Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 – 23 September 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 September – 23 September 2022


Open planetary science for effective knowledge co-creation and dissemination 

Knowledge creation is a collaborative process including synergies between different disciplines, communities and stakeholders. The framework of open science is also connected to the involvement of people outside academia, such as amateur societies, school students, corporate partners etc. Open science has a variety of aspects and applications. What are the efforts done in the field of planetary sciences to establish and increase openness? To what degree planetary science researchers and practitioners endeavour accessibility within the various communities - academics and non-academics? During this session these and other relevant questions will be addressed through the presentation of open planetary science projects, tools, data and platforms. Furthermore, the current status and the potential for future efforts towards an open and public planetary science scheme will be discussed. Building upon the success of the session in the previous years, planetary scientists, researchers and other stakeholders are welcome to present new projects and the developments of previous ones, in the context of promoting open & public science.

Convener: Anastasia Kokori | Co-conveners: Angelos Tsiaras, Caterina Boccato
| Tue, 20 Sep, 15:30–17:00 (CEST)|Room Andalucia 1
| Attendance Mon, 19 Sep, 18:45–20:15 (CEST) | Display Mon, 19 Sep, 08:30–Wed, 21 Sep, 11:00|Poster area Level 2

Session assets

Discussion on Slack

Orals: Tue, 20 Sep | Room Andalucia 1

Chairpersons: Anastasia Kokori, Angelos Tsiaras, Caterina Boccato
Open science to widen participation
Georgia Pantelidou, Gregory Grivas, Georgios Lekkas, and Anastasia Kokori


1. Introduction

University students with a strong interest on exoplanets who are willing to engage in astronomical research with telescopic observations face challenges since many higher education institutions are located in areas with poor observing conditions. Traditionally, a small number of students are given the opportunity to travel to an observatory, but lack of funding in most institutions in combination with pandemic related travel restrictions led to a further reduction of such observation excursions.  Having said that, remote observing capabilities can offer access to telescope facilities and can also be used for educational purposes. However, remote observing requires a coordinated approach including the scheduling and the tools used to obtain integrated scientific results.
Open science projects, such as the ExoClock project can be used as a tool to educate students and engage them with exoplanet research. This provides an excellent chance for university students to undertake cutting-edge science that also has a meaningful impact on a future space mission.


2. ExoClock Project 

ExoClock is an international and educational  project for exoplanet enthusiasts around the world with the primary goal of monitoring transiting exoplanets and keeping their respective ephemerides up-to-date. The project promotes the idea that research is an effort that everyone can contribute and, thus, it is open to collaborations with amateur astronomers and encourages the participation of school and university students.
To facilitate this, user-friendly tools and a dedicated website have been developed as part of the project. The website includes audiovisual educational material, data analysis tools, instructions, observational data and graphics [1,2]. All sources are online, free, and available for everyone. ExoClock aims to facilitate a coordinated programme of ground-based observations to maximise the efficiency of the Ariel space mission aiming to observe 1000 exoplanets and characterize their atmospheres [3].


3. Las Cumbres Observatory 

ExoClock in collaboration with the Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) provided us with observing time to obtain some exoplanet transits while priority was given to participants and especially students and pre-amateur astronomers that didn't have access to equipment. We utilized the LCO  network’s ground-based 0.4 m robotic telescopes [4], with access provided via the ORBYTS programme (Original Research by Young Twinkle Students); an educational research programme working in collaboration with ExoClock [5].
The LCO network consists of six sites which host 0.4 m (roughly 16 inches) telescopes which are spread across both the northern and southern hemispheres as shown in Figure 1. Specifically, we utilized the 0.4 m telescope at Cerro Tololo Observatory located in Chile, (lat, lon) = (-30.2°, -70.8°), using its imaging mode and the SDSS-rp filter.

Figure 1


4. Methodology

By loading in the size and location of the telescope, the ExoClock platform  provides a scheduler with a list of potential observations over the coming days; an example of this schedule is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2