Early Career Event: AbGradEPEC’24 – 8th September 2024

Early Career Event: AbGradEPEC’24 – 8th September 2024

We are back! EPEC will once again team up with AbGradE for EPSC 2024, expanding network opportunities for early career scientists and students.

This year we invite you on Sunday, September 8th for a symposium at the Freie Universität comprising of science presentations and a workshop on professional development given by an ESA fellow and a former ESA intern. For a chance to meet your fellow early careers on the first day of EPSC for a career-focused workshop, and make those all important connections from day one, this is an event you don’t want to miss! 

The deadline for registration is June 30th and can be accomplished with the following form. The event fee is 10 euros (including snacks, coffee and lunch provided), details on payment will be sent to you after the registration closes.

The extended deadline for abstracts is June 15th. For contributed talks, please send a short abstract (max. 200 words) using the template to abgrade@eana-net.eu. We invite early careers to present the work that they either present as a poster at EPSC2024 or any other project not presented at EPSC2024. Letters of acceptance will be sent out by mid-June.

More information can be found at abgrade.eu/abgradepec24.

We look forward to meeting you all in Berlin for what promises to be our biggest joint event yet!

EPSC Goes Live for Schools 2024

EPSC Goes Live for Schools 2024 / 4th edition

During the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) from 7-13 September 2024, Berlin will become a travelling hotspot for planetary scientists. EPSC Goes Live For Schools 2024 will brings participants into contact with classrooms in Berlin and beyond.

It’s been 4 years since the first edition of “EPSC goes live for schools”. Since the initial online edition, developed in the context of the pandemic lockdown, we have come a long way! In the intervening years we have managed to add on-site components, thus fulfilling the main aim of our partner, Lecturers Without Borders (Lewibo): give travelling scientists the opportunity to share their knowledge with the local community of schools, creating a temporary hotspot of sharing science with the local community!

In 2024, we are doing it again with our partners: LeWiBo, Europlanet Society, EPEC, DLR_School_Lab Berlin, MINToring program and Freie Universität Berlin. During the two weeks of 9th-20th September 2024 get ready to explore the planets of our solar system, to learn the latest in planetary science, but also to ask your questions to early career researchers in chats and more.

Would you like to participate in EPSC Goes Live for Schools 2024 as a scientist?

Tick the box to express interest when you submit your abstract for the meeting.

Would you like to join EPSC24 with your classroom?

If your school is located in Berlin you have the opportunity for a scientist to visit you and even host an art-workshop after the scientist’s visit and create a stop-motion movie on the spot (STEAM Lecture).

Some of the organised activities include:

“Cosmic interviews” where students meet researchers in person (on-site) | STOP-motion movie creation with berliner artist Carolina Boettner (on-site) | Presenting educational resources developed by Europlanet to teachers (online) | Asychronous Q&A in online chats on planetary science with early carreer researchers (online) | Planetary science webinars (online) | Arts contest #Inspiredbyotherworlds (online)

The Art Contest #inspiredbyotherworlds is already open for registration to students in all locations. Learn more on the Europlanet webpage.

Languages supported:

The events will be held in German or English.

Register here* and become part of a lively community this September!

*According to your location (in Berlin or elsewhere) we will send you the on-site or online programme of activities.

22-EPN3-126: In-Situ observations in support for VERITAS Venus analogue airborne radar campaign at Holuhraun and Djyngasandur, Iceland

22-EPN3-126: In-Situ observations in support for VERITAS Venus analogue airborne radar campaign at Holuhraun and Djyngasandur, Iceland

Solmaz Adeli and Stephen Patrick Garland (German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany) to TA1 – Iceland Field Sites, MATIS
Dates of visit: 1-14 August 2023

The composition of lava fields on Venus and their alteration state is poorly understood. The Venus Emissivity Mapper (VEM)/VERITAS will observe the surface of Venus in the NIR range, which will allow studying the spectral characteristics of the Venusian surface, as well as the type of lava and likely alteration processes. To prepare for this mission, VERITAS organised a field campaign in Iceland in early August, 2023, which included in-situ NIR data acquisition by the DLR-Berlin team, enabled through this Europlanet funding. The main goals have been 1) to understand the in-situ NIR reflectance spectral response of Venus analogue material, 2) to acquire in-situ emittance of an active volcano in the NIR spectral range, 3) to collect samples to be analysed in the Planetary Spectroscopy Laboratory (PSL-DLR-Berlin) using reflectance and emittance spectroscopy methods, to create an emissivity spectral library, and 4) to compare the laboratory data with field measurements.

