Planetary Mapping Winter School: the first edition in numbers


With 204 registered participants from 22 countries around the world, the first edition of the Planetary Mapping Winter School took place between 1 and 5 February 2021. The school is part of the PLANMAP (PLANetary MAPping) project and is designed to train the next generation of planetary mappers.


The winter school was open to students and researchers and mainly gathered master's degree students (80 out of 204) and PhD students (65 out of 204), who took part in different practical activities, from the interpretation of data concerning the Moon, Mars and Mercury surfaces, to the study of lunar craters up to the creation of three-dimensional surfaces for geological characterization.

“The growing interest on planetary exploration either robotic or manned”, says Matteo Massironi, Associate Professor in Structural Geology at the Department of Geosciences and team leader of the project, “makes planetary geological mapping critical for mission strategies, science studies, and in situ resource detection and evaluation. Hence, it is of paramount importance to train the next generation of planetologists to adequately face through planetary geological mapping the challenges that the future planetary exploration holds for them.”



The Planetary Mapping Winter School saw the collaboration of various European institutions, such as the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Planetology in Rome - INAF, the Geological Survey of Italy (ISPRA), G. D’Annunzio University in Chieti/Pescara, the German Aerospace Center-DLR (Germania), the Jacobs University (Bremen, Germany), Westfälische Wilhelms-University  in Muenster -WWU  (Germany), the Open University (Milton Keynes, UK) and the Laboratory of Planetology and Geodynamics (Nantes, France). The last day was dedicated to the Cassini Workshop, promoted by the Centro di Ateneo di Studi e Attività Spaziali “Giuseppe Colombo” – CISAS (University of Padua) and by the Ambassade de France en Italie, aimed at the application of virtual reality in the field of planetary geology and for the training of astronauts.

This Winter School receives funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreements N. 776276 and N. 871149 and it is cofounded by the University of Padua.