M2 Planetary science and space exploration

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The first objective of this training is to teach fundamental elements necessary for the understanding of the Earth system, planetary and exoplanetary systems: propagation and interaction radiation-matter, dynamics of neutral and ionized fluids, chemical kinetics, mechanics, thermal, methods of tracing and isotopic dating, planetary geomorphology, meteorites and planetary differentiation, impact physics, exobiology, etc.

Students are also trained in how to apply these basic concepts to understand planetary environments, in their diversity, in order to decipher the structure and evolution of the Solar System bodies and Exoplanets. The lessons are given with reference to terrestrial environments, in a perspective of comparative planetology intended to improve the understanding of the mechanisms governing our own planet (climate change, geological evolution and appearance of life, paleoclimates, etc.).

The course teaches the concepts of space instrumentation for observing the Earth and the Planets, by remote sensing and in-situ measurements.
Thanks to this training, students have a multidisciplinary culture, both scientific and instrumental, open to the related fields of Environment, Earth Sciences, Astrophysics.

Course Prerequisites

The Planetology and Space Exploration Master's programme accepts students from the Geosciences, Physics or Chemistry M2s, or from the Engineering School. Students who have completed modules or internships in the field will be at an advantage. More exceptionally, applications from Biology (exobiology) students may be considered.

  • Have a general understanding of Planetology discipline and the open questions in the field.

  • Put forward methodologies and tools to respond to a specific problem.

  • Carry out experimental modeling, numerical modeling and data analysis studies.

  • Lead a project.

  • Present and support scientific results orally and in writing.

  • Summarise the results. Assess the relevance and limits of a scientific or technical study.

Post-graduate profile

Students are prepared to work in research. They have acquired the skills to manage projects, both autonomously and as part of a team; they have an understanding of computer science, scientific calculation; they can design and conduct experiments, summarising and evaluating their results; and communicate both orally and in writing.

Career prospects

Graduates of this Master's programme primarily go into fundamental and applied research (R&D) and take up teaching and scientific communication posts in the field of Planetology. A large proportion of students follow up the Master's with a doctoral programme. Targeted professions include researchers, engineers and specialists in Planetology and Space Exploration methodology for fundamental research, space agencies (CNES, ESA) and industrialists.


Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Institut d'astrophysique spatiale
Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas.

Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique
Laboratoire d'études spatiales et d'instrumentation en astrophysique
Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris
Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques
Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris.


Enseignements fondamentaux et outils en Planétologie. Les étudiants pourront choisir entre 21 et 30 ECTS dans le groupe "Enseignements fondamentaux en Planétologie et entre 0 et 9 ECTS dans le groupe "Outils en Planétologie en fonction de leur cursus et de leur projet professionnel.nel.

Matières ECTS Cours TD TP Cours-TD Cours-TP TD-TP A distance Projet Tutorat
Systèmes climatiques et évolution des surfaces planétaires 3 30
Plasmas planétaires 3 30 4
Planétologie comparée 3 30
Physique et chimie des petits corps primitifs 3 40
Physique et chimie des atmosphères planétaires 3 22 4 4
Physique du rayonnement et méthodes d'observations associées 3 13.5 10.5 3
Physiographie et évolution géologique des planètes 3 30
Météorites et formation du système solaire 3 27 3
Introduction : le système solaire et les planètes 0 30
Etudes des surfaces planétaires et techniques associées 3 30
Détection et formation des systèmes planétaires 3 27
Chimie des intérieurs planétaires et chronologie du système solaire 3 18 5 4 3
Matières ECTS Cours TD TP Cours-TD Cours-TP TD-TP A distance Projet Tutorat
Stage d'Initiation aux Méthodes d'Observation (SIMO, Obs. Haute-Provence) 3 32
Projet de définition scientifique d'une mission spatiale 3 12 12
Capteurs pour l'exploration in situ des environnements planétaires 3 26 0 4

Outils et stage pratique.

Matières ECTS Cours TD TP Cours-TD Cours-TP TD-TP A distance Projet Tutorat
Maîtrise de l'outil informatique en planétologie 3 5 32
Matières ECTS Cours TD TP Cours-TD Cours-TP TD-TP A distance Projet Tutorat
Stage 27 560
Modalités de candidatures
Application period
From 01/04/2021 to 15/09/2021
Compulsory supporting documents
  • Curriculum Vitae.

  • Motivation letter.

  • All transcripts of the years / semesters validated since the high school diploma at the date of application.

  • Curriculum EU (description of the units of education followed) of the last two years.

Additional supporting documents
Course manager(s)