Newsletter 13-21

Issue 13-21, August 6, 2013



I am happy to announce the results of our election. Bonnie Buratti has been elected Vice-Chair, and Julie Castillo and Jani Radebaugh were elected as members of the DPS committee. They all bring extremely valuable experience to us.

Bonnie has proven her leadership skills multiple times, including as the lead of the Cassini Satellites Orbiter Science Team. In addition, she has also been significantly involved in smaller missions, including New Horizons and Deep Space 1. She has recently been appointed as a member of the SBAG Steering Committee. In addition to an extremely productive research career, Bonnie is also very dedicated to education and public outreach. Her annual workshop “Teachers Touch the Sky” is a superb example of how planetary scientists can reach out to the public.

Julie Castillo-Rogez brings a range of research experience including geophysical modeling, laboratory work and flight projects, including Dawn and InSight. She describes herself as a geophysicist who starts the day with numerical models, spends lunch watching ice being crushed, and participates in mission planning in the afternoon. She has been a member of the Planetary Science Subcommittee since 2010. Originally from France, Julie will also bring her international perspective to DPS.

Jani Radebaugh is a planetary geologist who, when not teaching or doing research on Titan and Io, travels to some of the Earth’s most interesting geologic locations for comparative planetology, often taking students along. She has been a member of the OPAG steering committee since 2008. She has a keen interest in science advocacy to government leaders and society.

I am lucky to count these remarkable women as friends as well as colleagues. As my term comes to an end in October, I am very happy that DPS will be in good hands as Heidi Hammel takes over as Chair, Bonnie as Vice-Chair, and Jani and Julie join our already strong committee.

Rosaly Lopes, DPS Chair



Well, we certainly are living in interesting times…

The good news is that our community’s efforts advocating for ourselves have paid dividends in Congress. Planetary Science has good support with key members in the House and Senate, and that support is critical to successfully fighting for a budget that keeps planetary science and exploration healthy. We will continue to build those relationships.

However, the extreme partisanship in both the House and Senate has encroached on NASA in an unprecedented way. For a more in-depth discussion of the partisan issues, I recommend the August 5th Space Review piece, “NASA policy gets partisan” ( In short, partisanship has resulted in differing versions of the NASA Authorization Act and the appropriations bill that NASA funding falls under. The divide means that it is unlikely that either an authorization or appropriations bill will be passed and signed into law.

At the very top level, here are the numbers in the budget and bills in play:
President’s FY 2014 budget request $17.7 B for NASA; $1.218 B for planetary
House Authorization $16.9 B for NASA; $1.5 B
House Appropriations $16.6 B for NASA; $1.315 B for planetary
Senate Authorization $18.1 B for NASA; $1.4 B for planetary
Senate Appropriations $18.1 B for NASA; $1.3176 B for planetary

Given that passage of appropriations bills and reconciliation between House and Senate versions are highly unlikely, when members of Congress return in the fall, they will be occupied with hammering out a Continuing Resolution to prevent the government from shutting down. But they will also likely be embroiled in other contentious issues such as the National Defense Authorization Act and immigration reform. Rising above the noise level will be a challenge.

As always, it is important for us to advocate for our community, but we must be thoughtful. It is damaging to everyone if we start pointing the guns inward and taking shots at other areas of SMD. The best course of action is to advocate for planetary science and the budget of SMD in general.

Another issue of concern to many in our community is the administration’s proposed restructuring of science education, which is disrupting many EPO activities associated with NASA. For a good explanation of the program, its motivation, and how it came about I recommend July 26th News Focus piece in Science (Vol 341, pp. 338-341), “An Invisible Hand Behind Plan To Realign U.S. Science Education”. And the issue of travel restrictions for government employees and contractors continues to be of concern as well. These issues are part of the messaging DPS conveys when advocating on the Hill and elsewhere in DC, and we are working with the AAS to identify the best ways to address both issues.

If you are interested in advocating for planetary science, please feel free to get in touch with me at [email protected]. I am happy to help you identify opportunities and provide you with materials, contacts and guidance if needed.

Your actions do make a difference. Anecdotally, after serving as a AAAS Congressional Science Policy Fellow in the House of Representatives last year I can say first hand that the advocacy of constituents can have a big impact. The following 2010 study provides more quantitative data…

Makenzie Lystrup
Chair, DPS Federal Relations Subcommittee



Denver, CO, 6-11 October 2013

1. Registration
Regular Registration until 5 September 2013
Late Registration: 6 September – 19 September 2013

2. Hotel Information
DPS has secured rooms at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel.
The deadline to make reservations is 3 September 2013. Booking outside of our reserved block results in significant increase in meeting costs for everyone.

