The ESA Rosetta Mission

Centrum Badań Kosmicznych PAN (eng. Space Research Centre PAS) is deeply involved in the ongoing ESA/Rosetta exploration of a comet named Churyumov-Gerasimenko and numbered 67P. Among CBK PAN staff contributing to this effort are:

Wlodek Kofman -- PI for the CONSERT experiment
Hans Rickman -- Lead scientist on the OSIRIS team
Maria Blecka -- Member of the VIRTIS team
Marek Banaszkiewicz -- Contributor to the MUPUS lander experiment
Jerzy Grygorczuk -- Chief engineer behind the MUPUS penetrator

We plan to issue "Rosetta Updates" on a semi-regular basis, typically once every other week, as long as there are new interesting results coming from the mission, and to publish these in both Polish and English at this site. We invite you to follow the exciting news with us by checking these notes!



Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 12:45
Energetic helium atoms may be the key to understand the IBEX Ribbon

The discovery of the IBEX Ribbon, which is an area on the sky of enhanced emission of hydrogen atom flux, was a surprising finding of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission. The origin of the Ribbon is yet unknown and there are several competing hypotheses on Ribbon’s sources. According to one of them, the Ribbon forms in the Local Interstellar Cloud near the heliospheric boundary due to interaction of solar wind neutral particles with interstellar matter. According to another hypothesis, proposed by a team of researchers from CBK PAN led by Professor Stanisław Grzędzielski and published in 2010 in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the Ribbon is a result of interaction between the Local Interstellar Cloud boundary and the Local Bubble. That happens much farther away from the Sun than in the first case. Those two totally different hypotheses explain the formation of similar energetic hydrogen atom fluxes, making it difficult to eliminate one of them on the basis of existing energetic hydrogen atoms measurements. To solve this dilemma, CBK PAN researchers have recently proposed to use observation of energetic helium atoms.

Department of the Planetary Geodesy about The IAG Scientific Assembly 2013: 150th Anniversary of the IAG, Potsdam, 1-6.09.2013
On 1-6 September in Potsdam The International Association of Geodesy (IAG) Scientific Assembly 2013: 150th Anniversary of the IAG was held in which employees of the Department of the Planetary Geodesy of the Space Research Center Polish Academy of Sciences (SRC PAS) actively participated.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 November 2013 16:11
Wake up, Rosetta!
On January 20th a special conference called “Wake up, Rosetta” will take place in Darmstadt, Germany. On that day the European Space Agency (ESA) will wake up the space probe Rosetta from its hibernation in where it has been dormant for the last 30 months.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 13:03
Musical composition to commemorate the construction of the second Polish satellite during “Warsaw Autumn”: 56th International Festival of Contemporary Music
On 25th September 2013, within “Warsaw Autumn” International Festival of Contemporary Music in the Lutoslawski’s Studio, a concert took place in which musical composition entitled Machinae coelestic was performed. This composition commemorates the construction of the second Polish scientific satellite – BRITE-PL Hevelius, named after the Polish astronomer.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 12:29

Our research

our research

Sample return space missions are one of the possible options to extend our knowledge about extra-terrestrial materials, processes occurring on surface and subsurface level, as well as interactions between regolith and technology. Collection of surface or subsurface material from such bodies is a key technical process that needs to be performed to achieve the goals of such missions. Although in terrestrial environment the sampling process is relatively easy, smart solutions are needed for zero gravity, unknown and remotely accessible space environment.


The interstellar gas in the Local Interstellar Cloud (LIC) surrounding the Sun is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium. But it contains also other chemical elements, among which the most abundant are oxygen and neon. The neutral atoms from the LIC flow into the heliosphere, where some of them are ionized and carried away with the solar wind as pick-up ions (PUIs), but some of them reach the Earth's orbit and distances even closer to the Sun. Underway, they are focused by solar gravity and form a characteristic, elongated patterns in density, with a cone of enhanced concentration at the downwind side of the Sun.


The November issue of the prestigious science journal Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series presents results of investigations of interstellar matter in the immediate galactic neighborhood of the Sun, carried out by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) space probe. An important contribution to the findings presented in a series of 14 papers published in a special topical issue of ApJS was brought by a team of scientists from the Laboratory for Solar System Physics and Astrophysics of the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences (Centrum Badań Kosmicznych PAN, CBK PAN), led by Dr. Maciej Bzowski.


The issue of Science magazine, 23 January 2015, features four papers about the investigations made with the Rosetta OSIRIS scientific cameras and VIRTIS instruments. Three are co-authored by CBK PAN researcher, prof. Hans Rickman, who is a lead scientist within the OSIRIS team. The fourth paper refers to the results obtained in the experiment VIRTIS, in which dr. Maria I. Błęcka participates.


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