The cycle of solar activity responsible for modulation of interstellar neutral gas density and pick-up ions along the Earth’s orbit
Our research

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.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 April 2016 09:59
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The enigma on the nearest galactic neighborhood of the Sun resolved
Our research

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.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 10:41
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Rosetta: Scrutinizing the nucleus
News

The Rosetta spacecraft continues to move in close vicinity of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and it has reached distances less than 10 kilometers from the surface. Images have been taken with an amazing resolution. Even so, it is not immediately clear what it is that we are seeing. This discussion is ongoing and will certainly continue for some time. Actually, even the large-scale features are sometimes hard to interpret, and this makes it difficult to reach conclusions about the most fundamental questions about the origin of the nucleus.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:53
 
The Solar Physics Division of the Space Research Centre won PAS-NASU competition!
News

The research work: “Dynamic structure of energetic particles in the near Earth space” won special competition organized by the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) and President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU). This research was performed using meas-urements from Polish X-ray spectrophotometer SphinX and the Ukrainian Satellite Telescope of Electrons and Protons STEP-F. Both SphinX, and STEP-F instruments were operating onboard CORONAS - PHOTON satellite. Awarded also were joint works on development of further scientific experiment for interplanetary spacecraft “Interhelioprobe".

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 January 2015 18:06
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Rosetta: Rendezvous with the comet
News

The Rosetta spacecraft has now been moving in an orbit around the nucleus of its target comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, since several weeks. The orbit is very close – just a few tens of kilometers away – and different from the perfect ellipse that would result, if the target were regular and spherical. By contrast, the early pictures already showed that the overall shape of the nucleus is quite weird, and hence, Rosetta has to travel in a complex, distorted gravity field. But in spite of such difficulties, everything goes as planned, and as we shall now describe, the touchdown site for the Philae lander has been identified.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 25 September 2014 15:21
 


Our research

our research

In the beginning of this year, scientists from the Laboratory for Solar System Physics and Astrophysics of the Space Research Centre, Polish Academy of Sciences (CBK PAN) developed a new model (see here) of the resonance radiation pressure acting on hydrogen atoms in the heliosphere.

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Magnetic field strongly disturbs the motion of electrically charged particles in space but neutral atoms are insensitive to magnetic forces and consequently they move freely in all directions. This is true also for energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) in the heliosphere.

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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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