the Europlanet Society to support funding proposals of €1000 to €5000 from its Regional Hubs, Committees and Working Groups and the Society Membership. Five projects have been supported in 2023:

French Hub proposal: Careers workshop at French Planetary Science Congress (€4900)

The French Planetary Science Congress will be held in Nantes in July 2024 conjointly with the French Astrobiology Society (SFE) and National Programme for Planetary Science (PNP), where two days will be devoted to astrobiology topics and two others to planetary science more generally. Funding was requested from the Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme to support a one-day workshop devoted to early career researchers focussed on careers in planetary science, divided into talks from industry and academia about their diverse career paths, and workshops on topics such as “CV writing for industry”, “writing a good research grant”, a poster session in the afternoon will allow attendees to exchange with the invited speakers and other researchers at the conference. The whole event will be in French to maximise interaction between the masters and PhD students and the presenters.

Spain Portugal Hub proposal: Pro-Am occultations campaigns with a portable telescope (€3300)

Occultations of stars by small Solar System bodies provide relevant information about their atmosphere, rings, satellites and morphology. The most interesting results are usually obtained when several different chords of the same occultation event are gathered. Therefore, it is usually necessary to deploy different instruments across the predicted shadow path in order to maximise the probability of capturing relevant data.

Several members of the Sociedad Astronómica Granadina (an amateur astronomy group from the south of Spain) have collaborated in dozens of different ProAm occultation campaigns promoted by the IAA and other organizations, specially those involving transneptunian objects, Jupiter trojans and NEOs. Those campaigns usually involve traveling (sometimes thousands of kilometers) in order to correctly position the telescopes and auxiliary gear. To continue and improve collaborations, funding was requested from the Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme to acquire a more powerful (but still portable) telescope to obtain occultation data of fainter stars.

Central Europe Hub proposal: Orionids 2023 (€1400)

Funding was requested from the Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme to support “Orionids 2023”, a meteor astro-camp. During a weekend workshop that will take place in Banská Štiavnica, in central Slovakia, different astrophysicist and astronomers amateur will provide lectures about how to observe meteor showers and secondary meteor showers in a classical traditional way. This seminar will teach the participants how to be prepared theoretically for such an observation, what methodology (IMO) to use and how to practically observe a meteor shower in general. Afterwards, it will be given the knowledge of submitting the results in the IMO database. Another aim of the project is to teach a new lecturing team in order to maintain visual observation discipline, also nowadays in modern digital times. The plan for the future is to organize the observation of meteor showers at least 3 times a year. The best possibilities would be in Slovak dark sky parks or another convenient location. The expected number of participants of the Orionids 2023 is 12 with 4 lecturers. The first Orionids astro-camp is planned in Slovakia but international participants are also welcome

Central Europe Hub: Variable stars and exoplanet research meeting – support for international audience (€3060)

The Czech Variable stars meeting is traditionally organised by the Czech Astronomical Society, Variable stars and exoplanet section, association of professional and amateur astronomers predominantly from the Czech Republic, but also members from other european countries. This meeting has a long history, the last 54th meeting took place in November 2022 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Average audience is between 50 and 100 participants, including online audience. Various topics with focus on pro-am research of variable stars and exoplanets are discussed. With the incresing number of international collaboration, there is a rise of international audience of the meeting. Last year’s meeting was also held in hybrid form. Funding was requested from the Europlanet Society to broaden focus of the meeting to the Central European international audience by formally dividing the meeting to consecutive international and Czech/Slovak sections, advertising the meeting on the European level and providing support for in-person participants – amateur astronomers and students. The support will comprise travel bursaries and support with translation of presentations and other material into English. Since 2021 there is also an student section in the form of a competition organised, where also students from other countries can participate.

