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.
Vice President: Regis Courtin (France), Regis.Courtin@obspm.fr
Secretary: Guy Consolmagno SJ (Vatican), email@example.com
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
The program and abstracts for Symposium 202 on Planetary Systems in the Universe are available.
This AAS Division for Planetary Sciences page includes links to many other useful planetary sites.