EXPLORE Career Profiles: Iain McDonald

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Iain McDonald
EXPLORE Project Role: Lead developer of S-Phot Stellar Scientific Data Application
Professional Role and Affiliation: Research Fellow, University of Manchester
Nationality: British
Current location: Scotland

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

I didn’t really have a clue, but I’d just learned to programme and I guessed it would involve computers. 

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

Unsurprisingly, physics!

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

I studied astrophysics at St. Andrews. I had always had a passion for astronomy, space and writing, and a career in astrophysics let me combine the three. I chose St. Andrews because it was the closest university, meaning I could still help out on the family farm when I had a break.

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

I am still in my first “real” job, which was a fortunate combination of my examiner needing a researcher at the same time I was finishing my PhD. My role and research has changed throughout the years, and I have had other jobs at the same time, but I’ve been fortunate to have been in this job for over 14 years.

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

I never expected to research the diversity of science I do today. Branching out from stars into discovering exoplanets isn’t that unusual, but I would never have guessed that I’d be publishing textbooks on genetic genealogy and papers in medieval history journals!

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

 I owe a great debt of gratitude to too many people to mention by name. Whether that’s been someone who has proof-read my latest fellowship proposal, or someone who has sorted out my travel problems when I’m stuck in another country, or being taught how to correctly deal with liquid nitrogen or read an autocue. I am grateful to work in a very friendly community who are supportive of each other.

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

 Poke computers until they do what I want them to. That might be programming a new form of analysis, making plots to examine data, or writing papers.

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

The best part of my job are still the occasional times I get to spend the night observing on top of some remote mountaintop in an exciting part of the world. More often, I still get excited about looking through a fresh set of data and seeing parts of how the Universe works that no-one has seen before. The worst part is needing the patience to analyse this new data rigorously – I always want to write up my papers quickly at tell the world what I’ve found.

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

There are so many different things I would like to do but don’t have the time for. There are many details of the Universe that I would like to uncover, I would like to create a better model for how humans have migrated across the globe, I’d like to climb every mountain, learn to play the clarinet and buy a farm of my own. But the most important thing I will do over the next few years is bring up a family!

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

Push yourself to try more things and get better at them. The more things you try, the more things you’ll like, and you never know when those things will become useful to you in the future. And don’t be so hard on the people who tell you to do your homework – they really do have your best interests at heart!

Quick CV

  • PhD (Keele 2009), MSc (Manchester 2005), MSci (St. Andrews 2004)
  • Research Fellow/PDRA, University of Manchester (2009-2024)
  • Lecturer, Open University (2020-2023)

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: 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: Vix Southgate

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Vix Southgate
EXPLORE Project Role: Communication Support
Professional Role and Affiliation: Creative Communication and VIP Manager, Vixen UK
Nationality: British
Current location: Chesterfield, UK

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

Aged 10? That’s a good question, thinking back to where I was when I was 10; I was being bullied at junior school and, as a result, my interest in education was non-existent, my future hopes were merely to survive until I could move schools. So I dreamed of being famous – mainly because I saw this as being the complete opposite of where I was – the reality of fame is that celebrities are targeted even more by bullies (or trolls as they are now known), so I’m glad I changed that dream and didn’t take the role I was offered, as Vicky in Coronation Street, aged 15. I never really knew what I wanted to be – still don’t, but it’s been an amazing journey and fun adventure so far! 

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

I enjoyed art, technical drawing, languages and history, anything creative or information that was relevant to my life. 

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

I did not do a degree, but left school after GCSES (aged 15) and went to Art College BTEC ND (National Diploma) in general art and design and photography; I then went on to a BTEC HND (Higher National Diploma) in Historic Decorative Crafts, because this course brought together all my passions, creativity through decorative arts, woodworking, photography, and technical drawing, as well as my love of history – in this case the history of art and architecture. To my surprise, it also had an element on Chemistry, in the form of paint technology, which I enjoyed, and even though my science results at GCSE were dreadful, I excelled at this, as it was relevant and interesting.

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

My first job was a paper round aged 13, because I wanted to be able to buy my own Beano comics! My first proper job since leaving university was as a self-employed bespoke furniture maker, but I was making items for people who knew me and were helping me build a portfolio.  I would say my first BIG break was a year in, when I landed the job of painting ALL the new signs for the Emmerdale set, my Woolpack sign was on the show for 25 years (it was replace in Dec 2022 after the plot writers set fire to the Woolpack)! 

Occasionally, I had to supplement my income with temporary employment (which is fun and I am able to add new skills to my business skillset, which all helps with future employment) I’ve worked in most industries, and learned as much as I could with every job I have had.

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

Whilst there has been a huge element of luck throughout my career, that luck has always come along when I work hard to building a route to that moment that provides the big break. However, I think my transition into the space sector is the biggest surprise twist! I never had an interest in space, beyond supporting my Brother who has dedicated his life to Astrophysics. I thought of space as his universe, not mine, but then (after life-changing surgery which forced me to look at a new career) I found the technical/engineering side and fell in love with the passion of others in this sector.  

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

For my initial career my mentors and inspirations were my tutors and the mastercraftsmen of history. In the space sector, I would say it is everyone I meet, everyone has an inspirational story to tell and it is the most collaborative and supportive industry I have worked in.

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

Each day is different. There are the usual admin tasks, prioritising tasks, email, social media, etc and sometimes I am doing research for a book or article, or proofreading, editing, designing graphics or logos, or following-up regarding events or potential leads (future work). Networking and keeping in touch with my connections is also high on my every-day to do list. 

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

I love the variety of jobs I do and the great potential to move in any direction I want to. I have the flexibility to follow new paths -and the unknown is so exciting, and terrifying!  
I dislike the uncertainty of where the next contract or payment is coming from, but over the decades I have found a formula that works for me ‘most of the time’! 

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

I have so many dreams and projects that I have started and want to finish, but my main ambition is to continue to make a difference and support future generations. 

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

I would not change the advice I gave myself, aged 10, and that was that ‘you will be fine’! What helps me is; to focus on the positives of each day and leave the negativity behind. Surround yourself with people that support you and celebrate your successes with you (not those who try to bring you down). Every new day is a new opportunity to learn and succeed, but also ‘do not fear failure’ it is through failing that I have learned the most and found my greatest successes!

Quick CV

  • Academic qualifications
    • GCSEs: Maths, Eng Lang, Eng Lit, French, Spanish, History, Art, Chemistry, Physics.
    • BTEC ND: General Art & Design and A-Levels: Art
    • BTEC HND: Historic Decorative CraftsYHAFE: Teacher Training
  • Main or selected jobs to date: 
    • Self employed: (1996-present) This has included bespoke woodwork; stately home restoration; theatre, TV and film production design; painting and decorating; graphic design; signwriting; motorbike repair and custom paint jobs; church restoration and woodwork; antique restoration; author and illustrator of childrens books; publishing; editing; marketing and PR; creative communications; business and design consultancy; events coordination; VIP management and scheduling; et al.
    • Capital One: (2000-2002) Customer service; creative communications; magazine editor; incentives manager.

