Newsletter 14-19

Issue 14-19, August 7, 2014



Dear DPS members,

I am very pleased to announce the results of the recent DPS election.  We welcome Jason Barnes as incoming Vice-Chair, and as DPS Committee members, we welcome Josh Emery and Amy Lovell. 

The DPS relies on its membership to volunteer for leadership, so we thank all of our members who were willing to run for elected positions.  

As my term comes to an end in October, I am confident that DPS will be in good hands as these new leaders join our current strong Committee and Bonnie Buratti takes over as Chair.

Heidi Hammel
DPS Chair


Tucson, AZ, 9-14 November 2014 at the JW Marriott Starr Pass

* Important dates

21 August 2014 : Regular Abstract deadline
See and go to:

– 26 August 2014
DPS 46 Early Registration Deadline

* Plenary Talks at the DPS meeting

– Anita Cochran  – Current Events in Comet Science

– Matt Hedman – Current Review of Rings Science

– Bruno Sicardy – The Rings of Chariklo

– Rick Elphic – Review of the Lunar Science from LADEE

– Amanda Hendrix – The Moon in the UV

– Vikki Meadows – Current Review of Exoplanets Science

* “Astronomy Ambassadors” Outreach Workshop at the Tucson DPS Meeting

Introduction to Outreach for Early Career Planetary Scientists:
A Day-long Hands-on “Astronomy Ambassadors” Workshop
Sunday, 9 November at the JW Marriot Starr Pass, Tucson

We invite graduate students, post-docs, and early-career faculty or research scientists to a workshop providing training and resources for effective outreach to K-12 teachers and students, families, and the public.  The workshop will take place on the Sunday preceding the annual Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Tucson. It’s based on based on the popular and successful AAS Astronomy Ambassadors program run at the AAS meetings. Participants will be introduced to discussion and questioning strategies, ways to avoid technical jargon, specific hands-on activities usable in a variety of settings, and ways of finding outreach partners in their own communities.  They will also learn about and receive a set of written and electronic resources, including The Universe at Your Fingertips 2.0 (which features 133 classroom tested astronomy activities and much background material) and The MOOSE (“Menu of Outreach Opportunities for Science Education” which covers existing astronomy outreach programs, directories of useful organizations, training and evaluation resources, websites for images and further activities, and guides for scientific presenters.)

Participants will gain some basic communication skills for bringing planetary science to the public, will discover a wealth of existing resources (and thus lose the desire to reinvent the wheel), and will network with other early-career professionals who would like to make outreach an integral part of their professional identities. Some of the discussion will focus on how to establish on-going partnerships with local schools, museums, parks, fairs, and community centers.  The workshops will include presenters from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the DPS.

The number of participants is limited, and we ask you to apply as early as possible. To apply, we ask you to register for the DPS meeting and complete the application here: .  Applications are due by August 27.  You will be notified of your acceptance by September 9. We especially want to encourage applications from groups that are under-represented in science and those who are new to outreach. For more information, see

Nick Schneider, DPS Education & Public Outreach Officer
Suzy Gurton & Andy Fraknoi, Astronomical Society of the Pacific


August 4, 2014

The long awaited news has arrived – LSST has received its federal construction start as described in this AURA press release.  On Friday afternoon, August 1, the NSF authorized the LSST project for construction with $27.5M in FY14 and a budget plan through 2022 that stays within a $473M overall budget cap. 

The effort that brings us to this important step in making LSST a reality is more than a decade in the making, starting with Tony Tyson and the Dark Matter Telescope, a concept that grew to become the LSST as known today.  We gratefully acknowledge the hard work by so many that contributed to this milestone: 

·       The LSST Corporation for their leadership role in promoting the concept and securing initial funding, organizing the necessary support within both the astronomy and physics communities for the construction and operations of LSST
·       Our private donors – led by the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences – whose early contributions  kept the project viable and supported the early construction efforts
·       The staff at the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy for continued support for design and development of the LSST concept and whose perseverance and diligence navigated LSST through the federal procedures at the most challenging time in US history to initiate a major research project
·       To Sidney Wolff, John Schaeffer, and Don Sweeney for their early leadership
·       To our science collaborators who volunteered their time to provide valuable feedback and to document a compelling science case as presented to the National Science Board as the LSST Science Book
·       And especially to the hundreds of project team members who have worked so hard and endured hundreds of reviews to define and defend the LSST concept with their expertise, experience, and passion.
From a twinkle in the eye of Tony Tyson in 1996 to relentlessly scanning the sky in 2022, the LSST has broken through the technology, science, and political challenges and is on its way to revolutionizing both our cosmic knowledge and the open and collaborative methods of acquiring that knowledge.  With every confidence in the project team to complete the construction task, we are excited to begin this next phase for LSST and look forward to sharing the adventure.   

Steven Kahn, LSST Director
Victor Krabbendam, LSST Project Manager


Dear Planetary Community,

On behalf of NASA and the Spitzer Space Telescope Project, the Spitzer Science Center (SSC) at Caltech is pleased to announce the release of the Cycle-11 Call for Proposals (CP). Both the NASA  Astrophysics and the Planetary Sciences Divisions are providing support for Spitzer operations. 

