Jan 27, 2017


Nature publication by SSERVI Australia members (Andy Tomkins, Lara Bowlt, Matthew Genge, Siobhan A. WilsonHelen E. A. Brand,  Jeremy L. Wykes) Ancient micrometeorites suggestive of an oxygen-rich Archaean upper atmosphere.

Examples of fossil micrometeorites recovered in this study | Andy TOMKINS.


In early 2016 the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) created a Planetary Materials unit (Helen Maynard-Casely, Helen Brand), and published first JPL collaboration determining of the crystal structure of new material that could be on the surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan in International Union of Crystallography Journal.

Part of the crystal structure of the new material – a co-crystal between benzene and ethane | Helen MAYNARD-CASELY


Aus-US collaboration (Aaron Cavosie, Nick Timms, Timmons Erickson) at Meteor Crater “Transformations to granular zircon revealed: Twinning, reidite, and ZrO2 in shocked zircon from Meteor Crater (Arizona, USA)” published in Geological Society of America.

New research at Meteor Crater shows extreme temperatures and pressures during the impact that created the crater 49,000 years ago | Aaron CAVOSIE


ARC Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems and Macquarie Planetary Research Centre (Craig O’Neill, Siqi Zhang) published A window for plate tectonics in terrestrial planet evolution? In Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors with US colleagues.

Simulation of the early Earth, post giant impact | Craig O’NEILL


Nanogeochronology opportunities from the Geoscience Atom Probe Facility at Curtin University (Steve Reddy) published in Science Advances.

Atom probe microscopy reconstructions from the discordant 2.1-Ga zircon | Steven REDDY


Two GRAIL papers published about the formation of the lunar Orientale basin took the cover of Science (SSERVI Au member Katarina Miljkovic).

The Moon’s Orientale basin has three distinct ring structures. | Ernest Wright, NASA/GSFC Scientific Visualisation Studio.


The Desert Fireball Network (DFN, Phil Bland) successfully recovered two meteorites (1st Jan and 31st Oct) from the upgraded, digital camera network. The first meteorite named Murrili, has been classified as an ordinary chondrite (type H5), with Consortia study results presented at the Meteoritical Society in Berlin (Gretchen Benedix). The second was recovered within a week with minimum contamination, thanks to swift reports by members of the public from the award-winning Fireballs in the Sky citizen science app and rapid response by the DFN team.

Freshly found 4.5 billion year old meteorite | DFN



Fireballs in the Sky – with over 26,000 app downloads worldwide, the citizen science outreach program received Premier’s Science Award for West Australian Science Engagement Initiative of the Year, and the Australian Government Eureka Prize for Innovation in Citizen Science.

Students using the citizen science app, Fireballs in the Sky | Curtin University


Nerding Out with NASA – a panel workshop for secondary students from Ashdale College, Western Australia, meeting SSERVI AU planetary science researchers and discovering career opportunities available. Featuring Helen Maynard-Casely [ANSTO], Jonti Horner [USQ], Ellie Sansom [Curtin University], hosted by Renae Sayers [Curtin University].

Ellie Sansom talks about her NASA experience with student from Ashdale College at the SSERVI launch | Curtin University


ANSTO Big Ideas Forum – SSERVI AU collaboration with students and teachers visiting the ANSTO facility to meet world-class researchers and get hands-on with amazing technology. See the fantastic experience shared here.

Helen Maynard-Casely sharing planetary material instrumentation with students | ANSTO




OSIRIS-REx [Phil Bland, Trevor Ireland]

Artist concept of OSIRIS-REx taking a sample from asteroid Bennu | NASA

GRAIL [Katarina Miljkovic]

Artist’s concept shows the twin GRAIL spacecraft using a precision formation-flying technique to map the moon’s gravity field | NASA


Cygnus OA6 Re-entry Observation Campaign [Ellie Sansom]


Australian Research Council Grants

Engagement of SSERVI Au and International collaboration across 4 projects, totalling AU$1.86 million:

Discovery Projects

Exploring Solar System Origins with the Desert Fireball Network (Phil Bland)

Decoding the Chronology of Mars (Gretchen Benedix)

Using fossil micrometeorites to examine the ancient Earth environment (Andy Tomkins)

Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities [LIEF] Grant

A Global Fireball Observatory (Phil Bland)


SSERVI Australia Workshop: 60 planetary scientists from across the country came together to strengthen the nation’s planetary research and collaborations. The conference hashtag #OzPlanet16 trended top 5 on twitter in Australia during the talks and discussions.

Attendees of the 2016 Workshop | SSERVI AU

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