Europlanet Transnational Access on Show at ATOMKI-Hosted Workshop

Europlanet Transnational Access on Show at ATOMKI-Hosted Workshop

The HUN-REN Nuclear Research Institute (ATOMKI) recently hosted a two-day workshop on Radiation-Driven Chemistry in Astrophysics and Planetary Science. Around 45 international participants attended and discussed developments in astrochemistry and present the latest results of research. The first day finished with a round-table discussion on some of the challenges and opportunities for the astrochemistry community

Several presentations over the two days featured work carried out through the Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI) Transnational Access programme in the ATOMKI laboratories.

Participants were given tours of both ATOMKI facilities offered fro (TA) through Europlanet, the Atomki Ice Chamber for Astrophysics/Astrochemistry (ICA) and the Atomki ECRIS Laboratory: Atomki-Queen’s University Ice Laboratory for Astrochemistry (AQUILA).

Find out more about the workshop.

Find out more about how the ATOMKI facilities have been developed through support from the Europlanet 2024 RI project.

Atomki Workshop - April 2024

Report from the Radiation-Driven Chemistry in Astrophysics and Planetary Science Workshop

(Reposted in English from the original on the ATOMKI website, with thanks to ATOMKI and the workshop organising committee.)

The HUN-REN Nuclear Research Institute (ATOMKI) recently hosted specialists researching chemical processes in outer space. The aim of the two-day event called Radiation-Driven Chemistry in Astrophysics and Planetary Science Workshop was to review the development directions of astrochemistry and to present the latest results of measurements carried out in the ATOMKI laboratories in the framework of international collaborations.

The starry sky is magical and enchanting. Humanity has been preoccupied with the regularities observed in the movement of celestial objects since its inception. In addition to observing with the naked eye, thanks to the development of technical devices, we first used binoculars and then spectroscopic (spectroscopic) methods to spy on the sky. And the space tools launched into outer space expanded our horizons and our possibilities explosively. Today, many disciplines deal with the study of our remote environment.

Astrophysics – hand in hand with astronomy – deals with the origin, history and structure of the world, the creation of chemical elements, and nuclear physical processes taking place in stars. Nuclear astrophysics research is largely carried out with the help of particle accelerators, where nuclear physics reactions are created, modeling the processes taking place in stars.

Astrochemistry studies the chemical processes taking place in outer space. How do more complex molecules form in the cradles of stars, in these very cold and distant molecular clouds, in the thin layers of ice containing atoms and smaller molecules deposited on the particles of cosmic dust? What chemical transformations take place on the surface and atmosphere of planets, moons, comets, and asteroids?

According to research, it is becoming more and more obvious that cosmic radiation and the high-energy particles emitted by stars, such as photons, ions and electrons, play a decisive role in these chemical processes. Their flow is called the stellar wind or, in the case of the Sun, the solar wind.

With the help of instruments on the ground and in space, we can also determine the chemical composition of very distant celestial bodies and nebulae. Among the hundreds of molecules detected in outer space, you can find the building blocks of living organisms, as well as larger organic molecules. Astrobiology deals with the study of the processes leading to the creation of life.

Molecules in the distant regions of outer space can be identified with the help of space telescopes (such as the James Webb Space Telescope) that use the method of radio astronomy and spectrum analysis in the infrared range (spectroscopy), and thus learn something about the chemical processes taking place there. In the closer places, within the Solar System, the probes of the space missions perform direct sampling and measurements.

However, in order to interpret the data, it is necessary to model the effect of cosmic radiation, the stellar wind, and the solar wind on molecules and thus on chemical processes here on Earth in laboratory conditions. Most of the processes taking place in the Solar System can be modeled with the help of high-energy ions and electrons created by ATOMKI’s particle accelerator equipment, ion and electron sources. Dozens of foreign groups come to the institute every year to take advantage of the facilities offered by the equipment.

With the particle beam, ices of a special composition are irradiated, such as are found on the surface of icy celestial bodies in our Solar System. Chemical changes are followed by infrared spectroscopic methods. In the research in this direction at the institute, the focus of attention is currently on the experimental modeling of the processes taking place on the icy moons of the planet Jupiter. With these experiments, ATOMKI supports the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission of the European Space Agency (ESA).

April 25-26, 2024. The two-day meeting that took place between The majority of the 43 participating researchers came from Europe and America. The cooperating partners reported on the results of their measurements carried out in the laboratories of ATOMKI. The leading researchers of the profession analyzed the directions of the development of astrochemistry and reviewed the opportunities and challenges that arise in relation to astrochemistry in the fields of space research, space industry and climate research. The experts visited ATOMKI’s particle accelerator equipment and laboratories, where research conducted in international cooperation can continue in the future.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at EPSC2021

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at EPSC2021

Lecturers without borders (diversity lecture by Athanasia Nikolaou)

Thursday Sep 16th | 9:50-10:20 CEST

This lecture by Athanasia Nikolaou, organised by the Europlanet Diversity Committee, will be an opportunity to hear the speaker’s story about the initiative ‘Lecturers without borders’ to make planetary sciences more accessible to the wider society.
Description extracted from
“Lecturers without borders is a project launched by a group of international scientists. The headquarters of the project are in Paris and Munich. The creators of the project are scientists and university and school professors who use their travel opportunities (when attending scientific conferences, going on holidays, etc.) to give free outreach-lectures in local schools and universities. The main target is to inspire the high school students and to raise their motivation in learning science. As of today the project has already over 190 lecturers and can approach up to 8 000 schools in Europe and Asia.”

Short Course: Bystander Intervention Training

Thursday Sep 16th | 17:30-19:30 CEST

How do we deal with situations or comments that we know aren’t right? How should we react to jokes that are harmful instead of funny, to gossiping or other harassing behaviour? When does an intervention help and how do we best interrupt inappropriate behaviour?
This short course offered by Dr. Moses Milazzo will provide participants with tools and skills to help to step up, safely intervene in potentially harmful situations, and start (or continue) difficult conversations about situations or behaviours that are harmful to individuals or to a team as a whole.
No previous registration for the short course is needed, and a link to the short course will be provided here shortly before the start of the short course.

Introduction: Wiki-Edit-A-Thon

Friday Sep 17th | 17:30-19:00 CEST

The Diversity Committee of the Europlanet Society, in collaboration with Women in Red and WikiDonne, are organizing a second edition of the EPSC Edit-A-Thon that was first held during EPSC2020 to continue to highlight diversity within the planetary science community. The Wiki-Edit-A-Thon will start with a general introduction course on Friday 17th 5:30pm, which will be organized as a Zoom Meeting and will be recorded for public release after the meeting. Throughout EPSC2021, there will be follow-up meetings to meet and work together on new Wikipedia articles or translations of articles on planetary scientists from underrepresented communities (female researchers, scientists of color, etc.).

Follow-up editing sessions are scheduled as follows (given for CEST):

Monday Sep 20th 19:00-20:30
Tuesday Sep 21st 12:00-13:00
Wednesday Sep 22nd 16:15-17:30
Thursday Sep 23rd 12:00-13:30
Friday Sep 24th 17:30-19:00

Diversity and Inclusiveness in Planetary Sciences

Tuesday Sep 21st | 14:20–14:50 CEST

The benefits of diversity and inclusiveness in the scientific community are incontrovertible. Following the success of previous years, this session aims to foster debate within the planetary sciences community about the reasons behind under-representation of different groups (gender, cultural, ethnic origin and national) and best practices to make the research environment more inclusive identifying and addressing barriers to equality.

We invite abstracts focusing on: under-representation (gender, cultural, ethnic origin and nationality biases) supported by statistics and data; outreach and education activities to reach broad and diverse audiences, best practices to support inclusiveness; and case studies on mentoring and bias-concerned activities. Data and initiatives related to COVID are strongly encouraged.

‘Can we talk?’ Difficult Conversations with Underrepresented People of Color

Tuesday Sep 21st | 18.00-20.00 CEST

Join us for a screening of the film series “Can we talk?” by Dr. Kendall Moore, which focuses on the issue of ‘social belonging’ in the context of STEM and the effect it has on the lives of underrepresented people of color. In a follow-up discussion, we will talk about the barriers that those from minority backgrounds still encounter when entering the Planetary Science community, and explore ways in which institutions and individual researchers can change this reality. These difficult conversations must be conducted now in order to make our field as welcoming and diverse as it can be.

Diversity and Inclusiveness – Europlanet Round Table

Thursday Sep 23rd | 18.00-20.00 CEST

Please join us for this networking event to discuss diversity and inclusiveness in the planetary science community. The meeting is organized by the Europlanet Diversity Committee. Everyone interested in this topic is welcome to attend.

Registration for virtual workshop: How to apply successfully for a TA call

Registration for virtual workshop: How to apply successfully for a TA call

Date and time: 3rd December, 10-13 CET

A virtual workshop will be organised on 3 December, from 10:00 to 13:00 CET, to help applicants to submit high quality proposals for the Europlanet 2024 RI Transnational Access (TA). Participants will have the chance to talk to the TA programme organisers, learn about the full procedure, be given some useful tips and hear about successful projects.

Participation is free. To register, fill in the form below:

If you have any questions, please contact Melinda Dósa:

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