Issue 17-07, February 9, 2017
- MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR: CALL FOR 2017 DPS PRIZE NOMINATIONS
- HST AND EUROPA: CALL FOR COMMUNITY INPUT
- TITAN THROUGH TIME 4
- 2017 NASA PLANETARY SCIENCE SUMMER SEMINAR APPLICATIONS OPEN
- IN MEMORIAM: AKIVA BAR-NUN (1939-2017)
- JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVER SUPPORT WEBINARS
- JWST USER COMMITTEE: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
- DRAFT FINDINGS FROM SBAG 16 MEETING
- JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR: CALL FOR 2017 DPS PRIZE NOMINATIONS
Every year the DPS recognizes exceptional achievements in our field and
nominations for this year’s prizes will be accepted until April 1, 2017.
Detailed descriptions of each of the prizes and the criteria for nominees for
each can be found at prizes. The nomination form and
instructions can also be retrieved from prizes/nomination-form.
with questions. Being recognized by our colleagues for exceptional work is a
great honor and inspires outstanding scientific research. Please take the time
to recognize your colleagues for their exceptional work.
Anyone except current DPS Committee members may submit a nomination.
A completed nomination will be retained and considered by the Prize Subcommittee
for three years, or as long as the nominee is eligible, whichever is less. Past nominees
may be re-nominated after the expiration of a prior nomination. For specific details,
see the URL noted above.
HST AND EUROPA: CALL FOR COMMUNITY INPUT
Jupiter’s satellite Europa is a priority target for a NASA Flagship Mission.
Observations with Hubble show evidence for gaseous plumes suggestive of
outgassing from the sub-crustal ocean. There is high scientific importance in
learning more about potential Europa plumes, their properties and locations.
At the same time, HST observing time is a precious resource, and in prior
observations the duty cycle of detections has been low.
The STScI Director has constituted a committee to provide advice on how
Hubble can best support planning for a future mission. The committee members
are Professor John T. Clarke (Boston University), Dr. John Spencer (Southwest
Research Institute) and Dr. Amanda Hendrix (Planetary Science Institute). One
task of the committee is to recommend an approach that appropriately balances
the science priorities against the resource requirements.
Further details can be found at
At this time, the Advisory Committee is soliciting input from the community
with regard to optimising Hubble observations of Europa. That input may be
relevant to any aspect of planning, scheduling and executing observations,
including suggestions for coordinating Hubble programs with observations
that might use other facilities. Contributors should indicate whether their
submission can be made available to the broader community. The committee
will maintain full confidentiality if such is requested.
Input should be submitted by e-mail to [email protected].
The deadline for receiving materials is TOMORROW February 10, 2017.
TITAN THROUGH TIME 4
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, April 3-5 2017
Abstract submission is currently open for the 4th Workshop on “Titan Through Time:
Formation, Evolution and Fate” until WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 15TH 2017.
As in previous years, we invite contributions on Titan’s atmosphere, surface and
interior evolution; ongoing observations of seasonal change; modeling of all types;
laboratory work, and other topics that give insight into Titan’s unique character.
Missions: as well as new results from Cassini-Huygens, we have recently
confirmed invited speakers on the subject of two recently announced mission
proposals to Titan in the New Frontiers “Ocean Worlds” category: a Titan Orbiter,
and a Titan Lander.
For further details, abstract submission and registration visit: www.regonline.com/titaniv
Note that support for some student travel is available by application.
On behalf the Science Organizing Committee.
2017 NASA PLANETARY SCIENCE SUMMER SEMINAR* APPLICATIONS OPEN
NASA is accepting applications from science and engineering post-docs, recent
PhDs, and doctoral students, as well as engineering students within 6-9 months
of completion of their masters degree (but not planning to pursue a PhD degree),
for its 29th Annual Planetary Science Summer Seminar*, which will be held
July 24-28, 2017 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
During the program and pre-session webinars, student teams will carry out the
equivalent of an early mission concept study, prepare a proposal authorization
presentation, present it to a review board, and receive feedback. By the end of the
session, students will have a clearer understanding of the life cycle of a space mission;
relationships between mission design, cost, and schedule; and the tradeoffs
necessary to stay within cost and schedule while preserving the quality of science.
