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Solar and Planetary Systems

The activities of the team are focused on three major investigations: study of the processes of evolution of the planetary bodies of the Solar System, study of exoplanets, and study of the initial conditions of the Solar System. More specifically, we attempt to study:

- evolution processes by observations of differentiated bodies (terrestrial and giant planets, satellites). These activities are performed through space instruments mounted on orbital or in situ platforms;
- the extra-solar planets by a theoretical but also observational approach through the COROT, PLATO and ARIEL missions;
- the initial conditions for the formation of the Solar System through the study of primitive matter: cometary grains, meteorites, observations of primitive bodies and the interplanetary environment.

Our approach consists in coupling the observation acquired by space instruments, extensive data reduction, numerical modeling and laboratory measurements. These multiple approaches are based on as strong and major instrumental developments with the constant concern to combine both scientific and technological challenges.

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Dernières news

4 months 2 weeks ago

On 17 June 2021, the International Space Station (ISS) will fly over the Orsay campus of Université Paris-Saclay. To mark the occasion, a radio contact lasting approximately 10 minutes will be organised with Thomas Pesquet, live from the ISS. A unique opportunity to follow the conversation between the astronaut and secondary school and university students!


5 months 2 days ago

JAXA's Hayabusa2 mission carried out a collection, never accomplished before, of samples of a very primitive carbonaceous asteroid, and successfully brought them back to Earth in early December 2020. The samples are now stored in the “Curation Facility” of ISAS, in Sagamihara (Japan), in ultra-clean chambers, in a controlled atmosphere, where initial analyzes are being carried out. These include a pioneer characterization by infrared hyperspectral microscopy, using the MicrOmega instrument developed at IAS, and integrated into the Curation Facility.

11 months 2 weeks ago

On October 21st, 2020, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft succeeded in touching asteroid Bennu to collect samples from the surface. Launched in September 2016 and in orbit since December 2018, it was doing a detailed survey of the surface to map and select the best sample collection site. OSIRIS-REx will deliver the samples to Earth in September 2023.

1 year 3 months ago

Despite the drastic constraints driven by the sanitary limitations to technical activities at IAS, and the travel ban to Japan, the MicrOmega team at IAS managed to thoroughly develop, test, and calibrate the MicrOmega instrument, and to deliver it to the curation facility of the Hayabusa2 at ISAS, the Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, on Friday July 3, 2020, after its performances had been demonstrated as excellent.

1 year 5 months ago

One and a half year after its launch in October 2018, the BepiColombo spacecraft has performed an Earth flyby on April 10, 2020, so as to reach Venus on its way to an orbital insertion around Mercury end of 2025. BepiColombo is the first European mission using ionic propulsion, which makes it possible to implement major changes in the trajectory with a limited impact on the mass budget.