11 June 2021 - The official magazine of Europlanet, the European community for planetary science, has just been launched.

The first issue of the Europlanet Magazine has been published on line today. The e-Magazine aims to highlight the range of activities carried out by the partners of Europlanet 2024 Research Infrastructure (RI), the members of the Europlanet Society, the Europlanet Early Careers Network, academic and industrial partners, and the wider planetary community. The Magazine is published twice a year in May/June and November/December.

The Europlanet Magazine is funded through the Europlanet 2024 RI project (supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149). Currently, the Europlanet Magazine is only available online as an e-magazine.

This first issue has a strong focus on Mars, including European contributions to current missions, experimental research in labs and in the field, and outreach initiatives to engage the next generation.It looks back at the origins of Europlanet and its links to the Cassini-Huygens mission at the beginning of this century. It also has updates on the Winchcombe meteorite and on several new partnerships to support planetary science.

Several members of the RoadMap consortium are actively contributing to the Europlanet Society.

One of the articles in this first issue is describing the RoadMp project, see here.


18 Feb. 2021

Dr. S. Robert of the BIRA-IASB Planetary Atmospheres Group was interviewed during a special event organized by the Public Observatory Armand Pien (Gent, Be) about the Perseverance landing.

The interviews' extract can be seen here (part 1 and part 2).


The full event has been recorded and can be seen on Youtube.

A major quest in Mars exploration is hunting for atmospheric gases linked to biological or geological activity, as well as understanding the past and present water inventory of the planet, to determine if Mars could ever have been habitable and if any water reservoirs could be accessible for future human exploration. Two new results from the ExoMars team published today in Science Advances unveil an entirely new class of chemistry and provide further insights into seasonal changes and surface-atmosphere interactions as driving forces behind the new observations.


As well as new gases, the Trace Gas Orbiter is refining our understanding of how Mars lost its water – a process which is also linked to seasonal changes. Liquid water is once thought to have flowed across the surface of Mars as evidenced in the numerous examples of ancient dried out valleys and river channels. Today, it is mostly locked up in the ice caps and buried underground. Mars is still leaking water today, in the form of hydrogen and oxygen escaping from the atmosphere. Understanding the interplay of potential water-bearing reservoirs and their seasonal and long-term behavior is key to understanding the evolution of the climate of Mars. This can be done through the study of water vapour and ‘semi-heavy’ water (where one hydrogen atom is replaced by a deuterium atom, a form of hydrogen with an additional neutron).


The full press release on the ESA website can be found here.

In addition, two article were recently publishes:

18 Feb 2021

NASA's latest and most complex mission to the Red Planet has touched down at Jezero Crater. Now it's time to begin testing the health of the rover.


ESA Trace Gas Orbitor will be providing assistance as a data relay for the lander.

The full NASA press release can be found here.

Members of BIRA-IASB, and in particular of the Planetary Atmospheres Group, participated to a live show here.


A news article published on the homepage of the coordinating institute, BIRA-IASB.