The new concept of sampling device driven by rotary hammering actions
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.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 13:16
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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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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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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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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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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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