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Commission 16: Physical Study of Planets and Satellites (Etude Physique Pes Planetes Et Satellites)

Extract

The physical study of planets and satellites is probably one of the more active fields of research of the second half of this century. This is due to space exploration by spacecraft, but also to the use of modern detectors, of large ground-based telescopes, and of powerful computers by active researchers. Planetary research (or planetology) is a pluridisciplinary domain, which requires not only the competence of astronomers, but also of geophysicists, of mineralogists, of climatologists, of biologists, of chemists, of physicists, of “pure„ mathematicians, and many other scientists. Many results are at the boundary of those of other commissions such as the 15, 20, 7, 19, 33, 40, 44, 49 and 51 ones. The study of the main results obtained during this last triennum shows a perfect complementarity between space and ground-based observations. It should be arbitrary to separate space and ground-based scientists. The have the same goal and they study the same objects. Quite often, the same individuals use both techniques, depending on the most efficient one for the problem under study. It is remarkable to see that space data collected more than ten years ago are still analysed in connection with ground-based observations. The same remarks can apply for ground-based data. In addition to that, new theoretical models, new numerical simulations and new laboratory experiments have ben recently developed. They all contribute to a better understanding of planets and satellites physics.

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Commission 16: Physical Study of Planets and Satellites (Etude Physique Pes Planetes Et Satellites)

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