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: Andree Genot

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Andree Genot
EXPLORE Project Role: adwäisEO Project Manager for EXPLORE Cloud Integration and Science Data Archiving activities
Professional Role and Affiliation: Project Manager at adwäisEO
Nationality: Belgian
Current location: Luxembourg

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

At the age of 10, I aspired to be either a policeman or a firefighter. This inclination reflected my tomboyish nature and a desire to engage in adventurous and heroic pursuits.

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

I had several favourite subjects in school, including languages, sciences, and history. Each subject appealed to different aspects of my interests and curiosity.

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

I pursued a degree in Communications at university with the initial intention of entering the field of advertising. The choice of Communications appealed to me because of its versatility, offering opportunities in various career fields. I opted to study in Brussels due to its international and cosmopolitan atmosphere, providing a rich cultural and educational experience.

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

I secured my first job through word of mouth. Over the course of my career, I have had three jobs, with one particular role lasting for an impressive 13 years. Networking and personal connections played a significant role in shaping my career trajectory.

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

The most unexpected turn in my career was securing a job in IT and Finance and then again transitioning from the realms of finance and IT to the Space and Earth Observation sector. This unexpected twist opened new doors and provided me with unique opportunities in a cutting-edge field.

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

My father has been a significant inspiration in my life. His support, open-mindedness, interest in languages and cultures, and a balance of ambition and modesty have shaped my values and approach to life and work. His journey from a librarian in a South African Black University to working for the European Central Bank exemplifies the power of determination and adaptability.

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

My daily routine involves extensive research, document writing, project follow-ups, and regular participation in meetings. These tasks collectively contribute to the efficiency and progress of my work.

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

The collaborative nature of team projects and the research aspects of my work are what I enjoy the most. On the flip side, certain administrative or routine tasks might be less appealing, but they are essential for the overall success of projects.

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

My aspirations include acquiring more technical training and potentially pursuing further studies to become a Compliance Officer. These ambitions align with my ongoing commitment to professional development and expanding my skill set.

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

I would advise my 10-year-old self to care less about the opinions of others, concentrate on personal growth, and focus on continuous learning. These principles can empower individuals to build a strong foundation for their future endeavours.

Quick CV

  • Academic qualifications
    • Bachelors in Information and Communications 
    • Financial Studies Certification
  • Main or selected jobs to date:
    • Project Manager at adwäisEO (2022-2023)
    • IT Business Analyst/ Data Specialist/Data Operations – Assistant Director (2017 –2021)
    • IT Financial Product/Project Manager (2014 –2016)
    • Quality Control Specialist, IT Financial Products (2008) 

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: Angelo Pio Rossi

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Angelo Pio Rossi
EXPLORE Project Role: Lead developer of the L-EXPLO and L-HEX Lunar Scientific Data Applications
Professional Role and Affiliation: Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, Constructor University
Nationality: Italian
Current location: Bremen, Germany.

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

Oscillating in between a coroner, an archaeologist, and a fossil (or mineral) hunter. I realised later a geologist is a bit of all of them. And medicine was not my thing anyway.

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

Natural sciences, and later Latin and Earth Sciences. Old dead things, mostly.

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

I studied geology. I went through my high school years forgetting my childhood’s visceral attraction to geology, and somehow it came out again in the end. There was a geoscience program just started (the department was founded just 2-3 years before) in a nearby city, and I enrolled. That was it. 

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

A PhD stipend perhaps does not quite qualify as job, but in the years I was doing my PhD, I also worked for a little while as a surveyor for the Italian geological mapping programme, as a new edition of the local systematic geological map was being prepared. Funnily enough, back then we were experimenting with digital mapping. Only, technology was not like now (digital mapping with tablets is nowadays quite normal): we had clunky devices, and obscure software that I goofily adapted from something developed by USGS in Alaska (and actually kindly provided by them).

I was then at ESA in the Netherlands for some years, then at ISSI in Switzerland, and at Constructor (formerly Jacobs University) for the last decade.

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

To be honest I had many lucks, but none uniquely shaped my career. They did shape my view on things, though. Since you ask, let me try and recall a small selection:

  • When I was working for my undergraduate thesis and, later, during my PhD, the lab hosting me had a few visitors and researchers. I want to list few of them: Goro Komatsu (later he became a professor at my Alma Mater), Jens Ormö (he is at CAB in Madrid now), and for a sabbatical also Paul Geissler (at USGS Flagstaff now, back then at University of Arizona), and shortly people like Jeff Kargel (UoA). For me, that was a very enriching time, being exposed to many research topics, but mostly different people, and backgrounds. You don’t have time for anecdotes now, maybe one day…
  • Later, when I was at ESA as research fellow, I had the luck – truly, this time, as I was there between 2005 and 2008 – to be involved with Mars Express, a mission that was in its early phases. It was then that I started appreciating openness with data (In this respect the MEX HRSC team was exemplary), rather than planetary mission experiments as exclusive club. A decade later this was one of the motivation inspiring the co-founding of OpenPlanetary
  • Finally, at ISSI in Bern, I had the luck to meet and interact with Johannes Geiss (see below), and many others. Apart from the fact that the entire ISSI staff is lovely, Johannes was an encyclopedic, deep scholar and an amazing character. 

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

Yes, very much. I have a few. First and foremost my late palaeontology professor from my undergraduate times: Giovanni Jack Pallini. Then, many years later, the late Johannes Geiss, who was a legend and the funniest and most  – gently – iconoclastic scientist I have ever met. And Roger Maurice Bonnet, who is one of the most elegant leaders I recall (plus, decades later, we still chew planetary missions he has made possible…).  They helped me through their example, not just with words… with things adsorbed, and not necessarily realised immediately. 

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

Curse my two cats jumping on my laptop while I work, or dipping their paws into my cup of tea. 

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

  • I actually like geology because at the same time it deals with the past – the forgotten and the buried – and also what happens now, and what might happen in the future. I don’t think it is the only discipline to give this multi-scale view of things (spatial, temporal), but it is definitely one of those providing the broadest view. 
  • Regardless geology, since running projects is what I have been done in practice in all those years, what I like is to make things happen. 
  • What do I like least? Dealing with (most) academics, and their terrible time management skills.

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

I prefer to answer to this question next year 😉 But if you really insist: to learn and explore new things.

