Europlanet Science Congress 2020
Virtual meeting
21 September – 9 October 2020
Europlanet Science Congress 2020
Virtual meeting
21 September – 9 October 2020

Session programme


TP – Terrestrial Planets


In this session contributions from a wide range of research dedicated to terrestrial planets (including Earth), which are not covered by one of the other sessions are welcome. Especially research on comparative planetology fits into this session. Papers about numerical simulations are equally appreciated as are data analyses related to past or ongoing space missions to earth-like planets and moons. The session includes topics from planet formation to early and late evolution of terrestrial planets. Papers studying the deep interior (core) are invited as well as papers about crust, surface, near surface processes, atmospheres and exospheres.

Conveners: Barbara Cavalazzi, Gabriele Cremonese, Jessica Flahaut, Fulvio Franchi, Felipe Gómez, Anni Määttänen, Lena Noack, Angelo Pio Rossi

Shape, gravity field, orbit, tidal deformation, and rotation state are fundamental geodetic parameters of any planetary object. Measurements of these parameters are prerequisites for e.g. spacecraft navigation and mapping from orbit, but also for modelling of the interior and evolution. This session welcomes contributions from all aspects of planetary geodesy, including the relevant theories, observations and models in application to planets, satellites, ring systems, asteroids, and comets.

Co-organized by OPS/SB
Convener: Gregor Steinbrügge | Co-conveners: Jean-Baptiste Vincent, Alexander Stark, Marie Yseboodt, Ryan Park

Planetary accretion, giant collisions, core formation, magma-ocean crystallization and other important processes during the early days of the solar system set the stage for the long-term evolution of terrestrial planets. These early processes can happen simultaneously or in recurring stages, and are ultimately followed by progressive crustal growth, long-term mantle mixing/differentiation, core-mantle interaction, as well as inner-core crystallization. Indeed, the coupled early and long-term evolution shapes the present-day structure and thermal state of planetary interiors. We seek to gain a better understanding of the formation and evolution of terrestrial bodies by bringing together studies from geophysics, geodynamics, mineral physics, geochemistry, and petrology.
This session welcomes contributions focused on data analysis, modeling and experimental work that address the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets and moons in the Solar System, and around other stars.

Co-organized by EXO
Convener: Lena Noack | Co-conveners: Gregor Golabek, Alison Hunt, Sebastiano Padovan

Impact processes shaped the solar system and modify planetary surfaces until today. This session aims at understanding planetary impact processes at all scales in terms of shock metamorphism, dynamical aspects, geochemical consequences, environmental effects and biotic response, and cratering chronology. Naturally, advancing our understanding of impact phenomena requires a multidisciplinary approach, which includes (but it is not limited to) observations of craters, strewn field or airbursts, numerical modelling, laboratory experiments, geologic and structural mapping, remote sensing, petrographic analysis of impact products, and isotopic and elemental geochemistry analysis.

We welcome presentations across this broad range of study and particularly encourage work that bridges the gap between the investigative methods employed in studying planetary impact processes at all scales.

Convener: Robert Luther | Co-conveners: Natalia Artemieva, Christopher Hamann, Isabel Herreros, Elena Martellato, Jens Ormö, Francisco Javier Rodriguez Tovar

Space missions have provided a wealth of data on the atmospheres and aeronomy of rocky planets and moons, from the lower layers up to the external envelopes in direct contact with the solar wind. A recent emerging finding is evidence that the atmosphere behaves as a single coherent system with complex coupling between layers.

This session solicits contributions that investigate processes at work (chemistry, energetics, dynamics, electricity, escape etc...) on the terrestrial bodies of the Solar System and includes studies of the coupling between the lower/middle and upper atmospheres. Contributions based on analysis of recent spacecraft and ground-based observations, comparative planetology studies, numerical modelling and relevant laboratory investigations are particularly welcome. The session will consist of invited and contributed oral talks as well as posters.

Co-organized by OPS
Convener: Anni Määttänen | Co-conveners: Francisco González-Galindo, Dmitrij Titov

Atmospheric aerosols and cloud particles are found in every atmosphere of the solar system, as well as, in exoplanets. Depending on their size, shape, chemical composition, latent heat, and distribution, their effect on the radiation budget varies drastically and is difficult to predict. When organic, aerosols also carry a strong prebiotic interest reinforced by the presence of heavy atoms such as nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur.

The aim of the session is to gather presentations on these complex objects for both terrestrial and giant planet atmospheres, including the special cases of Titan’s and Pluto's hazy atmospheres. All research aspects from their production and evolution processes, their observation/detection, to their fate and atmospheric impact are welcomed, including laboratory investigations and modeling.

Co-organized by TP/EXO
Conveners: Nathalie Carrasco, Panayotis Lavvas, Anni Määttänen

Ionospheres are a fundamental part of planetary and cometary atmospheres that are formed by solar radiation and are affected by a myriad of different processes, such as space weather activity or neutral atmosphere variations. Moreover, ionospheres play an important role in controlling the dynamics of the system, as they are the link between the neutral atmosphere, exosphere and surrounding plasma environments (e.g. the solar wind for Mars, Venus, Pluto and comets, and the Kronian magnetosphere for Titan). Understanding how each unmagnetized body reacts to all these factors is a key in comparative aeronomy because although a priori all of them have a general similar behavior, they also have scientifically important differences caused by their different natures.

