NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: News media representatives are invited to attend the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting in Monterey, Calif., Sept. 2-6. There is no charge for news media members. The meeting will be held at the Doubletree Hotel and Monterey Conference Center in Monterey. To pre-register, media representatives should contact Dr. Ellis Miner, DPS press officer,

The origin of planets, the role of impacts on Mars’ weather, Jupiter’s atmosphere and recent results from the Mars Odyssey mission will be some of the topics that will be discussed at this year’s American Astronomical Society/Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) meeting, hosted by NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

More than 500 planetary scientists will discuss the latest information technology, astrobiology and space science research results. The meeting will be held at the Doubletree Hotel and Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, Calif. General topics will include new findings about Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter’s moon Europa, asteroids, comets, Kuiper Belt objects and extra-solar planets. Kuiper Belt objects are icy remnants left over from the formation of planets in our solar system.

“NASA Ames Research Center’s Space Sciences Division is pleased to host this year’s 35th annual DPS meeting,” said Dr. Ted Roush, DPS local organizing chairman and a planetary scientist at Ames.

On Tuesday, Sept. 2, NASA Ames Director G. Scott Hubbard will deliver opening remarks at 8:30 a.m. PDT. As the plenary session continues, guest speakers Dr. David Des Marais and Dr. Chris McKay, both of Ames, will speak about the climate and atmosphere of early Mars and early Earth.

On Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the 8:30 a.m. PDT plenary session, Dr. Phil Christensen of Arizona State University and Dr. William Boynton of the University of Arizona will discuss life science experiment results of the Mars Odyssey mission. At noon, Dr. Tony Colaprete of Ames will take part in a news conference discussing the modeling of torrential rains and floods following martian meteor impacts, some 4 billion years ago.

On Thursday, Sept. 5, at the plenary session at 8:30 a.m. PDT, scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the Southwest Research Institute will discuss the Kuiper Belt.

On Saturday, Sept. 6, at the 8:30 a.m. PDT plenary session, researchers from Ames and the University of California, Santa Cruz will explore the formation and evolution of extra-solar planets.

Each day’s plenary sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. PDT. News conferences will be held from noon to 1 p.m. PDT, Wednesday through Saturday. For details of news conference and plenary topics or a meeting agenda and schedule, please visit:

Hard copy news releases will be available at the meeting. News releases are embargoed for publication until they are presented at the meeting.

The Doubletree Hotel is located at 2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, Calif. Telephone: 831/649-4511. For further information and directions, please visit:

In addition to the daytime sessions, on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. PDT, The Planetary Society will sponsor a free public lecture in the Steinbeck Forum of the Monterey Conference Center. Featured speakers will be Dr. Marcia McNutt, director, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and Dr. David Stevenson, a professor of planetary sciences at the California Institute of Technology. They will discuss “Oceans Here And Abroad.” Please note: there are 300 free tickets available to the public on a first come, first served basis, starting on Friday, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. PDT. For information, contact The Planetary Society at 626/793-5100 or visit: