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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Wake up, Rosetta!
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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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Musical composition to commemorate the construction of the second Polish satellite during “Warsaw Autumn”: 56th International Festival of Contemporary Music
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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
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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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Polish-Ukrainian seminar of the EOPOWER project
News

On 5-6 September at the Space Research Centre PAS held a Polish-Ukrainian seminar organized within the framework of the EOPOWER project. The meeting was attended by representatives of scientific institutions and NGOs from Poland and Ukraine, i.e. Earth Observation Team SRC PAS, Military Technical University, Environmental Information Centre UNEP / GRID-Warsaw, Institute of Technology and Science, Warsaw University of Technology Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, ULRMC - Ukrainian Land and Resource Management Center.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 September 2013 14:42
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Our research

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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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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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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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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