Rosetta: Closing in on the comet
News

The Rosetta spacecraft is now in the immediate vicinity of the comet nucleus to be explored, the one of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This target will soon be mapped systematically, in great detail, as part of the preparations for the touchdown of the Philae lander, foreseen for November this year. However, the OSIRIS cameras have already delivered quite astounding pictures of the weird object, and we are as yet far from understanding exactly what we are looking at. Here are some examples of the riddles that have been posed and the scientists of the camera team are working on.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 August 2014 10:04
 
The ESA Rosetta Mission
News

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!

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

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.

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Department of the Planetary Geodesy about The IAG Scientific Assembly 2013: 150th Anniversary of the IAG, Potsdam, 1-6.09.2013
News
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
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Our research

our research

The smallest dust grains in the circumsolar dust cloud are the nanodust particles, i.e., the dust grains with the sizes of a few to a few tens millionth parts of millimeter. They are so small they include just several dozen thousands of atoms.

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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.

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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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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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