In order to collect a wide range of textures (from pahoehoe to a’a) and compositional variations of basaltic lava fields, in addition to different fumarolic deposits, the team visited and imaged the Holuhraun lava field, Askja lava field, and Fagradalsfjall area. These sites offer an age range from the altered 1960 Askja lava field to the 2023 eruption in Fagradalsfjall. The Askja and Holuhraun sites also offered variation in grain sizes and tefra and sand coverage, which affects the spectral behavior of the surface material in NIR. the team also collected about 60 kg of samples to be analysed in the Venus chamber of the PSL-DLR-Berlin.

Photos from the campaign can be found in the DLR Flickr Album: VERITAS – Expedition for NASA & ESA Missions to Venus:


Europlanet at Space Tech Expo Europe

Europlanet at Space Tech Expo Europe

The Europlanet Society participated for the first time in the Space Tech Expo Europe, which took place in Germany (Bremen) between 14-16 November 2023. Attending the event provided an opportunity not only to strengthen the Society’s presence on the European space scene, but also to highlight its commitment to innovation and technological development in the planetary exploration sector.

During the event, Europlanet organized eleven business-to-business sessions, and eighty-one presentations at the stand to share know-how with participants. The Society also took the opportunity to unveil its new sustainability project (Europlanet Association), as well as to showcase its achievements, share knowledge and establish strategic partnerships with other key players in the space industry.

Europlanet’s presence at the Space Tech Expo Europe in Bremen was a great success, highlighting the society’s continued commitment to planetology exploration, exploitation and space innovation. This participation marks the start of a new era for Europlanet, opening the way to new opportunities, partnerships and achievements in the field of European planetology exploration and beyond.

Results of Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme 2023

Results of Europlanet Society Committee Funding Scheme 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

Central Europe Hub proposal: Orionids 2023 (€1400)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about the Committee Funding Scheme.

EPEC Profiles – Giacomo Nodjoumi

EPEC Profiles Giacomo Nodjoumi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Giacomo Nodjoumi. Image credit: Giacomo Nodjoumi.

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

See all the EPEC Profiles.

20-EPN2-097: Venus-Temperature Emissivity Experiments on Pure Minerals

20-EPN2-097: Venus-Temperature Emissivity Experiments on Pure Minerals

Visit by Melinda Darby Dyar, Mount Holyoke College (USA), to TA2 Facility 5 – DLR Planetary Spectroscopy Laboratory (Germany).
Dates of visit: 14 – 20 October 2022

Report Summary:

This project supports a collaboration between the US and personnel at the Planetary Spectroscopy lab in DLR Berlin to understand the interrelationships among high temperature emissivity and high or ambient temperature reflectance measurements of rocks and minerals present on the surfaces of rocky bodies (planets, moons, and asteroids). We are investigating the extent to which spectral features in the near-IR wavelength region shift and change in intensity as a function of temperature and measurements type. These changes are easiest to understand when comparisons can be made for single mineral species.

With Europlanet support, we acquired hemispherical and bidirectional reflectance and emissivity spectra of planetary-analog minerals at the PSL at DLR Berlin. Minerals studied included pyroxene, feldspar, olivine, sulfates, and calcite minerals. Significant differences between hemispherical and biconical reflectance data were observed; as we write up the results, we will explore the underlying physical characteristics of each mineral group and relate them to the magnitude of those changes. We also observed significant differences between bidirectional reflectance spectra and emissivity results in preliminary results. This outcome suggests that laboratories seeking to make Venus-relevant measurements cannot draw conclusions about spectral intensities on the basis of bidirectional data.

Regional Hubs at EPSC2021

Regional Hubs at EPSC2021

Let us show you how the Europlanet Society and its regional hubs can serve you. We will present you the benefits of joining the hubs and will gladly hear about your needs.

12:45 Welcome (Séverine Robert)

12:50 Why am I a member of the EPS? (Miguel Lopez Valverde)

12:55 Funded project: Mars Atlas (Henrik Hargitai)

13:05 Why am I a member of the EPS? (Jonathan Merrison)

13:10 Funded project: Storytelling workshop (Arianna Piccialli)

13:20 Why am I a member of the EPS? (Nicholas Achilleos)

13:25 Collaborative framework: Europlanet Telescope Network (Manuel Scherf)

13:35 Why am I a member of the EPS? (Lena Noack)

13:40 General discussion: What do you want the EPS to do for you? (All Panelists)

14:10 Wrap up (Séverine Robert)

14:15 End of meeting


The Europlanet Society Regional Hubs support the development of planetary science at a national and regional level, particularly in countries and areas that are currently under-represented within the community.

Our Hub Committees organise networking events and workshops to support the research community, as well as to build links with amateur astronomers, industrial partners, policymakers, educators, the media and the wider public. Europlanet Society members are welcome to participate in the activities of one or more Hubs.

The 10 Regional Hubs established to date are: