IAU Commission 16

Physical Study of Planets and Satellites

L'Etude Physique des Planetes et Satellites

Welcome to the web page of Commission 16 of the International Astronomical Union!

Commission 16 deals with the physical studies of the planets in the Solar System and their natural satellites.  This work includes observational studies with telescopes on Earth and in space, and with spacecraft that fly by or orbit the planets.  It also includes theoretical studies of planets and satellites, and laboratory work that directly supports observational and theoretical investigations.

Scientists engaged in the study of the planets and their satellites come from many different disciplines.  While this work was originally the purview of traditional astronomers, the age of space exploration has attracted geologists, chemists, biologists, atmospheric physicists, and other scientists to this field of study.  As a result of several decades of multidisciplinary investigations, planets (and some of their satellites) are now viewed as systems in which surfaces, interiors, atmospheres, oceans, and even biospheres are closely integrated.  Many scientists study the planets to gain insight into the nature of the Earth, its past and its future.

Commission 16 strives to bring together astronomers who study the physical properties of the planets and satellites to facilitate the exchange of ideas in international conferences, the coordination international observing campaigns, and the consideration of various issues arising from the rapid pace of the exploration of the Solar System by the nations of the world.

Officers for the 2000-2003 Triennium

President: Dale Cruikshank (USA), dcruikshank@mail.arc.nasa.gov

Vice President: Regis Courtin (France), Regis.Courtin@obspm.fr

Secretary: Guy Consolmagno SJ (Vatican), gjc@specola.va

Past President: Catherine de Bergh (France), Catherine.deBergh@obspm.fr

Organizing Committee: M. Belton (USA), C. Blanco (Italy), A. Coradini (Italy), C. de Bergh (France), M. McGrath (USA),
K. Noll (USA), T. Owen (USA), V. Tejfel (Kazakhstan), L. Ksanfomality (Russia) and J. Spencer (USA)

Chairperson of Working Group
on Cartographic Coordinates and Rotational Elements
of Planets and Satellites: To Come

Business at the 2000 General Assembly

The Minutes of the Business Meeting are available here .

The program and abstracts for Symposium 202 on Planetary Systems in the Universe are available.

Triennial Report

Other Sites of Interest:

The best source for upcoming meetings is the Lunar and Planetary Institute

This AAS Division for Planetary Sciences page includes links to many other useful planetary sites.

Other IAU Links:

IAU Home Page

IAU Division III .............Planetary Systems Sciences

IAU Commission 15 .............Physical Study of Comets, Minor Planets, and Meteorites/L'Etude Physique des Cometes, des Petites Planetes et des Meteorites

IAU Commission 20............Positions and Motions of Minor Planets, Comets, and Satellites/Positions et Mouvements des Petites Planetes, des Cometes, et des Satellites

IAU Commision 21............Light of the Night Sky / Lumiere du Ciel Nocturne

IAU Commission 22............Meteors and Interplanetary Dust/Meteors et la Poissiere Interplanetaire

IAU Commission 51............Bioastronomy/Bioastronomie

Small Body Nomenclature

Planetary Nomenclature Gazete

Created: 19 December, 2000 gjc; Last Update: 19 February, 2001, gjc