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Science Activities

Here is a brief summary of the research done by faculty members. Click on a name to see the research profile of that person, or simply scroll down the page to see all profiles in alphabetical order.

  Astronomy/Astrophysics   Planetary Science   Solar/Terrestrial Science
  Stephan Birkmann
Carmen Blasco
Torsten Boeker
Luigi Cacciapuoti
Jos de Bruijne
Guido De Marchi
Lauranne Fauvet (RF)
Pierre Ferruit
Iskren Georgiev (RF)
Giovanna Giardino
Philippe Gondoin
Ana Heras
Benne Holwerda (RF)
Kate Isaak
Oliver Jennrich
Ágnes Kóspál (RF)
Rene Laureijs
Nora Luetzgendorf (RF)
David Lumb
Arnaud Masson
Mark McCaughrean
Paul Mc Namara
Arvind Parmar
Goeran Pilbratt
Timo Prusti
Stefanie Raetz (RF)
Marco Sirianni
Jan Tauber
Christoph Winkler
  Johannes Benkhoff
Sebastien Besse (RF)
Augustin Chicarro
Luigi Colangeli
Bernard Foing
Antonio Garcia (RF)
Aurelie Guilbert-Lepoutre (RF)
Detlef Koschny
Andrea Opitz (RF)
Dmitriy Titov
Hakan Svedhem
Rita Schulz
Jorge Vago
Olivier Witasse
  Philippe Escoubet
Bernhard Fleck
Harri Laakso
Richard Marsden
Daniel Müller
Maik Riechert (YGT)
Matt Taylor
Andrew Walsh (RF)

  Sebastien Besse
Post-doctoral fellow

sbesse@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 3677

  Main research field

I am interested in the formation and evolution of the Solar System. As a geologist/spectroscopist, I am interested in surfaces of planets, comets and asteroids, but I also study the volatiles of comets with my expertise in VIS/NIR spectroscopy. I have divided my research in two directions: 1- Differentiated bodies like the Moon and Mercury to understand the thermal evolution of these bodies through their volcanic history, 2- Small bodies like comets and asteroids because they are more pristine than big planets and can constrain the origin of the Solar System.

Keywords

  • Planetary surfaces
  • Asteroids, comets
  • VIS/NIR spectroscopy
  • Photometry
  • Mineralogy, volatiles
  • Geomorphology

Ongoing collaborations

  • J. Sunshine, M. A'Hearn, L. Feaga (University of Maryland, USA)
  • P. Lamy, L. Jorda, O. Groussin (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, France)
  • M. Staid, J-Y. Li (Planetary Science Institute, USA)
  • M. Ohtake, J. Haruyama (JAXA, Japan)
  • F. Merlin, A. Barucci, C. Leyrat, S. Fornasier (LESIA, Paris, France)
  • P. Pinet, D. Baratoux (IRAP, Toulouse)
  • J-B. Vincent (Max Planck Institue, Germany)
  • M. Kueppers, R. Moissl (ESAC, Spain)

Personal home page

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

Rosetta/OSIRIS (Associate Scientist), Bepi-Colombo

ESA Research supervisor

Johannes Benkhoff

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  Stephan Birkmann
Astronomer

sbirkmann@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 8598

  Main research field

Studying the initial conditions of massive star formation by multi-wavelength observations. Searching for light echoes from ancient supernovae and determining their spectral type. Characterization of infrared detectors.

Keywords

  • Star formaion
  • Light echoes from supernovae
  • IR detector characterisation

Ongoing collaborations

  • Oliver Krause (MPIA)
  • Thomas Henning (MPIA)

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

JWST

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  Torsten Boeker
Astronomer

tboeker@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 8272

  Main research field

Extragalactic astronomy at optical and infrared wavelengths, in particular the nuclear regions of spiral galaxies.

Current science activities

  • nuclear star clusters, their formation mechanisms, and their effect on host galaxy evolution
  • molecular gas in galaxy centers, especially high-resolution CO observations
  • near-infrared integral-field studies of circumnuclear starburst rings
  • dust structures in spiral galaxies
  • mid-infrared observations of AGN/starburst nuclei

Ongoing collaborations

  • MPIA Heidelberg (Rix, Schinnerer)
  • STScI (van der Marel)
  • IAC (Knapen
  • Ohio (Martini)

Personal home page

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

JWST (deputy project scientist)

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  Jos de Bruijne
Astronomer

jdbruijn@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 5989

  Main research field

I am interested in dynamical modeling of galaxies, in young stellar groups (dynamics, structure, radial velocities, astrometry, runaway stars), in the prospects of astrometry from space, and in high-time-resolution energy-resolved photon-counting observations in the optical using Superconducting Tunnel Junction (STJ) detectors.

