Last Friday several of the group headed out of the lab for a day packed full of space…science. It was the UK Planetary forum’s 13th Early Career Planetary Scientists’ Meeting held at the University of Leicester. The annual meeting is a great friendly environment for early career planetary scientists carrying out their research in the UK. Masters students, PhDs and postdocs came from up and down the country to participate and present their work as either posters and/or oral presentations. For many of us this meeting provides a good first experience of conference life and helps us prepare well for those big international conferences we all get so nervous and flustered about 🙂
This year we were in for a treat with presentations spanning the Solar System and beyond from the Moon and Mars to Chondrites and even Brown Dwarfs. Our Keynote speakers this year were Prof. John Bridges (Leicester) and Dr. Susanne Schwenzer (Open University) who gave us a great overview of Martian science and exploration through the times and impact generated alteration on Mars, respectively. All the presentation were fascinating and I certainly learnt more. The meeting does generally have a diverse selection of speakers covering many different planetary backgrounds, so everyone fits in and there is a little something for everyone.
As we were in Leicester a few of us took the opportunity to take a sneaky trip to the National Space Centre, which if you haven’t been I would highly recommend. There are loads fun things to do including, to name a few, one amazing planetarium and you can even get up close to an extremely cool rock – yes a rock! But a rock form the Moon 🙂
I and the rest of the UKPF committee look forward to another year of awesome planetary science and see you next year for the 14th Early Careers Meeting.