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

  1. I don’t know… I tried many paths, I messed up a few, and overall, if I look back, at certain junctions where life could have gone one way or another, I realise that I am OK with what I did. I own it, even if it is not the best way according to mainstream metrics. But metrics are a bit of a trap, anyway.  There is actually a drawing that I saw a couple of years ago, and I think it is all I would like just to show to my 10 year-old self. Rather sure that he would not get it. And that is fine, too.

Quick CV

  • Academic qualifications
    • 2004 – Ph.D., IRSPS, Univ. Chieti, Italy
    • 2000 – Degree in Earth Sciences, Univ. Chieti, Italy
  • Main or selected jobs to date: 
    • 2011-present – Constructor University (Bremen, Germany)
    • 2005-2008 – European Space Agency (Noordwijk, the Netherlands)
    • 2008-2010 – International Space Science Institute (Bern, Switzerland)

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: Anita Heward

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Anita Heward
EXPLORE Project Role: Communications Manager
Professional Role and Affiliation: Director, Dill Faulkes Educational Trust (DFET) Ltd
Nationality: British
Current location: Surrey, UK

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

I wanted to be a ski instructor!

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

I liked English best. I really loved reading and I liked trying to understand how stories are put together. I was encouraged to study sciences and maths by my teachers and parents, as I was quite good at them. They advised me that it was possible to pick up other subjects later in life, but with science this is harder to do, and that science opens doors to many different careers.

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

 I originally wanted to study law at Cambridge but I didn’t get the grades. I looked through several university prospectuses until I came across a course in Physics and Space Science at the University of Leicester. I was watching Star Wars on TV at the time and it felt like it was meant to be! In practice, I found it quite hard to engage with the theory and the maths during my degree. When I graduated, I followed my 10-year-old self’s dream to spend some time working and skiing in the Alps. It was a lot of fun but, at the end of a year, I felt it was time to do something more academic. I went back to Leicester to do a Master’s degree in Earth Observation Science. Doing a subject with practical applications and creating maps where you could visualise the data and see movement and changes in front of you was a breakthrough for me. I really loved it.

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

Towards the end of my MSc, I was looking for a job. An email came round the department for a part-time opportunity to spend six-months helping to research content for a gallery at the National Space Centre, a space-themed visitor attraction that was under development in Leicester at the time. I ended up spending three years there, full-time, as an exhibition developer, curator and setting up a space news service for visitors. Since I left, I have been freelance, so have had a ‘portfolio’ career of working on lots of different projects at any one time.

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

Working at the National Space Centre, from the time it was a set of architectural plans to when the building was open and welcoming hundreds of visitors per day, was an amazing experience. Defining what to put in this enormous building, within the budget and time constraints, was a huge job, carried out by a very small – generally very young – team. In my mid-twenties, I was given a lot of opportunities and responsibilities, and hands-on experience of pretty much every aspect of the project, from buying rockets and space suits to mopping the floors. I wrote the text for hundreds of exhibition panels, which was very good practice for distilling complex topics into 100-200 words. I also developed a very wide network of people working in the space sector, academia and the media, which has been the bedrock of everything that I have done since.

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

Since I left the National Space Centre, I have largely been freelance. Both my parents were self-employed and they showed me that this was a valid, achievable career path and supported me when I made the leap. Many of the people that I worked with at the Space Centre were inspirational, including the Creative Director, Alex Hall, and the original CEO, Keith Beaumont, who was an exceptionally skilled manager who made everyone feel that they could have their say within the company’s decision-making process.

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

I work on a number of different projects, each including many different activities, so no two days are exactly the same. I spend a lot of time on Zoom talking to people around the world. I also spend a lot of time editing material from different sources to make funding proposals, articles or press releases that are coherent and understandable for non-experts.

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

I get to work on many different topics, right across the spectrum of planetary science research, and interact with many people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. In the past year or so, I have been very focused on thinking about strategy and sustainability for various activities – essentially how can we turn projects that have been funded through grants into businesses and services that people will pay for. This has been very interesting, though very demanding. I like least the fact that I work on project with deadlines that I have little control over. Urgent things come up, often with very little warning, that I just have to deal with. This makes it very hard to manage my time and to take time off.

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

I did a creative writing MA part time from 2010-2012 where I had to deliver a draft of a novel. I never had time to follow up with trying to get it published, although many of my course-mates are now onto their third or fourth book. I feel that the world of science is very misleadingly portrayed generally in fiction, TV and film and this is a real problem for public engagement and trust in science. I want to write entertaining, fast paced books that are set in a world that reflects how science and space missions are actually carried out. 

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

I was a very quiet and shy child and I think I would have been astonished to know that I’d ended up in a career in communications, sometimes having to give talks in front of hundreds of people. I would tell myself that listening is an underrated skill. Don’t worry if you don’t feel you have much to say a lot of the time, so long as you listen, think things through and have the confidence to speak up when you have ideas to contribute. 

Quick CV

  • Qualifications:
    • GCSE: Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, English Literature, English Language, French, Spanish and Geography
    • A-Level: Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology
    • BSc: Physics and Space Science
    • MSc: Earth Observation Science
    • PGDip: Science Communication
    • MA: Creative Writing
  • Work:
    • 1998-2001: National Space Centre – Exhibition Development, Curator and Exhibition Manager
    • 2001-Present: Freelance/project work for clients including EXPLORE, Europlanet, the Royal Astronomical Society, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Google Lunar XPRIZE, VolitionRX, UCL, the Open University and University of Kent.

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.

EXPLORE Career Profiles: Albert Zijlstra

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Albert Zijlstra
EXPLORE Project Role: Lead Developer of the EXPLORE Stellar Scientific Data Applications
Professional Role and Affiliation: Professor of Astrophysics, The University of Manchester, UK
Nationality: Dutch
Current location: Manchester, UK

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

Undecided, I think! I was already very interested in astronomy, perhaps in part because of the Apollo landings but a future job was too far in the future. 

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

I studied mainly the sciences. Other topics were dropped as soon as it was allowed. It was required to study at least two languages for the final exams, but that was the only non-science I kept! 

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

I went to the closest university, as the first one from the family to go there. I studied astrophysics. This largely follows the physics curriculum, so it was possible to do something I was really interested in without having to worry about employability.

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

After my undergraduate degree, I was able to go the US on a junior research position, which became part of my PhD. I have worked in quite a few places, both academia and industry, involving 5 different continents.

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

I have never done career planning so all positions I have held have involved chance or ‘luck’. I worked in South Africa for a year and can say that I have seen Mandela in person on the day he was release. That was quite a year.

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

I have learned from several supervisors and colleagues. There isn’t a single mentor but every time you move to a new place, you’ll find new ways and methods for doing science.  It is important to make use of those opportunities and not just keep doing the same things.

