Final press-conference program for the joint meeting of the AAS Division for Planetary Sciences and European Planetary Science Congress
October 14, 2016


More than 1,200 astronomers and planetary scientists from the United States, Europe, and around the world are heading to Southern California for the joint 48th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and 11th annual European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC). The meeting takes place at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 East Green Street, Pasadena, California, from Sunday, 16 October, through Friday, 21 October 2016. The latest discoveries in planetary science, from comets to the Kuiper belt, will be featured in five press conferences from Monday through Thursday.

The AAS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers (PIOs) and press briefings will be streamed live on the Web (see details below). Meeting hashtag: #dpsepsc; you may also wish to follow @DPSMeeting, @europlanetmedia, and @AAS_Press on Twitter.

Main meeting website:

Science schedule & program:

Press information:

Press Facilities

A press office will be set up at the Pasadena Convention Center in room C208 and will be open to journalists and PIOs during normal conference hours. Among other amenities, it will offer workspace and wireless internet connectivity. Thanks to the Universities Space Research Association (USRA, for generously sponsoring the press office with refreshments and lunch vouchers for press registrants.

We will also have a press interview room, C205, for use by press registrants. To reserve this room at a particular date and time, please fill out the sign-up sheet that will be posted on the door.

During the meeting you may reach DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy via cell phone at +1 808-342-8932 and EPSC Press Officer Anita Heward at +44 (0)77 5603 4243. Assisting in the press room is AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg, +1 857-891-5649.

Press-Conference Schedule, Topics & Speakers

News briefings for the media will be conducted daily Monday-Thursday, 17-20 October, during the midday lunch break in room C211, which will be equipped with a sound system, multi-box, and wireless internet connectivity. Note that lunch is 12:30 to 2:00 pm PDT (UTC – 7h) on Monday but 12:00 to 1:30 pm PDT Tuesday-Thursday. The briefings themselves will begin at different times each day, so please examine the schedule below carefully. There is no press conference on Friday.

Following is the final press-conference program. In [square brackets] under each speaker’s name is the session or paper number on which their presentation is based, where applicable.

All findings are embargoed until the time of presentation at the meeting. “Time of presentation” means the start time of the oral or poster session in which the paper will be given, or the start time of the corresponding press conference (if any), whichever comes first. Please review the complete AAS/DPS embargo policy ( before coming to Pasadena.

Note: All new discoveries are subject to confirmation by independent teams of scientists. Inclusion here does not imply endorsement by the American Astronomical Society or the Division for Planetary Sciences. The AAS and DPS do not endorse individual scientific results.

Monday, 17 October, 12:45 pm PDT

Recently Active Lava Flows on the Eastern Flank of Idunn Mons on Venus
Piero D’Incecco (German Aerospace Center)

Science Highlights from MAVEN/IUVS After Two Years in Mars Orbit
Nicholas Schneider (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Astronomers Predict Possible Birthplace of Rosetta’s Comet
Mattia Galiazzo (University of Vienna)

A Creaking and Cracking Comet
Stubbe Hviid (German Aerospace Center)

Avalanches, Not Internal Pressure, Cause Comet Nuclei Outbursts
Jordan Steckloff (Planetary Science Institute)

Tuesday, 18 October, 12:15 pm PDT

David Schurr (NASA Headquarters)

Pluto’s Extreme Surface Reflectance Variations
Bonnie Buratti (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Possible Clouds on Pluto
Alan Stern (Southwest Research Institute)
[103.01, 224.03]

Landslides on Charon
Ross Beyer (NASA Ames Research Center)

Hubble Reveals that New Horizons Flyby Target 2014 MU69 Is Red
Amanda Zangari (Southwest Research Institute)

Wednesday, 18 October, 12:00 pm PDT (#1 of 2 briefings)

An Update on the ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli Landing
Olivier Witasse (European Space Agency)

An Update on the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter Insertion & NOMAD Instrument
Ann Carine Vandaele (Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy)

More Evidence for a Ninth Planet Roaming the Solar System’s Outer Fringes
Renu Malhotra (University of Arizona)

The Search for Planet Nine
Michael Brown (Caltech)

Wednesday, 18 October, 1:00 pm PDT (#2 of 2 briefings)

David Schurr (NASA Headquarters)

Juno Mission Status
Rick Nybakken (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Early Results from the Juno Mission at Jupiter
Scott Bolton (Southwest Research Institute)

Imaging with JunoCam, The People’s Jupiter Camera
Candice Hansen (Planetary Science Institute)

Thursday, 17 October, 12:30 pm PDT

Detection of Water on the Metallic Asteroid Psyche
Vishnu Reddy (University of Arizona)

Time-Evolution and Thermal Mapping of Io’s Loki Patera at High Resolution
Katherine de Kleer (University of California, Berkeley)

