Pickup ion-induced magnetic waves observed by the Voyager spacecraft beyond Pluto
Our research

Interplanetary space is filled with magnetized plasma from the Sun (the solar wind) and interstellar gas, mainly hydrogen and helium, which continuously flows through the heliosphere. The interstellar atoms are ionized by extreme ultraviolet radiation and the solar wind. In result of ionization of the interstellar atoms, new ions in the solar wind are created.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 August 2018 13:39
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The heliosphere is not round!
Our research

The heliosphere is a region in the interstellar space filled with the solar wind plasma, emitted by the Sun. Since the Sun is traversing a partly ionized, magnetized cloud of interstellar gas, the solar wind expansion must be eventually arrested at a certain distance to the Sun. This happens in the locations where the solar wind pressure becomes equal to the pressure of the interstellar matter. Ultimately, however, the solar wind matter cannot accumulate infinitely inside the heliosphere and must find an exit path to the interstellar space. But where exactly is this path located? And is there just one evacuation path or more? These questions cannot be answered directly because up to now there have been just two active space probes – Voyager 1 and 2 – to reach the boundary regions of the heliosphere, and this happened in the regions least suspect of being anywhere close to the solar wind evacuation path. Therefore, answering these question can only be done by remote-sensing measurements and theoretical modeling.

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Evolution of the solar Lyman-alpha profile line
Our research

Lyman-alpha line is one of the most prominent features in the UV part of the solar spectrum. It allows us to estimate the magnitude of radiation pressure, which is a force that photons from the Sun exert on hydrogen atoms. Radiation pressure is, next to the gravitational force, the main factor that determines the trajectories of neutral hydrogen and deuterium atoms inside the heliosphere.

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NASA selects mission to study the boundary of the heliosphere: CBK PAN is a part of the winning team!
Our research

CBK PAN will participate in a NASA space mission Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), scheduled for launch in 2024. The selection of the winning proposal submitted in response to the Announcement of Opportunity released in 2017, was announced in Washington DC on June 1, 2018 (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-mission-to-study-solar-wind-boundary-of-outer-solar-system).

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Anisotropic Turbulence in the Earth's Magnetosheath
Our research

Turbulence is a complex phenomenon with driving mechanisms still not clearly understood in contemporary science. Turbulence naturally appears in astrophysical plasmas, including the solar wind at planetary and interstellar shocks. The shocks in astrophysical plasmas are usually collisionless due to a very low density of the medium and therefore they differ from those observed in ordinary fluids, because they often result from interaction of nonlinear structures.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 13:01
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Our research

our research

Interplanetary space is filled with magnetized plasma from the Sun (the solar wind) and interstellar gas, mainly hydrogen and helium, which continuously flows through the heliosphere. The interstellar atoms are ionized by extreme ultraviolet radiation and the solar wind. In result of ionization of the interstellar atoms, new ions in the solar wind are created.

Read more...

The heliosphere is a region in the interstellar space filled with the solar wind plasma, emitted by the Sun. Since the Sun is traversing a partly ionized, magnetized cloud of interstellar gas, the solar wind expansion must be eventually arrested at a certain distance to the Sun. This happens in the locations where the solar wind pressure becomes equal to the pressure of the interstellar matter. Ultimately, however, the solar wind matter cannot accumulate infinitely inside the heliosphere and must find an exit path to the interstellar space. But where exactly is this path located? And is there just one evacuation path or more? These questions cannot be answered directly because up to now there have been just two active space probes – Voyager 1 and 2 – to reach the boundary regions of the heliosphere, and this happened in the regions least suspect of being anywhere close to the solar wind evacuation path. Therefore, answering these question can only be done by remote-sensing measurements and theoretical modeling.

Read more...

CBK PAN will participate in a NASA space mission Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), scheduled for launch in 2024. The selection of the winning proposal submitted in response to the Announcement of Opportunity released in 2017, was announced in Washington DC on June 1, 2018 (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-mission-to-study-solar-wind-boundary-of-outer-solar-system).

Read more...

Interstellar neutral atoms of helium from the local interstellar medium are observed by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft in the Earth orbit. Researchers from CBK PAN, together with international collaborators, analyze these observations to determine the Sun’s motion with respect to the local interstellar medium and the temperature of this medium. In a broader perspective, results of these analyses provide important insight into mechanisms of interaction of the heliosphere with its surroundings. In a paper recently published in The Astrophysical Journal they analyzed data from two energy channels of the IBEX-Lo detector previously not used, in addition to the data from the channel used beforehand, and obtained a better assessment of these quantities.

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