Newsletter 14-29

Issue 14-29, December 2, 2014










I want to thank you again for the opportunity to serve the community of planetary scientists.  We just had a successful meeting in Tucson under the leadership of Faith Vilas, SOC Chair, and Joe Spitale, LOC Chair. I thank them, their committees, and the AAS staff, who did a great job working with us, as usual. We are also fortunate to have an active and engaged DPS Committee. Joining us this year are Jason Barnes, as Vice-Chair, Anne Verbiscer as Secretary, and Bonnie Meinke as Education Director.  Big thanks are due to Athena Coustenis and Nick Schneider for their respective 4 and 5-year stints as Secretary and Education Director.  Other new Committee Members are Josh Emery and Amy Lovell.

During the coming year, I would like to work on two things: encouraging every member of DPS to be involved in some form of outreach (or if you already involved, to expand your efforts), and in extending our membership and activities into groups of scientists who have not been traditionally active in DPS, including planetary geologists and geophysicists and space physicists.   If you have ideas that you didn’t already bring up at the Members meeting, please send them to me and I will share them in the Newsletter.

Bonnie Buratti

DPS Chair









Application deadline: December 15, 2014

Awards will be announced on or about December 31, 2014 


This award is established by the Planetary Science Institute in memory of Senior Scientist Betty Pierazzo to support and encourage graduate  students to build international collaborations and relationships in  planetary science. Two awards will be made each year, contingent upon there being meritorious applications. One will be awarded to a graduate student working on his or her Ph.D. at an institution within the U.S.  This is to support travel to a planetary science related meeting  (conferences and workshops) outside of the U.S. The second award will be to a graduate student working on his or her Ph.D. at an institution outside of the U.S. This is to support travel to a planetary science related meeting within the U.S. These include general meeting
s that ha
ve planetary-focused sessions such as the AGU, GSA, EGU and IAG. 


The award will consist of a certificate and up to $2000US. 


Additional information and application materials are available at:






With no dues increase and a “stellar” lineup of benefits, there isn’t a better time than now to renew your commitment to the AAS/DPS.

AAS emailed members in early September announcing the start of membership renewal season, and many took notice. Online renewals are arriving at a steady pace. If you have already paid your dues, thanks for your continued support.


To help reduce costs and the Society’s carbon footprint, we encourage you to renew online today for fast, easy self-service. Simply log in to pay your dues, to confirm or update your journal subscriptions and Division memberships, and to lock in savings for 2016 by renewing for two years at the current rate. (Note: That last option isn’t available to junior members, who instead get two years for the price of one — currently $77 —when first joining the Society, then renew annually thereafter.)


Renew before 31 December to maintain your benefits and receive additional savings: the AAS will extend a one-time 15% discount off your portion of the author charges for one paper published in the Astronomical Journal, the Astrophysical Journal, ApJ Letters, or ApJ Supplement. Eligible members can double their savings: if you renew by 31 December for two years, you will receive the 15% author discount on one paper each in 2015 and 2016.

The Society has much planned for 2015 — including the 225th meeting of the AAS in Seattle in January and the 29th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Honolulu in August — so you won’t want to miss out on the latest science, member communications, and career and networking opportunities. Supporting the AAS is supporting your discipline. Renew today!


If you have any questions about your dues or benefits, or need assistance when logging in, please contact the membership team by email at [email protected]or by phone at 202-328-2010. Thank you!







A) New or Updated Resource Guides for Astronomy Educators

A new guide to educational resources about eclipses in general and the “Great American Eclipse of the Sun” in 2017 is available at:


New resource guides in the Unheard Voices series, “The Astronomy of Many Cultures” and “Women in Astronomy” can be found at:


An updated guide to science fiction stories with reasonable astronomy and physics (organized by science topic) is now available at:


B) Astronomy Talks on YouTube

New talks by noted astronomers in the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series can be found on their YouTube channel at:


Recent lectures include: Caleb Scharf (Columbia) on “The Copernicus Complex;” Michael Bicay (NASA) on “A Decade of Spitzer Space Telescope Results;” Chung-Pei Ma (U of California, Berkeley) on “Monster Black Holes;” Roger Romani (Stanford) on “Black Widow Pulsars; ” and Alex Filippenko (Berkeley) on “Exploding Stars, New Planets, and the Crisis at the Lick Observatory.”


