Furthering research, exploration, and the peaceful use of outer spacethrough international cooperation
Terms of Reference
Commission E deals with obtaining, sharing and analyzing data taken from space-borne platforms that are associated with the study of stars, galaxies and the universe at large. The data consist of high energy particles and radiation from the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
“A Roadmap for Astronomy Missions in the Coming Decades” (published in ASR, 50, n°1, July 2012), prepared by a group of scientists under the leadership of Dr P. Ubertini (National Institute of Astrophysics – INAF, Italy), executive summary.
Last update of terms of reference 27 June 2011
Sub-commission E1 deals with the study of the universe beyond the solar system.
Last update of terms of reference 26 August 2005
Sub-commission E2 deals with the study of the sun as a star.
Last update of terms of reference 11 September 2006
(1) Observational and theoretical study of the phenomena of the quiet and active sun in the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona that relate to energy release in form of coronal heating, solar wind acceleration, energetic particle generation, flares and coronal mass ejections.
(2) Observational and theoretical study of the subsequent phenomena in the inner heliosphere and of the processes governing its structure, such as fast and slow solar wind streams, interplanetary coronal mass ejections and shock waves, solar energetic particles, corotating interaction regions including their space weather effects.
Last update of terms of reference 12 August 2008
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:
Last update of terms of reference: 19 July 2018
* (after officer term) = second and final term in the office indicated