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


TP – Terrestrial Planets

Programme group coordinators: Ana-Catalina Plesa, Anni Määttänen, Maurizio Pajola

Mercury Science and Exploration

Understanding the formation, evolution, composition, interior structure, and environment of Mercury is of primary interest to better understand Mercury and the role this terrestrial planet plays in the evolution of our solar system.

NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft provided many insights and surprising results regarding these goals. MESSENGER data are still under analysis and will continue to provide many important contributions to Mercury science.

However, MESSENGER also raised many questions that are still open and will be addressed by the new joint ESA/JAXA mission to Mercury, BepiColombo, which was successfully launched in October 2018. In October 2021, the first of six flybys of Mercury took place (second flyby in June 2022).

This session welcomes contributions addressing the planet’s geology, surface composition, geodesy, interior structure, exosphere, magnetosphere, gravity, and magnetic fields, based on modeling, laboratory experiments, and observations (ground-based, remote-sensing and in situ). The first analyses of BepiColombo's flyby data from Mercury are welcome. Finally, contributions of concepts of future missions to Mercury are encouraged.

Co-organized by MITM
Convener: Jack Wright | Co-conveners: Joe Zender, Johannes Benkhoff, Go Murakami, Lina Hadid, Noah Jäggi, Beatriz Sanchez-Cano, Willi Exner, Joana S. Oliveira, Alice Lucchetti, Anna Milillo, Valeria Mangano
Paving the way to the decade of Venus

In June 2021, NASA and ESA selected a fleet of three international missions to Venus. Many fundamental questions remain regarding Venus of today, from the rate of current and past rates of volcanism, to the dominant form of tectonics over time, to the nature of atmospheric and surface processes and whether these are representative of the long-term evolution of the Earth's size planet, suggesting major gaps in our understanding of how our nearest planet's evolutionary pathway diverged from Earth's. Did Venus ever have an ocean, how and when did greenhouse conditions develop, how its internal structure compares to Earth's, and to what degree do geological activity still affect the surface and atmosphere today? These questions will begin to be addressed with the recent selection of the VERITAS, DAVINCI, and EnVision missions, in addition to the ISRO orbiter mission Shukrayyan-1, which is currently in preparation for launch in the mid 2020s. The session will address in particular how these new missions will better understand Venus’ early evolution and past and present habitability.

Convener: Anne Grete Straume-Lindner | Co-conveners: Gabriella Gilli, Moa Persson
Forward to the Moon: The Science of Exploration

Human and robotic lunar exploration is opening new vistas and scientific understanding as humanity reaches toward the Moon again. In partnership with institutions around the globe, the Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) focuses on these scientific aspects of exploration as they relate to the Moon and other airless bodies. This session will feature interdisciplinary, exploration-related science centered around the Moon as a human and robotic destination. Scientific plans and results within this session represent the broad spectrum of lunar science representing investigations of the Moon and its environment as a planetary body as well as science research uniquely enabled by being done from the Moon. Graduate students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to submit for oral presentations.

Co-organized by MITM
Convener: Gregory Schmidt | Co-conveners: Mahesh Anand, Kristina Gibbs, Brian Day
Mars Surface and Interior

This session welcomes all presentations on Mars' interior and surface processes. With many active missions, Mars research is as active as ever, and new data come in on a daily basis. The aim of this session is to bring together disciplines as various as geology, geomorphology, geophysics, mineralogy, glaciology, and chemistry. We welcome presentations on both past and present processes, either pure Mars science or comparative planetology (including fieldwork on terrestrial analogues), 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 and campaigns (ExoMars, Mars Sample Return).

Convener: Ernst Hauber | Co-conveners: Solmaz Adeli, Ana-Catalina Plesa, Maurizio Pajola, Rickbir Bahia, Lisanne Braat
Mars Science and Exploration

The aim of this session is to share the knowledge and experience gained by all Mars exploration programmes, both in Europe and worldwide, to promote synergies among the various missions in operations and development.

We welcome contributions from any field of Mars science and exploration, in particular mission and instrument overviews of latest scientific results and technical developments. These include latest discoveries and new challenges for all operational orbiters (Mars Express, ExoMars TGO, Odyssey, MRO, MAVEN, Mangalyaan/MOM, Tianwen-1, Hope), surface assets (MSL, Insight, Mars2020, Tianwen-1), and preparations for the new missions (ExoMars RSP, MMX, Mars Sample Return, etc).

Co-organized by MITM
Convener: Alejandro Cardesin-Moinelo | Co-conveners: Lucie Riu, Eleni Bohaceck, Elliot Sefton-Nash, Colin Wilson, Csilla Orgel
Martian dust and clouds: from lab to space

Dust and clouds are critical elements in the Martian atmosphere. They control the radiative budget, have an impact on the composition, and affect its dynamical processes.

The aim of this session is to bring together scientists involved in modelling and observing Martian dust and clouds, from the lab to the analysis of space data. We will consider presentations on observations, field and laboratory experiments covering different aspects of dust and clouds, such as aeolian processes, dust lifting, sedimentation, scavenging, nucleation, aggregation, optical properties including scattering characterization, etc, but also on modeling of these processes from the perspective of implementation in radiative transfer codes or Global Circulation models.

Convener: Olga Muñoz | Co-conveners: Jonathan Merrison, Gerhard Wurm, Ann Carine Vandaele, Hannakaisa Lindqvist, Michael Wolff
Atmospheres and Exospheres of Terrestrial Bodies

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. We encourage colleagues from Tianwen-1 (China) and Hope (UAE) missions to submit abstracts that would help strengthen collaboration with the broader planetary atmospheres community. In view of the three future Venus missions selected by ESA and NASA, papers discussing contemporary Venus atmospheric science in preparation for these missions are also encouraged.
The session will consist of invited and contributed oral talks as well as posters.

Convener: Anni Määttänen | Co-conveners: Francisco González-Galindo, Dmitrij Titov
Aerosols and clouds in planetary atmospheres

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, Pluto's and Triton'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/EXOA
Convener: Panayotis Lavvas | Co-conveners: Nathalie Carrasco, Anni Määttänen
Interiors and Atmospheres of Rocky Planets: Formation, Evolution and Habitability

Planetary accretion, giant collisions, core formation, magma-ocean crystallization, catastrophic ougassing and other important processes during the early days of planet formation set the stage for the long-term evolution of terrestrial planets and their surface habitability. These early processes can happen simultaneously or in recurring stages, and are ultimately followed by progressive melting and outgassing processes, long-term mantle mixing/differentiation, core-mantle interaction, as well as inner-core crystallization.
In addition, atmosphere characterisation of rocky exoplanets is becoming a reality thanks to emerging advanced space and ground-based observatories. Mass-radius measurements and observations of stellar spectra suggest that rocky exoplanets exhibit considerable chemical and physical diversity relative to the rocky planets of the Solar System.
In order to better characterise and interpret this diversity, we invite a wide range of abstracts focusing on the formation and evolution of terrestrial bodies, the potential of a planet to become habitable, but also observations and retrievals of exoplanetary atmospheres, modelling of atmospheric composition and structure, photochemistry, radiative transfer, magma ocean/interior-atmosphere coupling and geochemical cycling in rocky exoplanets. We also welcome studies on planetary habitability and studies that use Earth and Solar System telluric bodies as analogues to investigate planetary diversity.

Co-organized by TP
Convener: Paolo Sossi | Co-conveners: Kaustubh Hakim, Yamila Miguel, Gregor Golabek, Lena Noack, Tim Lichtenberg, My Riebe
Structural Geology and Deformational Histories of Terrestrial Bodies

This session welcomes contributions involving the analysis of structural features and deformational histories on Mars, Mercury, The Moon and Venus. The use of structural analysis in various aspects of planetary science is a powerful addition to geological interpretation that can often go underappreciated. Abstracts might include the duality of mantle processes and fluid movement (both past and present) and their relationship to observed faults, folds, graben, wrinkle wridges, chasmata and volcanoes, as well as concepts involving radar sub-surface/surface imaging, fault displacement, stress fields, bedding attitude and deposit geometry. We encourage studies that involve the Oxia Planum ExoMars landing site (e.g. structural analysis and integrity), InSight, SHARAD (e.g. sub-surface imaging of the polar layer deposits) and the future of mapping surface deformation on Venus with the addition of VERITAS. We also encourage reviews and comparisons of structural features between planets, particularly in ways that better constrain the application/terminology of Earth processes (e.g. proto-plate vs. plate tectonics) when interpreting features on other planets.

Convener: Gene Schmidt | Co-convener: Trishit Ruj
Planetary Seismology and Geophysics

The investigations of planet's interior are key to understand the origin and evolution of the planet. Seismology has proven to be a very powerful tool for determining the internal structure of Earth, leading to the direct measurement of the thickness of crust, mantle and core, as well as obtaining detailed 3-dimensional structure models.

The first successful extraterrestrial seismic experiment was carried out by the Apollo missions from 1969 to 1972, when a network of seismometers was deployed along with other in situ geophysical instruments. A renaissance of planetary seismology occurred almost 50 years later, when the InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) lander deployed successfully a seismometer on the surface of Mars. Since its landing, on November 26, 2018, data from this mission have shown that Mars is a seismically active planet, and have placed key constraints on the thickness of the crust, core radius, and the presence of a low velocity zone in the upper mantle. Improved constraints for the interior structure of both the Moon and Mars have since been obtained through the joint analysis of seismic datasets with other geophysical observables, such as gravity, surface topography, magnetic field measurements, and heat flow.