Going Out in a Blaze of Glory: Cassini’s Grand Finale
Linda Spilker (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Search for New Molecules in Titan’s Stratosphere from Cassini
Athena Coustenis (Paris Observatory)

Remote Access to Press Conferences via Webcast

Journalists unable to attend the meeting in person may tune in to our briefings streamed live on the Web. Since the webcast includes audio, video, and presentation slides, you must have a broadband (high-speed) Internet connection to watch and listen. Also, your Web browser must have the free Adobe Flash plug-in (

The webcast also includes a chat window whereby remote participants may ask questions. We can’t guarantee that all questions received from webcast viewers will be asked aloud — it depends on how much time we have and how many questions we’re getting from onsite reporters.

Press Conference Webcasts:
* Make sure your pop-up blocker is disabled or that it allows pop-ups from

* Password: Contact AAS Press Officer Rick Fienberg ( for the password, which is for journalists only and which is the same for all the week’s briefings. After the meeting, archived webcasts will be freely available without a password via our online archive (
* Once the webcast window opens, press the Play (>) button.
* Press the Open Chat Window button. You’ll be asked to enter your name; please use your real first and last names, not a cutesy internet nickname.
* You can resize the chat window and move it to any convenient position on your screen.
* To ask a question, type it into the input box near the bottom of the chat window and click the Send button.

Press Registration & Badge Pickup

The AAS Division for Planetary Sciences and European Planetary Science Congress offer complimentary meeting registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers, as described at

Advance press registration is now closed; a list of current press registrants is online ( Pre-registered reporters and PIOs will be able to pick up their badges beginning at 1 pm PDT on Sunday, 16 October.

Reporters and PIOs who need to register on-site in Pasadena should go straight to the AAS/DPS/EPSC registration desk and ask for a press-registration form. You’ll be asked to take it to the press office (see next section) to have the form authorized by the AAS, DPS, or EPSC Press Officer, after which you may return to the registration desk to obtain your badge.

Important Preliminaries

All attendees at the meeting — including press registrants — are expected to follow the guidelines in our Guide to AAS Meeting Etiquette [] and our Anti-Harassment Policy for AAS & Division Meetings & Activities []. Your participation in the meeting is taken to signify your acknowledgment that you have read these guidelines/policies and your agreement to adhere to them. Accordingly, please read them before you come to Pasadena and adhere to them once you arrive.

Meeting App & Guide

Our “Meetings by AAS” mobile app puts the entire conference program in your pocket and ensures that it’s always up to date. If you’re tired of carrying around a bulky program book, you’ll really appreciate having this app on your smartphone or tablet.

Meetings by AAS works on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android devices. Users of Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices, as well as users of laptop computers, can access the app via a Web browser (

Follow these steps to download the app for your iOS or Android device; if you already have the Meetings by AAS app on your mobile device, launch it and go straight to step 3:
1. On your smartphone or tablet, visit the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android) and search for Meetings by AAS.
2. Download, install, and open the app.
3. iOS users: tap the “Download Guides” button; Android users: tap the downward-facing arrow to browse guides. Select the DPS 48 / EPSC 11 Meeting guide.
4. Alternatively, go to and follow the instructions you’ll find there.

Other Events of Interest

Sunday, 16 October, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Opening Reception
Westin Hotel, Fountain Ballroom

Monday, 17 October, 8:15 to 10:30 am
Plenary Sessions: Prize & Invited Talks
Convention Center, Ballroom D

Monday, 17 October, 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Agency Night
Convention Center, Ballroom D

Wednesday, 19 October, 7:00 to 8:30 am
Live Streaming of ESA’s ExoMars 2016 Schiaparelli Landing
Convention Center, Ballroom D

Wednesday, 19 October, 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Plenary Sessions: Prize & Invited Talks
Convention Center, Ballroom D

Wednesday, 19 October, 8:00 to 9:30 pm
DPS Open Mic Night
Convention Center, Ballroom C

Thursday, 20 October, 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Plenary Sessions: Prize & Invited Talks
Convention Center, Ballroom D

Thursday, 20 October, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Public Event: The Art of Planetary Science
Convention Center, Exhibit Hall

Thursday, 20 October, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Public Event: DPS/EPSC Public Lectures by Alan Stern & Giovanna Tinetti
Convention Center, Ballroom D

Thursday, 20 October, 8:30 to 11:00 pm
Public Event: Stargazing (weather permitting)
Convention Center/Civic Auditorium Plaza

Vishnu Reddy
DPS Press Officer
+1 808-342-8932

Anita Heward
EPSC Press Officer
+44 (0)77 5603 4243

Rick Fienberg
AAS Press Officer
+1 857-891-5649