Keywords

  • Dynamical modeling of galaxies
  • Hyades, OB associations, Gould Belt, runaway OB stars
  • Hipparcos, Gaia, space astrometry
  • High-time-resolution energy-resolved photon-counting optical astronomy

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

Gaia (deputy project scientist)

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  Guido De Marchi
Astronomer

gdemarchi@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 8332

  Main research field

My main scientific interests include star formation, the study of resolved stellar populations, the structure of star clusters and their dynamical evolution. I make extensive use of the HST and the VLT in my research and work with data from the UV to the near IR.

Current science activities

  • star formation in the Milky Way and Magellanic clouds
  • the properties of pre-main sequence stars and their accretion process
  • the stellar initial mass function in star clusters, young and old
  • the dynamical evolution and tidal disruption of globular clusters
  • the distribution and properties of gas and dust in nearby galaxies

Ongoing collaborations

  • www.starformation.eu
  • ESO (Giacomo Beccari, Martino Romaniello, Loredana Spezzi)
  • Bonn (Pavel Kroupa, Holger Baumgardt)
  • INAF (Francesco Paresce, Luigi Pulone)
  • STScI (Nino Panagia, Elena Sabbi)
  • ESA (Morten Andersen, Nicola Da Rio, Nathan Leigh)

Personal home page

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

JWST, HST

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  Bernhard Fleck
Solar Physicist

Bernhard.Fleck@esa.int
Tel: +1 301 286 4098

  Main research field

My main functional role at ESA is Mission Manager/Project Scientist for SOHO. I am also ESA Project Scientist for Hinode. My scientific interests include the dynamics of the solar atmosphere, in particular wave propagation characteristics in the chromosphere. I work with data from SOHO, TRACE, Hinode, and ground-based observatories.

Domain of activity

  • Chromoseismology
  • Chromospheric heating
  • Helioinformatics

Ongoing collaborations

  • SwRI Boulder, CO, USA
  • HAO Boulder, CO, USA
  • Univ. of Hawaii, HI, USA
  • LMSAL, Palo Alto, CA, USA
  • OAC Napoli, Italy
  • Osservatorio di Arcetri, Florence, Italy
  • Univ. of Wuerzburg, Germany

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

SOHO, Hinode

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  Antonio Garcia Muñoz
Post-doctoral fellow

agarcia@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 5343

  Main research field

My research focuses on planetary atmospheres, including topics as diverse as photochemistry, airglow, atmospheric escape, radiative transport, spectroscopy and polarization. I consider myself a theorist/modeler, but I am keen to apply my knowledge and tools in the design/interpretation of observations. Planets of the Solar System I have worked with include Earth, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. Since 1995, it has become evident that the possibilities of planet types are vast and, so, I am very interested in the emerging field of exoplanetary atmospheres. My graduate work on the evaporation of HD 209458b is still used in the investigation of hot Jupiters and other exoplanets under strong irradiation conditions.

Keywords

  • Nightglow in the Venus atmosphere
  • Lightning in the Solar System
  • Full-disk photometric/polarization lightcurves of (exo)planets
  • The Venus transit, lightcurves and spectroscopy
  • Spectroscopy of transiting exoplanets
  • Temperature retrieval from thermal IR spectra

Ongoing collaborations

  • Grupo de Ciencias Planetarias (Agustin Sanchez-Lavega, Ricardo Hueso, Santiago Perez Hoyos)
  • Australian National University (Frank Mills)

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

None

ESA Research supervisor

Dmitri Titov

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  Iskren Georgiev
Post-doctoral fellow

igeorgie@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 3746

  Main research field

My research focuses on studying the properties of compact stellar systems, i.e. globular clusters, galaxies' nuclei , ultra compact dwarf galaxies, using space and ground based imaging and spectroscopy (from optical to NIR wavelengths). Such stellar systems form at the peak epoch(s) of star formation in a galaxy. Therefore, a firm knowledge of, e.g. their age, metallicity, structural parameters, spatial distributions, provides a robust tool to reconstruct host galaxy formation history (mergers, tidal interactions).

Keywords

  • Globular clusters
  • Nuclear clusters
  • Globular cluster horizontal branch morphology
  • Ultra compact dwarf galaxies
  • Interacting and massive merger remnant galaxies
  • Optical-NIR imaging and spectroscopy

Ongoing collaborations

  • AIfA Bonn (Andreas Kuepper, Marcel Pawlowski, Pavel Kroupa)
  • ESA (Torsten Boeker)
  • ESO (Michael Hilker, Steffen Mieske)
  • INAF Padova (Luigi Bedin)
  • PUC de Chile (Thomas Puzia)
  • STScI (Paul Goudfrooij, Andrea Bellini)
  • UNAM (Rosa Gonzales)
  • University of Queensland (Holger Baumgardt)

Personal home page

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

None

ESA Research supervisor

Torsten Boeker

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  Giovanna Giardino
Astronomer

ggiardino@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 4625

  Main research field

My scientific interest is star formation and I have currently two main research activities: i) within the context of the Planck mission, prepare for the use of HFI and LFI data to derive a census of ultra-compact HII regions and massive young stellar objects in the mm and submm; ii) Using XMM and Chandra data, study the X-ray emission of YSOs, investigating the influence of X-ray emission on the circumstellar environment. So far, I have analysed X-ray data for L1551 in Tau, Serpens, S106 and Rho-Oph.

