European Planetary Science Congress 2017
17–22 September 2017
Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija | Riga | Latvia


Amateur collaborations in small bodies, terrestrial, giant and exo planets professional studies
Convener: M. Delcroix  | Co-Conveners: C. Pellier , R. Hueso , A. Christou , P. Yanamandra-Fisher , H. Haukka 
Oral programme
 / Wed, 20 Sep, 14:00–15:30  / Room Mars
Poster programme
 / Attendance Thu, 21 Sep, 17:45–19:15  / Poster area

Amateur astronomy has evolved dramatically over recent years. A motivated amateur, with his/her backyard instrument and available processing software is nowadays capable of getting high-resolution planetary images in different wavelengths (better than many professional observatories could achieve 15 years ago), following stellar occultations by giant planets' atmospheres or their satellites' mutual phenomena, or doing high-precision photometry of exoplanet transits. Other committed amateurs use dedicated cameras or radio-antennae to provide continuous meteor-detection coverage of the sky near their location.

Hundreds of regular observers are sharing their work, providing a very good coverage of the main visible planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Venus), and since only a few years a coverage of Uranus and Neptune. This is very valuable at a time when professional astronomers face increasing competition accessing resources, which often have to be shared with other areas of research. Additionally, these networks of amateur observers can react at very short notice when triggered by a new event occurring on a solar system object requiring observations, or contribute to a global observation campaign along with professional telescopes.

Moreover, some advanced amateur astronomers use advanced methods for analyzing their data meeting the requirements of the modern researcher, thereby facilitating regular and close collaboration with professionals. Often this leads to publication of results in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Examples include planetary meteorology of Jupiter and Saturn; meteoroid or bolide impacts on Jupiter; asteroid, cometary or exoplanet research; studies of Venus.

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.