Our group is interested in planetary formation, through the study of extrasolar planets and our solar system. The study of planetary formation is crucial to answer several fundamental questions: how do planets and habitable planets in particular form, how did the Earth form, how did life arise on Earth, and more generally where did we come from?
The paradigm of planetary formation has been revolutionised over the last two decades, in particular since the detection of the first exoplanet 51 Peg b at the Haute-Provence Observatory. Since this discovery, the models of planetary formation have been completely revised, including the models of formation of our Solar System. It is in these themes that our team’s research is situated, via the study of extrasolar planets and our solar system.
Our approach is to start from fundamental scientific questions and to define and develop numerical simulation tools and specific ground and space instruments, adapted to the scientific problems studied. The team develops instruments for major agencies (ESO, ESA, CNES), from the R&T phase to the final model, monitors instrument operations and their scientific exploitation and, finally, analyses and interprets the scientific data collected.
Our team is also involved in scientific projects funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) or Europe (“European Research Council” and “Horizon 2020” programme), and is part of the multidisciplinary “Origins – From the formation of planets to the emergence of life” Institute of the University of Aix-Marseille.
Team leader: Pierre Vernazza.