The Observatory Midi-Pyrénées


OMP (Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées) is an OSU (Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers) and a component of UPS (Université Toulouse III - Paul-Sabatier). It is a group of UPS laboratories dedicated to research on the Universe, the Earth, and the environment, with a mind to the missions shared by all OSUs, including research, observation, education, diffusion of scientific knowledge, and international cooperation. It forms the core of the UPEE hub (pôle "Univers, Planète, Espace, Environnement") of UPS.

Under the tutelage of UPS, CNRS (Centre national de la Recherche scientifique) and its branch INSU (Institut national des Sciences de l’Univers), CNES (Centre national d’Études spatiales), IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement) and Météo-France, OMP consists of 8 units: six joint research units (Unités mixtes de Recherche: CESBIO, EcoLab, GET, IRAP, LA, LEGOS), one service and research unit (Unité de Service et de Recherche: TBL) and one joint service unit (Unité mixte de Service: OMP general services).

Accueil de l'Observatoire



OMP covers a broad scientific field spanning from the Big Bang and remote Universe, through the planets of the Solar system including the inner Earth, to the current workings and interactions of the multilayered envelope of our planet. OMP is in charge of, or involved with, over 50 INSU-endorsed observation services, communautary codes, and data processing and archival centres, most of which belong to European and international networks and consortiums. OMP investigates such crucial social issues as the impact of man’s actions on our planet (climate, pollution, health, water stocks, biodiversity), natural hazards, or CO2 storage. We pursue an original strategy of cooperation with laboratories dedicated to the Humanities, Social Sciences and Health Research.

Our studies combine space, airborne and in-situ observations, instrument development, experimentation, laboratory analysis, numerical simulation, and theoretical approaches. Instrument development in astrophysics and planetary science, and the use of space-science techniques for observing the Universe and the Earth, are two mainstays of OMP.

OMP laboratories strive for knowledge transfer and valorization. We take part in the local network of innovation transfer through our collaboration with Toulouse Tech Transfert, the STAE (a foundation for science cooperation), the IRT Saint-Exupéry (an institute for technological research), and two global-scale competitive clusters: Aerospace Valley and EAU.

Headquartered in Toulouse, OMP has numerous bases throughout the Midi-Pyrénées region (Pic du Midi de Bigorre, Tarbes, Lannemezan, and Auch), and in many countries around the globe. The tutelage of IRD allows for strong partnerships with South America, Africa, and Asia.


A strong commitment to education

Home to the "école doctorale Sciences de l’Univers, de l’Environnement et de l’Espace" ( SDU2E) graduate school, OMP is actively involved in the programs for Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees of UPS in Physics, Geoscience and Biology.

At the Bachelor’s Degree level, OMP hosts programs for "Terre et Environnement" (Earth and Environment) and "Physique" (within the "Physique et Applications aux Sciences de l’Univers et de l’Environnement" curriculum at Tarbes).

At the Master’s Degree level, OMP hosts the "Science de la Planète et de l’Environnement" program (4 M1 – i.e. 1st-year – and 6 M2 – 2d-year – schemes), and is strongly involved in the programs for "Physique et Astrophysique" (3 M1 and 6 M2 schemes) and "Écologie" (2 M1 and 6 M2 schemes).

L’Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées en chiffres


947 personnes

  • 345 enseignants-chercheurs, personnels CNAP et chercheurs
  • 347 ingénieurs, techniciens et personnels administratifs
  • 250 post-doctorants, doctorants et personnels sous contrat

692 « permanents statutaires » relevant de 

  • UPS : 240
  • CNAP-UPS : 42
  • CNRS : 290
  • IRD : 80
  • CNES : 26
  • INP : 13
  • Météo France : 1

Huit unités 

6 Unités Mixtes de Recherche

  • Centre d’Études Spatiales de la BIOsphère (CESBIO – UPS, CNES, CNRS-INSU, IRD)
  • Laboratoire écologie fonctionnelle et environnement (ECOLAB – UPS, CNRS-InEE, INPT)
  • Géosciences Environnement Toulouse (GET – UPS, CNRS-INSU, IRD)
  • Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP – UPS, CNRS-INSU-
  • Laboratoire d’Aérologie (LA – UPS, CNRS-INSU)
  • Laboratoire d'Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales (LEGOS – UPS, CNRS-INSU, CNES, IRD)

 1 Unité de Service de la Recherche

  • Télescope Bernard Lyot (TBL – UPS, CNRS-INSU)

 1 Unité Mixte de Services

  •  UMS OMP (UMS 831 – UPS, CNRS-INSU, CNES, IRD, Météo France)

Cinq tutelles

  • Université Paul Sabatier – Toulouse III
  • Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers (INSU) du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
  • Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES)
  • Institut de Recherche  pour le Développement (IRD)
  • Météo France

36 Services d’Observation labellisés

  • 16 en Astronomie,
  • 5 en Terre Interne
  • 15 en Surfaces Continentales, Océan, Atmosphère

 12 Plateformes instrumentales, d’observation et de calcul

7 Actions Scientifiques Transverses

  • Géodésie spatiale et applications
  • Environnement, Santé, Société
  • Cycle de l’eau
  • Océans et couplages
  • Analyse et traitement de données
  • Molécules et grains : du laboratoire à l’univers
  • Géochimie des isotopes stables non-traditionnels


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