Ireland-UK Hub: Europlanet Early-Career Networking at the British Planetary Science Conference 2024 (€4380)

The British Planetary Science Conference (BPSC) 2024 has been awarded by the UK Planetary Forum to Space Park Leicester (SPL). It will be held in June 2024 at Space Park and the adjacent National Space Centre in Leicester. Europlanet sponsorship was requested to raise awareness of society membership benefits in the UK. BPSC will start with a 1-day workshop for those new to the space and planetary science community, where experienced SPL engineers and project managers will lead examples of how space instruments and missions are developed. This will help facilitate wider access to new space exploration initiatives in the planetary and space science community, and is particularly focussed on connecting early-career researchers to new opportunities. The main 3-day part of the conference will consist of oral and poster sessions reflecting the range of topical planetary and space science activities in the UK, including results from sample return missions, Mars exploration, the Gas and Ice Giants, meteorites, Mercury. The main conference will also have an emphasis on careers and EDI, with input on careers in the space industry. On the final day will include a community consultation day with UKSA, STFC, and other interested stakeholders like Europlanet.

South East Europe Hub: Terrestrial Analogues for Solar System Studies Conference (€5000)

Co-funding was requested from the Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme for an already designed planetary-themed conference to be held in Greece, in the island of Milos, during the summer of 2024. The conference has both scientific and policy aspects, and aims to bring together planetary scientists from all over the world, with an emphasis on students and early career participants from Southeastern Europe, in a location of great relevance and interest for planetary geologic topics – the island of Milos. This region has experienced young volcanism and tectonism (Mars, Pluto), has undergone atmospheric shaping of volcanic deposits, and carving into yardangs (Mars, Titan, Venus, Pluto), and has current hydrothermal and fumarolic activity (Venus, Io, exoplanets). The conference will offer a combination of lectures, science discussions and filed trips, as well as policy and industry related discussions in a dedicated session. Planetary scientists with experience in field geology will interact with those who typically do modeling or laboratory studies, furthering the cross communication of topics and improving the research approach for all participants to lead to a better understanding.

EPEC: Early Career Activities at DPS-EPSC 2023 (€900)

EPEC has organised a programme of events for early career researchers at the joint DPS-EPSC meeting in October 2023 in San Antonio, Texas. The planned activities include a short course on mental health, a social event, mentoring for first-time attendees and the EPEC general assembly. In addition, EPEC will have a booth to help early careers find their way around and inform them about our work.

Find out more about the Committee Funding Scheme.

Issue 5 of the Europlanet Magazine is out now!

Issue 5 of the Europlanet Magazine is out now!

In this issue:

Cover of the Europlanet Magazine Issue 5
Cover of the Europlanet Magazine Issue 5

In Focus

round up of news from Europlanet and the planetary community, including

ESA’s JUICE Mission – Making History on its Way to Jupiter

Athena Coustenis (CNRS/Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, France), member of the JUICE Science Working Team and Co-I of the JANUS camera, describes the emotional journey to the launchpad and beyond for Europe’s new mission to explore the icy moons of Jupiter

Planetary Perspectives – A Planetary Scientist Turned Asteroid Miner

This edition’s ‘Planetary Perspectives’ interview with Dr Lauri Siltala has been contributed by J D Prasanna Deshapriya, Hans Huybrighs, Peter McArdle, and Ottaviano Rüsch of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) Future Research Working Group. It is the latest in a series of conversations by EPEC, ‘Industry or Academia?’, which aim to gather insights from people who have had success in both sectors. 

Policy Engagement on the Menu 

Members of the Europlanet Policy and Industry Team and Executive Board reflect on recent activities by Europlanet to engage with policy makers

A Guide to Live-Streaming Astronomy Events 

Claudia Mignone (INAF), Anne Buckle and Graham Jones (timeanddate.com) and Helen Usher (Open University) share tips for a new era of astronomy live-streaming

Developing Labs for Research that is Out of this World

Gareth Davies (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands) describes how investment from the European Commission has supported Europlanet’s development of state-of-the-art facilities for planetary science – and other fields of research, such as cultural heritage.

Life Beyond Us: Showcasing Astrobiology through Science Fiction Stories 

Julie Nováková (European Astrobiology Institute, Czech Republic), co-editor of the ‘Life Beyond Us’ anthology, describes this new collection of 27 science fiction stories by award-winning authors and 27 essays by scientists. 

AbGradEPEC 2023 

After a three-year wait to hold the AbGradEPEC meeting for early career astrobiologists, former AbGradE President, Ruth-Sophie Taubner, and current President, Silvana Pinna, share highlights of the event. 

