Latest News and Events

Astrobiology and Planetary Exploration (APEX) Meetings

The APEX series of meetings is held on Thursdays at 1pm in the Garwood Lecture Theatre, located on the 1st Floor of the South Wing, UCL: APEX programme

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CPS News

Saturn

Saturn and Enceladus produce the same amount of plasma

The first evidence that Saturn’s upper atmosphere may, when buffeted by the solar wind, emit the same total amount of mass per second into its magnetosphere as its moon, Enceladus, has been found by UCL scientists working on the Cassini mission. More...

Prof. Hilary Downes

Professor Hilary Downes elected to the Presidency of the Mineralogical Society

Congratulations to CPS member Professor Hilary Downes on her recent election to the role of President of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. A full report can be found in the news article from Birkbeck's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. More...

ExoMars Rover (courtesy of ESA)

UCL's ExoMars PanCam kit one step closer to Mars

The UCL-made ‘structural-thermal model’ of the ExoMars PanCam instrument for the joint ESA-Roscosmos (Russian space agency) 2018 rover mission leaves UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) today for Airbus UK in Stevenage. This is the first of several steps on the way to Mars - in 2016, UCL will deliver engineering- and flight models. The flight model will be the actual instrument which travels to Mars where it will identify promising targets for the mission.
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An artist's rendition of the Cassini spacecraft approaching the planet Saturn. Image credit: NASA/JPL

Cassini mission provides insight into Saturn

Scientists have found the first direct evidence for explosive releases of energy in Saturn's magnetic bubble using data from the Cassini spacecraft, a joint mission between NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. The research is reported in the journal Nature Physics. More...

Comet 67P and Lithium release comparison. From Coates et al. (2015)

Ions from Comet 67P – early Rosetta results and increasing activity

As a comet nears the Sun, its icy nucleus heats, and neutral water and other gas molecules sublime, carrying ice and dust grains away also. The gas ionizes in sunlight, producing pickup ions. In a new paper, Andrew Coates and colleagues look at the early pickup process at 67P using data from the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC) particle instruments. They compare the results to what was learned with the AMPTE and Giotto missions 30 years ago. The trajectory of Rosetta, the first spacecraft to fly with a comet at different distances to the Sun, is ideal for this. They discuss an elegant momentum balance seen between the new-born pickup ions and the solar wind. More...

Mars (credit: NASA, ESA)

Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure launches new era of planetary collaboration in Europe

A €9.95 million project to integrate and support planetary science activities across Europe has been launched. 
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WEX1

Planetary group student organises Sample Space Science Week at MSSL for sixth formers

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Concept view of the ARIEL spacecraft. Credit: ESA

ARIEL mission to reveal 'Brave New Worlds' among exoplanets

An ambitious European mission is being planned to answer fundamental questions about how planetary systems form and evolve. ARIEL will investigate the atmospheres of several hundreds planets orbiting distant stars. It is one of three candidate missions selected last month by the European Space Agency (ESA) for its next medium class science mission, due for launch in 2026.  The ARIEL mission concept has been developed by a consortium of more than 50 institutes from 12 countries, including UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal.  The mission will be presented today at the Pathways 2015 conference in Bern, Switzerland, by ARIEL’s Principal Investigator, Prof Giovanna Tinetti of UCL.  More...

Dr. Geraint Jones

Dr. Geraint Jones: Pluto’s moons in sharper focus

Dr. Geraint Jones, Reader in Planetary Science at UCL, highlights Pluto's moons in his recent article for The Conversation: "New Horizons brings Pluto’s mysterious moons into sharper focus". More...

Original plates from Clyde Tombaugh's discovery of Pluto (apparent magnitude +15.1). Credit: Lowell Observatory Archives via Wikipedia

Pluto and Charon - A Planetary Waltz, in celebration of NASA's New Horizon Mission

On July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to the dwarf planet Pluto, the outermost body in the Solar we have visited. A hundred years previously, Gustav Holst had been composing his Planet Suite, ignorant of Pluto’s existence. More...

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CPS Events

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RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting: Extraterrestrial resources in facilitating space science and exploration

On Friday 8 April 2016, the Royal Astronomical Society will be holding a Specialist Discussion Meeting on the theme of: More...

Starts: Apr 8, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Lake Como School

Brave New Worlds: Understanding the planets of other stars

Next year the Lake Como School of Advanced Studies will focus on exoplanet science. The school is directed to PhD students and young postdocs who are interested in widening their knowledge in the field of exoplanets. Lecturers will report on theoretical, observational and experimental aspects of the research, reviewing the latest achievements in the field. The program includes: More...

Starts: May 29, 2016 12:00:00 AM

Cometary science after Rosetta

Results from the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to Comet  67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko are leading to a revolution in our understanding of these ancient bodies, and hence the conditions prevalent in the early Solar System. This meeting will report on all  aspects of the mission's ground-breaking discoveries, placing them in the context of cometary science as a whole. More...

Starts: Jun 14, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Page last modified on 04 feb 15 14:57 by Joanna Fabbri