1) Post-doc positions in protoplanetary discs / planet formation, University of Leicester

Dear colleagues,

I'm writing to draw your attention to a new post-doctoral position (or positions) at the University of Leicester:

Funding is available for three years from May 2018, but the starting date is negotiable; we can potentially consider dates as late as September/October.  We are ideally looking for applicants with experience of modelling protoplanetary discs and/or planet migration, but encourage applications from any candidates with a strong background in theoretical/computational astrophysics.  The deadline for applications is January 31st 2018.

I would appreciate it if you bring this message to the attention of any PhD students or post-docs who are currently on the job market. And please feel free to contact me with any questions about the job.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year,
Richard Alexander

2) EGU 2018 Last call for Abstracts: Outer planets Session and Cassini Symposium

please be informed of the following session and Union Symposium at the next EGU in Vienna, 8-13 April 2018.


PS3.1 Outer Planets Systems

Please consider submitting an abstract to the session PS3.1 on Outer Planets Systems of the EGU General Assembly, to be held 8-13 April 2018, in Vienna, Austria, see:


The abstract submission deadline is 10 Jan 2018, 13:00 CET. Please note that this year late abstracts can only be accepted after approval by the Programme Committee; it also will entail a late abstract fee.

The PS3.1 EGU  session welcomes abstracts on the outer planets and Pluto systems, including their internal structures, atmospheres, magnetospheres, satellites and rings and coupling processes within those systems. A significant part of the session will be devoted to the Cassini-Huygens mission, including the Cassini Grand Finale Mission. Abstracts on observations from space and from the ground are also solicited. Supporting laboratory investigations and concepts for future space missions and Earth-based observations are also relevant to this session.

The Conveners: A. Coustenis, S. K. Atreya , O. Witasse , N. Altobelli , D. H. Atkinson , J-P. Lebreton , L. Spilker, C. Plainaki


Also please note the Union Symposium : US3 celebrating the Cassini meeting with invited talks on different aspects of the mission :

US3: Cassini and future perspectives for the exploration of the outer solar system

The Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn has been an exemplary opportunity to the success expected from a large space mission built on international collaboration with ambitious goals. During 13 years, Cassini-Huygens has returned a huge amount of data that have been analysed and interpreted to enhance our understanding of the Saturnian system as a whole and not only (the investigations have bearing to our own planet and the formation of the Solar System as a whole). The mission ended in a dramatic plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15, 2017 sending back in-situ data as long as possible.  The final year of the mission included 20 “Ring-Grazing” orbits just outside the rings and a series of 22 highly inclined “Grand Finale” orbits with closest approach between the innermost D ring and Saturn’s upper atmosphere.   During the last half orbit, Cassini’s in-situ instruments were configured to collect atmospheric data until spacecraft signal was lost.  Both mission phases enabled the opportunity for unique science observations including: probing of gravitational and magnetic field moments to higher order and precision; determining the ring mass; in-situ sampling of the plasma environment, upper atmosphere and exosphere; and imaging both Saturn and rings at high resolution.  Already data obtained on these orbits have led to surprising initial results.  This Union Session will feature invited reports on the amazing discoveries that this mission brought and the new understanding we have gained of the Saturnian system.

Conveners: Stephanie C. Werner, Özgür Karatekin , Athena Coustenis , Linda Spilker , Scott Edgington

3) EGU 2018 Last call for Abstracts: PS1.11 Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets

Dear colleagues,

Please consider submitting an abstract to the session PS1.11 on
Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets of the EGU General Assembly to be held
8-13 April 2018, in Vienna, Austria:


The abstract submission deadline is 10 Jan 2018, 13:00 CET Please
note that this year late abstracts can only be accepted after approval by
the Programme Committee; it also will entail a late abstract fee.

This session focuses on the atmospheres of Venus, Mars and Titan, from
the boundary layer to their exospheres. Given the recent missions to
these bodies, the research on planetary atmospheres and their evolution
is blooming with new results. We welcome you to share your work with the
community as contributions discussing any aspect of the neutral
atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Contributions dealing with the
atmospheres of terrestrial-like extrasolar planets are also welcomed.

Please feel free to circulate this email.

Hope to see you in Vienna!

On behalf of the conveners
Francisco González-Galindo and Arnaud Beth

4) EGU 2018 Last call for Abstracts: PS4.2/BG8.2 Habitability and origin of life: From Early Earth to the Solar System and Beyond

We would like to draw your attention to the following two sessions to be held at the EGU General Assembly in Vienna, 8-13 April 2018:
PS4.2/BG8.2 Habitability and origin of life: From Early Earth to the Solar System and Beyond
convened by T. Spohn, V. Dehant, E. Javaux, L. Noack, and C. Szopa.

The aim of this session is to discuss the possible conditions and habitat for the origin and persistence of life in the solar system and beyond with emphasis on Earth, terrestrial planets, icy moons and exoplanets. We are interested in the conditions for habitability, the signatures of life, and the possible links between habitability and the evolution of planetary reservoirs (atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, interior).