Fourth Fireball Forum

Günter Kargl and Manuel Scherf (Space Research Institute, Austrian Academy of Sciences) describe the outcomes of a series of workshops on fireball detection organised through the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) project. 

SPIDER

The SPIDER Space Weather Service supports studies of BepiColombo flybys at Venus and Mercury.

CommKit

Thibaut Roger (Europlanet Communications Team/Universität Bern) explores the use of games and play-related formats for research and science communication. 

The Last Word
Nigel Mason (President, Europlanet Society) reflects on efforts to build a more collaborative European space science community.

EPEC Profiles – Victor Amir Cardoso Dorneles

EPEC Profiles – Victor Amir Cardoso Dorneles

In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.

Victor is a PhD candidate in Astrobiology at the University of Bologna, IT.

I am currently in the last year of my PhD at the University of Bologna (IT), with a period abroad at The Natural History Museum of London (UK). My focus is to study the preservation of biosignatures in carbonate rocks from extreme modern terrestrial environments as analogues to lacustrine paleoenvironments of the Jezero crater on Mars. I am also a member of the Astrobiology and Geobiology Research Group at Unibo, and early this year I became part of the EPEC communications working group.

Over the years I have been pursuing what became a dream in my childhood. From the age of 7 to 17 I used to be a boy scout, so I grow up in touch with nature through camping, trekking, and hiking. Looking at the bright sky at night in the mountains was something that always fascinated me, and that is why I thought to be an astronomer first, to discover the wonders of the universe. Only after reading the book “Journey to the Center of the Earth” by French author Jules Verne, I realized that I needed to understand the planet where I live before exploring other worlds. In the outdoor activities as a boy scout, I used to look at the landscapes, mountains, and waterfalls and wonder how it all came about. Then, my journey in Geology started in 2014, when I was admitted to the faculty of Geology at the Federal University of Parana, in Brazil.

Coincidentally, my first contact with Astrobiology happened in the first week of my undergraduate classes when I attended a lecture on Geomicrobiology by who would become my future advisor. In that presentation, I discovered what stromatolites were and how they could be used to study ancient life on Earth, as well as their importance to the search for extraterrestrial life. That beat me in a way that was completely fascinating! It seems rash and naive to say that at that moment I was sure of my destiny, but I knew that was it. So, I survived the five years of my undergraduate degree plus two and a half years of Master’s in Geology, in which I had the opportunity to build a strong background in scientific research, learn different analytical techniques, gain experience in the laboratory, and participate in several scientific events. Finally, in my PhD I could confirm what I was sure about in 2014 in that first week of Geology undergrad, that I was going to work with Astrobiology.

Now as an adult man and geoscientist, I always try to bring the doubts of that little boy scout into my works as fuel for deciphering the Earth, and how life has evolved here, possibly on Mars and beyond!

The Europlanet Science Congress 2022 was my first contact with EPEC and it was fundamental for me to open my mind and be sure of the work I want to develop. I left the event extremely excited and energized after meeting a lot of people in my field and seeing a lot of great work in Planetary Sciences being done around the world.

VICTOR AMIR CARDOSO DORNELES

More information about Victor Amir Cardoso Dorneles:

Contact: victoramir.cardoso2@unibo.it

Website: https://www.unibo.it/sitoweb/victoramir.cardoso2

ResearchGate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Victor-Dorneles

Victor Amir Cardoso Dorneles. Image credit: G. Ruviaro.

If you are an Early Career member of the Europlanet Society and would like to be featured in an EPEC Profile, find out more about how to submit your profile.

See all the EPEC Profiles.

Europlanet Summer School 2023 is Underway

Europlanet Summer School 2023 is Underway

The Europlanet Summer School 2023 is being hosted by Vilnius University’s Moletai Astronomical Observatory (MAO) in Lithuania from 8-18 August.

For the first time, the School is taking place in hybrid format, with 20 participants from 10 countries attending on site and up to 30 people following online. The participants include early careers (right the way from high-school to BSc, MSc, PhD and postdoc) and amateur astronomers.

During the School, participants will gain hands-on experience observing with MAO’s 1.65m and 35/51cm-telescopes (weather permitting!) and training in analysing exoplanet transits, stellar spectra, atmospheric parameters and variability data. The programme includes training modules in communication skills and engaging with schools, as well as lectures on space and ground-based observations and machine learning.

