Haiku Contest

All LPSC abstract summaries in haiku format have been automatically entered in the contest. A panel of skilled and literate judges will select the top five haiku accompanying accepted abstracts (oral and poster).

All abstract summaries in haiku format are eligible, except those submitted by the haiku judges.



Like Earth like Titan
At beach or in dune terrains
Sand gets everywhere
—Malaska M.J. et al. Dune Sand Mixing in the Huygens and Dragonfly Landing Sites Region, Titan #1692


Mystic isles appear
Floating ice from distant shores
Titan’s dance of shades.
—Yu X. et al. The Fate of Simple Organics on Titan's Surface: Deciphering Titan’s “Magic Islands” #2189


The dusty red rock
Scares doctors and engineers
Time to face our fears.
— Wang J.L. et al. Geological Health Hazards from Martian Dust and Appropriate Countermeasures for the Human Exploration of Mars #1333


Mars north polar ice
Layered and frozen in time
Never will it flow.
—Grau Galofre A. & Smith I. B. Stratified Glacial Dynamics in the North Polar Layered Deposits: A Case for Unobservable Flow #1930


Lunar secrets glow
Gamma dome’s heart, revealed slow
Neutrons dance below.
—Hardgrove C.J. et al. The Lunar-VISE Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer: In-Situ Elemental Measurements of the Gruithuisen Domes #2258

Grabbed rocks from Scotland
A few more from Oregon
Looks like rocks from Mars.
—Labrie J. et al. PIXL Breadboard Analyses of Mars 2020/Mars Sample Return Jezero Crater Floor Analogue Rocks #2115

In Moon’s layered heart
Reduced dimensions reveal
Veins from impacts deep.
—Hundal C.B. et al. Statistical Dimensionality Reduction Applied to Radial Gravity Profiles of Lunar Impact Craters #1490

With pressure, fields fade
With relief, reawaken
Shocked rocks – hope unlocked?
—Steele S.C. et al. Shock Remagnetization of Martian Meteorite Sulfides: Insights from In-Situ High-Pressure Magnetic Experiments #2137

Tiny impact crash
Ilmenite smash producing
Glass by shock whiplash.
—Cymes B.A. et al. Multi-Scale Analysis of an Ilmenite Microcrater in Lunar Sample 71055 #1095

Watch out, debris clump!
We are about to collide!
Bounce, break, or accrete?
—Larson J.N. & Burtt D.G. Introducing Particle Interactions to the Rebound Ejecta Dynamics Package #2773

Judging Criteria for Haiku

  1. The abstract summary should be in the general form of haiku. The judges will consider those with rhythmic syllable count similar to the classic Japanese form of 5-7-5. Small variants (e.g., 5-9-5, 6-8-6) are acceptable, consistent with current trends for haiku in English. Other verse forms are not eligible, e.g. limericks.
  2. A haiku must serve its practical purpose as an abstract summary: with the abstract title, it must tell the reader what to expect in the abstract. And the expectation must match the abstract itself. Here’s an unapologetic example from LPSC a few years ago.

    "High Radar Reflectivity on Venus’ Highlands: Different Signatures on Ovda Regio and Maxwell Montes," E. Harrington, A. H. Treiman. (2015) 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Abstract #2713.

    The hills grow brighter
    As you climb, but the summits
    Remain in darkness.
  3. The haiku should engage the reader. It should teach or explain something, or pose interesting questions. Would you want to share the poem?
  4. Bonus points for literary values (e.g., meter, alliteration), including:

    4a. Ideally, the haiku should have a ‘punch,’ a jolt, an unexpected turn in the last line. For example, here is a riff on a classic haiku from the Japanese master Issa-sama, modified for our colleagues who hunt meteorites in Antarctica.

    from the esteemed nose
    of the esteemed Buddha –
    a snotsicle

    4b. Ideally, the haiku should be “mature,” in the sense of including ambiguity, humor, shades of meaning, and/or puns.