Audio-only Podcasts that can be played on many different devices are also available at:


C) ASP Invites Nominations for the Emmons Award for College Astronomy Teaching

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Emmons Award for outstanding contributions to the teaching of college-level introductory astronomy. Please see: for more information.  Nomination materials are due by Feb. 15, 2015.


(From Andew Fraknoi)







The year 2014 marks the tenth year of operations of the NASA/ESA Cassini orbiter at Saturn, a period which has seen a tremendous increase in our knowledge of the planet’s ring system. As a result, previous theoretical models have been challenged or revised, and many new questions raised. In August 2014, the Fourth Planetary Rings Workshop was held in Boulder, CO, sponsored by the Cassini Rings Working Group. This special issue brings together papers presented at the meeting, but is also open to other contributions describing new 

observational or theoretical work on this topic.


Topics of interest include:


– New observations or analyses of data for Saturn’s rings from Cassini, or ground-based      observations.

– New results on the ring systems of other bodies, including Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune.

– Theoretical analyses or numerical modeling of any aspect of planetary rings systems.


Submission Format:

Submitted papers must be written in English and describe original research which is neither published nor currently under review by other journals.  Author guidelines for preparation of manuscripts can be found at:


For more information, please contact the editorial office at 

[email protected].


Guest Editors:

Philip Nicholson (lead)

Larry Esposito

Jeffrey Cuzzi




As Titan approaches northern summer solstice in 2017, seasonal variations in solar insolation are driving dynamic changes to its surface and atmosphere. A primary objective of the Cassini Solstice Mission is to study these changes and monitor the evolution of Titan’s hydrocarbon-based hydrologic cycle. Titan’s exotic environment ensures that even rudimentary measurements of atmospheric/surface interactions, such as wind-wave generation or aeolian dune development, 

provide valuable data to anchor physical models.


Titan’s seas are being illuminated for the first time during the Cassini mission. This special issue invites papers that describe observations, theoretical models, and laboratory experiments that 

relate to the processes that modify Titan’s surface and drive its atmosphere.


Topics of interest include:

– New results documenting surface and atmospheric processes on Titan 

  from both the Cassini mission and telescopic observations.

– Theoretical modeling predicting activity on Titan’s surface and 

  within its atmosphere.

– Laboratory investigations into the underlying processes related to 

  activity on Titan.


Submission Format:

Submitted papers must be written in English and describe original research which is neither published nor currently under review.  See: 


for detailed author guidelines.  For more information, please contact the editorial office at [email protected].


Guest Editors:

Alex Hayes (lead)

Jason Soderblom

Mate Adamkovics





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]





Applications are invited for a full time Post-doctoral Research Fellow in support of ESA’s PLATO M3 Mission jointly funded by UKSpA and the University of Warwick. 
The position, which is available from December 2014, is initially funded for a period of three years but is expected to last the duration of the PLATO mission (2030+). 
The successful candidate will hold a PhD degree and have a proven research track record.

Closing Date:  7 December 2014

Please find the complete job advertisement under the following URL:



The Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API) and the GRAPPA (GRavitation and AstroParticle Physics in Amsterdam) Center of Excellence, at the University of Amsterdam, invite applications for multiple PhD positions in astronomy, astrophysics and astroparticle physics.   The positions are open to candidates from any country.  The institutes provide a stimulating, international environment in a city where English is the common second language.

University of Amsterdam PhD students are fully-funded for four years and earn competitive salaries.  PhD students execute a vigorous research program, under the supervision of one or more faculty members.  Positions will be available in a number of fields of research where the institutes are active, including exoplanets, neutron stars and black holes, supernova remnants, fast radio transients, and the nature and detection of dark matter.

More information about our research can be found at and .

Instructions for applicants are available at .   Applications will be via online submission where, as well as providing details of at least two referees, applicants will have to provide a curriculum vitae, a list of all university courses taken and grades obtained, and a cover letter which includes a brief statement of research interests and experience.

 The successful candidates must have a MSc degree (or equivalent) by the PhD starting date, which will typically be in Autumn 2015, but this is negotiable.  Applications need to be submitted on or before December 11th, 2014.  By early-January we will invite promising candidates for a presentation and interviews to be held on February 12 and 13, 2015.

Contact email: [email protected]  Contact person: Ms. Milena Hoekstra

Included Benefits: The standard, generous Dutch social benefits apply to this position including collective health insurance, 16 weeks paid maternity leave, childcare subsidies, pension accrual, and several weeks annual paid vacation.




A) LPSC 2015


The 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in The Woodlands, Texas, on March 16-20, 2015.


Abstract submission is now open and abstracts are due on January, 6, 2015.


B) EGU 2015

12 – 17 April 2015

Vienna, Austria


The EGU welcomes further proposals for Topical Meetings, Training Schools and Workshops, as well as applications for EGU Sponsorship of External Meetings, for the year 2015.
Successful proposals result in high profile EGU events with financial support.

Proposals for events in 2015 must be submitted by 31 December 2014 only via the online form on the EGU website (

More information about the aims, format and mechanisms of the EGU Topical Events Programme together with application guidelines can be found at the above link.


Among several other sessions related to planetary sciences (PS), please note that to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Huygens probe landing on Titan (14 January, 2005), a special Huygens Probe 10th anniversary session is planned.


Session PS3.2: Huygens Probe 10th anniversary session


Session Summary: On January 14, 2005, the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe arrived at and landed on Saturn’s Largest moon Titan. Huygens was an important element of the international Cassini mission to Saturn which continues until 2017. The data from the Huygens science investigations, developed under true international partnerships, continues to be used to this day to improve our understanding of Titan, the Saturn system and the other giant planets, and the solar system. Ten years later we remember the development of the Huygens mission, and we reflect on the impact of Huygens’ remarkable achievements on solar system science.

This session will highlight the Huygens mission, the major discoveries of Huygens, and will consider the significance these discoveries in the broader perspective of Saturn, the giant planets, and the solar system.

The Abstract Submission link for the Session PS3.2 can be found at

Detailed information on how to submit an abstract can be found at:

The deadline for the receipt of Abstracts is 07 Jan 2015, 13:00 CET. In case you would like to apply for support, please submit no later than 28 Nov 2014.

Please note that EGU cannot provide financial support for invited speakers.

Looking forward to seeing you in Vienna !

The Conveners: D. Atkinson, J.-P. Lebreton, A. Coustenis, R. Lorenz, D. Matson, O. Witasse 




The Fourth International Planetary Dunes Workshop will be held May 19–22, 2015, at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.


The purpose of this meeting is to provide a forum for discussion and the exchange of new ideas and approaches to gaining new insights into the aeolian processes that form and maintain dune fields on Earth and other planetary bodies within the solar system.


The first announcement is now available on the conference website:




First Announcement:  


The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) LCPM-11 will be held on 9-11 June 2015, in Berlin, Germany, at the Archenhold Sternwarte located in one of the largest parks in the city. The meeting web site: has just gone live and will be updated regularly. We will convene in the Einstein Saal, the venue where Albert Einstein gave his first public lecture on the theory of relativity. The co-chairs, Tilman Spohn, German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research, and Gregg Vane, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Solar System Exploration Directorate, will work with the program committee and soon announce the preliminary program. Please mark your calendars now for this important meeting.




June 15-19, 2015 Cologne, Germany


Short Course: June 13 – June 14, 2015
Workshop: June 15 – June 19, 2015
Hyatt Regency, Cologne, Germany


Purpose and Scope

Sending space vehicles to other worlds is one of humankind’s most challenging and rewarding ventures. The 12th International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW-12) will bring together engineers, technologists, scientists, mission designers, space agency leaders, and students from around the world for a compelling, week-long collaboration focused on exploring solar system destinations via in situ missions.