3. Calling all Volunteers!
The American Astronomical Society and DPS are looking for volunteers to help out at the 45th Meeting of DPS in Denver, CO. We love getting help from undergrads, grads, postdocs, and local amateur astronomers at our meetings: to supervise sessions, help at registration, usher at events, and various other odd (but greatly appreciated) jobs. This is a great chance to meet and mingle with your peers, get up to date on the newest science, and pick up some cool freebies in the Exhibit Hall.
Volunteers that sign up to work a minimum of 16 hours receive complimentary meeting registration, volunteer t-shirts, and access to the Exhibit Hall and all the sessions. We also provide complimentary lunch and parking on the days you work 4 or more hours.
If interested, please contact Kathy Cox at [email protected] or 202-328-2010 x117.

4. Exhibiting at DPS
Exhibitors at the DPS Meeting have an opportunity to speak directly with the customers they are serving. If your institution, observatory, company, lab or university is doing business in astronomy…you need to be exhibiting at the DPS Meeting in Denver. Contact Debbie Kovalsky, [email protected] or 202-328-2010 x110.…

5. Sponsorship Opportunities
Are you looking for more exposure for your company and a way to support astronomy? Look no further than a DPS Meeting Sponsorship. We can customize packages to fit your budget and needs. Contact Debbie Kovalsky, [email protected] or 202-328-2010 x110.…

6. Donations
Please also remember to donate to the new professional development award for planetary scientists, the Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund. The fund will provide financial assistance to qualifying DPS members to facilitate their attendance at the annual DPS meeting by offsetting dependent-care costs, either at the meeting location or at home during the week of the conference. In this, its inaugural year, the Susan Niebur Professional Development Fund will support Dependent Care Grants for the 45th annual meeting of the DPS in Denver, Colorado, 6-11 October 2013.

To apply, please fill out the online form by Sept. 2, 2013 at:

More information about the new fund, including how to donate:



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– Mark V. Sykes, Ph.D., J.D.,
Planetary Science Institute




Posted at

San Francisco, CA,
December 9–13, 2013.

Abstract Deadline – Wednesday, 7 August 2013


• The 2013 Whipple Award for “outstanding contributions in the field of planetary science” will be given to Professor Harry “Hap” McSween of the University of Tennessee. His award will be accompanied by the Whipple Lecture. Congratulations to Hap!
• The 2013 Greeley Award for “significant early career contributions to planetary science” will be given to Professor Jonathan L. Mitchell of the University of California at Los Angeles. Congratulations to Jonathan!
• The Shoemaker Lecture, part of the AGU Bowie series, will be delivered by Dr. Michael H. Carr of the United States Geological Survey.
• The Sagan Lecture, co-sponsored by the Planetary Sciences and Biogeosciences sections, will be given by Dr. David H. Grinspoon of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

From the AGU Newsletter: Below is the list of all approved Planetary Science sessions slated for the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting. Scheduling will occur at the next Program Committee meeting in September (note that the “P” session designations are temporary and will be changed once scheduling is complete). More details can be found on the AGU Fall Meeting Web site. Should you have any questions or concerns about the program, feel free to contact the PS Program Committee representatives, Nathan Bridges and Joern Helbert. Based on the diversity and scope of these sessions, the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting should be a very exciting meeting.

– P001 : Planetary Sciences General Contributions
– P002 : Accretion, core-mantle differentiation and early planetary evolution
– P003 : Atmospheric escape, upper atmospheres, ionospheres, and plasma interactions at Mars and Venus
– P004 : Characterizing Small Solar System Bodies
– P005 : Destination: Europa
– P006 : Dynamic Mars from Long-Term Observations
– P007 : Dynamic processes in Mars’s atmosphere
– P008 : Enceladus: Little Moon, Big Possibilities
– P009 : Evolutions, interactions and origins of Outer Planet Satellites
– P010 : First Results of C/2012 S1 (ISON): Comet of the Century?
– P011 : Gale crater, Mars: Comparing geochemistry and geomorphology from remote sensing, in situ measurements, laboratory data, and terrestrial analogs
– P012 : Geophysical Investigations of Planetary Volatiles
– P013 : Geophysics of Satellites and Small Bodies
– P014 : High Priority Investigations for Venus Exploration
– P015 : Icy Bodies: from laboratory to space missions
– P016 : Impact Cratering: Terrestrial Observations and Planetary Applications
– P017 : Mars Science Laboratory: Bradbury Landing through Yellowknife Bay
– P018 : Mercury after Two Years of MESSENGER Orbital Observations
– P019 : Planetary Atmospheres and Evolution
– P020 : Planetary Rings: Theory and Observation
– P021 : Polarimetry as an invaluable tool to study the Solar System and beyond
– P022: Rapid Environmental Change and the Fate of Planetary Habitability
– P023 : Rosetta, Comets, and the Origins of the Solar System
– P025 :Saturn’s Northern Spring — From Storms to Polar Vortices
– P026 :Shape, Internal Structure, Gravity, and Winds of Jupiter and Saturn
– P028 :Solar System Dusty Plasma
– P029 :The Science of Exploration as enabled by the Moon, NEAs and the moons of Mars
– P030 :Thermal Modeling of Terrestrial and Planetary Bodies
– P031 :Titan’s Enigmatic Atmosphere and Ionosphere
– P032 :Titan- A Solar System Enigma
– P033: Tracking Down Life – Star Biosignatures, Biomarker Systems or the Ensemble Cast?
– P034: Using Topography to Investigate the Evolution of Solar System Bodies
– P035 :Whipple Lecture



Saturday 12th October, 2013
Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO

This 1-day scientific meeting will be held in downtown Boulder after
DPS Denver to discuss the latest research and developments in Io
science since the 2012 Io Workshop.

