Issue 13-32, December 17, 2013
1) MESSAGE FROM THE DPS CHAIR
2) NOMINATING SUBCOMMITEE : CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR DPS COMMITTEE
3) REMINDER : 2014 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
4) ANNOUNCING THE COMETARY COMA IMAGE ENHANCEMENT FACILITY
5) PLANETARY SCIENCE AND THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
6) JOBS/POSITIONS OPPORTUNITIES
7) UPCOMING MEETINGS
MESSAGE FROM THE DPS CHAIR
Dear members of DPS,
What a month for planetary exploration! From the launch of MAVEN, to evidence from Hubble for water vapor shooting out of Europa, to China’s successful soft landing on the Moon, there is action all across our Solar System. At the same time, within the Washington beltway there are signs of a budget accord which may prevent another government shutdown and ameliorate some of the sequestration cuts hampering NASA and other government agencies.
At DPS, we have continued planning future meetings, have discussed political action, and generally worked to keep our organization moving forward. One change that some of you noted was the increase in DPS dues from $20 to $25. This action was finalized at the DPS meeting in Reno, where the membership ratified the proposed dues. Given the enhanced DPS activities beyond the annual meetings (including professional development, family support at meetings, and advocacy), this increase was probably overdue (it was the first one in 15 years). Now might be a good to time verify that your membership is current, and thank you all who have already renewed.
The DPS leadership is keenly aware of the issues swirling around the reorganization of NASA’s Research and Analysis funding. We are in active discussion with NASA representatives about this, and we encourage our members to continue to give feedback about this to the Chairs of the various “Assessment Groups” (OPAG, SBAG, VEXAG, LEAG, MEPAG, etc). NASA is working on a list of answers to Frequently Asked Questions about R&A, so stay tuned for that.
As always, I encourage you all both to do good science and to share that science widely. This month might be a good time for you to write a letter or op-ed piece for your local paper. Some “hooks” for this might be the video by Bill Nye, his open letter to President Obama (http://tinyurl.com/BillNyeLetter), Janet Vertesi’s OpEd article for CNN at http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/14/opinion/vertesi-cassini-mission/index.html,
or the petition started by a 6-yr-old who wants to keep NASA exploring (http://tinyurl.com/NASApetition). Best, of course, is sharing your own words and your own passion about why planetary science is worth doing.
Finally, the DPS leadership would like to take this opportunity to send you best wishes for happy winter holidays and for the coming year.
NOMINATING SUBCOMMITEE : CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR DPS COMMITTEE
The Nominating Subcommittee is responsible for presenting to the DPS Secretary a list of candidates for DPS Officers and Committee members.
The DPS Nominating Subcommittee is currently doing their work in earnest, and would welcome input from the members. These people would be happy to hear your suggestions for candidates for DPS committee positions.
REMINDER : 2014 ONLINE MEMBERSHIP RENEWALS
You are receiving this e-mail because you have subscribed to DPS during the past 2 years.
You should have paid your 2014 membership dues online at
by 31 December 2013. Please take the 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 2014. 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.
Finally, note that if you renew your AAS membership by 31 December 2013 you can take advantage of a new two-year renewal option, locking in the 2014 rate for 2015 as well. For each year, you’ll also receive a 15% discount off your share of the author charges for a paper in any of the AAS journals.
Thank you for your urgent attention.
Send general replies to [email protected].
ANNOUNCING THE COMETARY COMA IMAGE ENHANCEMENT FACILITY
This Facility hosted by PSI and available at the URL
http://www.psi.edu/research/cometimen will enable cometary
researchers to digitally enhance coma images of comets using
five different image enhancement techniques that are not
widely available in the public domain.
Users can upload their images in FITS format and can download
the enhanced FITS images. Please refer to documentations in the
help page at the website for details.
Nalin Samarasinha, Patrick Martin, Steve Larson
PLANETARY SCIENCE AND THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE
Solar System observations have played a major role in HST’s science program since its launch in 1990. Planetary observations continue to figure prominently in HST’s annual schedule, particularly through Director’s Discretionary time, but the overall proposal pressure at the TAC has decreased in recent years. After consultation with the Space Telescope Users Committee, the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Director, Matt Mountain, has constituted an advisory committee to examine this issue and provide advice on future strategies for planetary science programs with HST. The committee is chaired by Prof. Phil Nicholson (Cornell), with the committee members drawn from the planetary science community.
The committee is charged with :
· Reviewing the evolution of HST usage by the planetary community;
· Soliciting input from the community on the future role that HST can play in planetary science and on methods for identifying key science programs; and
· Investigating potential mechanisms for coordinating HST science programs with priorities among the planetary community.
