The Observatory - Presentation

«L'Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de l'Université Paris-Sud » (Observatory of the Sciences of the Universe of University Paris-South) has been created in 2001. It is constituted by 2 laboratories: l'IAS and GEOPS.   An OSU  (« Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers ») is created by a decree originating from the two relevant government departments (Research, public eductation) on the basis of a proposition of the Council of Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers, a department of CNRS (the main french research organism).  

OSU’s have a mandate for contributing to the advances of knowledge in the « Sciences of the Universe Domain » by :

  • Acquiring observational data
  • Developing, implementing and exploiting relevant observation equipments
  • Elaborating relevant theoretical and modeling tools

They are also expected to perform the following tasks:

  • Providing services linked to their research activities
  • Educating students and research personnel
  • Outreach activities towards the general public (linked with education activities)
  • Promotion and implication in international cooperation activities

Staff from a nationally managed set of positions (CNAP: « astronomers » and « physical research personnel ») can be appointed to an OSU. These positions are equivalent to professors and assistant professors with specific tasks linked to observations.

OSU Paris-Sud hosts a national facility labelled by CNES (the french space agency) and INSU, the IAS calibration facility (station d'étalonnage) dedicated to qualifying and calibrating space instrumentation. It also hosts a center dedicated to space operations and space data, IDOC (centre intégré de données et d'opérations), with attributions defined by national agencies (CNES, INSU) and international agencies (ESA, NASA).

The activites of OSU Paris-Sud are structured as «national observational services» labelled by INSU (Labeled observation services, definition of these services.).