Newsletter 13-2

Issue 13-2, January 21, 2013

1) IN MEMORIAM: BERTRAM DONN (1919 – 2012)


Dr. Bertram “Bert” Donn, the first head of NASA Goddard’s astrochemistry
group, passed away on Friday December 28, 2012 at age 93. A New Yorker
by birth, Bert attended Harvard University where he was taught by such
legends as Fred Whipple, Cecilia Payne, and Bart Bok. A meeting with
Harold Urey in the 1950s turned Bert’s attention to problems of low-
temperature reactions and their connections to cometary and interstellar
chemistry. Bert’s research at Goddard spanned theory, observation, and
experiment, with connections to NASA missions such as Skylab, Apollo,
and the International Ultraviolet Explorer. Bert also was an early NASA
contributor to the astrobiological literature, he initiated several astrobiology-
related research projects at Goddard, and he founded Goddard laboratories
for studying the chemistry and physics of ice, dust, and nucleation. He
was a 50-year member of the American Astronomical Society and a long-time
DPS member. Aside from his Goddard work, Bert was a well-known and
honored advocate of non-violence and peaceful conflict resolution, and
was instrumental in the racial integration of Greenbelt, Maryland, where
he and his family lived for 50 years. For more information please see

– Reggie Hudson and Joe Nuth (January 6, 2013)


NASA and STScI are pleased to announce the Cycle 21 Call for Proposals for
Hubble Space Telescope Observations and funding for Archival Research and
Theoretical Research programs. Solar System astronomers may be
interested to learn that Cycle 21 features a new category of medium
proposals (35-74 orbits), and the threshold for Large programs has been
dropped to >75 orbits. Over the past 20 cycles, Solar System science has
been allocated ~5% of the total observing time, or over 3200 orbits.
However, only one large GO proposal for Solar System observations has been
submitted since Servicing Mission 4; that proposal was awarded time in
Cycle 17 (GO 11644). The planetary community is encouraged to take
advantage of the new opportunities.

Further information about the Hubble Cycle 21 call is available
electronically from the STScI Announcement Web Page:

More information specifically for Solar System astronomers interested in
Hubble can be found at in a presentation by John Clarke:

Questions can be addressed to the STScI Help Desk (email: [email protected]<[email protected] by February 15, 2013 to be eligible to propose for an NOAO Survey Program commencing in the 2013B/2014A semester. The deadline for receiving completed Survey proposals is March 28, 2013 at 11:59pm.

The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the CTIO 4m Blanco telescope is now available for surveys under this call (especially for surveys operating during the A semesters). For more information, go to, as well as the Gemini, KPNO, and CTIO instrument pages. Question about the Survey Program may be addressed to [email protected].


If you have not paid your 2013 membership dues online at by 31 December 2012, there is still time to renew by logging in to your membership record (today !) and in any case before the membership lists are updated within a month or two from the beginning of 2013. By renewing online and not receiving a paper renewal, you will help your Society save enormous costs.

Also, please take a moment to update your personal DPS member file.

Thank you for your attention.
Send general replies to [email protected].


[Please visit the DPS web site at : jobs
for more information and also consider posting a job by filling out the jobs submission form at:

You can send any comments, questions, or suggestions to the DPS Jobs Czar at: [email protected]]


The Center for Space Physics at Boston University invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher position supervised by Professor Paul Withers. The research will involve the analysis of accelerometer and other measurements made by Curiosity during its descent to the surface of Mars, leading to an accurate reconstruction of the atmospheric conditions encountered by Curiosity and subsequent scientific interpretation of these results. Candidates should possess a PhD degree in a relevant field. Experience conducting research on planetary atmospheres and/or experience working with spacecraft observations are desirable. The salary offered will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Funding is available for two years with the possibility of extension. The appointment is expected to begin as soon as possible after 1 April 2013. Please contact Paul Withers ([email protected]) for further information.

Applications should be sent by email to Paul Withers ([email protected]). The application should be submitted in PDF format and contain a curriculum vitae, statement of research interests, and contact information for three referees. Review of applications will begin on 28 February 2013. Women and underrepresented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Boston University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.



The 2013 STScI Spring Symposium
April 29 – May 2, 2013

Abstract submission deadline: March 15, 2013
On-line registration deadline: March 29, 2013

Within a matter of years, humanity will know for the first time the frequency of terrestrial planets in orbit around other stars. In this four-day symposium, scientists from diverse fields will discuss the formation and long-term evolution of terrestrial bodies throughout the various phases of stellar and Galactic evolution. A particular focus will be in how the specific conditions and challenges for habitability on Earth extend to other bodies in the Solar System and beyond. The existence of these overlooked environments may provide motivation for novel astronomical observations with existing and next generation ground and space-based observatories.

Registration for this Symposium is now open and there are a limited number of spots. Please go to:
and click on the “Register” link. We also invite contributions in the form of talks and posters, which can be submitted during the registration process or after one has registered. Only a small number of contributed talks are available.

