Abstract

The study of the Sun, the Planets and the other bodies of the Solar System is a science that requires the synergic cooperation of experts from different disciplines. The more the space missions allow detailed analysis of the phenomena contributing to the formation and evolution of the planets, the more planetology needs the concurrence of sciences historically far from astronomy or astrophysics. Another important factor is the need for data from different planets and satellites and to compare them for the understanding of fundamental processes that concurred to the construction of the Solar System as we see it today. The Italian Space Agency contributes to the study and the exploration of the Solar System participating in most of the on going and near-term planned missions, providing state of the art instruments or satellite's systems that allows breakthrough scientific results. Cassini-Huygens has been the first and, so far ten years after the launch, one of the most challenging of the missions in which the Italian contribution is playing a crucial role. Cassini-Huygens is returning exceptional data, discovering a new world, such as Titan as known today, or unexpected phenomena, as the Enceladus pure water geyser.

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