Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2016

This time last week most of the country was enjoying an extra day off work. Some of us were also grateful for the extra day to get over jet lag before going back to work, having just returned from the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in The Woodlands, Texas on Easter Saturday.

This annual conference is the biggest gathering of planetary scientists from around the world. As well as enabling us to learn about what our colleagues in our immediate fields are doing, if also provides an opportunity to keep up with what’s happening in the wider field. Talks and poster presentations ranged from the latest data from various space missions, to the intricate compositions of different types of meteorites.


Looking good! We needed 3D glasses during the Masursky Lecture for some of the images of Pluto!

One of the highlights of the week was the Masursky Lecture, The Exploration of the Pluto System by New Horizons by Alan Stern, Principle Investigator of the mission. This was an excellent overview of the mission, and the presentation is available to download here, or can be watched online here. We even got to wear 3D glasses for some of the slides!

Several members of the group presented their research at the conference. There’s a list of all the abstracts by group members in our earlier post Looking forward to LPSC 2016 conference. PhD students Francesca McDonald and Dayl Martin, and undergraduate Maggie Sliz also presented the work they’d done during their internships at the Lunar and Planetary Institute last summer.

Microbloggers were reporting live from the conference. If you want to catch up on what happened search for #LPSC2016 on Twitter. In my opinion, some of the best tweets came from James Tuttle Keane (@jtuttlekeane), a PhD student at the University of Arizona, who tweeted sketches to summarise talks. And there are plenty of photos on the LPSC website – if you look carefully you might be able to spot a few of the Earth and Solar System team!


About Sarah Crowther

I'm a Post Doc in the Isotope Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry group. I study xenon isotope ratios using the RELAX mass spectrometer, to try to learn more about the origins and evolution of our solar system. I look at a wide range of samples from solar wind returned by NASA's Genesis mission to zircons (some of the oldest known terrestrial rocks), from meteorites to presolar grains.
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