At the present juncture, we would like to solicit suggestions from the community on ways that HST could better support planetary science, including changes in the way that proposals are reviewed, observing time is allocated and how scientific priorities within the planetary regime could be defined and refined. Please submit your suggestions either in text form or as short (1-2 page) white papers to [email protected].
Stefanie N. Milam
Goddard Space Flight Center
You can send any comments, questions, or suggestions to the DPS Jobs Czar at: [email protected]
A) TWO FACULTY POSITIONS AT THE FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
The Department of Physics and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology invites applications for two faculty positions. These positions may be at any rank, assistant through full professor. While outstanding applicants from all fields of research will be considered, we are interested in candidates who are committed to teaching at the undergraduate level and can develop leading research programs in space sciences. We are interested particularly in candidates working in the fields of star and/or planetary system formation, taking advantage of the exciting new vistas being opened in the radio, sub-mm and infrared, and candidates whose specialties include solar, magnetospheric, heliospheric, ionospheric physics or plasma physics. The successful candidates will have access to the Ortega telescope in Florida and the SARA facilities at Kitt Peak, Cerro Tololo and La Palma. Information about the Department and current research activity can be found at http://cos.fit.edu/pss/ and http://astro.fit.edu. Interested candidates may also contact Dr. Joseph Dwyer, PSS Department Head, at[email protected]. To apply, please send in a single PDF a cover letter, CV, statement of research and teaching experience and interests, and contact information for at least three references to [email protected]. The review of applications will begin on January 1.
A) 223D AAS MEETING
Washington, DC, 5-9 January 2014
Registration Deadline Coming Up:
To pre-register for the DC Meeting and avoid on-site registration fees register by Thursday, 19 December 2013 at http://aas.org/meetings/aas223/registration.
Book Your Hotel:
The Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center is offering the government hotel rate to all attendees of the 223rd AAS meeting. Reserving your guest room at the Gaylord means that you will not have to go far to attend any of the science sessions, workshops, or to visit the exhibit hall. Don’t wait, make your reservation today to guarantee your room at this special rate for the AAS Winter meeting.
B) EGU 2014
27 April – 02 May 2014
Abstract Deadline: 16 January 2014, 13:00 CET.
Several planetary sciences are organized again for next year, you can find them at :
PS1 – Solar System exploration and techniques
PS2 – Terrestrial Planets
PS3 – Outer planets
PS4 – Small bodies and dust
PS5 – Atmospheric electricity, Plasmas and magnetospheres
PS6 – Exoplanets
PS7 – Modelling and experimental work in Planetology
PS8 – Origins and Astrobiology
PS9 – Joint and Co-Listed Sessions
Financial support during EGU 2014:
– Special event : Session PS3.2 :10 years of Cassini
Ten years ago, the Cassini-Huygens mission entered the Saturnian System. The Cassini spacecraft became the first orbiter of Saturn in July 2004 and the Huygens probe landed softly on the surface of Titan on January 2005. These historical events were made possible thanks to a strong international collaboration lead by NASA, ESA and ASI, and marked the beginning of an area of astonishing discoveries that have revolutionized our understanding of Saturn, its Ring System and its Moons.
Fundamental physical processes, only theorized before Cassini, could be observed in-situ for the first time.
Additional, a-priori completely unexpected phenomena were also discovered. A keypoint in the exploration of the Saturnian System turned out to be its variability with seasons, that could be observed thanks to the long term baseline of the mission.
Those observations and discoveries are at the core of planetary and satellite formation and interaction, making the Cassini-Huygens achievements a fundamental reference for the decades to come in the field of Solar System and Exo-Planet exploration.
This session aims at highlighting the major discoveries of Cassini-Huygens and their significance in the broad perspective of Giant Planet formation and evolution.’
Conveners: Nicolas Altobelli, Athena Coustenis, Jean-Pierre Lebreton, Dennis Matson, Jonathan I. Lunine, Linda Spilker
– Session PS2.5 on Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets: http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2014/session/14456
This session focuses on the atmospheres of terrestrial planets. With the multiple missions observing Mars, Venus and Titan, the research on planetary atmospheres is blooming with new results and advances. We welcome you to share your work with the community as contributions discussing any aspect of atmospheres of terrestrial planets and Titan, including all regions from near the surface to the thermosphere.
Contributions dealing with terrestrial-like extrasolar planets are also welcomed.