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

Every day is different. There may be teaching to do, in large lectures, small groups or face to face. There are new papers to read on the latest research and of course there is my own research to work on, almost always in international collaborations. Every day is a learning experience.

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

The work is great. The teaching is rewarding and the research is exciting. On the other hand, the work pressure can be very high and this has become worse since Covid. You have to be careful with your mental health.

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

Not really. I will see what comes next!

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

Not to worry. Everyone is different and everyone has a place.  Just do what you are good at and enjoy!

Quick CV

  • Academic qualifications
    • PhD
  • Main or selected jobs to date:
    • Professor of Astrophysics, The University of Manchester
    • Visiting Professor, University of Hong Kong (2016-2022)
    • Director Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (2010-2015)
    • Lecturer/Reader, UMIST 
    • Astronomer, European Southern Observatory
    • Research Fellow, South Africa Astronomical Observatory
    • PhD student, Netherlands
    • Junior Research Fellow, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, USA
    • Desk Editor, Elsevier Science Publishers

More EXPLORE Career Profiles

EXPLORE Career Profiles: Nick Cox

EXPLORE Career Profiles

Name: Nick Cox
EXPLORE Project Role: Project Manager
Professional Role and Affiliation: ACRI-ST, Research Engineer
Nationality: Dutch
Current location: Toulouse, France

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

Already then, I was not very decided on what I wanted to be, and several professions caught my fancy,from being a chartered accountant (I liked numbers), an astronaut (the night sky was fascinating) to being a professional brick builder (the Danish kind of brick) 😉.

2. What was your favourite subject at school?

I don’t think I had a single favourite subject in high-school. I liked chemistry because of the hands-on experiments but also mathematics and economics (especially how it tried to capture the real world in numbers and equations). I also liked drawing and (practical) design to nurture my creative mind.

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

After much deliberation I decided, at the last minute, to study astrophysics in Utrecht (Netherlands). At the time the curriculum in Utrecht was quite broad with electives in astronomy, geophysics, oceanography, computing, experimental physics, and physical chemistry. I also thought it would be challenging and give me good career prospects. Out of curiosity I did a minor in chemistry, but finally I chose to stick with astrophysics for my master’s degree.

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

My first real job, after doing some temp work, was as a junior researcher/doctoral candidate. I wasn’t particularly looking to do a doctoral thesis when I stumbled upon a vacancy for an interesting research project (astronomy with a pinch of chemistry!). Since then I’ve had several academic jobs in Europe (notably Spain, Belgium, and France) before joining the company I work at currently.

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

After my doctoral thesis I was looking to stay in the Netherlands, and I applied for a fellowship at ESA/ESTEC (Netherlands). I did not get accepted for that position but was offered instead a position at ESA/ESAC near Madrid, Spain. This unexpected twist started my adventures abroad.

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

Many persons inspired me throughout my academic journey. I have had amazing supervisors for my doctoral project, but also for my other academic posts. I learned different things from each of them, all making me a better scientist, but also a better teacher, and hopefully a better project manager 😉.

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

I work mostly in the office, but I get to travel several times a year for project meetings or conferences (even though many meetings are now held online). Each day I typically spend some time to read and write emails, and do some admin. The larger part of the day I work on project tasks – with usually two or more projects running in parallel. Typical tasks are coding, data processing and analysis, writing and reviewing documents and articles, reading papers, preparing and holding meetings with colleagues, project partners and students.

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

It is very gratifying to work on a code and, after many mistakes, make it work. I also like the travel part of the job, to see new cities and places, and meet colleagues/friends from all over the world. As a researcher / R&D engineer I’m continuously researching and learning new ideas and topics.

One of things that can be sometimes frustrating as a project manager is to need to chase people to answer questions or deliver inputs (but of course for the EXPLORE project this is never needed with all those amazing partners in the consortium 😉).

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

For EXPLORE one of our ambitions is to further exploit the science platform we developed and to improve and create new scientific apps. Also, I’d like to create a start-up someday.

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

Follow your heart, but don’t entirely ignore your brain, to learn and work on what you find most interesting. Don’t be afraid of change, dreams evolve with time.

Quick CV

  • MSc in physics & astrophysics
  • PhD in astrophysics (2006)
  • ESA Research Fellow at European Space Astronomy Centre (2007-2010)
  • Researcher for Herschel space mission at KU Leuven (2010-2014)
  • Researcher for the Nanocosmos project at University Paul Sabatier/CNRS (2015-2016)
  • Research & Development Engineer at ACRI-ST (2017-current)

More EXPLORE Career Profiles

Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2023 awarded to Daniela de Paulis and El Mehdi Essaidi

Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2023 awarded to Daniela de Paulis and El Mehdi Essaidi

Europlanet Press Release

The 2023 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement has been awarded jointly to the artist, Daniela de Paulis, for her interdisciplinary programmes to bring space and planetary science to international audiences, and the science communicator, El Mehdi Essaidi, for his community-centric work in southern Morocco to share the wonders of our Solar System and the Universe.

Federica Duras, chair of the Europlanet Outreach Jury, said: “It is a great source of honour for Europlanet to recognise the achievements of these two inspiring professionals with such different projects, resources, outcomes. Above all, it shows us that bringing people closer to planetary science, and more generally to the wonder of the Universe, can be done in many ways, and it’s great to see how it’s being done in different parts of the world.”

Daniela de Paulis is an interdisciplinary artist, whose installations and performances have a strong public engagement component. She has collaborated with astronomers and space scientists for many years and is currently a SETI  Institute Artist-in-Residence (SETI AIR). Her latest project, “A Sign in Space”, invited people around the world to help decode a simulated message from an alien civilisation. The message was transmitted from Mars orbit on 24 May 2023 by the European Space Agency (ESA) mission, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, and was received by three radio telescopes on Earth. The project reached people in 174 countries and over 85,000 people have viewed a livestream of the event. Almost 5,000 people registered on the online platform Discord, where the message was extracted from the raw signal data within less than 10 days; however the process is ongoing as people on Discord are now trying to decode and interpret the message. The design of the project required coordination with ESA, the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), the US-based Green Bank Observatory and the SETI Institute, as well as teams of radio astronomers, planetary scientists, engineers, communicators, artists, poets, philosophers, anthropologists and computer scientists, collaborating over different time zones for more than two years.

Claudia Mignone of INAF, who proposed Daniela de Paulis for the prize said: “The visionary idea of Daniela de Paulis brought together a wide audience from over a hundred countries, who have been sharing their thoughts and discussing themes related to space exploration and the quest for life in the Universe, but also what it means to be human at this particular time in history and what we are capable to do when we harness our collective knowledge.”