This session focuses on the ionospheres of Mars, Venus, Pluto, Titan, and comets, and solicits abstracts concerning remote and in situ data analysis, modeling studies, instrumentation and mission concepts. Topics may include, but are not limited to, day and night side ionospheric variability, sources and influences of ionization, ion-neutral coupling, current systems, comparative ionospheric studies, and solar wind-ionosphere interactions and responses of the ionized and neutral regimes to transient space weather events. Abstracts on general plasma and escape processes are also welcome.

Co-organized by OPS
Convener: Beatriz Sanchez-Cano | Co-conveners: Matteo Crismani, Niklas Edberg, Xiaohua Fang, Francisco González-Galindo

The emphasis of the session is on all aspects of plasma physics and interactions of solar and stellar wind interactions with planets and exoplanets, including: (a) magnetospheric dynamics, aurorae, and radio emissions (b) potential impact of star-(exo-)planet coupling on habitability, (c) comparative studies between Solar System planets and exoplanets. We welcome contributions relying on space-based or ground-based observations as well as theoretical modelling and simulations.

Co-organized by TP/OPS
Convener: Nicolas André | Co-conveners: Caitriona Jackman, Corentin Louis

The emphasis of the session is on all aspects of the conditions in the Sun, solar wind and magnetospheric plasmas that extend the concepts of space weather and space situational awareness to other planets in our Solar System than Earth, and in particular to spacecraft that travel through it. Abstracts on space- and ground-based data analysis, theoretical modeling and simulations of planetary space weather are welcomed. The description of new services accessible to the research community, space agencies, and industrial partners planning for space missions and addressing the effects of the environment on components and systems are also strongly encouraged. This session will also summarize the planetary space weather services developed during Europlanet RI H2020 as well as introduce the future ones to be developed by the Sun-Planet Interactions Digital Environment on Request Work Package during Europlanet RI H2024.

Co-organized by TP/OPS
Convener: Nicolas André | Co-conveners: Sae Aizawa, Andrea Opitz

Mercury Science in the post-MESSENGER area, open to all Mercury relating subjects, and covering e.g.
- Mercury's interior, surface, environment, and interactions thereof
- BepiColombo Mercury Science
- BepiColombo Flyby (Earth, Venus, Mercury) and Cruise (Radio Science, Solar Wind, Gamma Rays): results and expectations
- Ground-based Mercury Observations: results and plans
- laboratory activities in support of Mercury Science

Convener: Johannes Benkhoff | Co-conveners: Go Murakami, Joe Zender

This session welcomes presentations on all aspect of the Venus system including interior, surface, atmosphere and ionosphere. We welcome presentations based on past or current observations, theory and modelling, as well as presentations related to future instruments and missions including the ESA-NASA proposed EnVision Venus orbiter and NASA Discovery Venus missions.

Convener: Thomas Widemann | Co-conveners: Richard Ghail, Colin Wilson

The EPSC symposium "Open Lunar Science & Innovation” will address:
- Celebrating the legacy of Apollo and Luna programmes after 50 years
- Recent lunar results: geochemistry, geophysics in the context of open planetary science and exploration
- Synthesis of results from Clementine, Prospector, SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang’e 1, 2 and 3, Chandrayaan-1, LCROSS, LADEE, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Artemis and GRAIL
- First results from Chang'E 4, Chandrayaan2,
- Goals and Status of missions under preparation: orbiters, Luna25-27, SLIM, , Commercial landers, Chang'E 5 and Lunar sample return missions, Future cargo landers,
- Precursor missions, instruments and investigations for landers, rovers, sample return, and human cis-lunar activities and human lunar surface sorties (Artemis and others)
- Preparation for International Lunar Decade: databases, instruments, missions, terrestrial field campaigns, support studies
- ILEWG and Global Exploration roadmaps towards a global robotic/human Moon village
- Strategic Knowledge Gaps, and key science Goals relevant to Lunar Global Exploration
- The Moon Village with the goal of a sustainable human and robotic presence on the lunar surface as an ensemble where multiple users can carry out multiple activities.
- The Moon for planetary science, life sciences, astronomy, fundamental research, resources utilisation, human spaceflight, peaceful cooperation, economical development, inspiration, training and capacity building.
- How a laboratory on the Moon should be equipped to be useful for a variety of disciplines, including geology, biology, and chemistry
- How can the Moon Village serve as a stepping stone for exploration of Mars and planetary bodies even further away?
- Historical, societal, humanistic aspects of lunar exploration

Lunar science and exploration are developing further with new and exciting missions being developed by China, the US, Japan, India, Russia, Korea and Europe, and with new stakeholders.

