The enigma on the nearest galactic neighborhood of the Sun resolved
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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 papers with CBK PAN participation
Our research

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.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 11:46
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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

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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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.

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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.

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