IPPW-12 will build upon the IPPW tradition by encouraging international cooperation in planetary probe missions, new technologies, and scientific discoveries. In addition, scholarships are available to support students from around the world with a unique opportunity to present their work and interact with the leaders in their discipline areas.


Workshop Goals

The long-standing goals of the IPPWs are to:

  • Review the state-of-the-art in science, mission design, engineering implementation and technologies for the in situ robotic exploration of solar system bodies. Share ideas, mission opportunities, and emerging technologies to enable future mission success.
  • Serve as a forum for discussions on innovative methodologies and techniques for upcoming probe and surface science missions.
  • Attract early career scientists and engineers to the field of entry, descent, and flight in planetary atmospheres, as well as surface science and exploration on other worlds, enabling them to learn from experienced researchers and practitioners.
  • Foster international collaboration among the communities of scientists, engineers, and mission designers with an interest in planetary probes and landers.

Workshop Format

The program will include invited talks, contributed presentations, posters, and opportunities for networking with colleagues from academia, aerospace industry, and international space agencies.



Prague, Czech Republic

June 22-July 2, 2015


The 26th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, from the 22nd of June to the 2nd of July 2015, at the Prague Congress Center.


On line registration is now open and until June 15, 2015 (early deadline is April 10, 2015). Abstract submission deadline is January 31, 2015.


Please consider submitting an abstract to the IAMAS/ICPAE-related symposia, as follows:


– M08 Comparative Planetary Atmospheres within and beyond the Solar System

Convener: Feng Tian (Beijing, China)

Co-conveners: Sanjay Limaye (Madison, USA), Leigh Fletcher (Oxford, U.K.), Darrell Strobel (Baltimore, USA), Athena Coustenis (Paris, France)



Topics include all aspects and characteristics of atmospheres from terrestrial worlds to giant planets; the evolutionary paths of various atmospheres, especially exoplanets thought to be habitable. Planetary origins both in our solar system and in exoplanetary systems will also be featured. Contributions should focus on the comparative aspect of these research topics, and broader relevance to atmospheric sciences.


– M09 Solar System Exploration of Atmospheres with Ground-Based and Space-Based Platforms

Convener: Sanjay Limaye (Madison, USA)

Co-conveners: Ralf Greve (Tokyo, Japan), Leigh Fletcher (Oxford, U.K.), Darrell Strobel (Baltimore, USA)



Topics include recent contributions from missions and space-based observatories including, but not limited to, atmospheric composition and chemistry; density and thermal structure; dynamics and energetics; clouds, aerosols and haze. Themes include climate and seasonal variations, surface atmosphere interactions, “hydrological” cycles, atmospheric escape and evolution.




Honolulu, Hawaii – August 3 – 14, 2015

·       Symposia

o IAUS 314 – Young Stars & Planets Near the Sun (outside the General Assembly)

o IAUS 315 – From Interstellar Clouds to Star-forming Galaxies: Universal Processes?

IAUS 316 – Formation, Evolution, and Survival of Massive Star Clusters

IAUS 317 – The General Assembly of Galactic Halos: Structure, Origin and Evolution

IAUS 318 – Asteroids: New Observations, New Models

IAUS 319 – Galaxies at High Redshift and Their Evolution Over Cosmic Time

IAUS 320 – Solar and Stellar Flares and Their Effects on Planets 

·       Focus Meetings

FM 1 – Dynamical Problems in Extrasolar Planets Science

FM 2 – Astronomical Heritage: Progressing the UNESCO–IAU Initiative

FM 3 – Scholarly Publication in Astronomy: Evolution or Revolution?

FM 4 – Planetary Nebulae as Probes of Galactic Structure and Evolution

FM 5 – The Legacy of Planck

FM 6 – X-ray Surveys of the Hot and Energetic Cosmos

FM 7 – Stellar Physics in Galaxies Throughout the Universe

FM 8 – Statistics and Exoplanets

FM 9 – Highlights in the Exploration of Small Worlds

FM 10 – Stellar Explosions in an Ever-changing Environment

FM 11 – Global Coordination of Ground and Space Astrophysics and Heliophysics

FM 12 – Bridging Laboratory Astrophysics and Astronomy

FM 13 – Brightness Variations of the Sun and Sun-like Stars

FM 14 – The Gravitational Wave Symphony of Structure Formation

FM 15 – Search for Water and Life’s Building Blocks in the Universe (see hereeafter)

FM 16 – Stellar Behemoths – Red Supergiants Across the Local Universe

FM 17 – Advances in Stellar Physics from Asteroseismology

FM 18 – Scale-free Processes in the Universe

FM 19 – Communicating Astronomy with the Public in the Big Data Era

FM 20 – Astronomy for Development

FM 21 – Mitigating Threats of Light Pollution & Radio Frequency Interference

FM 22 – The Frontier Fields: Transforming our Understanding of Cluster and Galaxy Evolution



First announcement

Bridging Laboratory Astrophysics and Astronomy

A Focus Meeting within the IAU XXIX General Assembly

3 to 5 August 2015

Honolulu Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA<>

Laboratory astrophysics is the Rosetta stone that enables astronomers to understand and interpret the cosmos. This Focus Meeting will discuss the strong interplay between astronomy and astrophysics with theoretical and experimental studies into the underlying processes that drive our Universe. These processes involve atoms, molecules, dust and ices, plasmas, planetary science, and nuclear and particle physics.

The IAU Commission 14 (Atomic and Molecular Data) and the Laboratory Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS LAD) have coordinated their efforts for a joint meeting at the next GA in the form of a Focus Meeting to help bridge Laboratory Astrophysics and Astrochemistry with Astronomy by bringing together expert data providers and data users of laboratory and astronomical data. This is a truly multidisciplinary meeting that will bring together astronomers with theoretical and experimental chemists and physicists to discuss the state-of-the-art research in their respective disciplines and how their combined expertise can address important open questions in astronomy and astrophysics.

The program will consist of invited review talks by leading astronomers and laboratory astrophysicists at the forefront of the field, invited and contributed topical talks and posters that will provide opportunities for the presentation of new scientific developments, and discussion. For more information, see the website<>.

Interested scientists can register, submit abstracts, arrange lodging and logistics through the IAU General Assembly website<>. Early registration is open until 1 Dec 2014.

We look forward to a productive cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas and hope to see many of you there.

Farid Salama, Lyudmila Mashonkina and Steve Federman on behalf of the SOC

Martin Asplund, Australian National University, Australia
Beatriz Barbuy, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Paul Drake, University of Michigan, USA
Steven Federman, University of Toledo, USA
Karlheinz Langanke, GSI, Germany
Harold Linnartz, Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands
Xiaowei Liu, Kavli Institute, P.R. China
Lyudmila Mashonkina, Institute of Astronomy RAS, Russia
Tom Millar, Queen’s Univ. Belfast, UK
Evelyne Roueff, Observatoire de Paris, France
Farid Salama, NASA-Ames Research Center, USA
Daniel Savin, Columbia University, USA



Search for water and life’s building blocks in the universe


First Announcement

August 3-7, 2015, Honolulu


The IAU GA Focus Meeting 15 is organized by the IAU Commission 51 and will be held during the general assembly in Honolulu.  We will discuss the current status of the search and observation of water in solar system objects, in circumstellar environment, in interstellar clouds, and in external galaxies.   Starting from the basic chemistry of water and water ice, we discuss the effects of water on planetary and star formation.  The connective role of water and extraterrestrial organic matter on the origin of life of Earth will be explored.


