IRAP (Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie)

logo IRAP

IRAP - UMR 5277 | Université de Toulouse [UPS-OMP] / CNRS

Adresse de la direction : 9, Avenue du Colonel Roche, BP 44346 - 31028 Toulouse cedex 04
Adresse du secrétariat général : 14, Avenue E. Belin - 31400 Toulouse
Site de Tarbes : 57, Avenue d'Azereix, BP 826 - 65008 Tarbes cedex
Tél. : 05 61 55 66 66      Email :

Director : GIARD Martin

IRAP is a joint research unit aimed at studying and understanding the Universe and its content: the Earth as a planet and its ionized surroundings, the Sun and planets, stars and their planetary systems, galaxies, prime celestial bodies, and initial Big Bang.

Among a staff of about 300, nearly half are technical staff expert at conceiving, building, integrating and operating ground- and space-based instruments, as well as leading laboratory experiments in physical process characterization.

Created in January 2011 from the merging of LATT and CESR laboratories, part of DTP, and several researchers and teachers from LMTG, IRAP is a leading force in ground-space astrophysics in France.

Research teams

GPPS (Géophysique planétaire et Plasmas spatiaux)

This group investigates the formation and evolution of planets, as well as their ionized surroundings and interaction with Solar wind. A cross-disciplinary venture unique in France, it brings together researchers from the broad community of Earth scientists, using laboratory experimentation to study the transformation and evolution processes of rocks, as well as experts who take part in space missions exploring the Solar system and its planets (MSL/ChemCam, MAVEN, Bepi Colombo, Taranis, Solar Orbiter, EJSM/Laplace). The aim is to encourage the study of planets and their satellites through Earth-science methods.

PSE (Physique du Soleil et des Étoiles)


This group is at the edge of research on Solar and stellar physics. It uses measurements from ground- and space-based instruments (ESPaDOnS, NARVAL, CALAS, CoRoT, Kepler), and develops databases in collaboration with the IRAP technical team at Tarbes (CDAB: Centre de Données astronomiques de Bigorre). It has gained international recognition in spectropolarimetric instrument development (NARVAL at Pic du Midi de Bigorre; ESPaDOnS and SPIRou for CFHT, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope), and in interpreting asteroseismologic measurements through advanced MHD modelling of the inner stars.

MICMAC (Milieu Interstellaire, Cycle de la Matière, Astro-Chimie)

This group studies the interstellar medium, the matter cycle, and astrochemistry. The interstellar medium is a crucible where molecular complexity emerges and primeval solid matter condenses – two key processes leading to the birth of stars and their planets, and ultimately the dawning of life. The team develops both space-based observation tools in the infrared and submillimetric field (Herschel and Planck missions, PILOT balloon), and laboratory experiments simulating the physical conditions of the interstellar medium (PIRENEA, ESPOIRS).

hautes energie

GAHEC (Galaxies, Astrophysique des Hautes Énergies, Cosmologie)

GAHEC uses observation, digital simulation and theory to study the most violent phenomena and the most extreme processes of the Universe, in order to understand the physical laws that govern them. Main research themes are the birth and evolution of the first stars and galaxies, the merging of galaxies into greater structures, dark energy, compact objects (neutron stars and black holes), the enrichment of the interstellar medium in heavy elements by supernovae, electron-positron annihilation, and the acceleration of cosmic rays. Research notably relies on instrument development for major ground-based observatories (MUSE spectrometer on the VLT, HESS, CTA observatory) and in space (INTEGRAL, XMM-Newton, FERMI, SVOM, SPICA, IXO).

SISU (Signal-Images en Sciences de l’Univers)

This broadly interdisciplinary group develops methological tools for signal/image processing and instrument design. These tools are used for projects led by IRAP in connection with other research groups, as well as international ventures (ALMA observatory) and space missions for Earth observation (SMOS and SMOS-Next satellites).


Les services d'observation


BASS 2000

Solar and stellar database.

Solar corona

  • Dynamic phenomena of the cold component of the Solar corona
  • Hydrogen H-Alpha line
  • Climso Pic-du-Midi
  • 45 associate volunteer observers
Journées scientifiques de l'IRAP - 18 et 19 octobre 2010

Journées scientifiques de l'IRAP - 18 et 19 octobre 2010

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