El Mehdi Essaidi, from the Asif n Ait Bounouh Association for Culture and Awareness in Ait Bounouh / Tafraoute, works to empower students and enhance science literacy in isolated and underserved communities in southern regions of Morocco. Through programmes that are tailored to the specific cultural contexts and local dialects, including astronomy workshops, hands-on experiments, story-telling, stargazing events, mentorship opportunities and observational research projects, El Mehdi Essaidi has motivated young individuals to pursue their dreams in the field of astronomy. By engaging both children and adults, he aims to create a ripple effect that spreads scientific curiosity throughout the community, and provide a relatable role model who shares their language and cultural background. With his latest project, “Asif Stars”, he has enabled communities in Morocco to conduct observational research using the Las Cumbres Observatory telescope network. 

Dr Youssef Oukhallou, President of the Youth Policy Center in Morocco, said: “El Mehdi Essaidi’s contributions to education and public engagement, particularly in the field of astronomy, have had a transformative impact on the lives of numerous individuals and communities, particularly in rural and marginalised areas.”

The winners are invited to give prize lectures at the Europlanet Science Congress 2024 in Berlin from 8-13 September 2024.

IMAGES

Daniela de Paulis, winner of the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2023
Daniela de Paulis, winner of the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2023. Credit: Bas Czerwinski. Download full resolution version
Daniela de Paulis at the Green Bank Observatory. Credit: Paul Vosteen/Green Bank Observatory

Download full resolution version

Decoded Image: The message/binary code as extracted from the raw data received by the radio telescopes for “A Sign in Space” on 24 May 2023 in the form of an image. This is now being used by people trying to decode and interpret the message. Credit: A Sign in Space.

Download full resolution version

“The Family Portrait” (2015) which was moonbounced as part of Daniela De Paulis’s project OPTICKS, using the Visual Moonbounce technology that the artist helped to develop. Credit: NASA/Charles Duke.

Download full resolution version

"Still artfilm", a still image from Daniela de Paulis’s project "Mare Incognito" (2022).
“Still artfilm”, a still image from Daniela de Paulis’s project “Mare Incognito” (2022). Credit: Mirjam Somers/Bas Czerwinski, copyright: Daniela de Paulis.

Download full resolution version

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Prize_2023_ElMehdi1.jpg

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Prize_2023_ElMehdi2.jpg

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Prize_2023_ElMehdi3.jpg

El Mehdi Essaidi, winner of the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2023.
El Mehdi Essaidi, winner of the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2023. Credit: Asif Astronomy Club.

Download full resolution version

El Mehdi Essaidi leading an observing session. Credit: Asif Astronomy Club.

El Mehdi Essaidi leading an observing session. Credit: Asif Astronomy Club.

Download full resolution version

El Mehdi Essaidi leading an observing session. Credit: Asif Astronomy Club.

Download full resolution version

El Mehdi Essaidi leading a Robotic Telescope Workshop. Credit: Asif Astronomy Club.

Download full resolution version

CONTACTS

Daniela de Paulis
Rotterdam, Netherlands
selavyrose@gmail.com
X (formerly Twitter): @danieladepaulis

El Mehdi Essaidi
Asif n Ait Bounouh Association for Culture and Awareness
Casablanca, Morocco
elmehdiessaidi@gmail.com

Federica Duras
Chair, Europlanet Outreach Jury
INAF
federica.duras@inaf.it

MEDIA CONTACT

Anita Heward
Europlanet Press Officer
+44 7756 034243
aheward@europlanet-society.org

FURTHER INFORMATION 

About Europlanet

Since 2005, Europlanet (www.europlanet-society.org) has provided Europe’s planetary science community with a platform to exchange ideas and personnel, share research tools, data and facilities, define key science goals for the future, and engage stakeholders, policy makers and European citizens with planetary science.  

The Europlanet Society promotes the advancement of European planetary science and related fields for the benefit of the community and is open to individual and organisational members. The Europlanet Society is the parent organisation of the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC).

A Blink of a Star: An Occultation Citizen Science Project – Europlanet Funding Scheme 2023 Grant

A Blink of a Star: An Occultation Citizen Science Project – Europlanet Funding Scheme 2023 Grant

Fostering curiosity about planetary sciences and space in general is the basis of the project conceived by Sergio Alonso Burgos and the team of “A Blink of a Star“, which has been awarded a grant under this year’s Europlanet Funding Scheme for Public Engagement.

The project is focused on the occultation of Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) by Asteroid (319) Leona on 12 December 2023, which will be easily visible with the naked eye on various places on Earth. Such an uncommon phenomenon offers a great opportunity for outreach about these events and the science involving their study.

Federica Duras interviewed Sergio Alonso Burgos, the project leader of this citizen science project which aims to complement the professional observations of the occultation through an outreach campaign to engage the public with the science behind these phenomena.

Sergio, where does the idea of “A blink of a Star” come from?

In the Sociedad Astronómica Granadina (SAG) we have a small team which is interested in observing occultations of different Solar System bodies: from asteroids from the main belt to more difficult targets as some transneptunian objects or even Polymele, the trojan asteroid to which NASA is going to visit with the Lucy mission. We are proud to be some of the few that managed to obtains useful data in a recent Polymele campaign in Spain (October 1st, 2021) thanks to a very accurate prediction made by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA).

During the past several years we have had a quite strong ProAm (Professionals-Amateurs) relation with the IAA scientists: they provide useful predictions and perform the scientific analysis of the light curves and we provide our portable powerful telescopes and devices (occultations may happen anywhere) and experience in the field, as not all professional astronomers know how to correctly set up a portable telescope in the middle of the countryside.

The predicted shadow path for the occultation. The event will be better seen from the south of Portugal, north of Andalusia (Huelva, Sevilla, Córdoba, Jaén) and Murcia.

A few months ago we started talking about the great occultation that is going to happen on 12 December 2023: Betelgeuse is going to be occulted by asteroid Leona. This is a very special occasion because by observing this event, scientists are going to be able to determine very important features of Betelgeuse that are still unknown such as, for example, its exact radius. This may seem strange, as Betelgeuse is a very bright star that can be easily spotted with the naked eye. However, that extreme brightness of the star hinders precise measurements as the cameras and instruments get saturated in a fraction of a second. We discussed how interesting it may be for anyone to observe this event, as no special equipment is needed. We thought that it could be a fantastic opportunity to introduce the general public to astronomy, occultations and the science behind this discipline. And here we are, trying to launch a project in which almost anyone with a normal camera may be able to record the event and thus contribute in the scientific study of Betelgeuse and Leona.

How many people are involved in the creation and subsequent implementation of the project?

The project will involve dozens of people for all different activities that have to be made.

