Solar System

LASP is the world’s only research institute to have sent instruments to all eight planets and Pluto. (Courtesy NASA-JPL)

Science drives what we do at LASP. Our focus is on the solar system, including solar influences, atmospheric, planetary, and space physics in both experimental and theoretical areas. As part of a full-cycle institution dedicated to space exploration, many of our scientists not only perform research using remote sensing data—they also design the missions that take that data.

  • Solar Influences: Measures the sun’s irradiance over an ever-widening wavelength range, from soft X-rays through the near infrared, and strives to understand the sun’s effects on Earth’s atmosphere
  • Atmospheric Science: Studies the composition, structure, photochemistry, dynamics, and other physical processes of Earth’s atmosphere
  • Planetary Science: Studies objects ranging in size from small meteoroids to gas giant planets
  • Space Physics: Seeks to understand the fundamental processes of the fourth and least understood state of matter: plasma