Call for a PostDoc Research Fellowship on the analysis of Mars Oxia Planum @INAF-IAPS (Rome)

The INAF-Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology (Rome, Italy) is seeking applicants for onePostdoctoral Research Fellowship” in the context of the research project “Analysis of Oxia Planum from remote sensing data and terrestrial laboratory analogs of Mars and Ceres”.

Deadline: 22 January 2021.

The grant is based on the project “EXOMARS Ma_MISS” and “DAWN” and will be carried out under the scientific supervision of dr. Maria Cristina De Sanctis and dr. Francesca Altieri.

The expected start date is April 2021, with a duration of 12 months and the potential of renewal for further two years.

The successful candidate is expected to work on the data analysis of the Oxia Planum site and on laboratory activities for the preparation and characterization of analogs of Ceres and Mars.

More information with the complete description of the position and the documents to fill out here.


The great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn: the Italian eye

A few days ago, on December 21st, the entire world has raised its eyes to the sky to admire the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, popularly and somewhat erroneously known as the “Christmas Star”. For this particular occasion, which will not occur until the year 2080, in Italy, some headquarters from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) have joined forces and carried out live, on EduINAF‘s Facebook and YouTube channels, the event “Jupiter and Saturn: the meeting of the giants”.

What made last Monday a remarkable astronomical event was indeed the positions of these two planets: although being aligned in the sky about once every 20 years, it’s been nearly 400 years since Jupiter and Saturn passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since this alignment occurred at night, allowing nearly everyone around the world to see this “great conjunction”. The previous one was on July 16, 1623. However, on that occurrence the two planets were too close to the Sun to be easily observed. We must go back to the late Middle Ages, precisely to March 4, 1226, to find a celestial event of similar magnitude, potentially visible in the terrestrial skies.

During the italian streaming, aired on the 21st on EduINAF’s main social channels from 5pm to 7 pm, astronomers from the INAF guided the audience (of over 10000 people) through the live observations of the planetary conjunction seen by the various italian observatories involved (Roma, Trieste and Palermo) also showing images collected in the previous days both from Italy and other telescopes in the world. The experience was made even more interesting by the insights the astronomers gave about the most recent discoveries in the field of planetary physics and the relevance of this celestial event, exceptionally occurred on the day of the winter solstice.

An image taken from the Rapid Eye Mount Telescope (La Silla Observatory-Chile), used during the italian streaming to show the “Great Conjunction” event of Jupiter and Saturn in the sky on Dec. 21st.

If you missed it and you want to discover more and more about this fascinating encounter of giants, you can look to this gallery of images and watch the recording of the streaming (available in italian) here.

Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn – 21 December 2020

Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn – 21 December 2020

Over the last months of 2020, Jupiter and Saturn have dominated the night sky. Now, as the year ends and as their positions approach twilight, they will end up offering a final show: the Great Conjunction, a “Gathering of Giants”. Their closest apparent approach, as viewed from Earth, will occur on December 21 at 18:27 (UTC), at which time the angular separation of these gas giants will be only 6.11 minutes arc. Another similar conjunction will not occur until the year 2080. The previous one took place on July 16, 1623. 

The Spain and Portugal Hub of the Europlanet Society has joined forces with observatories across Spain and around the world to encourage the participation of professionals and amateur observers and outreach activities to celebrate this event. A series of online events are taking place, including a webinar this evening (21 December 2020 – 6:30 PM CET [5:30 PM UT]), with simultaneous connections to the different observatories.
Find out more on the Europlanet Society Spain and Portugal Regional Hub page.
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Soapbox Science: women scientists in Belgium speak about their research live on social media

Soapbox Science: women scientists in Belgium speak about their research live on social media

On Saturday October 10, from 2 p.m. to 5:10 p.m., seven women scientists in Belgium will tell you about their research during the first Soapbox Science event in Brussels, which will be exceptionally held online due to COVID-19. 

Soapbox Science is a science outreach initiative that aims to promote the visibility of women scientists and their research by bringing them on the streets to reach the public. Soapbox Science events transform public areas in discussion forums based on Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner where women scientists, on their soapboxes, talk about their research to the people passing by.

Why women scientists? Even today, women scientists constitute a minority in the research field, and their relative number dwindles as the seniority in the field increases. Recent research shows that women face a lot of obstacles from a very young age, notably due to strongly held stereotypes and biases related to the image of the scientist.

For those reasons, Soapbox Science aims at tackling stereotypes, and shows to the public that science is not an “old white man’s” business and that anyone has the opportunity to enjoy science in an interactive way.

Soapbox Science was founded in 2011 in London, by Dr Seirian Sumner, from the University of Bristol, and Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, from the Zoological Society of London. The concept went on with great international success, with 42 events in 13 countries in 2019.

Soapbox Science Brussels 2020 will be the first ever Soapbox Science event in Belgium, adding our country to the growing list. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the event will be held online via livestream on the Soapbox Science Brussels YouTube channel and Facebook page instead of taking place in the streets of Brussels. Each speaker will talk about their research and answer questions coming in live from the audience for 20 minutes, with talks in French, Dutch and English. Follow all updates and programme on Twitter @SoapboxscienceB Come hear them talk to discover their fascinating cutting-edge research!

Watch Soapbox Science Brussels 2020 live on October 10, from 2 p.m. on the Soapbox Science Brussels YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/33wJRtP and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SoapboxScienceBrussels/.

Details of the event: http://soapboxscience.org/soapbox-science-2020-brussels/

Soapbox Science Brussels is sponsored by the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Royal Belgian Institute of Space Aeronomy and Europlanet Benelux.

Contact:
Soapbox Science Brussels
Email: soapboxsciencebrussels AT oma.be
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SoapboxScienceBrussels
Twitter: @SoapboxscienceB

Soapbox Science flyer
Soapbox Science flyer