Deividas Dudulis (high-school student and astrophotographer), who is participating in the Summer School, will be posting photos here.

EPEC Profiles – João Dias

EPEC Profiles – João Dias

In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.

João Dias is a Ph.D. student in Astronomy at the University of Lisboa, PT

Hello, I am currently starting my first year of the PhD in Astronomy at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences, in Lisbon, where I also did the Master in Astrophysics and Cosmology (2022). I will be studying minor chemical species abundances on Venus and Mars. Namely, I will be mapping water and methane abundances on Mars and sulphur dioxide, water and other associated compounds on Venus, using both ground-based observations and space-based observations from Mars Express and ExoMars. I will be using high-resolution spectroscopy observations and some radiative transfer codes.

I am currently included in the team of the ARIEL space mission, in the WG regarding the synergy between the Solar System and the exoplanets, and also in the EnVision future mission to Venus.
I had the opportunity this year to participate in my first in-person conference, the EPSC 2022 in Granada, which was amazing to improve networking and discuss the recent results on Planetary Science. I recently published my first work in the journal Atmosphere.

Moreover, besides research, I have contributed individually and collectively to several Science Communication activities in Portugal, such as astronomical observations, workshops, lectures in public schools and DarkSky Astronomy festivals. I am part of an Astronomy student group in Lisbon (Viver Astronomia), of about 50 people, that helps in the development of the aforementioned activities.
In my still young experience as a researcher in Planetary Sciences, I learned the importance of communication, discussion and teamwork in science.

As a next step in my career, I look forward to expanding my contribution to the community by joining the EPEC team, namely the Communication WG.

I had my first contact with EPEC in the Annual Week event of this year (2022). It was an excellent opportunity to network with amazing people in my area of research, discover the several funding opportunities that exist and the amazing projects that EPEC is doing and developing. At the Annual Week, the Communication WG caught my attention and now that I am starting my PhD, I think it is the right time to give a contribution to this group.

JOÃO DIAS

More information about João Dias:

Contact: jadias@fc.ul.pt

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo%C3%A3o-dias-274026199

João Dias. Image credit: João Dias.

If you are an Early Career member of the Europlanet Society and would like to be featured in an EPEC Profile, find out more about how to submit your profile.

See all the EPEC Profiles.

Call for Applications for Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) Committee Co-Chair

Call for Applications for Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) Committee Co-Chair

The EPEC network is organised by early-career researchers, for early-career researchers, and includes volunteers from across the Europlanet international community, with the support of the Europlanet Society. The focus of EPEC is to form a strong network among young professionals by organizing early-career-relevant events and by engaging in different projects through Working Groups (WGs).

The EPEC Committee, composed of all the WG Co-Chairs, is led and coordinated by two Chairs whose duty is to make sure all the working groups are working nominally, fill periodic reports on ongoing activities, and liaise with the Europlanet Society Executive Board.

The Chair of the EPEC Committee plays a key role in bringing the WGs and their activities together, making key decisions that benefit the EPEC network as a whole, encouraging new and innovative ideas, and expanding the Early Career Network.

The EPEC Committee is looking for one elected Committee Co-Chair for the next term to help sustain the Committee activities. The term of the elected EPEC Committee Co-Chairs will be two years with an option to extend for an additional year. The expected time commitment of the elected EPEC Chair is approximately two hours per week averaged over one year. However, an increased commitment is expected during the EPEC Annual Week and the run-up to EPSC.

This is a great opportunity to join a vibrant community of early career researchers and learn leadership and managing skills alongside an experienced Co-Chair who can help you make the most of this experience. The Europlanet Society is a developing community that values its early career members and can help raise their profile in a supportive environment.

