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

Session programme


KLD – Keynote Lectures and Debates


One important fraction of the sedimentary record on Mars is composed of evaporite minerals. This record has been mainly detected by orbital spectrometers (thermal, i.e., TES, THEMIS, and reflectance spectroscopy, i.e., OMEGA, CRISM) and in-situ lander and rover measurements (Viking, Pathfinder, Phoenix, MER, MSL). Moreover, the presence of alteration and saline minerals on Mars has been also detected in the SNC-type (Shergotty, Nakhla, and Chassigny) meteorites. Evaporitic minerals have most likely recorded the last presence of stable surface water on Mars. Therefore, the evaporite minerals detected across Mars, are, most probably, the last mineral assemblages to have been precipitated by ancient Martian waters. Analogue studies have shown that evaporites have the ability to preserve traces of extinct microbial life, particularly when mineralized by iron oxide; and under certain circumstances can also sustain adopted forms of extant life (i.e., halotolerant organisms). Constraining the physical and chemical conditions required to form and to preserve evaporite minerals on the surface of Mars is crucial in understanding the climate variation phases and past habitability conditions of this planet.

Convener: Ana-Catalina Plesa
Mon, 19 Sep, 09:15–09:45 (CEST)|Room Manuel de Falla

Hayabusa2 spacecraft returned samples from near-Earth C-type asteroid 162173 Ryugu to the Earth on 6 Dec. 2020. Since the samples had been returned, we continue describing individual Ryugu particles for their images, weights, visible and infrared spectra with an optical microscope, a balance, a monochronic digital microscope with six-bands filters for incident light, an FT-IR and the infrared microscope MicrOmega. So far, 404 individual Ryugu particles have been handpicked and described.

Convener: Jean-Baptiste Vincent
Tue, 20 Sep, 09:15–09:45 (CEST)|Room Manuel de Falla

Giant planet formation is an outstanding question for planetary systems, including our own. Juno and Cassini have delivered unprecedented data regarding the composition, gravity field, magnetosphere, etc., which all enable better understanding the internal structures of Jupiter and Saturn an thus their formation. On the other hand, Uranus and Neptune have only been visited once, by the Voyager 2 mission. There is thus a big lack of data and the formation of these planets is still and matter of intense debate.
The deep composition of the ice giants is loosely constrained, with very few measurements performed with ground-based and earth-orbiting telescopes. One of the keys is the deep oxygen abundance. Not only does it tell us how the planetesimal ices trapped the other heavy elements, but it also has strong implications on the deep structure and mass distribution of the planet through the ice-to-rock ratio.
The detection of CO in large amounts in Neptune's troposphere in the early 1990s was taken as evidence for a water-rich interior. Subsequent models have inferred deep oxygen enrichments ranging from 250 to >500 the protosolar value. The situation at Uranus is less clear, with no deep CO detected yet. However, the possibility that its interior might be heavily convection-inhibited, as indicated by the lack of internal heat, may imply a water-rich interior for Uranus as well.
More recent observations and models seem to contradict this picture and suggest, on the other hand, that the ice giants may not be that icy after all. New observations of CO in the atmosphere of Neptune may not require such a CO-rich Neptune interior. Observations of the D/H ratio also seem difficult to reconcile with a water-rich interior.
In this debate lecture, two teams will present the ice-rich and rock-rich scenarios and the pieces of evidence that tend to back up these hypotheses. The short presentations will be followed by an open debate to discuss the best way forward in attempting to find out whether Uranus and Neptune are more "on ice" or "on the rocks".

Convener: Thibault Cavalié
Wed, 21 Sep, 09:15–09:45 (CEST)|Room Manuel de Falla

Keynote Talk EXOA:

Astrobiology has seen significant advances over the past decades, from “a science without an object of study” to a highly integrated and interdisciplinary endeavour. It has influenced planetary science missions, trained its current and next generation of scientists, and built a strong community of passionate researchers. In the last 20 years, the European Astrobiology Network Association--EANA has accompanied these challenges and confirmed its central role for astrobiology in Europe. I will present the state of the art of astrobiology, its current developments, and future directions.

Journal Editor Talk:

The full-time editors of Nature and sister journals assess submitted papers according to criteria of novelty, relevance and significance by extensive literature browsing. This external 'bird’s eye' view confers objective clarity in identifying the main research trends in the field that can lead to publications in high-impact journals, which will be presented here together with some editorial hints.

Convener: Séverine Robert | Co-convener: Stavro Lambrov Ivanovski
Thu, 22 Sep, 09:15–09:45 (CEST)|Room Manuel de Falla

Traditional ESA solar system spacecraft are several hundreds of kgs. However, we can now consider much smaller craft:

'small satellites': several tens of kgs

'cubesats': several kgs.

Components and payloads for smallsats and cubesats are increasingly available off-the-shelf, promising short mission development times, particularly in the near-earth space, and possibilities for multipoint measurements.
Can some of these advantages of smallsats and cubesats be translated to solar system scientific exploration missions?


- Ozgur Karatekin (Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels) - working on Belgian Hera/Juventas cubesat) and variety of entry probes

- Anamarija Stankov (ESA/ESTEC) - study payload engineer for Comet Interceptor

- Stavro Ivanovski (INAF, Rome) – working on Italian DART/LiciaCUBE cubesat, and a proposal for near-earth constellation of 6-8 cubesats to monitor spacecweather)

Convener: Colin Wilson
Fri, 23 Sep, 09:15–09:45 (CEST)|Room Manuel de Falla

In this talk, we will discuss the pronounced gender gap in Wikipedia, reflecting on its causes, consequences, and solutions. We will focus on the biographies of women astronomers, and we will make a comparison between the English and Spanish Wikipedia. The talk will be given by Mentxu Ramilo Araujo, a member of Wikimujeres and Wikimedia España. She came to Wikipedia to contribute with her knowledge in the field of sports. She soon realized that the phrase ‘the free encyclopedia that EVERYONE can edit’ was not quite true. She works for a diverse and egalitarian Wikipedia in which women are not part of a minority.

Co-organized by KLD
Conveners: Arianna Piccialli, Solmaz Adeli
Sun, 18 Sep, 18:00–19:00 (CEST)|Room Andalucia 2