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
 
International Workshop EMSEV 2014 - Konstancin-Jeziorna, 22.09.2014
News

EMSEV is an IUGG Working Group supported by IAGA, IASPEI and IAVCEI. Its focuses are the observation and explanation of the various kinds of electromagnetic phenomena associated with seismic and volcanic activities particularly from a multi-disciplinary point of view.

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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
 
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
 
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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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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