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Emily LakdawallaNovember 8, 2015

Reporting from the 47th annual Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting, DPS15

I'll be reporting all week from Washington, D.C. from the 47th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society. Expect lots of news from New Horizons, Dawn, Cassini, MAVEN, WISE, and Rosetta missions, not to mention ground-based telescopes, plus a variety of other sources. I'll be tweeting sometimes, but there will be a lot of scientists at DPS tweeting using the hashtag #DPS15, so I will focus my efforts on taking notes for blogs that will probably trickle out over the next couple of weeks.

I'll also be enjoying myself talking with scientists. In a departure from past years' programs, most days of this year's DPS meeting feature lengthy plenary sessions, in which the entire meeting is focused on a single track of presenters. I put together this colorful mini block schedule to help me see the shape of the week.

DPS15 block schedule

Here is a handy, much more detailed block schedule (PDF), and here is a link to the detailed scientific program. It's front-loaded with Pluto news and asteroid work, while Rosetta, exoplanets, and Mars missions are more toward the end of the week. The whole inner solar system happens on Monday and Tuesday, with poor Venus appearing in only a partial session. (We need new Venus missions.) Solar system moons are scattered, with Titan early in the week and all of the rest of them on Thursday and Friday.

I, for one, support the shift to more plenaries! That, and the half-hour coffee breaks separating 90-minute oral sessions, should make this one more of an actual meeting than usual: hopefully people who don't usually email each other will have a chance to speak face-to-face, exchanging stories and ideas with people outside their research groups. I'm curious to find out what others think of the shift in format. It does mean there are fewer people who have been awarded precious slots for talks. We'll all have to make the most of the three poster sessions to learn about new science.

Stay tuned to planetary.org for the latest space news from DPS!

Read more: conference report

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
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Emily Lakdwalla
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