We invite contributions of relevance to the topic from all fields of Planetary Sciences and Biogeoscience including e.g., formation and structure of planetary bodies in the habitable zone, interior dynamics (convection, plate tectonics, and magnetic field), atmospheres, impacts and planetary evolution, geological evidence on Martian habitability, biogeochemical interactions, extremophiles and the limits of life, preservation and detection of biosignatures, mission concepts for exploration of planetary habitability.


PS4.1 Exoplanets: Observations and modeling
convened by Lena Noack, James Cho, Daniel Winterhalter, Yann Alibert and John Lee Grenfell.

A main goal of this session is to discuss the observations, formation and atmosphere/interior dynamics of exoplanets.
This includes recent observations of exoplanets from spacecraft and from ground-based observatories as well as papers discussing the status of, and/or plans for, future observations.
Further, theoretical and numerical models, in particular those that interpret or provide support for present and future observations, will be of strong interest.
Another topic of high interest pertains to the availability and observation of organic matter in planetary systems.


Abstract submission deadline: 10 Jan 2018

We would highly welcome your abstract in one of our sessions!

We look forward to seeing you in Vienna,
The conveners of PS4.1 and PS4.2/BG8.2

5) IAU general assembly: "recent advances in planetary astronomy", Aug. 24 & 27, Vienna

We would like to announce ​a two-day mini-conference on recent advances on planetary astronomy.

The conference is organized by the IAU Division F (Planetary Systems & Astrobiology)

in conjunction with the 30th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union

that will be held in August 2018 in Vienna. The purpose of this program is to bring together

researchers from all fields of planetary astronomy (Solar system and extrasolar planets)

to present their new findings in form of oral and poster presentations, and discuss the current

state of research in our field. The website of the conference can be found at



​The conference is held on August 24 & 27​, 2018 during the IAU General Assembly.

Registration is now open and abstracts are accepted from all fields of planetary astronomy for oral and

poster presentations. The deadline for early registration discount is January 31. Participants in this

workshop will receive admission to all scientific activities of the IAU General Assembly including the

Focus Meeting 1 on asteroid families, IAU Symposium 345 on the origin of life and planetary systems,

and a training school in Astrobiology held on August 17-18, 2018 by the University of Vienna.


We look forward to seeing you in Vienna.

Nader Haghighipour

President of the IAU Division F

6) Job opening at Australian National University Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre

 If you feel excited when the words “space” and “lasers” come together in the same sentence, this job announcement is for you!
An exciting opportunity has just come up for a motivated and talented Researcher or Engineer to join the Australian National University Advanced Instrumentation and Technology Centre (AITC) at Mount Stromlo Observatory near Canberra (http://rsaa.anu.edu.au/aitc).
The ANU AITC is leading the development and installation of the first adaptive optics-assisted ground-based telescope for laser tracking and manoeuvring of space debris. The system will be deployed on Mount Stromlo this year (2018) in the context of the Space Environment Management Cooperative Research Centre (SERC), also headquartered at Mount Stromlo Observatory.
More information on this and other projects undertaken by the ANU AITC to image satellites and space debris, and mitigate the threat of space missions and assets colliding with space debris can be found on the SERC web site at: http://www.serc.org.au
There are two 12-month fixed-term positions open to enable candidates with a preference for either an academic or a professional position to apply:
- A Postdoctoral Fellow (Level A) or Research Fellow (Level B) position - Please apply at: http://jobs.anu.edu.au/cw/en/job/519204/postdoctoral-fellowresearch-fellow
- An Instrumentation Engineer (ANUO7) position - Please apply at: http://jobs.anu.edu.au/cw/en/job/519205/instrumentation-engineer
This position will be open until filled, with a desirable starting date in early to mid-February 2018. The first round of applications will be reviewed on 10 January 2018. Interested applicants should apply as soon as possible.
For additional information, please contact: Associate Professor Celine d’Orgeville, by e-mail: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser. or phone: +61 2 6125 6374.
The ANU AITC offers a supportive environment for parents and carers. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.
ANU values diversity and inclusion and is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to those of all backgrounds and identities. For more information about staff equity at ANU, visit https://services.anu.edu.au/human-resources/respect-inclusion
ANU also actively encourages applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For more information on employment opportunities, contact our Indigenous Employment Consultant via: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

Dr. Marc Norman
Research School of Earth Sciences
The Australian National University
Canberra, ACT 0200 Australia
e-mail: Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.

7) Europlanet/VESPA open call
The 3rd annual Europlanet/VESPA call for Planetary Science Virtual Observatory data services is now open.

Our goal is to select 5 projects. The selected teams will be invited to a 1-week workshop to help them install and design their service, and to open it to the users community. These data services will be accessible from the VESPA portal (http://vespa.obspm.fr) and other VO tools.

The workshop will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, from April 16 to 20, 2018, at Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Czech Academy of Science.
Details and application form are available here:  http://www.europlanet-vespa.eu/call2018.shtml
Deadline for application is 23 February 2018.

Teams which are beneficiaries of the Europlanet2020 contract are welcome to attend the workshop on their own funding - please contact us in advance so we can scale the venue correctly.

Best regards, and happy new year
Stéphane Erard and the VESPA team