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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

5 years 3 weeks ago

In situ images of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko acquired by the 7 CIVA cameras on board Philae revealed a singular, unexpected, and very irregular landscape dominated by consolidated materials. Following a detailed study, this landing site provided a unique opportunity to constrain the past and present conditions prevailing at the surface of the comet.

5 years 9 months 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.

5 years 10 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.

6 years 4 months ago

After 7 long months, Philae has awoken from hibernation. Its first signs of life reached Earth on Saturday evening (June, 13th) then again the following night. The hope to see Philae awake again and communicating has just come true.

6 years 7 months ago

The flight model of the SIMBIO-SYS instrument of the ESA BEPI-COLOMBO mission has arrived at IAS last week! IAS, who has already provided the main electronics of SIMBIO-SYS, is also in charge of the calibration of the integrated instrument that will take place during this month. The mission will be launched in 2017, for an arrival at Mercury in 2024.