Scientific Commission B: Space Studies of the Earth-Moon System, Planets, and Small Bodies of the Solar System

Symbol for SC B Space Studies of the Earth-Moon System, Planets, and Small Bodies of the Solar System
Hajime Yano Chair:
Hajime Yano (Japan), 2022 – 2026 (yano.hajime – at –
Bernard Foing (Netherlands), 2021 – 2024
Rosaly Lopes (USA), 2021 – 2024


Intercommission/Panel/Task Group Liaisons:

Scientific Commission C:  Martin A. Cordiner (USA), 2022 – 2026
Scientific Commissions C and D:  Manuel Grande (United Kingdom), 2022 – 2024*
Scientific Commission E:  Christophe Sotin (USA), 2022 – 2024*
Scientific Commission E:  Diego Turrini (Italy), 2022 – 2026
Scientific Commission F:  Heather Smith (USA), 2022 – 2026
Sub-commission B2 to Panel on Satellite Dynamics (PSD):  Heike Peter (Germany), 2020 – 2024*
Panel on Capacity Building (PCB):  Varun Sheel (India), 2022 – 2026
Panel on Exploration (PEX):  Heather Smith (USA), 2022 – 2026 (heather.d.smith – at –
IDEA Initiative Task Group (IITG):  Marianna Angrisani (Italy), 2022 – 2026
IDEA Initiative Task Group (IITG):  Giovanna Rinaldi (Italy), 2022 – 2026
IDEA Initiative Task Group (IITG):  Hajime Yano (Japan), 2022 – 2026
IDEA Initiative Task Group (IITG):  Steve Vance (USA), 2022 – 2026

Terms of Reference:

The planetary bodies of the solar system (including the Earth), especially evolutionary, dynamic and structural aspects; planetary atmospheres are included insofar as these are essential attributes of their main body; smaller bodies, including satellites, planetary rings, asteroids, comets, meteorites, and cosmic dust. (Explanatory remarks: The studies of this Commission refer mainly to space studies, especially through the use of space vehicles. The aspects of planetary atmospheric studies to be emphasized are those which relate the atmosphere to the observed surface and the interior of the planet. Structural aspects include geodesy, the observation of planetary figures, where appropriate, and potential fields, including the gravity field.)

Sub-Commission B1: Small Bodies

Palomba, E. (Italy), 2021-2024
Milam, S. (USA), 2021-2024

Terms of Reference

This Sub-Commission covers all small bodies in both the Solar System and other planetary systems such as comets, asteroids, dwarf planets, Trans-Neptunian Objects, cosmic dust, meteoroids, meteors, meteorites, planetary rings, and irregular satellites as well as interstellar dust and interstellar asteroids/comets.  Through theoretical, computational, observational, analytical, experimental and exploratory studies, the Sub-Commission explores such topics as sources and sinks, formations and evolutions, dynamics, distributions, physical and chemical properties, compositions and structures, mutual interactions, impact and other processes of these objects.

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Sub-Commission B2: International Coordination of Space Techniques for Geodesy (a joint Sub-Commission with IUGG/IAG Commission I on Reference Frames)

Kotsakis, C. (Greece), 2021-2024
Vance, S. (USA), 2021-2024

Terms of Reference

To develop links between various groups engaged in the field of space geodesy and geodynamics by various techniques, coordinate work of these groups, elaborate and propose projects implying international cooperation, follow their progress and report on their advancement and results.

For further details please visit the IAG page of Commission 1 on Reference Frames.

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Sub-Commission B3: The Moon

Crawford, I. (UK), 2021 – 2024*
Megha Bhatt, (India), 2021 – 2024
Liu, Jianzhong (China), 2021 – 2024*
Heather Smith (USA), 2022 – 2026 (heather.d.smith – at

Terms of Reference

Sub-commission B3 covers all aspects of lunar science and exploration. The Moon is a natural laboratory for multiple aspects of planetary science, including the origin and evolution of the Earth-Moon system, and is a focus of many current research activities. Current lunar research includes remote sensing and in-situ measurements of the lunar surface, laboratory analyses of lunar samples, and theoretical modelling of the Moon’s internal structure and evolution. These activities are supported by a growing number of recent, on-going, and planned space missions to the Moon, which will further enrich understanding of our closest celestial neighbour. The Moon is also likely to be a testbed for in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) activities, as well as an accessible platform that may facilitate further space exploration activities.  Anyone interested in these and related topics is welcome to contribute to the activities of this sub-commission.

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Sub-Commission B4: Terrestrial Planets

Gerhard Kminek (ESA/ESTEC), 2022 – 2026
Laura Kerber (USA), 2021 – 2024 (laura.a.kerber – at –
Varun Sheel (India), 2021 – 2024
Yeon Joo Lee (South Korea), 2022 – 2026

Terms of Reference:  TBD

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Sub-Commission B5: Outer Planets and Satellites

Morgan Cable (USA), 2022 – 2026 (morgan.l.cable – at –

Sandrine Guerlet (France), 2021 – 2024
Alex Hayes (USA), 2021 – 2024*
Anezina Solomonidou (Greece), 2022 – 2026

Terms of Reference:  TBD

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Sub-Commission B6/E4:  Exoplanets Detection, Characterization and Modelling

Francesca Altieri (Italy), 2022 – 2026*
Michael Ireland (Australia), 2022 – 2026*

Terms of Reference

Sub-commission B6/E4 deals with Exoplanets detection, characterization and modelling.

The recent discoveries of nearly a thousand of extrasolar planetary systems have opened up a number of new questions about their properties, physical conditions along with a rethinking of the concepts of habitability and life. In this context, it is not obvious whether a planetary system like our own solar system is common or unusual in the Galaxy. Planets may form and orbit around stars of almost every kind. We have found many planets which we call exotic, i.e. very close to their parent star, in highly eccentric orbits, or around binary systems, in a word very different from planets in our solar system.

Recent observations have shown how diverse can be the physical conditions of planets, both in structure, with fluffy or very dense planets, and in the composition and atmospheric stratification.  The key word is diversity.

Understanding the origin of such diversity is the goal of many of the new studies and current projects. Such activities may cover both scientific and technological aspects and could include:

  • Analysis of the current and proposed projects for future observations
  • Analysis of diversity of extrasolar planets
  • The Solar System in the context of extrasolar planetary systems
  • Definition, even non-conventional, of habitability and life
  • Definition and detectability of organic pre-biotic material and biomarkers
  • Laboratory activity supporting modelling and atmospheric properties studies
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* (after officer term) = second and final term in the office indicated