IPAG addresses stellar and planetary formation, from the initial phases of the core collapse where molecular complexity builds up, to the circumstellar disk physics and chemistry and planets formation, including star-disk interaction via the star magnetosphere. IPAG also works on the physical processes implied in accretion-ejection phenomena around young stellar objects, and compact objects where high energy and relativistic effects are involved. In planetary sciences, IPAG studies sun-earth interactions, planetary subsurfaces, small bodies in the solar system, and the chemical evolution of the primitive matter.
To accompany these thematic research themes, IPAG works on cutting edge instrumental developments. IPAG is involved in the building and development of numerous ground-based instruments (NAOS, WIRCAM, SPHERE, AMBER, PIONIER, etc.) that equip the most powerful international telescopes in the world (VLT, VLTI, CFHT). IPAG develops and exploits space probes to study the internal structure of solar system bodies (Rosetta, Assert), the subsurface waters on Mars, and the chemical composition of Titan’s atmosphere. Its developments lead IPAG to develop numerous collaborations with National & European Agencies (CNES, ESA, ESO) and major public and industrial groups (Sofradir, ONERA, CEA-LETI).
IPAG is the second largest research unit in OSUG. Its researchers published over 500 papers from 2005 to 2008 period, ten of which in Nature & Science and hundreds in Astronomy & Astrophysics (3 papers per scientist in 2008). From 2005 to 2010, IPAG led or participated in 13 ANR projects for a total of 2.7 M€. IPAG has signed one of the biggest ESO contracts for VLT 2nd generation instruments (SPHERE, 10 M€), and helped prepare or exploit 9 of the current 14 solar system missions. IPAG has filed four patents and hosts a high-tech adaptive optics startup (ALPAO). It has 3 projects labeled by the MINALOGIC competitive cluster and funded by the Inter-ministerial fund (FUI : SWIFTS, RAPID, DROP). IPAG has a strong attractiveness, with 17 new scientists hired in the 2006-2010 period, and the highest number of CNRS young astrophysicists applications in 2009. IPAG has obtained two CNRS bronze medals, two CNRS silver medals, three CNRS Crystals, and hosts one of the very few junior ERC laureates in France.