Amateur Astronomy Contribution to Planetary Sciences
Convener: Apostolos Christou  | Co-Conveners: Eleni Chatzichristou , Jean-Pierre Lebreton , Marc Delcroix 
Oral Program
 / Fri, 07 Oct, 10:30–12:00  / Room Mars Room
Poster Program
 / Attendance Tue, 04 Oct, 17:30–19:00  / Poster Area

Astronomy has its roots in the time-honoured fascination of humanity with the night sky. In modern times, this fascination is expressed in the scores of amateur astronomers around the globe who pursue astronomical observing for recreational purposes. Many of those are resourced, motivated and organised to a level that allows them to carry out research-grade work in many fields of astronomy and, in particular, solar system science. This is also true for that new breed of amateur astronomer, the armchair data-miner, who systematically pores through space mission datasets available publicly on the internet for the nuggets of scientifically useful information that lie therein.
Recent examples of high-impact results from amateur astronomers include: the discovery and astrometric follow-up of near Earth asteroids, the discovery of a bright storm that errupted in Saturn's northern hemisphere, active participation in meteor observation campaigns and long-term activity monitoring, the building up of a census of sungrazing comets in archival data from SOHO and other sun-staring satellites, the detection of the gas tail of Mercury in STEREO data and of impact flashes on Jupiter.
On the other side of the fence, professional planetary scientists have to cope with ever-decreasing access to small and medium class facilities in exchange for small chunks of observing time on a few large telescopes. Even in the case of dedicated large scale survey facilities such as PanSTARRS, amateurs are well positioned to provide the necessary follow-up to new discoveries. These facts, along with the non-continuous coverage available from deep space & planetary missions even when in orbit around their target, illustrate that planetary science has a lot to gain by both parties actively seeking pro-am partnerships.
This session will showcase results from amateur astronomers, working either by themselves or in collaboration with members of the professional community. In addition, members from both communities will be invited to share their experiences of pro-am partnerships and offer suggestions on how these should evolve in the future. The session will include both oral and poster presentations.

You are invited to submit abstract for either an oral or a poster presentation.