The Japanese EUV Sprint-A/EXCEED mission will launch in August 2013
to observe the Jovian aurora and Io plasma torus for a number of
months. This workshop will focus on topics which might benefit from
EXCEED data and coordinated observations at all wavelengths, though
presentations on other aspects of Io science will be accepted if time

For more information and to register your interest, please go to:

Organizers: Constantine Tsang, John Spencer, Fran Bagenal, Rosaly Lopes
Contact Email: [email protected]



ESA is pleased to announce a Venus Express VIRTIS and VMC Data Workshop
that will be held at ESAC (Madrid, Spain) on 21-24 October 2013. The
overall goal of the workshop is to introduce users to the Planetary
Science Archive ( on which data from
ESA planetary missions are archived. This workshop will focus on the
VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) and VMC
(Venus Monitoring Camera) instruments of the Venus Express orbiter.

Scientific and technical lectures will be provided, as well as hands-on
data processing exercises, with expert members of the VIRTIS and VMC
instrument teams providing direct support on the best ways in which to
calibrate and use their data for science.

Deadline for registration is August 31st, 2013.

In order to ensure the right level of interaction, participation will
be restricted to a limited number of participants (20). Preference will
be given to PhD students and post-docs.

No charge is made for participation in the workshop, but no support for
travel and subsistence costs will be provided by ESA.

For more details, visit the workshop’s web page:

E-mail: [email protected]


October 23 – 25, 2013, DLR Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, Germany.

The main objective of this workshop is to bring together scientists from different fields of expertise to discuss topics related to extreme planetary environments in terms of high temperature and high pressure. This meeting is also intended to inspire new projects and offer scientific opportunities for future collaboration between workshop participants from distinct research fields. The preliminary program addresses the following topics

* evolution and structure of giant planet interiors,
* interior structure, bulk composition, and internal geodynamics of solid planets,
* deep volatile cycles and exchange processes between geochemical reservoirs,
* physics and chemistry of impact processes,
* equations of state, petrology, and geochemistry of planetary materials,
* melting relations and phase transformations of materials at extreme states,
* dynamic and ultrafast processes in strongly excited solids or similar,
* laboratory experiments using multi-anvil and diamond-anvil cells,
* ab initio simulation studies for matter under extreme conditions.

Please check the meeting website for more information, meeting registration, abstract submission, and logistical details:

Organizers: Frank Sohl, Hanns-Peter Liermann, Ronald Redmer, Gerd Steinle-Neumann, Thomas Tschentscher, Frank W. Wagner
Contact: [email protected]



Sunday, 27 October (evening reception with plenary speaker Tim McCoy)
Monday, 28 October and Tuesday, 29 October 29 (full-day sessions)
The workshop will be held at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution, 5241 Broad Branch Rd. N.W., Washington, D.C.

Abstract Deadline: Thursday, 29 August 2013, 5:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Daylight Time)

Due to limited seating, you must register in advance.

Evidence from meteorites and, increasingly, from asteroids indicates that some early-forming bodies had sufficient heat to melt and differentiate into a core and mantle. Partial or complete melting can allow core formation and silicate differentiation, and can also remove volatiles. Other small bodies are apparently primitive (i.e., undifferentiated). We are now at a point where targeted interdisciplinary work can create a leap in our understanding.
• What bulk compositions and time frames of accretion would have allowed differentiation?
• Where in the solar system did these bodies originate?
• What can we observe of differentiated bodies in the asteroid belt today?
• Can we link asteroid observations to meteorites from differentiated parent bodies?
• What was the history and large-scale structure of meteorite parent bodies?
These questions bear on the critical transition from a protoplanetary disk to a solar system with rocky planets, on the habitability of those planets, and on resources in our solar system today for future space exploration.
Progress in understanding these processes will depend upon communication among the fields of meteorite and asteroid/icy body observations including space missions, theory, and modeling. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers on all these subjects as they pertain to differentiation, asteroid observations, and meteorite compositions.

Some support for students is available. Please contact Lindy Elkins-Tanton.



The International Cometary Workshop, originally scheduled for July 2013 was postponed due to the US Budget sequester and the NASA travel restrictions that were imposed in response to the sequester. We are pleased to announce that we have rescheduled the Workshop for April 1-3, 2014. It will take in Toulouse France, and the updated abstract deadline is January 31, 2014. The new registration deadline is February 28, 2014. Pre-registration is now available. For more information see our website at



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

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Athena Coustenis
LESIA (Bat. 18)
Observatoire de Paris-Meudon
5, place Jules Janssen
92195 Meudon Cedex
Tel: +33145077720
[email protected]