Co-organized by MITM
Convener: Bernard Foing | Co-convener: Joana S. Oliveira

This merged MITM12-13/TP13 session (co-sponsored by space agencies, ILEWG EuroMoonMars & IAF ITACCUS) will cover the preparation for future missions and sustainable outposts in deep space, Moon and Earth . It will be interdisciplinary , open to new stakeholders towards Moon and Mars Villages, and include subsessions:
1) Future instruments for deep space and lunar science
NASA, ESA, JAXA, ISRO, KARI and other Agencies have active Lunar science instruments programs and concepts. The Artemis and the Gateway programs have also generated a new drive to develop Lunar surface science instruments and technology demonstrations. Ahead of the human return to the Moon, commercial landers are expected to deliver science packages to the Lunar surface as early as 2021. Teams of Instruments already selected for flight as well as concept being developed are encouraged to submit abstracts and get feedback from the wider community.

2) Sustainable outposts for deep space, Moon and Mars.
We invite contributions on various uses of Moon, Mars and planetary outposts : science, technology, international cooperation, resource utilisation, economic development, human/robotic partnership, innovation, inspiration, education, entertainment, tourism, culture and societal benefits. We invite scientists, engineers, designers, architects, astronauts, research agencies, industries from (new) space and non-space to participate. We shall also discuss habitats projects for analogue simulations such as MDRS, HiSeas, LunAres, IgLuna, ESA Luna, MAMBA, EMMIHS, ILEWG EuroMoonMars.

Co-organized by TP
Convener: Bernard Foing | Co-conveners: Brook Lakew, Mehdi Benna, Lynn Carter, Tilak Hewagama, Sabrina Kerber, Marc Heemskerk, Anna Sitnikova
Wed, 23 Sep, 11:00–11:20 (CEST)

This session welcomes all presentations on Mars' interior and surface processes. The aim of this session is to bring together disciplines as various as geology, geomorphology, geophysics, mineralogy, glaciology, and chemistry. We welcome presentations on either present or past Mars processes, either pure Mars science or comparative planetology, either observations or modeling or laboratory experiments (or any combination of those). New results on Mars science obtained from recent in situ and orbital measurements are particularly encouraged, as well as studies related to upcoming missions (ExoMars, Mars 2020, Mars Sample Return).

Convener: Ernst Hauber | Co-conveners: Solmaz Adeli, Barbara De Toffoli, Ana-Catalina Plesa, Riccardo Pozzobon

Martian research in Europe has grown exceptionally over the past decades, first thanks to the longstanding achievements of the Mars Express community and more recently thanks to the great contributions of the ExoMars 2016 Trace Gas Orbiter mission, leading Europe to a prime role within the international martian community. This valuable experience has paved the way for the new exciting discoveries expected in the next years from the ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform and in the future by the Mars Sample Return programme.

The aim of this session is to recognize the experience gained with European Mars missions and promote new synergies to enhance the collaboration within the European science community, in close coordination with other international agencies (NASA, Roscomos, JAXA, CSA, etc.)

This session welcomes contributions from any field of Martian scientific research, including also operational, technical and interdisciplinary aspects involving the different Mars missions, especially those covering multi-mission and international collaborations over a wide range of topics: Mars subsurface, surface geology and mineralogy, atmosphere, magnetosphere, martian moons and any potential exo-biological implication in the context of the new exploration missions.

Public information:
Session summary is now available online with the showcase presentation given by the Project Scientists of all ESA's Mars missions. This includes the latest science highlights from Mars Express and Trace Gas Orbiter, the status of the ExoMars 2022 Rover and Surface Platform and the preparations for the Mars Sample Return programme. Please visit the presentations and do not hesitate to comment and discuss with all authors, especially Early Career Researchers.

Convener: Alejandro Cardesin-Moinelo | Co-conveners: Dmitrij Titov, Elliot Sefton-Nash, Håkan Svedhem, Jorge Vago, Patrick Martin, Gerhard Kminek

Astrobiology is the study of whether present or past life exists elsewhere in the universe. To understand how life can begin in space, it is essential to know what organic compounds were likely available, and how they interacted with the planetary environment. This session seeks papers that offer existing/novel theoretical models or computational works that address the chemical and environmental conditions relevant to astrobiology on terrestrial planets/moons or ocean worlds, along with other theoretical, experimental, and observational works related to the emergence and development of Life in the Universe. This includes work related to prebiotic chemistry, the chemistry of early life, the biogeochemistry of life’s interaction with its environment, chemistry associated with biosignatures and their false positives, and chemistry pertinent to conditions that could possibly harbor life (e.g. Titan, Enceladus, Europa, TRAPPIST-1, habitable exoplanets, etc.). Understanding how the planetary environment has influenced the evolution of life and how biological processes have changed the environment is an essential part of any study of the origin and search for signs of life. Major Space Agencies identified planetary habitability and the search for evidence of life as a key component of their scientific missions in the next two decades. The development of instrumentation and technology to support the search for complex organic molecules and the endurance of life in space environments is critical to define unambiguous approaches to life detection over a broad range of planetary environments.

This session welcomes abstracts from several scientific domains such as prebiotic and interstellar chemistry, micropaleontology, limits of life, habitability, and biosignature detection.

Co-organized by OPS/EXO
Conveners: Felipe Gómez, Rosanna del Gaudio