LESIA - Observatoire de Paris

LESIA profile

Friday 24 June 2016

The LESIA is the coordinator laboratory of the LabEx ESEP

Who are we ?

The LESIA (Laboratory of Space Studies and Instrumentation in Astrophysics) is one of the five Scientific Departments of the Paris Observatory. It is also a CNRS Laboratory (mixed Research Unit of CNRS – UMR 8109).

LESIA is associated with

  • the Paris Observatory (home institution) ;
  • the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) ;
  • the University Pierre Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6 (UFR de Physique 925, Institut de la Vision) ;
  • the University Paris-Diderot-Paris 7 (UFR de Physique et UFR Sciences de la Terre, de l’Environnement et des Planètes - STEP).

LESIA is one of the largest French laboratories of research in astrophysics (approximately 12% of the discipline). In June 2016, the laboratory counted 248 staff including 129 permanent.

The permanent staff is composed of:
- 65 Researchers/Scientists of CNRS, the CNAP or members of Universities;
- 64 Engineers/Technicians/Administrators of CNRS or members of Universities.

Main Objectives and Research themes

LESIA’s primary role:

  • The design and implementation of scientific instrumentation in space and on the ground;
  • Analysis and interpretation of scientific observations made by use of the produced instruments;
  • Development of advanced techniques applied in ground-based instruments and in space instruments.

LESIA is at the forefront of scientific advances in all areas where it is involved thanks to: the scientific results obtained from the instrumentation that was designed and produced within the laboratory, in the different research areas of the centre; the use of large national and international funding; the developed simulations and theoretical work.

LESIA’s scientific activities are classified in five main themes (Star, High Angular Resolution and Astrophysics, Planetology, Plasma Physics and Solar Physics), where it also focuses on fifteen major astrophysical topics, as well as on ten technical areas.

LESIA is the laboratory in charge of the coordination of the "Laboratoire d’Excellence" ESEP (Space Exploration of Planetary Environments), a network of nine laboratories working on space thematics.

With its data processing center LEOPARD, the laboratory is also heavily involved in many aspects of technics and technologies of information, for the development of instrumental methods and for data analysis.

Finally, LESIA has many assignments within the astrophysics community (service tasks for the community, institutional responsibilities, teaching) and is largely involved in missions for the spread of scientific culture.

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