CPS News

Prof. Ian Crawford awarded Leverhulme Trust research grant to study what the Moon may tell us about the history of the Milky Way

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Close-up of the lunar regolith with astronaut’s boot for scale (credit: NASA)

The new grant, entitled Assessing the potential of lunar geology as a window into galactic history, was awarded to Professor Crawford and colleagues Dr Pieter Vermeesch (UCL) and Dr Katherine Joy (University of Manchester). Dr Louise Alexander, who obtained both her B.Sc. and Ph.D degrees in planetary science from Birkbeck, will be employed as researcher on the project.

Venus is slowly losing its atmosphere

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Artist's impression of the interaction between Venus and the solar wind. Copyright: ESA (Image by C. Carreau)

New research on ionospheric photoelectrons in the tail of Venus, led by CPS members at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL), shows that the planet is losing 300kg of its atmosphere per day. The research, from two papers published in the journal Planetary and Space Science, is based on data from the ASPERA-4 electron spectrometer on ESA's Venus Express spacecraft.

Twinkle: A UK-led, fast-track space mission to study exoplanet atmospheres

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Twinkle

A team led by CPS members Dr Giovanna Tinetti (Lead Scientist) and Dr Marcell Tessenyi (Project Manager) aims to build and launch, within the next 3 to 4 years, a small and cost-effective UK-built spacecraft called Twinkle, dedicated to the observation of exoplanet atmospheres. This ambitious project is achievable by working together with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) and reusing an existing platform. 

Saturn moon Hyperion charging is a Cassini Top 10 discovery of 2014!

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Hyperion

Research about Hyperion's Electrostatically Charged Surface led by CPS member Dr Tom Nordheim (MSSL) and fellow CPS members Prof. Andrew Coates and Dr Geraint Jones makes the Cassini team’s top picks for the mission’s 10 most interesting science findings of 2014

How landslides on Mars might reveal more than they cover up: new insights into Mars' sedimentary budget

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Landslides on Mars

In a new paper, Peter Grindrod describes how unique landslides can help to decipher the erosional history of Mars, and the implications for the global sedimentary budget of the planet.

APEX meetings starting this week 17 Oct

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APEX Meeting logo

The Astrobiology and Planetary Exploration (APEX) meetings will resume this Thursday 17 October at 13:00 in the Garwood Lecture Theatre (UCL South Wing). The full APEX programme for this term is now available.

The first talk will be given by Dr Adrian Jones on:

     "Lonsdaleite Diamond as an Indicator of Shock in Meteorites"

Iron in the Earth’s core weakens before melting

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Earth

The iron in the Earth’s inner core weakens dramatically before it melts, explaining the unusual properties that exist in the moon-sized solid centre of our planet that have, up until now, been difficult to understand.

EPSC2013 features on UCL web front page!

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Mars, Acidalia Planitia and Tempe Terra

Last month's European Planetary Science Congress 2013 hosted at UCL was a resounding success with 960 delegates from 39 countries, making it the largest stand-alone European planetary science conference ever!

Joining the start of a new academic year and a new provost, there is a new-look front page to the UCL website which features a report from EPSC 2013 on the future of European planetary science by UCL student Katrine Iversen and UCL graduate Cassy Fiford.

The Planets have arrived in London! EPSC 2013 at UCL, 8-13 September

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UCL-EPSC 2013 logo. Credit: Dr. Pete Grindrod

The European Planetary Science Congress 2013 is currently taking place at University College London, 08 – 13 September 2013. This attractive location will produce an excellent scientific forum, and we also anticipate lively outreach and space industry sessions. As with the highly successful meeting in Madrid in 2012, which attracted over 700 attendees (the largest yet for an all European EPSC), it will provide an attractive platform to exchange and present results, develop new ideas and to network the planetary science community in Europe. It will continue to have a distinctively interactive style, with a mix of talks, workshops and posters, intended to provide a stimulating environment for the community to meet. The meeting will cover the whole scope of planetary science. London is of course one of the great cities of the world, and the meeting is well placed in the city centre. It will also provide plenty of opportunities to network in a relaxing atmosphere, starting with the Icebreaker Reception on the evening of Sunday, September 8, the sponsored drinks at the Poster Sessions (Tuesday, September 10, and Thursday, September 12) and the Congress Boat Trip down the Thames (Wednesday, 11 September 2013).

Congratulations to Dr Pete Grindrod and Dr Dominic Fortes on their recent Lectureship appointments

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Congratulations to two CPS members Dr Pete Grindrod and Dr Dominic Fortes on their recent lectureship appointments. Pete Grindrod has been appointed as a Lecturer in Planetary Science at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Birkbeck, University of London, and Dominic Fortes has a joint-appointment as a Lecturer in Planetary Science at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck and in the Department of Earth Sciences at UCL.

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