Conveners :Anni Määttänen, Emmanuel Marcq, Francisco González-Galindo
– Session PS3.1 : Outer planets, icy satellites and rings
This session welcomes papers about the outer planets and Pluto, and their satellites with atmospheres, with special emphasis on observations (both from space and from the ground), modelling, and theoretical interpretation. Among the outer planet satellites we consider in this session those in the Outer Solar System that are geologically active, show time variable properties, and have a tenuous or thick gaseous environment or plumes. Thus, Titan with its thick nitrogen atmosphere is found to have seasonal changes as monitored by the Cassini spacecraft since 2004. Enceladus radiates more heat than can be fully explained (as does Io) and expels a plume of water vapor and other constituents from its southern pole. Europa’s surface shows signs of relatively recent geological activity and carries a tenuous oxygen atmosphere. Similarly, Ganymede (and possibly Callisto), has a small oxygen atmosphere, but also its own magnetosphere, and the internal activity that is necessary to generate its magnetic field. Neptune’s moon Triton has a nitrogen-methane atmosphere, much like Titan, but with a pressure that is more Pluto-like. Abstracts on satellite interactions with their neutral environments, supporting laboratory investigations and concepts for future spacecraft missions and investigations are also relevant to this session. Other work on icy satellites can be included in Session PS3.2.
Conveners: Athena Coustenis, Hauke Hussmann, Linda Spilker, Sushil K. Atreya, Jean-Pierre Lebreton, Glenn Orton
C) HABITABLE WORLDS ACROSS SPACE AND TIME
First Announcement: The 2014 STScI Spring Symposium
April 28 – May 1, 2014
Abstract submission deadline: February 28, 2014
On-line registration deadline: March 28, 2014
Within a matter of years, humanity will know for the first time the frequency of terrestrial planets in orbit around other stars. This knowledge will pave the way for joining research from astronomy, Earth science, and biology to understand the past, present, and future of the Earth within its larger context as one of many habitable worlds. Such work seeks to understand the formation and fate of the Earth as well as predict where and when different bodies will be suitable for life.
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. This symposium will include discussions about sites for Galactic habitability that have not yet been given much attention, such as around post-main sequence stars. The existence of these overlooked environments may provide motivation for novel astronomical observations with existing and next generation ground and space-based observatories.
For more information on the Symposium, please check the website:
D) ORIGINS 2014
July 6 (Sun) −July 11 (Fri), 2014
Nara, Japan, http://www.shinkokaido.jp/en/
The 2nd joint international conference of ISSOL (The International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life + the International Astrobiology Society) and Bioastronomy (Commission 51 of the International Astronomical Union)
Abstract Submission is now open!
October 1, 2013: Registration open
November 20, 2013: Abstraction submission open
January 10, 2014: Hotel & excursion reservation open
January 31, 2014: Deadline for Early registration
February 21, 2014: Deadline for Abstract submission
March 31, 2014: Second circular
June 30, 2014: Deadline for Late registration
July 6-11, 2014: Origins 2014 conference (onsite registration will be available)
E) 6TH ALFVEN CONFERENCE: PLASMA INTERACTION WITH SOLAR SYSTEM OBJECTS: ANTICIPATING ROSETTA, MAVEN AND MARS ORBITER MISSION
Dates: 7-11 July 2014
Location: University College London (UCL), UK
Main topics: Comets, Mars, Venus, outer planet moons and Earth’s moon – especially common processes with comets, and reviewing current knowledge prior to the arrival of the new missions.
Meeting theme –
Within our solar system, the planets, moons, comets and asteroids all have plasma interactions. The interaction depends on the nature of the object, particularly the presence of an atmosphere and a magnetic field. Even the size of the object matters through the finite gyroradius effect and the scale height of cold ions of exospheric origin. It also depends on the upstream conditions, including position within the solar wind or the presence within a planetary magnetosphere. In the year when ESA’s Rosetta will reach comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, NASA’s Maven and ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission will reach Mars, and ESA’s Venus Express mission is almost complete, this conference will explore our understanding of plasma interactions with comets, Mars, Venus, and inner and outer solar system moons. We will explore the processes which characterise the interactions such as ion pickup and field draping, and their effects such as plasma escape. Data from current and recent space missions, modelling and theory are all encouraged, as we explore our local part of the ‘plasma universe’.
F) AOGS 2014
28 Jul – 1 Aug 2014,
Royton Hotel, Sapporo, Japan
IMPORTANT DATES :
– Pay Reduced Fee
Apply by: 11 Feb
– Submit Abstract
Deadline: 11 Feb
– Abstract Acceptance
Notification: 18 Mar
Send submissions to:
Athena Coustenis, DPS Secretary ([email protected])