The FM will consist of invited and contributed oral talks, as well as posters.  All abstracts have to be submitted via the IAU GA web site and screened by the SOC.  A list of approved abstracts will be posted on the web site for FM (


FM 15 will cover the following focus areas:

Area 1: Water in the Universe

Area 2: Water and Organics in the Solar System

Area 3: Building Blocks of Life on Earth


Support :

Travel support is available from the IAU.  Please apply before the deadline below.


Timetable :

Registration and abstract submission are handled by the IAU GA:  The important dates are:

December 1, 2014       Early Registration Due

March 18, 2015           Abstract Submission Due – 8:00pm ET/11:59pm UTC

April 1, 2015               Grant Application Due

May 28, 2015              Regular Registration Due

August 1, 2015            Late Registration Due


Notifications on the award of travel grants and the acceptance of abstracts will be sent out during spring of 2015.


Contact :

If you are interested in attending this meeting, please write a note to

[email protected]and we will keep your name on the list of the 2ndannouncement.


Scientific Organizing Committee :


Sun Kwok, The University of Hong Kong, China Edwin Bergin, University of

Michigan, USA Pascale Ehrenfreund, FWF, Austria




Date: 9 – 13 November 2015

Place: Foz do Iguacu, Brazil



COSPAR Secretariat, 2 place Maurice Quentin, 75039 Paris Cedex 01, France

Tel: +33 1 44 76 75 10

Fax: +33 1 44 76 74 37

[email protected]


Scientific Program Chair:   

Dr. Othon Winter, UNESP – São Paulo State University


Abstract Deadline:  31 May 2015



– Space astronomy missions to detect ingredients for life and exoplanets in the universe: status of current and future approved missions and new proposals

– Water and life in the universe and on Earth: impact on human consciousness and societies

– Satellite and probe missions for water remote sensing on Earth, planets, and other celestial bodies

– Water and Life in the Solar System

– Water from chemical, biological, and physical perspectives

– Role of water from the ground to the upper atmosphere

– Astrobiology: habitability, synthesis of organics in ice, and prebiotic chemistry in liquid water

– Water, organics and life support for human exploration in low Earth orbit, the Moon and beyond

– Interdisciplinary lectures, keynote talks, public lectures


Selected papers published in Advances in Space Research and Life Sciences in Space Research, fully refereed journals with no deadlines open to all submissions in relevant fields.




Date:  30 July – 7 August 2016

Place:   Istanbul, Turkey



COSPAR Secretariat, 2 place Maurice Quentin, 75039 Paris Cedex 01, France

Tel: +33 1 44 76 75 10

Fax: +33 1 44 76 74 37

[email protected]


Scientific Program Chair:   

Prof. Ersin Gogus, Sabanci University


Abstract Deadline:   Mid-February 2016



Approximately 125 meetings covering the fields of COSPAR Scientific Commissions (SC) and Panels:

– SC A:  The Earth’s Surface, Meteorology and Climate

– SC B:  The Earth-Moon System, Planets, and Small Bodies of the Solar System

– SC C:  The Upper Atmospheres of the Earth and Planets Including Reference Atmospheres

– SC D:  Space Plasmas in the Solar System, Including Planetary Magnetospheres

– SC E:  Research in Astrophysics from Space

– SC F:  Life Sciences as Related to Space

– SC G:  Materials Sciences in Space

– SC H:  Fundamental Physics in Space

– Panel on Satellite Dynamics (PSD)

– Panel on Scientific Ballooning (PSB)

– Panel on Potentially Environmentally Detrimental Activities in Space (PEDAS)

– Panel on Radiation Belt Environment Modelling (PRBEM)

– Panel on Space Weather (PSW)

– Panel on Planetary Protection (PPP)

– Panel on Capacity Building (PCB)

– Panel on Education (PE)

– Panel on Exploration (PEX)

– Panel on Exoplanetary Exploration (PEPE)

– Special events:  interdisciplinary lectures, round table, etc.


Selected papers published in Advances in Space Research and Life Sciences in Space Research, fully refereed journals with no deadlines open to all submissions in relevant fields.





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DPS Secretary ([email protected])


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