B) IPEWG 2013
Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that the third Meeting of the International Primitive Body Exploration Working Group (IPEWG 2013) will be held May 29-31 2013 in Nice, France. Information regarding meeting goals, logistics and registration are indicated on the following web site (to be completed, so please check it regularly):

Discussions held at IPEWG 2013 are expected to impact and improve international collaboration activities for primitive body space exploration. We expect the workshop to come up with a prioritized set of recommendations to be included in a charter. We hope you will attend and participate in this important program.

Please note that IPEWG2013 is followed by a MarcoPolo-R International Symposium (ESA primitive asteroid sample return mission in competition in the M3 class mission) at ESTEC (The Netherlands) on June 3-4, 2013. Direct low-cost flights from Nice to Amsterdam can be used to attend this Symposium.

We are currently working on the program of the workshop and to invite subject experts as we prepare to build on the successes of IPEWG 2008 and 2011. Please contact Patrick Michel, LOC Chair ([email protected]) with any questions.

We look forward to welcoming you on the “Nice” Côte d’Azur!
Patrick Michel
[email protected]

10-14 June 2013, Catania, Italy

Dear Colleagues,
With a wealth of new data from Venus Express and ground based telescopic observations, enhanced with significant progress in theory and modelling the interest in Venus is higher than in many years. We are organising an International Venus Science conference in the ancient town of Catania, Italy, 10-14 June 2013. Topics covered include all aspects of Venus research from the interior through the atmosphere out to the magnetosphere and the interaction with the solar wind. The format of the conference will follow that of the three past conferences held in La Thuile and in Aussions in 2007-2010, with a mix of invited talks/tutorials, contributed talks and posters. An excursion to Mount Etna, as an analogue of a Venusian volcano is foreseen.
Please have a look at the meeting web site for additional information:

On behalf of the Scientific Organising Committee,
Håkan Svedhem

24-28 June 2013, Brisbane, Australia

Abstract deadline coming up soon !!!: 29 January 2013.

10th Anniversary Meeting and First Time in the Southern Hemisphere- Join Us!

Some of the sessions are listed hereafter:

Session PS07: Spectropolarimetric Exploration of Planetary Systems and Their Habitability

Spectro-polarimetry is becoming a valuable remote sensing tool to explore our solar system (including earth, planetary atmospheres, satellite, ring systems, comets, asteroids, trans-Neptunian objects, etc.) to understand its formation and evolution. With the increasing diversity of extrasolar planetary systems, it important to understand their formation and evolution and place our solar system in context. This session will include invited and contributed talks on: (i) application of the principles of polarization to remote sensing; and (ii) role of polarization as an independent and complementary remote sensing tool to imaging and spectroscopic techniques; (iii) laboratory measurements and modelling; (iv) instrumentation and missions and (v) astrobiology and habitability. We welcome both polarimetrists and non-polarimetrists (observers, theorists and experimentalists) that study planetary systems to identify the challenges and advances in this growing field.
For the Conveners:
Dr. Padma A. Yanamandra-Fisher (Space Science Institute, USA), [email protected]

Session PS09: Icy satellites and Rings
This session will be devoted to outer planet satellites, rings and icy dwarf planets. The session will include solicited, contributed, and
poster presentations addressing observational, laboratory, and
theoretical studies relevant to past, ongoing, and future missions.
Relevant topics include:
(1) interior structure, composition and thermal evolution,
(2) surface geology and composition,
(3) orbital dynamics and satellite interactions,
(4) structure and dynamics of planetary rings,
(5) physical properties of ring particles and small satellites of
outer planet satellites.
For the Conveners: Jun Kimura

Session PS11: Outer planets and their analogs in exoplanets
Ten years ago, the planetary science community was eagerly awaiting the debut of AOGS, still in the planning stage, and the launch of Cassini spacecraft a couple of years alter. A decade later, AOGS is in full bloom and the Cassini mission is still going strong. In addition, the New Horizons spacecraft will be at Pluto in July 2015, Juno will enter orbit around Jupiter a year later, and plans are being developed for a new Titan mission and a Uranus Orbiter with Probe mission in the 2020’s decade. Across the Atlantic Ocean, the JUICE mission has been approved by ESA for launch in 2025. Following in the footsteps of successful lunar missions of JAXA (Japan), CNSA (China) and ISRO (India), scientists of the Asian Continent may soon join forces with their European and American colleagues in exploring the outer solar system. Thus it is timely to organize an AOGS session on outer planets to review significant scientific achievements in the areas of planetary and satellite atmospheres, magnetosphere, icy moons and the rings, including results on the Saturn system obtained by Cassini-Huygens, prior to the anticipated observations of other outer planets and moons, and modeling of planetary phenomena. Because of tremendous advances made in the study of extrasolar giant planets, we solicit also abstracts on related topics, with a view to promote interdisciplinary dialog among planetary scientists and astrophysicists in an international settling, as most appropriately exemplified by the4 10th annual meeting of AOGS in Brisbane, Australia.
For the Conveners: Wing Ip

Session PS13: Active satellites in the Solar System

This is a session of contributed and invited papers on the geophysics of satellites, especially those that are currently active — Io, Enceladus, Triton, and possibly Europa and Ganymede. 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. Included are the affects and chronology of internal heating (e.g., radioactivity, tidal dissipation, and other), structural evolution (e.g., differentiation), tides, and other processes. 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”.
For the Conveners: Steve Vance