Key responsibilities of the elected EPEC Chair:

  • Liaising with WG Chairs and keeping up-to-date with EPEC WG activities
  • Engaging in the EPEC forums on WG activities and discussions
  • The EPEC Committee Chair acts as the main contact person with the Europlanet Society Executive Board
  • Represeningt EPEC at EPSC (General Assembly) and at the EPEC Annual week 
  • Writing twice yearly reports on EPEC Committee activities (with help of WG Chairs)
  • Guaranteeing smooth transition with the next EPEC Committee Chair*

*In case the Co-Chairs need to leave EPEC, they should give enough notice to organise the transition

Eligibility to apply: 

The candidates for the EPEC Chair position must fulfil the following requirements:

  • The candidate must be a member of the Europlanet Society
  • Leadership: You will work with a diverse community and need to make sure all points of view are heard and respected, but if needed you and the other Co-Chair are expected to move the needle towards the best decision for the network;
  • Weekly availability on Slack: EPEC uses Slack as the main platform for brainstorming and exchange. You should check new messages at least twice per week;
  • The candidate must be an early-career planetary scientist and/or space professional whose last degree (e.g. MSc or PhD) was obtained a maximum of 7 years ago (excluding parental leave, serious illness, and similar delays).

We encourage applications from a diverse early career community (undergraduates, graduates, doctoral researchers, and postdocs)!

How to apply:
If you are interested to become EPEC Co-Chair, please submit your application via the form below by 8th September 2023.

After the deadline, the EPEC committee will meet for a discussion, and will then proceed with a formal vote among the candidates. 

The new Co-Chairs will be announced at the joint EPSC-DPS meeting, taking place in San Antonio (TX) between the 1st and 6th of October 2023.

EPEC Profiles – Giacomo Nodjoumi

EPEC Profiles Giacomo Nodjoumi

In this series from the EPEC Communication Working Group, we meet members of the Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) community and find out more about their experiences and aspirations.

Giacomo Nodjoumi is a Ph.D. student in Planetary Geology at Constructor University Bremen, DE

Giacomo Nodjoumi is from Italy, where he obtained degrees in Geology and Engineering Geology. Currently, he is pursuing a Ph.D. at Constructor University Bremen. His unique blend of interests in informatics and geology has led him to describe himself as an atypical geologist.

His Ph.D. project consists of landforms detection and mapping through Deep Learning Computer Vision on Mars and the Moon within the Europlanet RI 2024. His primary targets of interest are pits and skylights, peculiar surface morphologies that might grant access to cavities! To investigate further the presence of these cavities, he is also looking at the subsurface of Mars using orbital radar MARSIS and SHARAD data. He is also co-leading the development of newer scientific data applications for lunar exploration, L-EXPLO, and L-HEX, within the EXPLORE project (https://explore-platform.eu/space-browser).

During EPSC 2022, Giacomo and his colleagues launched the 1st EXPLORE Lunar Data Challenges. Two competitions about Lunar exploration and data exploitation. The former focused on Machine Learning to involve researchers and professionals of planetary and computer sciences in mapping landforms on a region of the Moon. The latter is a didactical challenge, to involve classrooms and increase their knowledge about the Moon and how Machine Learning could improve our understanding of the Moon (https://exploredatachallenges.space/).

In 2022, Giacomo participated in the Analog-1 experiment on Mount Etna (Italy), during which the European Space Agency (ESA) conducted tests and field operations with the Interact rover.

I heard about EPEC at the beginning of my Ph.D. but I have realized why EPEC is undoubtedly a great opportunity for early career scientists only during in-person EPSC 2022.

GIACOMO NODJOUMI

Giacomo Nodjoumi. Image credit: Giacomo Nodjoumi.

If you are an Early Career member of the Europlanet Society and would like to be featured in an EPEC Profile, find out more about how to submit your profile.

See all the EPEC Profiles.

Expert Exchanges – Call Now Open

Europlanet Expert Exchanges – Call Now Open

A new call has been launched for the Expert Exchange Programme, funded through Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI), which aims to share expertise and best practice within the planetary community, and to prepare new facilities and services for integration into the RI.

Applications should be made before the next call deadline of 15 June 2023. Visits through this call should take place between 1 August 2023 and 31 January 2024.

The programme provides funding for short visits (up to one week).

