Looking back at a joint success – DPS-EPSC 2016
Last month, the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) took place in the US for the first time, as part of a joint meeting with the American Astronomical Society’s Division of Planetary Science. The meeting took place in Pasadena (the city that’s home to JPL and Caltech) and was attended by 1415 members of the planetary community from the US, Europe, and around the world.
The programme during the week covered the spectrum of planetary research, and presentations included mission highlights from ESA’s Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and JAXA’s Akatsuki to Venus. The Urey Prize Lecture by Dr Leigh Fletcher (University of Leicester) on exploring atmospheric cycles on the giant planets was particularly warmly received and the public talk by Alan Stern (Southwest Research Institute) on The Exploration of Pluto and Giovanna Tinetti (University College London) on The Planets in our Galaxy resulted in queues around the block.
Two annual prizes are awarded at EPSC and this year was no exception. The Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement with Planetary Science was awarded to François Civet and Stéphane Le Mouélic of the CNRS/University of Nantes for their outstanding efforts in the development of immersive visualisation techniques for experiencing the Martian landscape. The Farinella Prize 2016 was awarded to the Greek researcher, Kleomenis Tsiganis, for his work on planetary system dynamics, including the development of the ‘Nice model’ of the evolution of the early Solar System.
The European planetary community now looks forward to the next EPSC 2017 in Riga, Latvia from 17-22 September 2017, and to welcoming our American colleagues to the next joint meeting with the DPS in Geneva in 2019.
You can hear more about the science presented at the meeting by watching the daily press briefings, reading the press releases, or catching up through the daily Twitter summaries of the meeting on Storify (courtesy of Amara Graps):