News

  • May 07, 2018
    Western partners with Nunavut Arctic College in the Canadian CubeSat Project
    Western University recently announced its partnership with Nunavut Arctic College as participants in a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) project, where teams of professors and students take part in a real space mission. Western received one of 15 CSA-funded grants to build a miniature satellite called a CubeSat. The CubeSat project aims to enhance the STEM outreach of Western University’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX) by taking CubeSat operations into the high school classroom both in Southwestern Ontario and Nunavut. Remote access to the CubeSat will facilitate live demonstrations of satellite communications and interpretation of received data.

  • May 01, 2018
    300th MRO-HiRISE Imaging Campaign of Mars Planned by Western-Based Team
    It’s the tricentennial anniversary of the first 2-week mission-planning “cycle” of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO)... and our Western University-based team has the honour of planning it! The 300th HiRISE’s imaging campaign executes on the evening of Saturday, May 12th and continues to Saturday, May 26th as Mars continues into Northern Fall/Southern Spring.

  • April 26, 2018
    ExoMars returns first images from new orbit; Western’s Livio L. Tornabene makes major impact
    The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has returned the first images of the Red Planet from its new orbit. Western University’s Livio L. Tornabene, a Co-Investigator on CaSSIS, plans to participate regularly throughout the mission in the targeting of the CaSSIS camera system.

  • March 19, 2018
    CPSX Undergraduate Research Award winner of 2017, Emily Pass, wins Co-op Student of the Year Award
    Emily Pass won the CPSX Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Award last year to work with CPSX faculty member, Dr. Stan Metchev, and Computer Science faculty member, Dr. Steve Beauchemin, over the summer of 2017. She designed and implemented the software, algorithm and code for the telescope array, Colibri. Emily has now won a national Co-op Student of the Year award from Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada.

  • March 15, 2018
    NASA shortlists Western co-investigated project for future launch to Saturn’s largest moon
    CPSX core faculty member, Catherine Neish, will be co-investigating a future NASA launch mission - Dragonfly - that could see a drone-like quadcopter buzz above the surface of Saturn’s largest moon, Titan.

  • January 26, 2018
    Western scientists believe bright fireball event near Grand Bend dropped meteorites
    A network of cameras directed by Western University observed a bright fireball across southern Ontario at 7:23 p.m. on Wednesday, January 24. Analysis of the video data by Western scientists suggests that fragments of the meteor are likely to have made it to the ground between the communities of Saint Joseph and Crediton, Ontario.

  • December 11, 2017
    A race back to the moon: Why 2017 was a year of lunar milestones
    It’s far from the pace of a space race, but as more agencies gear up to visit the moon as a stepping stone to Mars, there’s a sense that “someone is readying for a sprint,” said a leading member of Canada’s space community. “All international space agencies and the broader scientific community agree that Mars is the ultimate destination in 20 or 30 years,” said Gordon Osinski, who holds the National Science and Engineering Research council chair in Earth and space exploration at Western University in London, Ont.

  • October 18, 2017
    Researcher crashes into Moon mystery solution
    Western researcher Philip Stooke may soon get his own television series – CSI: The Moon – if he keeps uncovering mysterious crash sites on the omnipresent astronomical body. The Geography professor’s latest finding closes a decade-old mystery about the final resting place of SMART-1, the European Space Agency’s first lunar mission sent into a controlled impact with the Moon in 2006, three years after its launch in 2003.

  • October 04, 2017
    Western researcher unearths hottest rock on record
    It was a stroke of serendipity that led to Michael Zanetti’s discovery of the hottest rock on Earth. In 2011, Zanetti, now a postdoctoral researcher in Earth Sciences at Western, was on an analog mission with Earth Sciences professor Gordon Osinski at 28-kilometre-wide Mistastin Lake crater in Labrador – a Canadian Space Agency (CSA)-funded endeavour using the impact structure as a test bed for exploration strategies and field equipment for use on the moon and Mars.

  • September 22, 2017
    Western rocks the crater in unique Sudbury field course
    Thirty-two students from Western and around the world will be journeying almost two billion years back in time in a unique, intensive one-week field course to study the planet’s second-largest impact crater. Prof. Gordon (Oz) Osinski, acting director of Western’s Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration (CPSX), will lead a graduate class to the Sudbury Crater, a terrestrial motherlode for space enthusiasts, in a field school to study impact craters.

  • June 27, 2017
    CPSX PhD student Christy Caudill awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
    Christy Caudill, a CPSX PhD candidate in Geology & Planetary Science, wins prestigious Vanier Scholarship. Christy is one of the four Western PhD candidates that have been named among 167 nationwide recipients of the 2017-18 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. Christy studies 'Formation and Evolution of Impact Melt Deposits with Insights into Martian Soil Production and Past Environments'.

  • May 04, 2017
    Professor Gordon Osinski Explores the Human Condition
    The Human Condition; a concept that is intimately intertwined with every single one of our lives. All of us subscribe to the human condition and the diversity of what that means makes humanity the enigma that it is. Together we will try to navigate its definition from the perspectives of a variety of professionals. From implications on healthcare to business to human rights, TEDxWesternU 2015 will explore what it means to be human.

  • May 02, 2017
    PhD student Jon Kissi is keeping a sharp eye on the Red Planet
    Western Engineering Student, Jon Kissi, keeping a sharp eye on the Red Planet

  • April 28, 2017
    Three Western students name Martian craters
    Three CPSX students Kayle Hansen, Arya Bina and alumnus Scott Hutchinson, BSc’16 (Earth Sciences), along with Earth Sciences professor Livio Tornabene, proposed names for two Martian craters on Mars- Kankossa and Bam. On April 3, the International Astronomical Union Working Group for Planetary System approved names for two craters on Mars.

  • April 28, 2017
    Western students help name craters on Mars
    On April 3, the International Astronomical Union Working Group for Planetary System approved names for two craters on Mars – names proposed by Western Science students Kayle Hansen, Arya Bina and alumnus Scott Hutchinson, BSc’16 (Earth Sciences), along with Earth Sciences professor Livio Tornabene.

  • April 19, 2017
    Gordon Osinski to sit on Canadian Space Advisory Board
    CPSX Director Dr. Gordon Osinski has been chosen to sit on Canada's Space Advisory Board.

  • April 18, 2017
    Keeping an eye out for meteors
    CTV interviews Dr. Peter Brown about his research on meteors.

  • April 11, 2017
    Space Day at Western University Reveals Out of the Silo Thinking
    The event highlighted current research by undergraduate and graduate students from the faculties of Science, Engineering, and Social Science who work with the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration.

  • April 10, 2017
    Western-Based Team Beginning a new HiRISE Imaging Campaign of Mars- Cycle 273
    Our Western University-based team is gearing up once again to help plan a 2-week set of HiRISE images of Mars starting this week (HiRISE is a high-resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – MRO).

  • April 07, 2017
    Space Day @ Western 2017 a great success
    Space Day @ Western was celebrated for 2017 on Wednesday, April 5. Event included poster presentations by undergraduate and graduate students, oral presentations by graduate students and keynote talk by Dr. Bernard Foing of the European Space Agency.

  • March 30, 2017
    CPSX scientists reveal the first retrograde co-orbital asteroid in 30 March 2017 issue of the journal Nature
    In the March 30 2017 issue of the journal Nature, astronomers reveal that an as-yet-unnamed rare asteroid with the provisional designation 2015 BZ509 (nicknamed 'BZ') travelling in the opposite direction to all the planets and 99.99% of the other asteroids in our Solar System — a state referred to as retrograde motion— is also safely sharing the orbital space of the giant planet Jupiter.

  • February 07, 2017
    The moon is closer to campus than you think
    Western Gazette talks to CPSX graduate student Patrick Hill about his research using the Apollo samples.

  • February 01, 2017
    Western professor's book on Mars exploration receives national award
    Congratulations to Dr. Phil Stooke who’s book "The International Atlas of Mars Exploration: From Spirit to Curiosity" has been recognized by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) as an outstanding academic title.

  • January 16, 2017
    Focus on Mars sharper than expected
    The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) — also known as The Mars Camera aboard the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter — is surpassing expectations, according to Western University’s Livio Tornabene, a co-investigator on the project.

  • January 13, 2017
    Alumna hunts DNA on Red Planet
    Astrobiologist alumna Alexandra Pontefract, PhD’13 (Geology), knows finding DNA on the Red Planet will be no easy feat. But it is possible. What’s more, if DNA is found, it’s not far-fetched to think it would be proof of shared ancestry between Earth and Mars.

  • December 02, 2016
    Western planetary scientist readies for Mars mission with exciting new surface images
    The Mars Camera, officially known as CaSSIS (Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System), aboard the European Space Agency‘s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) captured its first high resolution images of the Red Planet last week. The Swiss-led camera worked almost perfectly and has provided spectacular views of the surface.

  • November 29, 2016
    Asteroid impacts could create habitats for life, suggests Chicxulub crater study
    Scientists studying the Chicxulub crater have shown how large asteroid impacts deform rocks in a way that may produce habitats for early life.

  • November 15, 2016
    CanMars Mars Analogue Mission open house a hit with Londoners
    CanMars Analogue Mission team hosted an open house on November 10. A few hundred space lovers attended the open house.

  • November 06, 2016
    CanMars Analogue Mission Public Night
    The CanMars Analogue mission team will be hosting a Public Night on Thursday Nov. 10th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Western University's Physics and Astronomy Building.

  • November 02, 2016
    Mission to Mars. First stop, Utah.
    Western University researchers and students have launched CanMars Mission 2016, a Mars rover simulation that is expected to have significant impacts on future Mars expeditions.

  • November 01, 2016
    Western students ‘heading’ back to Mars with Canadian Space Agency as part of simulation
    The next major step in the exploration of Mars is the return of samples from the Martian surface back to Earth. Now through November 18, Western University and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) are simulating this experience through a science-driven investigation – the CanMars 2016 Mars Sample Return Analogue Mission.

  • October 12, 2016
    International Observe the Moon Night 2016 at Western was a success!
    Close to 300 visitors enjoyed various activities at the Cronyn Observatory to celebrate International Observe the Moon Night

  • September 19, 2016
    Western-Based Team Beginning a new HiRISE Imaging Campaign of Mars
    Our Western University-based team is gearing up once again to help plan a 2-week set of HiRISE images of Mars starting this week (HiRISE is a high-resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – MRO).

  • September 14, 2016
    New Discovery shatters previous beliefs about Earth's origin
    A new study led by Western University’s all-star cosmochemist Audrey Bouvier proves that the Earth and other planetary objects formed in the early years of the Solar System share similar chemical origins – a finding at odds with accepted wisdom held by scientists for decades.

  • March 15, 2016
    CPSX planetary scientist heads back to Mars with European space probe
    CPSX's Dr. Livio Tornabene heads back to Mars with the launch of the Colour and Surface Stereo Imagining System (CaSSIS) part of ExoMars.

  • February 09, 2016
    Western-Based Team Beginning a HiRISE Imaging Campaign in A NEW Mission Control Facility
    Our Western University-based team is gearing up once again to help plan a 2-week set of HiRISE images starting this week (HiRISE is a high-resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter – MRO).

  • August 20, 2015
    New Asteroid-Hunting Technique Could Zero-In on More Threats
    It’s a big sky out there. How are we going to find asteroids, especially those that might be threatening Earth?

  • August 14, 2015
    Western University Researcher Play Key Role in Planetary Discovery
    The first planet detected by the Gemini Planet Imager is 100 light years away but shares many of the characteristics of an early Jupiter.

  • August 14, 2015
    Astronomers Glimpse a Young Jupiter, 51 Eridani b
    For the first time, astronomers have taken a picture of a young exoplanet that resembles our solar system’s largest world, Jupiter, in orbit and size.

  • August 13, 2015
    Western University Researcher helped Detect a Jupiter-like Planet 100 Light Years from Earth
    A Western University researcher played a key role in detecting 51 Eridani b, the first planet discovered by the Gemini Planet Imager — an instrument mounted on a giant telescope in southern Chile — built to analyze hard-to-detect young planets orbiting bright stars.

  • August 13, 2015
    Video Shows Fireball that Lit up Sky over London, ON.
    ideo released by Western University shows a bright fireball that quickly lit up the sky over London, Ont., on Wednesday night during a Perseid event.

  • June 25, 2015
    Western Team Begins HiRISE Camera Imaging After Multi-Week Hiatus
    Western Team Begins HiRISE Camera Imaging After Multi-Week Hiatus

  • April 16, 2015
    CPSX Faculty Winners
    Dr. Gordon Osinski and Dr. Sean Shieh received awards from the Faculty of Science and Mineralogical Association of Canada

  • April 02, 2015
    Osinski earns Bucke, Young Scientist Awards
    Western professor Gordon Osinski, cross-appointed between Earth Sciences and Physics & Astronomy, has been named the recipient of both the Faculty of Science Florence Bucke Award, as well as the Mineralogical Association of Canada’s Young Scientist Award.

  • February 12, 2015
    Global Map of Gullies on Mars
    Ph.D. student Tanya Harrison recently publishes a paper in Icarus.

  • November 21, 2018
    285th HiRISE Cycle: Western imaging Martian Spring