Newsletter 12-17

Issue 12-17, July 20, 2012


The power to the AAS HQ office, and its entire building, has been out for several hours on Wednesday evening. If you tried to submit a DPS abstract or register for the meeting during that time period and were unsuccessful, it is because of the power outage. As a consequence, the deadline to submit abstracts has been extended to today : Friday, 20 July 2012, 9:00 PM ET.


We would like to remind you that the 2012 election for DPS Vice-Chair and Committee is now open, and will close on July 30th 2012.

To vote, go to .
You will need your AAS member login ID (which defaults to your membership number), and your password. If you haven’t registered to or renewed your DPS membership recently, please take a moment to do so now. This will allow you to vote and benefit from all membership advantages.

You should vote for one of the two candidates for Vice-Chair:
Heidi Hammel, AURA
Jeff Moore, NASA Ames

You should vote for two of the four candidates for DPS Committee:
Ross Beyer, SETI Institute
Sebastien Charnoz, AIM, Univ. Paris Diderot, France
Amanda Sickafoose Gulbis, Southern African Large Telescope
Paul Withers, Boston University

The detailed vitae and position statements for each of the can be found on the main election page,


An amendment to the NASA AO for the ESA JUICE mission makes two changes
to the AO: 1) it requires submission of Notices of Intent (NOIs) by
July 27, 2012, and 2) it clarifies the process for NASA review of
proposals submitted to ESA. Changes are indicated in bold type in the
updated AO. NASA is requiring NOIs from U.S.-led proposal teams
planning to submit proposals to the NASA AO in order to allow NASA and
ESA sufficient time to properly organize the technical and scientific
review of all proposals. Proposals will not be accepted unless an NOI
is submitted by the July 27 deadline.

The Pre-Proposal Conference for the NASA AO is being scheduled. The
date, time, and agenda will be posted on the JUICE NASA Acquisition

in the near future. The conference will be virtual and participation
will be provided via Webex; travel to attend the conference in person
is not necessary.

Questions may be submitted to Dr. Curt Niebur, [email protected],
the NASA Program Scientist for the ESA JUICE mission. Questions and
answers will be regularly posted to the JUICE NASA Acquisition website
starting this week.



The Universities Space Research Association’s Lunar and Planetary
Institute (LPI), in Houston Texas, invites applications for a
postdoctoral fellowship in planetary geophysics.

The successful candidate will work with Dr. Walter Kiefer on a
NASA-funded project studying the nature of mantle convection on Mars
and its effects on the thermal evolution and volcanic history of the
planet. The candidate will also have the opportunity to conduct
research in planetary geophysics of his or her own choosing.

The position requires a Ph.D. in Planetary Science or Geophysics with
experience in computer programming and numerical modeling methods,
particularly finite elements. Experience with parallel computing in a
Linux environment will be an asset. The position will be offered for
an initial period of two years with a possible extension to a maximum
of three years.

Applicants should send a letter of interest, a curriculum vita listing
relevant publications, a brief (maximum three pages) statement of
research interests, and a list of three references to
[email protected]. Further information about LPI can be found at:

USRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


A planetary meeting calendar is posted at
If there is a planetary-related meeting, conference or workshop of which your colleagues should be aware, please send the date, title, URL and location to pen_editor at

You may also want to consult the Planetary meetings and Conferences Calendar at:


The meeting website is:

The registration and housing is open on July 12, 2012. The abstract
submission website is:

Abstract deadline: August 8, 2012, 23:59ET/3:59+1 GMT

Please note and consider submitting abstracts to the following sessions :

P015: Origins, evolutions and processes of the outer planet satellites
This session will consist of invited and contributed presentations dealing with the explorations of the outer planet satellites. New observations and geophysical modeling of data that shed light on the origins of the satellites and their interactions with magnetospheres and rings are very appropriate for this session. Contributions that investigate the origins and evolutions of the interiors, surfaces and atmospheres of multiple moons to uncover underlying trends are especially welcome.

SM015: Periodicities in the Saturn System: Observations and Explanations
Since 2004, the Cassini spacecraft’s fields-and-particles instruments have reported the presence of periodic variations close to the nominal rotation rate of the planet in many of the physical quantities detected or inferred. But extensive work on the Saturn kilometric radiation data have revealed that the north and south hemispheres of the system do not have identical periodic rates. These hemispheric periodicities each order phenomena throughout the magnetosphere, from the magnetopause down into the magnetotail. This session invites observational studies, simulations, and theory examining these periodicities, their origin, and their effects on magnetospheric processes.

P030: Titan – A Dynamic World
Eight years of observations by the Cassini Saturn Orbiter, combined with augmented ground-based observation campaigns, have documented significant changes in the surface, atmosphere, and ionosphere of Saturn’s Titan. As the temporal and spatial resolution both have increased, seasonal changes have been observed including shifts in weather patterns. Observed surface changes are possibly due to evaporation, rainfall and/or infiltration, fluvial activity or, intriguingly, dynamic processes that are presently extant in Titan’s interior. This session will present the most recent spacecraft and ground-based results and test the veracity of the current modeling developments.

P007 Eyes on Enceladus
Enceladus appears to have all the requirements for life: energy, liquid water, organic material, nitrogen and other essential elements, making investigation of this body especially promising and urgent. In this session, we will focus on the most recent observational, theoretical and modeling results on the chemistry, state and dynamics of Enceladus’ jets and plumes, the moon’s thermal and interior state, geologic activity, as well as its astrobiological potential. New results from the recent Cassini flybys of Enceladus should be submitted to this session.

