Credit : ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team

Planetary sciences obtain data remotely or in situ thanks to the probes exploring our Solar System. What is the history of our Solar System ? How did the diversity of bodies that compose it come about ? What are the chemical and physical processes at work in these bodies ? Can this be transposed to other planetary systems ?

Research topics

The "planéto" team covers a wide range of topics in the study of the planets, comets and meteorites of our Solar System. Most of these studies make use of the space probes sent by the European Space Agency (ESA), NASA and JAXA. With the support of the French space agency CNES, "planéto" scientists are involved in the preparation, the operations and the exploitation of the data taken by missions such as Cassini-Huygens to Saturn, JUICE to Jupiter, ROSETTA and Hayabusa-2 to minor bodies, Mars Express and Venus Express to our neighbours, etc.

The team is active in the observation of the upper atmospheres of planets, including that of the Earth for space weather, in hyperspectral analysis of the surfaces and sub-surfaces of the Moon, Mars, Titan (etc), in reproducing in a laboratory environment the physical and chemical processes at work in various Solar System bodies, in analysing the samples returned by probes from cosmic bodies, in building databases of reference measurements (SSHADE/GhoSST), and in designing ground or space-based instrumentation (radars, auroral emissions).


Solar system ; space probes ; comets ; meteorites ; minor planets ; Planets and satellites : atmospheres, aurorae, interiors, oceans, physical evolution, composition, surfaces, tectonics ; solar-terrestrial relations ; Laboratory methods : volatile and refractory materials, molecules, polarization, scattering ; image processing ; radar astronomy.


- Team leader : Alain Herique
- Email : alain.herique (at)
- Telephone : 04 76 51 41 73 (from abroad +33 4 76 51 41 73)