UK Planetary Atmospheres Meeting 2020

A Royal Astronomical Society Discussion Meeting bringing together Solar System planetary atmospheres researchers from across the UK.

Venue:  Royal Astronomical Society, Burlington House, London.

Date: Friday February 14th 2020


Atmospheric science is a key component of the UK’s planetary science portfolio, enabling global leadership roles in space instrumentation, multi-spectral data analysis (both space- and ground-based), and numerical simulation.

In recent decades, this has provided unique atmospheric science results from astronomical observatories and visiting spacecraft (e.g., Venus Express, Mars Express, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, Galileo, Cassini, and Juno).  A vibrant community of planetary atmospheres researchers exists in a number of UK institutions, bridging the gap between Earth observation science and exoplanetary astronomy.

This RAS Discussion Meeting will bring together the UK Planetary Atmospheres community to foster future collaborations, permit exchange of knowledge, and to provide timely updates on the cutting edge research in this field.  We aim to propose this as an annual meeting to improve the organisation and visibility of this key research area in the UK, with report summaries made available to STFC and UKSA advisory structures via a website.

A UK community meeting is timely given: (i) upcoming atmospheric research opportunities from JWST and ELT in the 2020s; (ii) the ongoing development of the ESA/JUICE science strategy; (iii) capitalising on data being provided by missions including ExoMars/TGO and Juno; (iv) preparing for the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars2020 Rover and landing platform, which features atmospheric instruments and represents a big UK investment; and (v) paving the way for future atmospheric science investigations on Venus and Ice Giant missions.  Developing a UK atmospheric science strategy could also feed into ESA’s 2035-2050 “Voyage” survey (the replacement for the Cosmic Vision), the US Planetary Decadal Survey (~2021), and future mission calls.


The general structure of a RAS discussion meeting is as follows:

  • 10:00 - 10:30 Coffee
  • 10:30 - 13:00 Morning Session
  • 13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00 - 15:30 Afternoon Session
  • 15:30 - 16:00 Tea at the Geological Society
  • 16:00 - 18:00 RAS Monthly A&G (Ordinary) Meeting



Admission fees are levied on non-members attending RAS Specialist Discussion Meetings. Fees will be collected, on the door, by RAS staff. They will be waived for meeting organizers, RAS invited and sponsored speakers, members of the Geological Society ('G' meetings only) and in other special circumstances (e.g., for members of other societies attending jointly sponsored meetings).

Admission charges are  £15 (£5 for students (with student ID);  note that students can join the RAS for only £5). Monthly A&G (Ordinary) meetings remain free to all.

The RAS cannot provide lunch, but many eateries can be found locally in Piccadilly.


Invited Speakers:

We are pleased to host two international speakers at this first UK Planetary Atmospheres Meeting:

1.  Professor Olivier Mousis (Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille) to discuss planetary entry probes and their importance for understanding the origins of the Giant Planets.

2. Dr Aymeric Spiga (Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique) to discuss the Martian Atmosphere and recent discoveries from Insight.


Meeting Contributions:

We invite abstracts for oral presentations (and posters to be displayed during lunch and tea) from the UK planetary atmospheres community, showcasing the breadth of planetary research in our Solar System.

Please send your contribution (limited to 250 words) to the meeting organiser ( before January 31st 2020.


Science Organising Committee:

  • Leigh N. Fletcher (University of Leicester)
  • Nick Teanby (University of Bristol)
  • Colin Wilson, Patrick Irwin, Peter Read (University of Oxford)
  • Manish Patel, Stephen Lewis (Open University)

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