SM013: Moon-magnetosphere interactions throughout the solar system
This session will focus on new observational and theoretical studies of the interaction between the moons of our solar system and the magnetospheres of their parent planets. Of special interest are results related to plasma and magnetic field observations from Cassini’s latest flybys of Saturn’s icy satellites Enceladus, Rhea and Dione. Studies deepening our understanding of the interconnection between Titan’s ionosphere and its highly dynamic magnetospheric environment are also very welcome. The interaction of Jupiter’s moons with the ambient magnetospheric plasma will be especially addressed with a view to provide support to the ongoing Juno Mission and the planning of synergistic measurements for the proposed JUICE Mission.

P029: Solar System Dusty Plasma
Dust has been identified as an important component in space plasma environments in the Solar System. For example, the presence of macroscopic charge carriers (dust) has been recognized to be capable to offset the traditional plasma charge balance. This session will focus on dusty-plasma studies in various environments, including: laboratory experiments, Noctilucent clouds and polar mesospheric summer echoes, the plume of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, planetary rings, surfaces of airless objects, and cometary environments. The goal of the session is to compare dusty-plasma studies under various conditions to improve our understanding of the processes responsible for dust charging, altering the properties of the plasma, and the emergence of dust collective behavior.

P031: Titan’s Enigmatic Upper Atmosphere and Ionosphere
The processes that control Titan’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere remain enigmatic after eight years of observations from the Cassini mission. Instruments onboard the Cassini Orbiter have studied many aspects of Titan’s atmosphere and coupled ionosphere both via in-situ measurements and remote observations. Recent studies of atmospheric composition and structure of Titan have produced substantial breakthroughs in our understanding of this complex chemical and dynamical system including results on the ionospheric outflow, ion composition and structure, and thermospheric and exospheric variability. In this session, we focus on recent and ongoing observations, modeling, and laboratory experimentation of Titan’s upper atmosphere and ionosphere.

P008: Geophysics of Satellites and Small Bodies
This is a session of contributed and invited papers on the geophysics of satellites and small bodies. Research is progressing rapidly due to the stream of new spacecraft data. Welcome are papers on processes that affect the interiors of individual bodies as well as the surface expressions they produce (e.g., eruptions). Included are the effects and chronology of internal heating (e.g., radioactivity, tidal dissipation, etc.), structural evolution (e.g., differentiation), tides, etc. These geophysical processes themselves are universal in their application and transcend the compartmentalization suggested by nomenclature such as “satellite,” “dwarf planet,” “asteroid,” “comet,” “KBO,” “TNO,” “parent body,” and “planetesimal.”

P020: Planetary Rings: Theory and Observation
This session will focus on new theoretical and observational studies of planetary rings. Subjects to be covered include the structure, dynamics and composition of the rings; the interaction of the rings with the ionosphere, magnetosphere and interplanetary meteoroids; and the origin and evolution of the rings. Recent Cassini observations will be highlighted, along with Earth and HST observations, theoretical models and laboratory results.

SM012: Magnetospheric Processes and Dynamics at the Giant Planets
The giant planets have been studied with the Voyager, Pioneer, Galileo, Cassini, and New Horizons missions, as well as with Earth-based observations. This session focuses upon these magnetospheres and the full range of processes active within them. In this session, we invite submissions covering the range of dynamics that are present in the magnetosphere, including, but not limited to, plasma-neutral interactions, wave-particle interactions, the magnetic configuration, magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling, and auroral dynamics. The session will be an ideal forum for the discussion of recent advances in our understanding of these magnetospheres, and we encourage the submission of abstracts that compare the giant planets to one another.


The Science Working Group of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has
a dedicated effort to establish the full capabilities of this facility
for Solar System Science. JWST is an infrared-optimized telescope to
be placed at the Earth-Sun Lagrange 2 point. It is scheduled for launch
in 2018, and will have a robust suite of astronomical instrumentation
available for General Observer proposals.

In order to fully realize the maximum potential of JWST for Solar
System observations, we are seeking experienced observers of solar
system targets to participate and provide input in an upcoming
workshop held at the DPS meeting in Reno, Nevada on Sunday October 14,
2012 (9am-noon). This workshop will provide you an opportunity to learn
about the current instrument specifications and observing modes, as
well as the observatory capabilities (brightness limits, moving target
tracking, and others). Our goal is to fully engage the Solar System
community to provide the tools needed to plan observations with JWST.
A key output of the workshop will be capability objectives for the JWST
team to consider for further pre-launch studies. More information can
be found at:

will be held in the magnificent Firenze Fiera Congress Center in Florence, on August 25-30, 2013. The organizing committee has identified 24 theme areas, and a range of sessions have been proposed for each theme. Please take a look at the list of themes and sessions and discuss with your colleagues whether there are any obvious gaps in the program. If so please suggest sessions that you think would help make the program more comprehensive. In particular we welcome submissions to the new ‘Union’ theme (theme 01) which is designed to provide a home for exciting geochemistry that is both high profile and cuts across established themes. The additional sessions submitted will be reviewed by the science committee, and included in the list of sessions where appropriate.
The current list of themes and sessions can be viewed at the meeting’s website:
If you would like to propose an additional session at the Florence Goldschmidt in 2013 please submit your suggestion through the web site: