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DIVISION F COMMISSION 15: PHYSICAL STUDY OF COMETS AND MINOR PLANETS

Abstract

Commission 15 of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), entitled Physical Study of Comets and Minor Planets, was founded in 1935 and dissolved in 2015, following the reorganization of IAU. In 80 years of Commission 15, tremendous progress has been made on the knowledge of these objets, thanks to the combined efforts of ground- and space-based observations, space mission rendezvous and flybys, laboratory simulation and analyses of returned samples, and theoretical and numerical modeling. Together with dynamical studies of the Solar System, this discipline has provided a much deeper understanding of how the Solar System formed and evolved. We present a legacy report of Commission 15, which highlights key milestones in the exploration and knowledge of the small bodies of the Solar System.

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