Solar Systems In Focus

5 August 2013

** Contact details appear below. **


The 45th meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) will take place at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO 80202, from Sunday, 6 October, through Friday, 11 October 2013. More than 600 astronomers and planetary scientists are expected to attend, and they’ll give some 700 presentations to communicate new results obtained on our solar system as well as on extrasolar planetary systems from both ground- and space-based studies. The meeting program includes both oral and poster sessions, along with featured talks from DPS prize winners.

The AAS offers complimentary press registration to bona fide working journalists and public-information officers (PIOs); see details below.

Main meeting website (including information on travel & lodging):

Search or browse the meeting program:

DPS embargo policy:

Some specific presentations of interest to the media (authors and presentation dates and times will be available via the meeting program link, above, by late August or early September):

* “End of the World: Using Science to Dispel Public Fear,” David Morrison, NASA Lunar Science Institute
* “Titan’s Spectacular Volte-Face,” Caitlin Griffith, University of Arizona
* “Planets Orbiting M Dwarf Stars: The Most Characterizable Terrestrial Exoplanets Are Also the Most Abundant,” Philip Muirhead, Boston University
* “Mars Science Laboratory: Findings and Highlights of the First Year,” Sushil Atreya, University of Michigan
* “The Kuiper Belt After 20 Years: Past, Present & Future,” Hilke Schlichting, MIT
* “Voyager at the Edge of Interstellar Space,” Edward Stone, Caltech
* “The Chelyabinsk Airburst Event,” Mark Boslough, Sandia National Labs
* “Small Is NOT Dull: Unraveling the Complexity of Surface Processes on Asteroids, Comets, and Small Satellites,” Joseph Veverka, Cornell University
* “From Pebbles to Planets,” Anders Johansen, Lund University
* “Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us,” Don Yeomans, JPL

Complimentary Press Registration

Registration is free for bona fide media representatives; please contact DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy ([email protected]) prior to your arrival in Denver.

Press Facilities

A press office will be set up at the Sheraton in Plaza Court 7 and will be open to journalists during normal conference hours. Among other amenities, it will offer workspace and wireless Internet connectivity.

News briefings for the media will be conducted during the lunch break (12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. MDT) in Governor’s Square 11, Monday through Wednesday, 7-9 October. Topics and speakers will be announced at as soon as they’re confirmed.

During the meeting you may reach DPS Press Officer Dr. Vishnu Reddy via cell phone at +1 808-342-8932. Assisting in the press room is AAS Press Officer Dr. Rick Fienberg ([email protected], cell +1 857-891-5649).

Remote Access to Press Conferences

Journalists unable to attend the meeting in person may tune in to our Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday briefings streamed live on the Web. Since the webcast includes audio, video, and PowerPoint slides, you must have a broadband (high-speed) Internet connection to watch and listen.

The webcast also includes a chat window whereby remote participants may ask questions. We can’t guarantee that all questions received from webcast viewers will be asked aloud — it depends on how much time we have and how many questions we’re getting from onsite reporters.

Details of the webcasts can be obtained by contacting the DPS Press Officer prior to the meeting.

Dr. Vishnu Reddy
DPS Press Officer
+1 808-342-8932
[email protected]


American Planetary Exploration Is in Grave Danger

DPS Press Release
February 20, 2012

Media Contact:
Dr. Vishnu Reddy
DPS Press Officer
[email protected]

** Additional contacts are listed below **

American Planetary Exploration Is in Grave Danger

The Obama administration’s proposed 2013 NASA budget focuses almost all the agency’s cuts onto the planetary science program that funds the robotic exploration of the solar system. NASA Planetary Science Division budget would be cut by 20% from $1.5 billion in 2012 to $1.2 billion in 2013. The proposed budget cuts will force the United States to give up its leadership in solar system exploration.

The robotic exploration program has delivered a golden age of planetary exploration including the Mars rovers; the Cassini mission to Saturn; MESSENGER, which is now orbiting Mercury; Dawn, orbiting the asteroid Vesta; and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and GRAIL, which are orbiting our Moon exploring its structure and origins.

“If the NASA budget is passed in its current form, American leadership in planetary sciences will be endangered,” said Dan Britt, Chair of Division for Planetary Sciences, American Astronomical Society. “We strongly believe that the robotic exploration of the solar system resonates with the American people, that it is something that NASA needs to be doing, and it is something the American people will support even in tight budget times. .”

Under the proposed budget NASA will be forced to cancel its plans for its most ambitious exploration missions, slash the Mars Exploration Program, and kill the Lunar Quest Program. The cuts will also end collaborations with the European Space Agency on the 2016 Mars Trace Gas Orbiter and the 2018 ExoMars rover, delay the economical Discovery and New Frontiers space programs, and force cuts in operations and data analysis for a number of current missions.

The planetary science community recently finished its latest decadal survey, Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science, under the auspices of the National Research Council. It recommends to NASA a program of balanced exploration and scientific analysis. Under the President’s proposal, implementation of the balanced, consensus, budget-conservative plan outlined in the decadal survey will not be possible.

The American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences, the world’s largest professional association of planetary scientists, urges Congress to support and fund a vigorous and competitive planetary science program as recommended by the National Research Council.-.

Science Contacts:
Dr. Daniel Britt
Chair, Division for Planetary Sciences, AAS
[email protected]

Dr. Rosaly Lopes
Vice-Chair, Division for Planetary Sciences, AAS
[email protected]

Division for Planetary Sciences website:




Press Officers: Shantanu Naidu and Teddy Kareta, DPS.Press [at]

For the Media

For Scientists

Releases to the media are distibuted to the media by the DPS Press Officer through the Press Office of the American Astronimical Society, and hence must adhere to the guidelines. Here is some information that may be useful as your prepare your release.

Traditionally media releases have been issued during the annual meetings as part of media briefings. Results presented at the annual conference are embargoed until the time of the presentation.

You are welcome to contact the DPS Press Officer at any time you may have a science story or results deemed worthy of sharing with the public through the media.