Gainesville, Florida, June 25-28, 2013
Deadline: 15 February 2013

WHISPERS is the premier meeting of IEEE for hyperspectral image processing. The international annual meeting will be held this year in Gainesville, Florida, June 25-28, 2013, on the campus of the University of Florida. We invite members of the planetary science community to join colleagues from the terrestrial remote sensing and signal processing communities. This year we are proposing a special section devoted to exploring cutting-edge techniques in planetary image processing (described below) with a data users workshop. Note that the deadline for papers is soon (February 15) and that these are 4-pages, peer-reviewed prior to acceptance, and published in IEEE Transactions. It is the perfect venue for your technically-focused advances. We hope you can join us in Florida. Please contact Sylvain Doute ([email protected]) and Bethany Ehlmann ([email protected]) for more information. (…)

Planetary hyperspectral imaging
Imaging spectroscopy in the visible and in the infrared is a key remote sensing technique for exploring and studying planetary objects in the Solar System. Since 1989, imaging spectrometers have been onboard orbiters around the Moon, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, asteroids, and outer planet satellites. The acquisition of three dimensional hyperspectral images (2 spatial, 1 spectral) allows the mapping of chemical, physical and structural properties related to surfaces and atmospheres. Consequently, planetary environments – past or present – can be investigated. Continuing technological improvements and new missions have promoted improvements in the dimensionality and precision as well as dramatically expended spectro-image collections. A new generation of imaging spectrometers has also emerged with an additional angular dimension. This progress provides exciting new opportunities but accentuates the complexity of data analysis and challenges of eliminating instrumental artifacts. This special session welcomes all contributions that represent the state of the art in using hyperspectral imaging for planetary exploration included (but not restricted) to: sensors (design and calibration), image processing (artifact reduction, atmospheric correction), spectro-photometry, physical modeling, spectral unmixing and endmember extraction, and applications (minerals, ices, aerosols, regolith properties, climate, etc.).

8-12 July 2013, Davos, Switzerland

Abstract deadline coming up soon !!! 31 January 2013.

This conference is a joint assembly organized by The International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS) and the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS), will bring together some 1’200 scientists from both fields to present and discuss the latest research in separate or joint sessions. A large variety of topics will be covered, from ice-sheet modelling to extreme climate events, from solar UV radiation to avalanche formation and permafrost – be sure to contribute and benefit from the possibility to extend your network and meet excellent scientists from a wide range of fields.

DACA-13 will be held from July 8 – 12 in the mountain resort of Davos, where the exciting outdoors join culture, lifestyle and an invigorating climate in the middle of the magnificent alpine landscape.

The schedule for the week is now online. We hope to se you there!
Athena Coustenis
IAMAS President

July 9-11, 2013, Toulouse, France

Abstract submission deadline: March 31, 2013
On-line registration deadline: April 30, 2013

Maximum number of participants: 60

We are pleased to announce a workshop on the role of comets in understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System. This meeting will take place in a three-day science program comprised of themed sessions, and featuring a mixture of invited reviews, invited and contributed talks and posters.
The workshop will cover topics ranging from the dynamical and chemical evolution of the solar nebula during formation, to the techniques for measuring the composition of comets. Invited speakers include some of the community leaders in cometary science, measurements and technology development. We will discuss the role that Rosetta measurements will play in understanding the origin of Solar System bodies, and what future missions to comets are being planned. Abstract submissions for posters and for talks are encouraged, although the number of talks available is limited in order to keep the meeting to three days. Register early, as space is limited to no more than 60 participants! There will be a special issue of the journal Planetary and Space Science devoted to the works presented at this meeting.

From Kathleen Mandt and Olivier Mousis


Meeting Dates: July 22-26
Abstract Deadline: April 15
Early Bird Registration Deadline: May 31
Reception: July 21

The meeting is being held at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, USA.

In July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons mission will conduct the first in situ exploration of the Pluto system in the Kuiper Belt. This scientific conference will take stock of our current knowledge of the Pluto system in advance of the New Horizons flyby, and introduce potential new mission collaborators and those interested in participating in NASA/SMD Pluto system data analysis programs to the details of the scientific investigations planned during the 6-month New Horizons encounter.

Both registration and abstract submission are now open for the Pluto-2013 conference at:

Abstracts are solicited on all facets of the Pluto system—including origins, interiors, surfaces, compositions, atmospheres, satellites, plasma, and context in the Kuiper Belt.

Special issues of both Icarus and JGR-Planets are planned to publish new results and prediction papers in 2014.

If you are interested in the Pluto system and its context within the Kuiper belt, join our invited speakers and the New Horizons science team at APL in July for this landmark meeting in the exploration of Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

Alan Stern (Program Committee Chair)
Hal Weaver (Local Organizing Committee Chair)

Send submissions to:
Athena Coustenis, DPS Secretary ([email protected])

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Athena Coustenis
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Observatoire de Paris-Meudon
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[email protected]