Objectives for an Europlanet Expert Exchange might be:

  • To improve infrastructure facilities and services offered to the scientific community by Europlanet 2024 RI laboratories or institutes.
  • To provide training on theoretical or practical aspects of the laboratory/fieldwork required to plan a future TA application.
  • To foster cooperation between academia and industry (SMEs).
  • To support early career professionals to develop skills to use or manage RI facilities or services.
  • To widen participation from Under-Represented States in RI activities and services.
  • To support the inclusion of amateur communities in European planetary science campaigns.
  • To support engagement with wider society e.g. through the involvement of outreach providers, educators, journalists, artists etc.

For more details, see the Expert Exchange Call Page.

Announcement of Europlanet Summer School 2023

Announcement of Europlanet Summer School 2023

Europlanet 2024-RI and the Molėtai Astronomical Observatory (ITPA VU) are pleased to announce the international research summer school “Space missions: ground-based observations and science communication“ (hybrid school, August 8 – 18, 2023). The aim of the course is to give participants a thorough, multidisciplinary introduction into space missions and the ground-based observations required by space missions before and after launch, as well as an introduction to science communication. More general subjects about specific space missions (TESS, JWST, PLATO…), planetary systems, habitability of planets, photometric and spectroscopic techniques will be presented. Participants will be given some hands-on experience with analysis of stellar chemical composition, detection of stellar variability and/or exoplanets using the Molėtai Astronomical Observatory telescopes (CCD photometry and high-resolution spectroscopy). In addition, the course will give participants the opportunity to develop comprehensive theoretical and practical skills in science communication and engaging with a range of lay audiences, including the public, media, policy makers, schools and educators. The course is open to PhD and master studentsearly career scientists, and amateur astronomers.

Activities of professional astronomers and amateur astronomers will be merged in order to achieve more understanding between groups. The level of the school is orientated to PhD students and early career scientists, however amateur astronomers will be provided with the additional scientific support during lectures and observations.

  • For selected* participants from the European Economic Area (EEA) and one or two participants from countries outside EEA the participation will be fully covered and up to €360,- for travel depending on the distance travelled will be reimbursed by Europlanet 2024-RI.
  • Other selected participants will have to pay a participation fee of 600 EUR that includes accomodation, meals, excursions and local transportation.

For more information and registration on the website http://mao.tfai.vu.lt/europlanet2023/.


The school is organised by the European Commission HORIZON 2020 project EUROPLANET 2024 Research Infrastructure. Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 871149.

The deadline for application is 8 June 2023 23:59:00 UTC.

Notifications of acceptance by 1 July 2023 23:59:00 UTC.

* More information concerning the reimbursement will be provided for the selected participants personally.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR EPEC COMMITTEE CO-CHAIR

The EPEC network is organized by early-career researchers, for early-career researchers, and includes volunteers from across the Europlanet international community, with the support of the Europlanet Society. The focus of EPEC is to form a strong network among young professionals by organizing early-career-relevant events and by engaging in different projects through the different Working Groups (WGs) such as EPEC annual week, EPEC@EPSC, Future Research, Early Career Support, Outreach, Diversity, and Communications.

The EPEC Committee, composed of all the WG Co-Chairs, is led and coordinated by two Chairs whose duty is to make sure all the working groups are working nominally, fill periodic reports on ongoing activities, and liaise with the Europlanet Society board.

The Chair of the EPEC Committee plays a key role in bringing the WGs and their activities together, making key decisions that benefit the EPEC network as a whole, expanding the EPEC Committee by encouraging new and innovative ideas from the EPEC Committee, facilitating progress across the whole Early Career Network.

With the exponential growth in EPEC activities across EPEC working groups since its launch and with the term of our current EPEC committee Co-Chairs ending, the EPEC Committee is looking for one elected Committee Co-Chair for the next term to help sustain the Committee activities. The term of the elected EPEC Committee Co-Chairs will be two years with an option to extend for an additional year. The expected time commitment of the elected EPEC Chair is approximately two hours per week averaged over one year. However, an increased commitment is expected during the EPEC Annual Week and EPSC organizing weeks.

This is a great opportunity to join a vibrant community of early career researchers and learn leadership and managing skills alongside an experienced Co-Chair who can help you make the most of this experience. The Europlanet Society is a developing community that values its early career members and can help raise their profile in a supportive environment.

Key responsibilities of the elected EPEC Chair:

  • Liaising with WG Chairs and keeping up-to-date with EPEC WG activities
  • Engage in the EPEC forums on WG activities and discussions
  • EPEC Committee Chair acts as the main contact person with the Europlanet Society Executive Board
  • Represent EPEC at EPSC (General Assembly) and at the EPEC Annual week 
  • Writing bi-yearly reports on EPEC Committee activities (with help of WG Chairs)
  • Guaranteeing smooth transition with the next EPEC Committee Chair*

*In case the Co-Chairs need to leave EPEC, they should give enough notice to organize the transition

Eligibility to apply: 

The candidates for the EPEC Chair position must fulfil the following requirements:

  • The candidate must be a member of the Europlanet Society
  • Leadership: You will work with a diverse community and need to make sure all points of view are heard and respected, but if needed you and the other Co-Chair are expected to move the needle towards the best decision for the network;
  • Weekly availability on Slack: EPEC uses Slack as the main platform for brainstorming and exchange. You should check new messages at least twice per week;
  • The candidate must be an early-career planetary scientist and/or space professional whose last degree (e.g. MSc or PhD) was obtained a maximum of 7 years ago (excluding parental leave, serious illness, and similar delays).

We encourage applications from a diverse early career community (undergraduates, graduates, doctoral researchers, and postdocs)!

How to apply:
If you are interested to become EPEC Co-Chair, please submit your application via this link by 31st of May 2023 at 7 PM CEST.

After the deadline, the EPEC committee will meet for a discussion, and will then proceed with a formal vote among the candidates. 

The new Co-Chairs will be announced at the joint EPSC-DPS meeting, taking place in San Antonio (TX) between the 1st and 6th of October 2023.

We wish you all the best with the applications!
If you have any questions, please write us via epec.network@gmail.com
 

The EPEC committee

ERIM / EPEC Annual Week 2023 – Registration Now Open

Europlanet Research Infrastructure Meeting (ERIM)/Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) Annual Week 2023 – Registration Now Open

The first Europlanet Research Infrastructure Meeting (ERIM), co-hosted with the fifth Europlanet Early Career (EPEC) Annual Week, will take place from 19-23 June 2023 in hybrid format at the Hotel Sorea / Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia and online. 

Registration is free and accommodation and travel support is available for participants. 

Registration is now open.

Deadline for on-site registration: 19 May 2023

Deadline for virtual registration: 16 June 2023

About ERIM

ERIM is a new kind of meeting to support European planetary science and associated communities. The format of ERIM 2023 is a series of interactive workshops related to the activities of the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) project, research infrastructures in general, and the Europlanet Society. The meeting will be co-hosted with EPEC Annual Week 2023, the training school for the Europlanet Early Career Network. 

How will it Work?

Workshops will be organised under a series of programme tracks. You can dip in and out of programme tracks, workshops and even sessions during the week. The aim is to make new connections, brainstorm ideas, develop synergies, increase opportunities for collaboration and help us build a strong, thriving, sustainable community for planetary science in Europe.

You don’t have to be a member of the Europlanet Society or the Europlanet 2024 RI project to participate in ERIM. We are looking for new people to engage with Europlanet, so everyone is welcome. However, we will be offering free accommodation and travel grants to a limited number (~150) of participants. If we are over-subscribed in requests for support, priority will be given to Europlanet Society members. (Find out about other benefits of joining the Europlanet Society).

Programme 

Many different topics will be covered within the ERIM programme tracks and workshops, including:

For full details of the meeting and registration, see: https://www.europlanet-society.org/erim2023/

If you have any questions, contact us.

We hope to see you in Bratislava!

The ERIM 2023 Organising Committee

Expert Exchanges – Call Now Open

Europlanet Expert Exchanges – Call Now Open

A new call has been launched for the Expert Exchange Programme, funded through Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI), which aims to share expertise and best practice within the planetary community, and to prepare new facilities and services for integration into the RI.

Applications should be made before the next call deadline of 31 March 2023. Visits through this call should take place between 1 May and 31 October 2023.

The programme provides funding for short visits (up to one week).

Objectives for an Europlanet Expert Exchange might be:

  • To improve infrastructure facilities and services offered to the scientific community by Europlanet 2024 RI laboratories or institutes.
  • To provide training on theoretical or practical aspects of the laboratory/fieldwork required to plan a future TA application.
  • To foster cooperation between academia and industry (SMEs).
  • To support early career professionals to develop skills to use or manage RI facilities or services.
  • To widen participation from Under-Represented States in RI activities and services.
  • To support the inclusion of amateur communities in European planetary science campaigns.
  • To support engagement with wider society e.g. through the involvement of outreach providers, educators, journalists, artists etc.

For more details, see the Expert Exchange Call Page.

Issue 4 of the Europlanet Magazine is out now!

Issue 4 of the Europlanet Magazine is out now!

In this issue:

Cover of Issue 4 of the Europlanet Magazine. Credit: Pixooma/NASA/Europlanet

In Focus
round up of news from Europlanet 2024 RI, the Europlanet Society, the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2022 and the planetary community. 

Back Face to Face

For the first time in three years, the planetary science community had the opportunity to meet face-to-face at the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2022 in Granada, Spain. Thibaut Roger (Europlanet/Universität Bern/NCCR PlanetS) and Vix Southgate (Europlanet/Vixen Design) present a selection of EPSC2022 images.

Planetary Perspectives
Ann Carine Vandaele, the new President Elect of the Europlanet Society and Head of the Planetary Atmospheres Group at the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (IASB-BIRA), talks about her career and her vision for Europlanet in this month’s Planetary Perspectives Q&A.

Amanar: A Refuge in the Stars 

Felipe Carrelli, Jorge Rivero González, Andrea Rodríguez Antón, Nayra Rodríguez Eugenio and Diego Torres Machado on behalf of GalileoMobile and the Amanar Task Force explain how the ‘Amanar: Under the Same Sky’ project is using astronomy to support Sahrawi refugee communities through skills development and self-empowerment activities.

The Effects of Climate Change on Astronomical Observing Facilities

Caroline Haslebacher (University of Bern/NCCR PlanetS) and her team look into how climate change will affect ground-based observations.

Observing DART with the Travelling Telescope
Colin Clarke of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium in Northern Ireland visited the Travelling Telescope Team in Kenya through the Europlanet Expert Exchange Programme.

VESPA Comes of Age  
Stéphane Erard (Observatoire de Paris) explores the evolution of Europlanet’s virtual access service, VESPA.

Long-term Sustainability of Small and Mid-scale Distributed RI Projects
Liliana Avila Ospina and Patrick England (MOSBRI), Ana Helman (ESF), and Anita Heward and Nigel Mason (Europlanet) report on a side event session at the International Conference of Research Infrastructures (ICRI) 2022.

Europlanet Impact Case study: Atomki
Béla Sulik explains how the Institute for Nuclear Research (Atomki), Hungary’s national centre of accelerator-based nuclear and atomic physics, became involved with and has benefitted from collaboration with Europlanet.

JWST Sees Red with First Pictures of Mars
Sanje Fenkart, a science communicator and freelance journalist, is the new editorial assistant for the CERNCourier. She took part in the media internship programme at the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) from 18-23 September 2022 funded by the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) project. Here she reports on results presented at the meeting.

From Online to Granada: Bringing Scientific Conferences to Schools

Ulysse Pedreira-Segade, Education Officer for Europlanet 2024 RI and Scientific Coordinator for Lecturers Without Borders, describes how activities to bring planetary sciences to the classroom has transitioned from online to in-person.

Status of Women in Astronomy: Still a Long Way to Go
Mamta Pommier (LUMP/CNRS, Université de Montpellier, France) and Arianna Piccialli (Royal Belgium Institute of Space Aeronomy, Belgium), on behalf of the IAU Women in Astronomy Working Group, take a first look at factors suppressing the careers of women astronomers around the world.

Hidden in the Noise
Yoshifumi Futaana (Swedish Institute of Space Physics) shows how asking unusual questions can lead to ground-breaking science.

CommKit 
The Europlanet Magazine’s column on science communication by Thibaut Roger (Europlanet/Universität Bern/NCCR PlanetS) reflects on unconventional outreach practices.

The Last Word – A Time for Optimism
Nigel Mason (University of Kent/Atomki) reflects on positive news for the planetary science community.