For the scientific part of the project (previous observations and computations for both Leona and Betelgeuse and the later analysis of the obtained light curves) we count on some of the IAA scientists. However, some of the SAG members are learning the procedures to reduce the data from the observations and even do some preliminary analysis in order to ease the task to the scientists. Moreover, IAA scientists will supervise all the resources that we are going to produce for the project to avoid any mistakes.

Some members of the Sociedad Astronómica Granadina that are involved in the project with their telescopes. Photo by Ramón L. Pérez

For the outreach part of the project we count on some specialists in scientific outreach from the Fundación Descubre.  Not only they are used to promote outreach activities, but they have also contributed to several different citizen science projects and they will be of great help to gather interest in the project from many different groups: high school students and teachers, city halls in the towns where the occultation will be visible and the general public.

However, the biggest effort concerning the citizen science project will be on the SAG members. We are a small group (around 20 people) but we will be in charge of coordinating and preparing all the activities that are going to be carried out: from conferences to preparing tutorials on how to do the observations, a photography contest related to the event and so on.

How difficult is it to coordinate the people involved, being so different types of figures (astronomers, amateurs, citizens)?

It is not easy but, fortunately, we already have some experience organising these kind of events, even if at a lower scale, and the relation among the different actors at this moment is quite good. One of the best things of this kind of projects is that professional astronomers, amateurs and outreach professionals know what can be done by each group. I’m pretty sure that in the following weeks the amount of emails, video conferences, telephone calls and Telegram messages will increase a lot, but I hope we will be able to manage it properly (now I’m crossing fingers).

What do you expect from the project? And when (in time)?
Since the event takes place on 12 December 2023, these next weeks are going to be very intense. At this stage the main goal is to attract a lot of people to record the event in order to have as many light curves as possible. After the event, the IAA team will perform all the scientific analysis of the results and hopefully determine important information about Betelgeuse and Leona.

For the outreach side of the project, we expect to grab the interest of the public, especially high school students, hoping to transmit them the passion for science and present a real example of performing a scientific experiment with a rigorous protocol. We are going to make a special effort to attract as many female students in all the activities of the project as possible to try to narrow the gender gap in STEM. We want the project to continue after the occultation event itself by presenting results to the scientific community in different conferences and doing more activities for the general public. I would like to point out that there is a section on the event website that could be useful for teachers, with an online simulator that allows them to better understand the phenomenon and generate ‘artificial light curves’.

Additionally, we hope that some amateurs astronomers that have not previously had interest in the study of this kind of events will participate in future ProAm occultation campaigns.

Do you think Europlanet could be a useful link? And if yes, why?

Of course it will. We know that many observers from Europe are thinking about travelling to Spain for the occasion and the diffusion of this project by Europlanet may help us to get in contact with all those observers to try to coordinate and get the best results.

-Is this a term-project? If not, what is the future of the project?

At this moment, the plan is that the project will end once all the analysis of the data is made, all programmed activities are finished and once the results are published. Since this event is quite unique we cannot guarantee that the project will continue (at least in the same conditions). However, we expect that the experience to coordinate so many people with different backgrounds will be useful for other future occultation campaigns. 

Fingers crossed Sergio, we cannot wait to see what this collaboration will bring and to find out what secrets of Betelgeuse will be revealed!

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.

Calls for Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme and Prize 2023

Calls for Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme and Prize 2023

Are you looking for funding to kickstart an outreach or education project related to planetary science? Or have you run a successful public engagement project for which you deserve some recognition?

The Calls are now open for applications for the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme 2023 and nominations for the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2023.

**Deadline for submissions is 19 July 2023**

About the Europlanet Outreach Funding Scheme 2023

Europlanet awards grants of between 1 000 and 5 000 Euros to fund projects to engage the public with planetary science. Through the funding scheme, Europlanet aims to encourage new ways of sharing planetary science with different kinds of audiences across Europe (and beyond) to create socially impactful initiatives that combine research, learning, innovation and social development.

Find out more at: https://www.europlanet-society.org/outreach/funding-scheme/europlanet-public-engagement-funding-scheme-2023-application-form/

About the Europlanet Prize For Public Engagement 2023

The Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement recognises achievements in engaging citizens with planetary science. The Prize of 1 500 Euros is awarded annually to individuals or groups who have developed innovative and socially impactful practices in planetary science communication and education.

The winner will be honoured at the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2022 in Granada will be invited to share experiences and best practice by delivering an Awards Ceremony.

Find out more at: https://www.europlanet-society.org/prize/europlanet-prize-for-public-engagement-2023-application-form/

A Journey to the Planets: Bimbim’s Team episodes online!

Take a trip to the planets with Bimbim and his team

The first three episodes of “A Journey to the Planets” series, the winning proposal of the 2022 round of the Europlanet Funding scheme for public engagement, have been released.

Mainly addressed to school students between the ages of 2 and 8 years old, it als supports teachers and educators with three stories about the planets: a general overview of all the Solar System planets, the Earth and Mars.

Bimbim at the beginning of its Journey – from episode 1

Get ready to start the journey for discovering the Solar System with Bimbim (a cute little dog who really asks a lot of interesting questions) and all his friends. The pilot episode (here in English) has been translated in French and Portuguese and it comes with great illustrations and a funny story behind the scientific content.

We don’t want to reveal too much so… enjoy watching and see you at the next stop!

Find out more about the ideas and the creators of Bimbim’s Team in this interview with project lead, Katia Pinheiro. The project was also presented at EGU2023 in Vienna:

Announcing the Icy Moons Collection of Educational Resources

Announcing the Icy Moons Collection of Educational Resources

To celebrate the launch of ESA’s JUICE mission, Europlanet is releasing a new collection of free educational resources themed around icy moons in our Solar System

The first three resources, on Europa, Ganymede and Enceladus, are now available for educators and science communicators to try out. The resources include presentations, teachers’ notes, videos, links to additional resources and a glossary of terms related to the exploration of these mysterious worlds.

The resources are targeted at students aged 10-14 years old and cover topics common on European educational curricula for biology (conditions for life, life in extremes) physics (magnetism), chemistry (states of matter, solutions), geology (surface landforms, hydrothermal vent systems).

New resources and translations will be added over the coming weeks. Feedback on the content, or how you have used it, is welcome. 

The Icy Moons Collection is the latest addition to Europlanet’s growing collection of educational resources linked to astrobiology and planetary science, which include:

  • Teaching Resources
    • The Mars Collection – seven education packs linking environments on Mars with sites on Earth with similar conditions (terrestrial analogues)
    • The Illustrated Guide to Mars – collections of illustrations on topics linked to the exploration of the Red Planet
  • Videos
    • Astrobiology: Life in the Universe – a video (available in five languages) about the search for life in our Universe
    • Jupiter and its Icy Moons – a video on exploration of Jupiter and the icy worlds that surround it
    • The Case of the Rocks from Space – what meteorites can tell us about the formation of our Solar System.
  • Recommended external resources relevant to astrobiology and planetary science.