Applications are due April 3, 2017. Partial financial support is available for a
limited number of individuals. Further information is available at http://psss.jpl.nasa.gov
*Previously named Planetary Science Summer School
IN MEMORIAM: AKIVA BAR-NUN (1939-2017)
Akiva Bar-Nun, a leader in the field of cosmochemistry, died in Jerusalem,
Israel on January 25, 2017. Akiva was born in 1939. After
completing his doctorate in shock wave chemistry at the Hebrew University
in Jerusalem in 1968, he did his postdoc at Cornell University, where he
worked with the late Carl Sagan. This led to a lifelong interest in the origins
of life. His formal entrance into the field of planetary science came with a
1975 paper predicting that thunderstorm shocks were the source of short-lived
hydrocarbons in Jupiter’s atmosphere. This prediction was eventually
confirmed by spacecraft observations. In 1976, after six years as lecturer at
the Hebrew University, Akiva joined the faculty at Tel Aviv University.
There he continued to explore the importance of shockwaves for the origins
of life. In addition, he investigated the photochemical production of planetary
aerosols. Later on, he set up his unique and world-famous laboratory, where
he conducted pioneering studies of ices under conditions typical of comets.
His investigations on trapping of volatiles by cometary ices and their subsequent
release upon warming of the ice, revolutionized cometary research. Akiva’s
expertise made him a valuable contributor to several international space
projects, including the HASI experiment on the HUYGENS spacecraft that
landed on Titan, as well as the ALICE and ROSINA instruments on the
ROSETTA spacecraft. Akiva served as the Director General of the Israel
Space Agency between 1989-1993, and then for another two years as its
Vice Chairman. He was an excellent teacher and mentor, who inspired
numerous students, and he played an important role in advancing the public
understanding of science. Generations of young students have delighted in
his book on the Solar System (New Worlds, published in 1984, in Hebrew).
Akiva was also a good friend. He will be sorely missed.
Morris Podolak and Dina Prialnik
Submitted by Jonathan Lunine
JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVER SUPPORT WEBINARS
1) Charts and webcast recording of the 2017/02/07 webinar
on the JWST Early Release Science Program, including background
info about JWST science capabilities and planning tools, are
available under Event Assets at:
2) Two upcoming webinars may be of interest:
+ Moving Targets Observations with JWST (Feb. 14, 11am EST)
+ JWST Exposure Time Calculator Demo (Feb. 21, 11am EST)
Information about both can be found at:
JWST USER COMMITTEE: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
STScI is constituting a User Committee for the James Webb Space Telescope.
The JSTUC will be drawn from the U.S, Canadian and ESA communities, and
will include representatives from the JWST instrument teams. The JSTUC
charter is linked here
At this time, STScI is calling for expressions of interest from community
members who would like to serve as JSTUC members. Self-nominations
are welcomed. Submissions should include a cover letter and a one-page
curriculum vitae summarizing the nominee’s relevant background and
JWST-related interests, and should be submitted by e-mail to
[email protected]. There is no restriction on citizenship. Nominations
will be considered through February 14, 2017.
Ken Sembach, Director, Space Telescope Science Institute
John Mather Senior Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope,
Goddard Space Flight Center
DRAFT FINDINGS FROM THE SBAG 16 MEETING
Thank you for a productive SBAG 16 meeting! A draft document with findings
from the meeting is now posted online and available for comments from the
SBAG community. Please provide any comments by February 20, 2017.
Comments can be emailed to [email protected] or any SBAG
steering committee member.
Tim Swindle, SBAG Steering Committee Chair.
JOBS, POSITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES
A) POST-DOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATE: NEAR-EARTH OBJECT CHARACTERIZATION
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position at Lowell
Observatory to work on the physical characterization of near-Earth
objects. This position will be supervised by Dr. Nicholas Moskovitz.
The position is to be split with 80% of the time dedicated to the main
program and 20% for any other research of the postdoctoral associate’s
choosing. The start date is negotiable, but the preference would be for
late Summer or early Fall 2017.
The postdoctoral associate will work in collaboration with
Dr. Moskovitz and other project team members on an ongoing physical
characterization survey of near-Earth objects. This survey is working
to build a comprehensive dataset of astrometry, rotational light
curves, and spectra for hundreds of newly discovered NEOs. In addition
to assisting with target management and conducting regular (1-2 nights
per month) observing runs, the postdoctoral associate will be expected
to take a leading role in the survey’s spectroscopic observations,
reductions, and analysis.
Send submissions to:
Anne Verbiscer, DPS Secretary ([email protected])
To change your address email [email protected].