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Results from recent Planetary Missions highlighted at the Royal Astronomical Society December Meeting

Last Updated on Thursday, 03 June 2010 10:15
Published on Friday, 25 February 2005 00:00


Some of the latest findings in planetary science will be presented at a one-day discussion meeting in London on Friday 12th December. The meeting is in the Royal Astronomical Society's programme of monthly discussion meetings and has been organized in conjunction with the UK Planetary Forum by Karl Mitchell of the University of Lancaster and Dr Monica Grady of the Natural History Museum.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend as observers. Speakers are expected to be available for interview in the lunch break. Other arrangements may be possible: please contact Jacqueline Mitton. (See above for contact details. Use mobile phone number on 11th and 12th December.)


NEAR Mission and Mars Pathfinder

In his talk at the discussion meeting, guest speaker from the USA, Dr Jim Bell of Cornell University, will describe the latest results from the NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Mission), which flew by the asteroid 253 Mathilde last June on its way to its ultimate encounter with the asteroid 433 Eros late next year. This talk will primarily discuss the intriguing scientific results obtained during the Mathilde flyby, the first-ever close encounter with a C-type asteroid.

Dr Bell will also give a second talk in the regular monthly meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society, which is at the Scientific Societies' Lecture Theatre in Savile Row (about 5 minutes from Burlington House) starting at 4 p.m. This talk will be a summary of the latest scientific results from the Mars Pathfinder mission, and will concentrate on what has been learned about the geology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of Mars from these exciting new data.


Meeting Organizers

Karl Mitchell, University of Lancaster This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Dr Monica Grady, Natural History Museum This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Phone: 0171-938-9445

The Full Programme

Royal Astronomical Society

(in conjunction with the UK Planetary Forum)

Discussion Meeting, 12th December 1997

Geological Society Lecture Theatre, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1

Poster displays will be available for viewing throughout the meeting.


COFFEE 10.00 - 10.25 a.m.


MORNING SESSION 10.25 a.m.-12.50 p.m. Chair: Sarah Dunkin (University College London) Introduction: Monica Grady (Natural History Museum)


10.30 a.m. Galileo observations of the Jovian atmosphere Patrick Irwin (Oxford University)


10.50 a.m. New insights into the evolution and stratigraphic significance of coronae on Venus Duncan Copp (University College London)


11.10 a.m. HST observations of the Kuiper Belt Edel Fletcher (Queen's University Belfast)


11.30 a.m. Modeling the atmospheres and interiors of the giant planets: from Galileo's observations of Jupiter to extra-solar giant planets. Tristan Guillot (Reading University)


11.50 a.m. Pack-ice or glaciers? The structure of Europa. Richard Ghail (Lancaster University)


12.10 p.m. Ion-probe investigations of Martian meteorites John Saxton (Manchester University)


12.30 p.m. Geological analysis of the margins of Western Ishtar Terra, Venus Lucia Marinangeli (Uni. d'Annuzio)




  • Authors will be available to discuss their work throughout much of lunch time. Posters on display include:

  • Jovian Ionospheric Model: Nick Achilleos (University College London)

  • Realistic modelling of radiative heat transfer and its implications for passive cooling: Rob Blake (Open University)

  • New insights into the evolution and stratigraphic significance of coronae on Venus: Duncan Copp (University College London)

  • Localised plate motions on Venus: Richard Ghail (Lancaster University)

  • The search for natural micrometeoroid impact residues in the solar array panels of the Hubble Space Telescope: Giles Graham (Open University)

  • A geological investigation of three fresh craters on the Moon using Clementine multi-spectral imagery: David Heather (University College London)

  • Mechanical properties of the Venusian mantle: Francis Nimmo and Dan McKenzie (University of Cambridge)

  • 'Darwin' and extra-solar planets: Alan Penny (RAL)

  • Micrometeoroid and Space Debris Impacts on the Eureca Spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope Solar Arrays: Emma Taylor and N. R. G. Shrine (University of Kent at Canterbury)

  • Venus Environmental Satellite: Fred Taylor (Oxford University)

  • Looking for potential solar systems with ISO: Helen Walker (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory)

AFTERNOON SESSION 1.35-3.30 p.m.

Chair: Monica Grady (Natural History Museum)


1.35 p.m. The climate and meteorology of Mars: model simulations and recent observations Peter Read/Stephen Lewis (Oxford University)


1.55 p.m. NEAR: recent results Jim Bell (Cornell University)


2.15 p.m. Dust in the atmosphere of Mars: Pathfinder results Nick Thomas (Max-Planck-Institut fuer Aeronomie, Katlenburg-Lindau)


2.35 p.m. Concluding Discussion Points arising from the talks Planetary science in Europe: Gian Ori presents information on a European masters' programme Education and public awareness: Including a report about the *UK PLANETARY SCIENCE BOOKLET* (see below)


Need an Expert on Planetary Science based in the UK?

Consult the UK Planetary Forum's 'Planetary Science Booklet' on the Web! Indexed by individual astronomical objects, research topics and institutions.