The SPERO is pleased to announce the 1st British Planetary Science Congress to be held in Glasgow 3-5th December 2017. The meeting is sponsored by the UKSA, STFC and Thermo Scientific. The organising committee is Prof. Darren Mark (SUERC), Prof. Martin Lee (University of Glasgow) and Dr Lydia Hallis (University of Glasgow).

The three day conference will cover many different aspects of planetary science research and incorporates the annual UKSA Aurora Meeting. In addition to covering the latest advances in planetary science research, the aim of the conference is to bring the UK community together for a strategic look forward (horizon scanning) at developing opportunities for research funding. This is ever-increasingly important as the research councils and space agencies move towards funding of large consortia projects that focus on multi-disciplinary applications of science.

More details will become available in the coming few weeks but for now, please reserve the 3-5th December 2017 in your diaries. Below are some of the keynote speakers who have already signed-up for BPSC.

Sunday 3rd December, 17.00-18.00,The Hunterian Museum : icebreaker & registration with free bar and canapés. The meeting also coincides with the 100 year anniversary of the Strathmore Meteorite fall – the Sunday evening icebreaker will include a short lecture from Dr Peter Davidson (National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh) and Dr John Faithful (Hunterian Museum, Glasgow) providing an overview of meteorite finds in Scotland.



Tuesday 5th December

Professor Shelia Rowan (University of Glasgow), Head of the Institute of Gravitational Waves and Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser will open the days proceedings with a keynote address


Sheila Rowan


Although there will be limited presentation slots (six per session) there will be a large poster session on the evening of Monday 4th December to facilitate networking and enhanced discussion. The poster session is open to any contribution within the context of planetary science.

A free bar will be available for the duration of the poster session.

Technologies & Missions

Conveners: Dr Christian Schroeder & Dr Claire Cousins

This session invites contributions presenting research relating to ongoing Solar System exploration and the technological development of existing and future instrument payloads. This primarily includes, but is not limited to: (i) new results from past and active planetary science missions (e.g ESA Rosetta, ExoMars TGO; NASA MER, MSL); (ii) scientific development and input for future missions (e.g. ESA ExoMars 2020, JUICE, PROSPECT; NASA M2020, InSight, Europa Mission); and (iii) instrument engineering concepts, covering both hardware and software innovation and scientific development.

Planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres

Conveners: Dr Colin Wilson & Dr Leigh Fletcher

In this session we welcome presentation on all aspects of planetary atmospheres & magnetospheres; this can include work based on observations, modelling and/or supporting lab work.

Remote sensing of solar system bodies

Conveners: Prof. Sanjeev Gupta & Dr Peter Grindrod

Due to the paucity of in situ spacecraft or returned samples, the most prominent and important method for exploring solar system bodies is through remote sensing. Using a wide range of different techniques covering almost all of the electromagnetic spectrum, we are able to decipher the geological evolution of different bodies through geological and geochemical analysis. This session is devoted to recent research in understanding the surfaces of solar system bodies through remote sensing methods, and in particular, studies that provide a link to in situ and sample analyses.

Planetary materials

Conveners: Prof. Martin Lee & Dr Lydia Hallis

This session focuses on new insights into the evolution of the protoplanetary disc, planets, satellites and asteroids via the analysis of meteorites and returned samples. The session will particularly emphasize applications of high-precision chronometers, and the opportunities offered by new and emerging analytical techniques. For example: X-ray, focused ion beam and atom probe tomography; synchrotron X-ray absorption near edge structure/fine structure (XANES/XAFS); electron backscatter diffraction and transmission Kikuchi diffraction (EBSD/TKD).

Building solar systems

Conveners: Dr Paul Savage & Dr Christiane Helling

At present, we know about the existence of ~ 2700 planetary systems with a total of ~ 3600 extrasolar planets. Understanding the processes and timescales involved in the evolution of our Solar System, from the stellar inputs to the pre-solar nebula to the formation and differentiation of the planets, is key to understanding the wider question of why we are here, and whether planetary systems, with planets capable of supporting life, exist in the Universe. Important progress has been made in this field in the past decade, with insights coming from: mineralogical and chemical studies of meteorites and returned samples; examination of impact craters throughout the solar system; astrophysical observation and modelling of (exo-)planetary systems, and missions to observe planets and other Solar System objects. This session aims to bring together novel research from astrophysics, planetary sciences, mineralogy and cosmochemistry towards further understanding of the myriad processes involved in the evolution solar systems throughout the galaxy.


Conveners: Prof. Charles Cockle & Prof. Mark Burchell

Astrobiology research in the UK covers a wide range of activities, involving underlying disciplines from Earth Science, Chemistry, Biology, Physics as well as Planetary Science. Example topics include understanding potential habitats, evolutionary processes from simple molecules to complex organic molecules, and distribution of key materials across the Solar System, as well as studies of specific bodies such as planets, moons, comets and asteroids. Submissions on all of these aspects are welcome for this session.

Sample return & curation

Conveners: Prof. Sara Russell & Prof. Monica Grady

We invite abstracts on all aspects of laboratory analysis on sample returned samples, including Apollo, Stardust, Genesis and Hayabusa.   In addition, we will welcome submissions in support of these and other sample return missions, such as research on terrestrial analogue materials. The session will describe preparations for future sample returned missions to asteroids, the Moon, Mars and Phobos and work associated with planning for these missions.

Aurora and horizon scanning

Conveners: Prof. Darren Mark & Dr Caroline Smith

This session will be opened by Sue Horne presenting a review of UKSA activities and potential funding opportunities. Doug Hamilton, Thermo Scientific (conference sponsor) will also provide a review concerning advances in mass spectrometry and other related technologies. The remaining presentations will look at the developing funding landscape, including horizon scanning and upcoming projects through ESA, NASA, and the EU etc.

SUERC and the University of Glasgow will be running pre-conference workshops


Conference begins:


Conference registration and abstract submission will open 5th September 2017

Academic registration: £50     –     Student registration: £25

The registration fee will include access to all workshops, the icebreaker, all sessions, tea/coffee/muffins in the morning and tea/coffee/cakes in the afternoons. Lunch and dinner can be obtained from the restaurants in the Hilton Hotel, or the numerous eateries located up and down Byres Road.

For further details please contact

We look forward to welcoming you to Glasgow.