Since its beginnings, outreach has been a constant concern for Atmospheric Science Group, within which it is considered one more facet of the scientific work. Thus, apart from the production of scientific papers that culminate the proper research labour, time and effort are devoted to the spreading of the main study lines the Group is involved in.
Several actions are performed in order to accomplish the outreach commitment, including redaction of press releases, articles for general public, and design of activities for educational support applied at different levels, from secondary to higher education.
He offered a lecture on HABIT at Teknikens Hus during a day aimed to contribute first-hand knowledge about hot topics in space exploration. It was intended to teachers and educators, as a way to promote the interest of students in these subjects by providing them tools to get their students closer to the space research once back in their classrooms.
The lecture was the first of the programme, which included others by Johan Kero, a researcher at the Institute of Space Physics who will talk about meteors, by Ulf Jonsson, an amateur astronomer and photographer, and by the Swedish astronaut Christer Fuglesang, who talked about his experience in the International Space Station during the two missions in which he participated.
As practical activities, the attendees watched the sky in the planetarium, learned about the construction and launching of rockets, and were guided in the use of astronomical computer applications and programs.
Professor Javier Martín-Torres, together with Johanna Bergström Roos, project manager for Rymd För Innovation (RIT), initiated the HABIT-tour at Teknikens Hus. This first session of the programme was intended for children. Then, another session was held later at Vetenskapens hus for a broader public.
HABIT-tour is about the spreading of the instrument’s role in the exploration of Mars (it will be sent to the planet on board the ESA/Roscosmos’ ExoMars 2020 mission), and about the testing of the first prototype performed during the field site campaign developed in Ladahk, India, last August. Johanna Bergström Roos was one of the three expeditioners involved in the campaign, and talked about her experience in it.
Professor Javier Martín-Torres, head of the Atmospheric Science Group, took part as a lecturer in the 2nd Earth-like Worlds Workshop: Habitability Metrics, which was held on 17th of February at the Hyatt Place Manatí, Puerto Rico.
The workshop, which was organised by Professor Abel Méndez and Dr. Guillermo Nery, focused this time on habitability metrics for Earth-like planets. It was sponsored, together with the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo, by the Planetary Habitability Laboratory, (PHL) one of whose scientific projects is precisely the development of habitability metrics for astrobiology, that is to say, of a method to perform quantitative habitability assessment on exoplanets.