Astrochemistry and Origins

Interstellar Matter and Cosmology

Stellar and Solar Physics

Solar and Planetary Systems

Latest News

2 years 10 months ago

By analysing their data jointly, the Planck and BICEP2/Keck collaborations have shown that the detection of primordial gravitational waves through the observation of the polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has not occurred yet. This result constitutes the denouement of the scientific drama that kept enthralled cosmologists and universe enthusiasts alike since March 2014: the signal, the detection of which has been reported by the BICEP2 team, is not related to the first instants of the Big Bang. It results from the combination of the Galactic signal and of gravitational distortions of the CMB during its propagation down to us.

2 years 10 months ago

Since the rendezvous of the Rosetta spacecraft with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in early August 2014, its COSIMA instrument has exposed targets for collecting cometary grains. The results have much exceeded expectations, with collected particles up to several 100 µm, including many aggregates. For the first time, cometary grains are collected at a low velocity (

2 years 11 months ago

Ten aldehydes, including two sugars potentially important for prebiotic chemistry, have for the first time been identified in organic residues issued from photochemistry of interstellar ice analogues, produced in the laboratory by the IAS MICMOC/SUGARS experiment.


3 years 1 week ago

On the 3rd of December, the Japanese space agency has launched the Hayabusa 2 probe towards a primitive asteroid, named 1999JU3, that it will reach in 2018. This mission aims at analyzing this object in three complementary ways: in remote-sensing, with cameras and spectrometers; in-situ, with instruments on landers; and by laboratory analysis of samples that will be collected on the asteroid and returned to Earth in 2021.


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