This session invites abstracts concerning the following topics:
- Studies based on the analysis of existing extraterrestrial seismic datasets.
- Analyses of geophysical data that rely on seismic constraints or that offer information for the design of future seismic experiments.
- Works that propose new methodologies and mission concepts for future extraterrestrial seismic experiments.

Co-organized by MITM
Convener: Philippe Lognonné | Co-conveners: Melanie Drilleau, Foivos Karakostas, Mark Panning, Simon C. Stähler, Mark Wieczorek
Planetary Dynamics: Shape, Gravity, Orbit, Tides, and Rotation from Observations and Models

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: Alexander Stark | Co-conveners: Agnes Fienga, Hauke Hussmann
Impact Processes in the Solar System

Impact processes shaped the Solar System, and modify planetary surfaces and small bodies until today. Impacts also have a technical application for Planetary Defence, exemplified by the joint ESA/NASA Asteroid Impact and Deflection Assessment (AIDA) collaboration and the scheduled impact of NASA's DART spacecraft onto Dimorphos in September this year.

This session aims at understanding 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, as well as petrographic and geochemical analysis of impact products.

We welcome presentations across this broad range of studies about natural or artificial impact collision phenomena on planetary and small bodies. In particular, we encourage work that bridges the gap between the investigative methods employed in studying planetary impact processes at all scales.

Co-organized by OPS/SB
Convener: Robert Luther | Co-conveners: Elena Martellato, Isabel Herreros, Jens Ormö, Francisco Javier Rodriguez Tovar, Christopher Hamann, Chrysa Avdellidou

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. Earth analogues experiments/instruments test and/or simulation campaigns and limits of life studies are included as well as one of the main topics of this session. 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/sings of life/biosignatures and the endurance of life in space environments is critical to define unambiguous approaches to life detection over a broad range of planetary environments.

Co-organized by OPS/SB/EXOA
Convener: Felipe Gómez | Co-conveners: Nuria Rodríguez-González, Sohan Jheeta, Frank Trixler, Rosanna del Gaudio
Planetary field analogues for Space Research

Planetary field analogues (PFAs) are places on Earth sharing physical, chemical and/or geological and environmental similarities with extraterrestrial environments or with conditions or features that approximate those found on other planetary bodies. PFAs are essential to prepare upcoming and ongoing missions, including testing and improving technologies, developing workflows, protocols and space mission concepts, and understanding human factors in space exploration.
We welcome abstracts on different surface planetary processes, geochemical and astrobiological investigations using field analogues and laboratory simulation studies, field methods, and sampling techniques. We also encourage abstracts focused on testing robotic missions, training crewed exploration missions, developing analytical strategies, and testing exploration technology applications. Furthermore, we welcome abstracts outlining the use of the analogue field sites in engaging the public, as well as space agencies, the media, and educators.

Convener: Barbara Cavalazzi | Co-conveners: Fulvio Franchi, Felipe Gómez, Fernando Gomez, Jonathan Merrison, Keld R. Rasmussen, Miruts Hagos, Viggó Þór Marteinsson, Yang Liu, Gareth Davies
Ionospheres of unmagnetized or weakly magnetized bodies

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 behaviour, 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, modelling studies, instrumentation and mission concepts. Abstracts on planetary flybys, such as the BepiColombo and Solar Orbiter flybys to Venus, are also welcome. 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/SB
Convener: Beatriz Sanchez-Cano | Co-conveners: Christopher Fowler, Lina Hadid, Valeria Mangano, Niklas Edberg, Francisco González-Galindo
Planetary space weather

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 2024 RI with the Sun Planetary Interactions Digital Environment Run on request.

Co-organized by TP
Convener: Nicolas André | Co-conveners: Andrea Opitz, Sae Aizawa
Observing and modelling meteors in planetary atmospheres

More than 10^7 kg of extraterrestrial objects or meteoroids ranging in size from a few microns to tens of meters in diameter enter the Earth’s atmosphere every year. A small fraction of these yields free samples of extraterrestrial matter - meteorites - for laboratory study. The majority, which burn up or ablate completely in the Earth’s atmosphere, appear as visible meteors in the night sky. Recording meteor activity and modelling the process of ablation allow us to measure directly the flux of small planetary impactors. This provides the 'ground truth' for estimating present cratering rates and planetary surface ages by implication.

The application of the latest observational and modeling techniques has rendered meteor science as one of the leading avenues for investigating the nature and origin of interplanetary matter and its parent bodies. This session will provide a forum for presenting fundamental results and novel ideas in this area and informing the broader planetary science community of the interdisciplinary impact of present and future work.

Co-organized by TP
Conveners: Eleanor Sansom, Maria Gritsevich