Astrochemistry and Origins

Interstellar Matter and Cosmology

Stellar and Solar Physics

Solar and Planetary Systems

Latest News

1 year 7 months ago

By combining multi-wavelength data obtained from space with Planck and WISE, and from the ground with MegaCam on the CFHT, a team of researchers has revealed the structure of the diffuse interstellar medium over several square degrees with unprecedented details. In particular, this study reveals the statistical properties of interstellar turbulence over a wide range of scales, from 0.01 to 10 pc.

1 year 9 months ago

Monday, May 9, 2016, from 1:12 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. (local time), Mercury will transit in front of the Sun. It is a relatively rare event, especially if visible in its entirety, from beginning to end. The next transit of Mercury will take place in 2019, and the next to be visible in France in full will be held in 2039.


The IAS hosts on that occasion observations and presentations for laboratory staff, and the Orsay/Gif campus personnel.


From 1pm to 6pm :

1 year 10 months ago

The MICMOC experiment that started in 2003 at IAS and whose goal is to understand the link between astrochemistry and astrobiology, just came across through a major and surprising result: the prebiotic formation of the sugar molecule ribose, a key molecule toward the formation of RNA, the nucleic acid containing the first genetic material of living beings.

2 years 1 month ago

Gullies observed on Mars would be produced by the action of dry ice in winter and spring, not by liquid water flows as thought before. Indeed, recent numerical simulations show that under dry ice heated by the Sun, intense gas motions can destabilize and fluidize the soil, until they create flows similar to those created by a liquid.

2 years 2 months ago

Ongoing flow activity was highlighted a few years ago on Mars by high-resolution cameras. Various flow types have been identified (new channels, dark lineae, bright deposits…) but there is still no consensus about possible formation mechanisms: dry avalanche? liquid water? carbon dioxide ice? A study conducted at the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale reveals for the first time the composition of winter ice forming in association with flows. Results suggest the coexistence of several current formation mechanisms.


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