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


ODAA – Outreach, Diversity, Amateur Astronomy

Programme group coordinators: Harri Haukka, Petr Broz, Arianna Piccialli

Europlanet for Emerging Space Countries

Planetary exploration is the next frontier for humanity, offering vast arrays of opportunities to advance science and technology. This has attracted the interest of policy-makers, and private and national investors, with space becoming increasingly important in the global agendas of sustainability and development.
In this framework, local and global Agendas (e.g. Space2030, African Union Agenda 2063) have identified the strategic objectives, key actions and implementations for emerging nations to became a global space players.
The Europlanet 2024 RI Global Collaboration & Integration Development Strategic Plan (2020-2024) aims to create the conditions for new scientific partnerships between EU and non-EU countries, with a key priority to define goals for a cooperative relationship with Africa in planetary and space science.
We invite all contributions on visions, missions or actions for how planetary science and/or future space activities can address the sustainable development and economic growth of emerging nations, as well as visions that target the Space2030 Agenda.

Europlanet 2024 RI has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149.

Convener: Barbara Cavalazzi | Co-conveners: Anita Heward, Valentina Marcheselli, Nigel Mason, Susmita Datta, Gareth Davies, Nicolas Walter, Jonas L'Haridon, Fulvio Franchi, Miruts Hagos, Fernando Gomez, K. Yi, Hye Jung Chang, Kyeong Kim, Yang Liu
Diversity and Inclusiveness in Planetary Sciences

The benefits of diversity and inclusiveness in the scientific community are incontrovertible. Following the success of previous years, this session aims to foster debate within the planetary sciences community about the reasons behind the under-representation of different groups (gender, cultural, ethnic origin, and national) and best practices to make the research environment more inclusive identifying and addressing barriers to equality.

We invite abstracts focusing on under-representation (gender, cultural, ethnic origin, and nationality biases) supported by statistics and data; outreach and education activities to reach broad and diverse audiences, best practices to support inclusiveness; and case studies on mentoring and bias-concerned activities. Data and initiatives related to COVID are strongly encouraged.

Convener: Arianna Piccialli | Co-conveners: Victoria K Pearson, Andrea Opitz
Professional-Amateur collaborations in small bodies, terrestrial and giant planets, exoplanets, and ground-based support of space missions

Amateur astronomy has evolved dramatically over recent years. A motivated amateur, with his/her backyard instrument and available software is nowadays capable of getting high-resolution planetary images in different wavelengths (better than many professional observatories could achieve 20 years ago). Topics well covered by amateur astronomers include: high-resolution imaging of solar system planets, high-precision photometry of stellar occultations by minor objects and giant planets' atmospheres, satellites' mutual phenomena and high-precision photometry of exoplanet transits. Additionally amateurs use dedicated all-sky cameras or radio-antennae to provide continuous meteor-detection coverage of the sky near their location and they start to contribute to spectroscopic studies of solar system objects.

Hundreds of regular observers are sharing their work providing very valuable data to professional astronomers. This is very valuable at a time when professional astronomers face increasing competition accessing observational resources. Additionally, 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 can contribute to a global observation campaign along with professional telescopes.

Moreover, some experienced amateur astronomers use advanced methods for analysing their data meeting the requirements of professional researchers, 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, Saturn, Neptune or Venus; meteoroid or bolide impacts on Jupiter; asteroid studies, cometary or exoplanet research.

Space missions also sollicitate amateur astronomers support. For example, to understand the atmospheric dynamics of the planet at the time of Juno flybys, NASA collaborates with amateur astronomers observing the Giant Planet. It showcases an exciting opportunity for amateurs to provide an unique dataset that is used to plan the high-resolution observations from JunoCam and that advances our knowledge of the Giant planet Jupiter. Contribution of amateurs range from their own images to Junocam images processing and support on selecting by vote the feature to be observed during the flybys. Other probes like Ariel or Lucy sollicitate amateur astronomers observation to support exoplanets and small bodies science.

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.

Convener: Marc Delcroix | Co-conveners: Ricardo Hueso, Anastasia Kokori, Maciej Libert
Public engagement via live online astronomy events: Sharing experiences, looking ahead

Events in the sky provide powerful outreach and engagement opportunities.

In recent years (particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic) many professional and amateur astronomy groups have begun (or intensified) live streaming events such as eclipses and conjunctions. While many of these efforts were initially aiming to provide sky watching and science outreach opportunities during the confinement conditions imposed by the pandemic, which hampered in-person visits to observatories, in the long term they offer an opportunity to broaden access to astronomical observations beyond the demographic groups that have been traditionally engaged in these activities.

The first aim of this session is for practitioners to share some of the lessons learned from these activities.

The second aim is to trigger a wider discussion about how the astronomy community can collaborate and capitalize on future astronomical events. (We are hoping this discussion will continue long after the conference has finished!)

We invite the astronomy outreach community to submit abstracts for talks and posters to be presented at the conference. We also envision a live-streamed event (exact timing TBD) to keep the conversation going, engaging all those members of the community who could not attend the conference in person.

Potential areas for presentation and discussion include — but are not limited to — the following topics.

- Appropriate kinds of astronomical events (eg, conjunctions)

- Appropriate kinds of platforms (eg, for live streaming)

- Ways to disseminate information (eg, how to engage the desired audience, how to get and keep followers)

- Doing actual science around unpredictable events (eg, comet observations)

- How to keep momentum going through a programme (eg, after the initial novelty)

- Linking to follow-up science activities and opportunities (eg remote observing)
- Linking online to offline (eg, balancing expectations from watching a live stream, to looking through an actual telescope)

- Smoothing the learning curve (eg, solving problems)

- Dealing with language issues (eg, engaging audiences that speak a different language, international collaborations on key events)

- Measuring impact (eg, follow-up & feedback)
- Coordination within the outreach community - networking for events
- Efforts to broaden access to star-gazing to more marginalised groups

Convener: Graham Jones | Co-conveners: Claudia Mignone, Helen Usher
Tools, resources and opportunities for education initiatives in planetary science and astronomy

How can we use astronomy planetary science and different languages that can inspire children and engage teachers, in an inclusive manner to promote STEM education? How are inclusion issues (social and cultural inclusion, disabilities, gender issues) taken into account? What innovative methods of science education can help to promote teaching and dissemination of science, and involve the schools? This session will be addressed to astronomers, researchers, educators, teachers and anyone who has an interest in STEM education.

Convener: Alessandra Zanazzi | Co-conveners: Federica Duras, Ulysse Pedreira Segade, Livia Giacomini
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