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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

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...

Prof. Andrew Coates

Prof. Andrew Coates: There is still lots more solar system exploration to do... 

In his recent article for The Conversation: "Fly-by missions: what is the point when we have the technology to go into orbit?", Prof. Andrew Coates, Head of Planetary Science at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at UCL, discusses the significance of fly-by missions, including the recently successful NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto, and the importance of continued solar system exploration. More...

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

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

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. More...

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

Venus is slowly losing its atmosphere

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. More...

Twinkle

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

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.  More...

Hyperion

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

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 More...

Landslides on Mars

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

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. More...

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APEX meetings starting this week 17 Oct

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"

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CPS Events

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ASB6 at UCL in September - Final few weeks for registration and programme online

The Centre for Planetary Sciences at UCL/Birkbeck will be hosting the sixth biennial meeting of the Astrobiological Society of Britain - ASB6: "The Origin, Distribution and Detection of Life in the Universe" - on 2-4 September 2015.  There is still time to register at the ASB6 website and the programme is now available online. More...

Starts: Sep 2, 2015 9:00:00 AM

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