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

Imaginary extraterrestrials help learn about the Solar System and about life beyond Earth

The Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) in Portugal has launched a free educational board game that promotes group learning about the planets and moons of the Solar System and about astrobiology.

ET – A Solar System Adventure” is a board game is available free of charge online in Portuguese and English. The educational resource has been scientifically validated by researchers at the IA. The project was funded by the Europlanet Society as one of the winning proposals of the Europlanet Public Engagement Funding Scheme in 2019.

“The aim of this game is to engage young people with Space and with the search for life beyond Earth, i.e. astrobiology. As a strategy, we used a theme that is already popular among our target audience: aliens,” said Catarina Leote, from the Science Communication Group of the IA and the coordinator of the project that, in collaboration with the Planetary Systems Group of the same institute, led to the design and production of the game.

“ET phone home”

In this game, the quote from Steven Spielberg’s iconic film does not work. The players are the ones responsible for taking sixteen lost creatures from other worlds to their homes in the Solar System. This is the challenge that the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) proposes to everyone, but in particular to those between 8 and 12 years old, so that they can become enthusiastic about the planets and moons of our cosmic neighbourhood, and about the conditions necessary for life beyond our blue planet.

Example of a Question card in the ET - A Solar System Adventure Game.
Example of a Question card. The mechanics of the board game ET – A Solar System Adventure involves answering questions about astronomy in order to move around the board. Credits: IA

Available in a “Print and Play” format, it can be downloaded for free and printed. After cutting and assembling it, one just has to gather pawns and a dice to start this fun adventure, accompanied by alien illustrations by Paulo Galindro and a board design by Sara Patinho. It is a fun and educational activity for families and a useful tool for teachers who want to introduce the world of astronomy to their students.

What are then the challenges posed to the players? First, they have to know their territory, that is, the worlds of the Solar System – the planets, but also several of its moons, some of them real targets of the current search for life beyond Earth. To do so, the players must answer questions, which give them access to information cards and mini-puzzle cards of the illustrations of the sixteen E.T.s. They can also trade cards with the other players to obtain a complete figure. Only then can they embark on the ultimate goal: guessing the world of origin of their extraterrestrial.

Detail from the ET - A Solar System Adventure board game.
Detail of the game mechanics showing a three-piece ET puzzle. Credits: IA

The creatures representing the E.T.s are all imaginary, but their anatomy was based on scientific facts about diverse environments in the Solar System. If these aliens really existed, they would almost certainly call these places “home sweet home”. “The discussion [about the creation of E.T.s] was of a scientific nature and therefore the information conveyed, which is related to the game’s environments, is good and solid science. The E.T.s were an interesting exercise of imagination”, says Pedro Machado, researcher at the IA and at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (Ciências ULisboa), and one of the researchers who participated in the creation of the game.

“The graphics were another priority. We created the E.T.s based on anatomical and physiological characteristics necessary to be adapted to their planets or moons, so there were conditions that had to be met in the drawings. The final result was a combination of our descriptions with Paulo Galindro’s talent and creativity.”
Catarina Leote

The board game also includes a helpful tool: a booklet with complementary information about planets, moons and small bodies in the Solar System, as well as essential notions about the search for life beyond Earth, or astrobiology. In the next phase, there will be versions in other languages, such as Spanish, French and Italian.

More about the Europlanet Public Engagement Funding Scheme.

The Winners are… #InspiredByOtherWorlds Contest 2022

The Winners are… #InspiredByOtherWorlds Contest 2022

Many thanks to everyone that participated in the #InspiredByOtherWorlds Contest 2022. Congratulations to the winning entries!

Youth Category:

Lara Estelle Montabone – Space Crossroad

Title: Space Crossroad. Artist: Lara Estelle Montabone. The story behind my artwork is the following. One day in the future, an astronaut leaves planet Earth to go to Jupiter and discovers that space is not at all empty. On the contrary, it is full of surprises, with the possibility of meeting other astronauts coming back to Earth, but also other travelling celestial bodies like comets. It is a busy three-dimensional crossroad where collisions are always possible! I took my inspiration from a book for children about space and from a pop-up card that I gave to my dad for his birthday. My dad helped me to translate my story in English.
Space Crossroad

About the Artist: Lara Estelle Montabone is an 8-year-old girl, living in France, who loves drawing. Her favourite themes are animals, space, and natural landscapes.

About the Artwork: The story behind Space Crossroad is the following: one day in the future, an astronaut leaves planet Earth to go to Jupiter and discovers that space is not at all empty. On the contrary, it is full of surprises, with the possibility of meeting other astronauts coming back to Earth, but also other travelling celestial bodies like comets. It is a busy three-dimensional crossroad where collisions are always possible!

Lara Estelle says: “I took my inspiration from a book for children about space and from a pop-up card that I gave to my dad for his birthday. My dad helped me to translate my story in English.

Schools Category:

Dimitra Armentzou and the 5th Grade Students of the 9th Primary School of Greece – Moondial 2022

About the Artist: Dimitra Armentzou is a teacher in the 9th Primary School of Greece. This year, she is teaching in the 5th grade.

About the Artwork: This stop-motion video is made with models and compositions by the 5th grade students in the 9th Primary School of Greece.

Dimitra says: “While working on Skill Labs my students and I were inspired by the the Moon and the Artemis Mission. We’re very excited to be coming out of the boundaries of our planet and trying to get to know our satellite as interactive as we can. The Moon, which has inspired so many and in so many different ways, waiting for us to explore. Moondial then… Let’s go!

Adult Category:

Elizabeth Tasker – Together, we are strong

About the Artist: Elizabeth Tasker is an astrophysics researcher and science writer at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Despite being a writer, she loves the ability of art to tell a story without words! As the pandemic closed in during 2020 and we were asked to stay inside, she started to learn ‘Blender’, a freely available 3D computer graphics software package. This entry is the product of that exploration! She really enjoys the ability to bring ideas to life, and the chance to reach new people with a design or animation.

About the Artwork: This computer graphics animation starts with a spacecraft like DART striking an asteroid. As rocks fly out from the collision site, they form the word ‘Together’. Physically unlikely (!) but a reflection on the international connections and involvement needed to go to space, and the worldwide importance of the science and engineering challenges being tackled.