Priority in the selection of Cycle-11 will be given to programs that highlight
                 — Astro2010 science themes
                 — Planetary science programs observing targets in our Solar System.
•       — Investigations that concentrate on developing the scientific landscape that JWST will explore, or will help maximize the JWST scientific return.

In this cycle proposers are especially encouraged to consider compelling planetary science campaigns (long-term/multiple observations) that focus on the changing nature of solar system objects over time. Many of these objects are possible future mission targets as outlined in the most recent planetary decadal survey. Proposers should identify how these observations contribute to the body of scientific knowledge needed to help refine objectives for future missions and aid in the understanding of the origin or evolution of the targeted body. These major observing projects should be of lasting importance to the broad planetary community with the Spitzer observational data yielding a substantial and coherent database that can also be used by subsequent planetary researchers.   

The Cycle-11 CP solicits Exploration Science (ES) General Observer, regular General Observer (GO) and Snapshot proposals.  Cycle-11 programs will execute in the February 2015 – September 2016 timeframe. We  expect to select 6,700 – 9,200 hours of scheduling priority 1 programs  and 1,000 hours of priority 2 snapshot programs.  Major changes in the  Cycle-11 call for proposals, compared to previous  cycles, are summarized in the Executive Summary. 

All programmatic and technical information for Cycle-11 is available electronically from the Proposal Kit section of the Spitzer Science Center website at :

Investigators worldwide from all types of institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this CP. Joint HST or Chandra observations can be proposed as part of a
Spitzer Cycle-11 proposal.

Large & Exploration Science Letters of Intent Due:   28 August 2014
Proposal Deadline:  29 October 2014, 4:00 PM PDT

All proposals must be submitted electronically using Spot, the SSC proposal planning and submission software. The S19 version of Spot is available from the SSC website and via the auto-update feature in Spot. Proposers must use this version of the software to submit their proposals.
The required Cycle-11 proposal templates will be available at the Proposal Kit website in late August and the proposal submission system will also open at that time.

If you have any questions or need advice on planning your solar system observations with Spitzer, please just contact our Helpdesk at

[email protected]

Yours sincerely,

Lisa Storrie-Lombardi
Assistant Director for Community Affairs
Spitzer Science Center 


For all Job opportunities, please visit jobs
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]

A) International Max-Planck Research School on Astrophysics — Call for applications   

The International Max Planck Research School on Astrophysics (IMPRS) is soliciting applications for its PhD program. Located in the beautiful Munich-Garching area in southern Bavaria (Germany), the school offers a unique environment for graduate students due to the presence of four internationally renowned institutes which form the school:

       * The Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial Physics (MPE)
       * The Observatory of the University of Munich (LMU/USM)
       * The Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA)
       * The European Southern Observatory (ESO)

     IMPRS offers a highly competitive PhD program, including lectures,  seminars and a research project supervised by leading scientists at one of the participating institutions. Course language is English. Students have access to the world largest ground- and spaced-based observatories and instrumentation operated by the participating institutes as well as to supercomputers for advanced numerical simulations and theoretical studies.

     Applications for the PhD-program are open to students from all countries. Successful applicants will get a fellowship and we will assist you with all administrative matters. This means “Concentrate on your research — we do the rest!”

     For more details see:

     The closing date for applications for the program starting in September 2015 is November 15, 2014. If for any reason you have problems keeping the deadline, please inform us ahead and we will extend it upon request.

     For questions please contact the IMPRS admission office> or call us on Skype

Contact: Prof. Werner Becker
International Max-Planck Research School on Astrophysics
at the University of Munich           I * M * P * R * S
Giessenbachstrasse 1               
     PO BOX 1312                
     85741 Garching                       Phone: +49 89 30000 3650
     Germany                              Fax: +49 89 30000 3655


07 – 12 September 2014
Centro de Congressos do Estoril, Cascais, Portugal


An Analogs Town Hall is planned for Tuesday, 9 September from 9:00 to
12:30 in the Mars Room. This is intended for members of the analogs
community – principal investigators, scientists, engineers, mission
managers – who wish to discuss recent analog activities over the past
five years on a global scale, and propose new concepts for research
projects and missions in support of future Solar System exploration.
This will be a forum for discussion between the participants and
invited speakers regarding recent and ongoing activities conducted by
the speaker’s home space agency. These include but are not restricted
to: space exploration analog project goals, results, and lessons
learned; how analog project results are communicated; how analog
missions could be expanded in future to more closely match space
missions; and how all these activities could become more visible to the
global space exploration community.

Dean Eppler (NASA Johnson Space Center)
Stephen Hoffman (Science Applications International Corporation)
Gian Gabriele Ori (International Research School of Planetary Sciences)
Nicole Schmitz (German Aerospace Center Institute for Planetary
Marie-Claude Williamson (Geological Survey of Canada)

Steve Hoffman
[email protected]


This special session will take place on Monday 8 September in the Jupiter Room and will be devoted to presenting the first (and latest) results of the Rosetta mission obtained at the comet 67P/Churuymov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta is slowly approaching its target. On 23 May it passed below 1.000.000 km  from the comet. Early observations in April/early May by its OSIRIS camera showed that the comet activity has started according to prediction models ( Rosetta will rendezvous with 67P on 7 August, when it will come within 100 km. The programme will consist of invited talks only. Additional Rosetta observation results may be presented in other sessions, especially in SB6.

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

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