Institute in General

Astronomical Institute Description

Astronomical Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences consists of these 3 scientific departments:

Solar physics

Observational facilities:
Stará Lesná Observatory - Horizontal solar telescope with spectrograph (d = 50 cm),
Lomnicky Peak Observatory - double 20 cm coronagraph (f = 4 m) with post focus instruments:
a) COMP-S (Coronal Multi-channel Polarimeter), b) SCD Solar chromospheric detector.

The research in Solar physics department is focused mainly on the magnetism, dynamics and variability of solar atmosphere. There are several research areas under investigation.

  • a) study of the solar photosphere and chromosphere and active events in them, using modern spectro-polarimetric, spectroscopic and photometric observations acquired with top level solar telescopes base at the Canary Islands (GREGOR, VTT, SST, THEMIS), and with space-borne satellites under own joint observing proposals,
  • b) study of the solar corona and structures in it (prominences, coronal holes, coronal condensations) and Sun-Earth relations using data acquired with modern infrastructure at our Lomnicky Peak Observatory, with space-borne satellites and from VSO – Virtual Solar Observatory (unique access to data from space- and ground-based observations of the Sun) and using data from solar total eclipses observations,
  • c) study of evolution of fast and very powerful events in the solar atmosphere (flares, coronal mass ejections, active prominences, jets) using multiple observations from ground based and space-borne instruments,

Interplanetary matter

Observational facilities:
Skalnate Pleso Observatory - 61 cm astrometric and photometric reflector with CCD camera, all sky fireball fish-eye cameras
Modra Observatory - receiver of forward scatter meteor radar.

The main topics of research are as follows: The 61 cm telescope at the Skalnate Pleso Observatory is used for CCD photometry and astrometry of asteroids and comets. Theoretical investigation Meteor head echoes from the Springhill high-power meteor radar are analyzed. The filamentary structure of selected meteor showers and study of the meteor sporadic background activity by the forward scatter radio system operating over the triangle Lecce-Bologna-Modra are identified. Ozone in the upper mesosphere is detected with ground based radio observations. The cosmic dust particles provided by NASA to determine their composition and physical properties have been reanalyzed. The results can be used for the study of their behaviour in planetary atmospheres and interplanetary space, especially their dynamics and reflection conditions and a better understanding of the disintegration processes. The fireball fish-eye cameras are operated within the framework of the European Fireball Network. Transfer orbits among different populations of small bodies in the Solar System regarding near-Earth objects are theoretically investigated.

The investigation of activity of selected cometary nuclei and their influence on the physical and dynamical evolution of these bodies, possible candidates on near-Earth objects and the evolution of a cometary nucleus and its activity at large heliocentric distances is carried out. The distribution of meteoroid particles in the inner Solar System is described. The structure and dynamics of meteoroid streams and evolution of their parent bodies are analyzed. The methods for separation of meteoroid streams from the sporadic background has been developed. A search for meteoroid streams of asteroidal origin has been performed. The meteoroid population in the vicinity of the Earth's orbit, including the mass distribution of particles in meteoroid streams and their background, the determination of the internal structure of streams, their aging and decay are investigated.

Stellar department

Observational facilities:
Skalnate Pleso Observatory - 60 cm photometric reflector,
Stara Lesna Observatory - 50 cm and 60 cm photometric reflectors.

The investigation of interactive binary and multiple systems, symbiotic stars and novae is focused on physical processes during phases of activity, studies of their origin, structure and evolution including the physical conditions in the circumstellar environment. Various manifestations both of regular and semi-regular variability have been detected photometrically and models explaining the behaviour of the system have been proposed. The IUE as well as the HST databases have been fruitfully used for the spectroscopy of interacting binaries, direct HST images were used to study of expanding envelopes of novae and symbiotic stars.

Spectroscopy has been the main method for investigation of problems of Ap/CP (chemically peculiar) star phenomena. Initially s detailed model-atmosphere analysis was utilized and later on up-to-date methods of computation of synthetic spectra to study chemical composition of the stars' surface layers were used. Stratification as well as surface distribution of concerned chemical elements was derived for several CP stars. Also the role of binarity for the origin and evolution of the CP-phenomenon has been studied, and some correlations of orbital and CP-parameters have been disclosed. The department shared in the designing of satellite programmes for stellar astrophysics in the frame of INTERCOSMOS. Now the HIPPARCOS and TYCHO databases are frequently used.

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Date and Time: 22.10. 2016 01:45:15 CEST
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