Understanding the physics of star formation and the production of dust in the outer space from observations of the far-infrared to sub-millimeter.
Star formation and the interstellar medium are linked in many ways. Stars are indeed formed from the interstellar medium, but this goes much further than this simple observation. The structure of the interstellar medium, and therefore the physical processes that govern it, have an impact on all aspects of star formation. Conversely, the properties of the interstellar medium are influenced by the star formation process at many scales. The energy flows from newly formed stars create a complex multi-phase medium that can only be understood by observing a multitude of tracers.
The research areas addressed at the LFEMI are based on a wide variety of instruments and this multiwavelength approach is confronted with numerical simulations and complex physical models to advance our understanding. Among the instruments used, space missions play an important role. The LFEMI often plays prominent roles at all levels, from preparation to execution and operation of the mission. This is the case, for example, for the Fermi, Herschel and Planck missions. Our future projects, based on the data we plan to collect with the JWST and SPICA missions, continue this trend. In addition to these space observations, we actively operate large ground-based telescopes, including with instruments that we are helping to develop.