Elizabeth says: “The aspect of space exploration I find most inspiring is the importance of international collaboration. Our missions such as NASA’s DART, ESA’s Comet Interceptor, and JAXA’s Hayabusa2, are led by different countries but all have strong participation from scientists around the world, and dedicated outreach programs to share this experience with everyone. The problems we tackle, from the origins of the Earth, to protecting the same planet from celestial impacts, affect us all and together, we are strong enough to take on even these momentous challenges. In a world that feels steadily more divided, space missions are the hope that we can all come together.

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.

Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2022 awarded to the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ Tactile Exhibition

Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement 2022 awarded to the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ Tactile Exhibition

Europlanet Press Release

The 2022 Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement has been awarded to Dr Kosmas Gazeas and the team behind the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ tactile exhibition.

‘Planets In Your Hand’ is an interactive, mobile set of models of planetary surfaces, constructed in square frames, that gives a multisensory impression of the wide variety of surface characteristics and environmental properties of the planets in our Solar System. 

The exhibition, although suitable for people of all ages, has been specifically designed for visually impaired audiences, and has travelled to schools, universities and private institutes and organisations, reaching thousands of visitors to date.

Dr Federica Duras, Chair of the Europlanet Outreach Jury, said: “Imagination and creativity has led to a stunning, original exhibition led by a passionate and committed team. Giving opportunities to ‘touch space’ with your own hands is one of the most effective ways of making science and astronomy accessible and inclusive. Congratulations to the whole team.”

The award was presented during the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2022 in Granada on behalf of the team to Dimitrios Athanasopoulos, who gave a 20-minute prize lecture. The team will also receive a cash award of 1500 Euros. 

Eugenia Covernton, CEO of Lecturers Without Borders, who nominated the team for the Europlanet Prize, said: “Planets In Your Hand is an outstanding hands-on exhibition that is inclusive for people with visual impairments and is overall a great tool for the public to grasp concepts related to the different compositions of the planets”

Sophia Drakaki and Dimitris Blougouras, Founders of CityLab, a STEM center specialized in activities for children and young people, said: “The team wanted a real hands-on experience that lasts. And yes, they did it! The on-the-spot visitors can see, touch and feel the surface texture and temperature of the planets and ‘travel’ on them, with the assistance of experts in astrophysics and education that can answer the megabytes of questions that the kids generate!”

Evangelia Mavrikaki, professor of the Department of Primary Education at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), said: “The exhibition is portable, providing huge flexibility accessing schools and institutes in remote areas of Greece and all over the world. Science communication activities of such a kind are rare in remote places and away from large towns.”

Dr Gazeas, the team lead, who is a lecturer of observational astrophysics in the Department of Physics of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), said: “We are deeply honoured to receive the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement for our efforts in science communication and public outreach activities in the frame of the project Planets In Your Hand. The selection of our project by the judges acts like a confirmation to the team for the hard work that has been done since 2017 and especially during the past 3 years.”

Images

Federica Duras, Chair of the Europlanet Outreach Working Group, presenting the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement to Dimitrios Athanasopoulos on behalf of the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ team. Credit: Europlanet

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Dimitrios_Athanasopoulos_PIYH_Prize_Ceremony_Duras.jpeg

Dimitrios Athanasopoulos accepted the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement on behalf of the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ team. Credit: Europlanet

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Dimitrios_Athanasopoulos_PIYH_Prize_Ceremony.jpeg

Dimitrios Athanasopoulos giving the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement Lecture on behalf of the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ team. Credit: Europlanet

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Dimitrios_Athanasopoulos_PIYH_Prize_Ceremony2.jpeg

Dimitrios Athanasopoulos giving the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement Lecture on behalf of the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ team. Credit: Europlanet

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Dimitrios_Athanasopoulos_PIYH_Prize_Ceremony3.jpeg

The ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH1.jpg

The ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH2.jpg

The ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH3.jpg

The ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH4.jpg

The ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH5.jpg

A model from the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition representing Mars. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH_Mars.jpg

A model from the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition representing Earth. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH_Earth.jpg

A model from the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition representing Neptune. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH_Neptune.jpg

A model from the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition representing Mercury. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH_Mercury.jpg

Some of the squared models from the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition and the planets that they represent. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH6.jpg

Some of the squared models from the ‘Planets In Your Hand’ exhibition. Credits: Kosmas Gazeas

https://www.europlanet-society.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PIYH7.jpg

Science Contacts

Kosmas Gazeas
“Planets In Your Hand” team
Department of Physics
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Greece
+30 210 7276892 (office)
kgaze@phys.uoa.gr  /  kgaze@physics.auth.gr

MEDIA CONTACTS

EPSC2022 Press Office
+44 7756 034243>epsc-press@europlanet-society.org

FURTHER INFORMATION 

About the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 

The Europlanet Science Congress (https://www.epsc2022.eu/) formerly the European Planetary Science Congress, is the annual meeting of the Europlanet Society. With a track record of 16 years, and regularly attracting around 1000 participants, EPSC is the largest planetary science meeting in Europe. It covers the entire range of planetary sciences with an extensive mix of talks, workshops and poster sessions, as well as providing a unique space for networking and exchanges of experiences.

Follow on Twitter via @europlanetmedia and using the hashtag #EPSC2022.

Details of media briefings and recordings can be found at: https://www.europlanet-society.org/press-briefings-at-epsc2022/

All Europlanet media releases can be found at: https://www.europlanet-society.org/press/

About Europlanet

Since 2005, Europlanet (www.europlanet-society.org) has provided Europe’s planetary science community with a platform to exchange ideas and personnel, share research tools, data and facilities, define key science goals for the future, and engage stakeholders, policy makers and European citizens with planetary science. 

The Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149 to provide access to state-of-the-art research facilities and a mechanism to coordinate Europe’s planetary science community. 

The Europlanet Society promotes the advancement of European planetary science and related fields for the benefit of the community and is open to individual and organisational members. The Europlanet Society is the parent organisation of the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC).

About EANA
The European Astrobiology Network Association (http://www.eana-net.eu), joins together people interested in the origins of life and the search for extraterrestrial life in the Solar System and beyond. This interdisciplinary domain involves scientists from multiple disciplines such as chemistry, physics, biology, geology, astronomy, and human sciences.  

The Europlanet Media Centre issues media releases on the activities of Europlanet Society, the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure, the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) and results from planetary science partner organisations. If you do not wish to receive press releases from the Europlanet Media Centre, please unsubscribe by replying to this message or sending an email to aheward@europlanet-society.org. Anita Heward, Europlanet Communications Officer, +44 7756 034243.

Новости Омутнинск Любовь и семья Общество Люди и события Красота и здоровье Дети Диета Кулинария Полезные советы Шоу-бизнес Огород Гороскопы Авто Интерьер Домашние животные Технологии Рекорды и антирекорды