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

JWST

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  Aurelie Guilbert-Lepoutre
Post-doctoral fellow

aguilber@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 4044

  Main research field

My research is focused on small bodies in the solar system, like Kuiper Belt objects, Centaurs, comets, Trojans, or asteroids. They are believed to be the remnants of planet formation. Strategically, understanding the origin and evolution of these objects is a key step towards explaining the processes at work during the formation and evolution of the solar system. At this point, we still don't know which observed physical and orbital characteristics of the small bodies, after 4.5 Gyr of physico-dynamical evolution in a time-varying radiative and collisional environment, will ultimately provide the best clues to their origin. The problem is tractable though, and can be addressed in suitable steps.

Dynamical studies have highlighted possible links between small body populations, yet there is no compelling evidence that the solar system evolved according to any of the current scenarii because there are still many things we don't understand about the physical connections between these small body populations. Part of my work aims at constraining some of their physical properties, in particular the surface composition, through visible and near-infrared spectroscopy performed on the world's largest telescopes. I am particularly interested in the volatile and organic content of KBOs, Centaurs, Trojans, comets and asteroids, and the similarities/differences between these populations. The other aspect of my work is related to the thermal history of icy objects. I try to understand with numerical simulations how ice can survive on some objects, how the composition and other physical properties can evolve with time, why/how some objects display comet-like activity, etc.

Keywords

  • solar system formation
  • small bodies, comets, asteroids, KBOs
  • surface composition, volatiles, ices
  • cometary activity, cryovolcanism
  • thermal evolution modelling
  • physical link between populations, evolution

Ongoing collaborations

  • Audrey Delsanti - Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille
  • Michal Drahus - Caltech
  • David Jewitt - UCLA, IPlEx
  • Detlef Koschny - European Space Agency - ESTEC
  • Olivier Mousis - Institut UTINAM
  • Nuno Peixinho - University of Coimbra
  • Pierre Vernazza - European Southern Observatory

Personal home page

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

None

ESA Research supervisor

Detlef Koschny

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  Detlef Koschny
Planetary Scientist

dkoschny@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 4828

  Main research field

My main scientific interest is cosmic dust and minor bodies in the solar system, in particular asteroids. I am focussing on the analysis of observational data.

Current science activities

  • ground-based observations of meteors using image-intensified video systems
  • set up meteor observations from space, e.g. from the International Space Station
  • set up a centralised database for meteor orbit data
  • follow-up observations of asteroids
  • modelling dust and regolith size distributions
  • working on the calibration of images obtained with the Smart-1 camera AMIE
  • testing cameras for ground- and space-based applications

Ongoing collaborations

  • involved in EuroPlanet N3 activities for the coordination, working with Jurgen Oberst, DLR Berlin, Apostolos Christou, Armagh, Ireland
  • meteor orbit determination and ablation modelling together with Peter Brown and Margaret Campbell-Brown, Univ. of Ontario, Canada, and with Felix Bettonvil, Astronomical Institute of the Univ. Utrecht
  • AMIE data calibration together with the Smart-1 AMIE team

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

Marco Polo, Rosetta, BepiColombo, Smart-1

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  Ágnes Kóspál
Post-doctoral fellow

akospal@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 4508

  Main research field

My main research topic is star and planet formation, specifically the structure and evolution of circumstellar disks around young stars. I focus much of my work on young eruptive stars (FUors and EXors). These are pre-main sequence objects with temporarily increased accretion rate resulting in powerful brightenings in the whole optical-infrared regime. My goal is to understand the physics behind the accretion process and the effect of the increased heating on the disk. I am also interested in variability of young stellar objects in general at various wavelengths from the optical to the millimeter, and what it can tell us about disk structure. Part of my work focuses on debris disks, and the relationship of debris dust and planet formation. I am experienced in several observational techniques from imaging and spectroscopy through polarimetry to interferometry.

Keywords

  • primordial and debris disks
  • accretion process during star formation
  • eruptive phenomenon during pre-main sequence
  • optical, infrared, and millimeter observations

Ongoing collaborations

  • Timo Prusti, Elaine Winston (ESA/ESTEC)
  • Peter abraham, Attila Moor, Maria Kun, Csaba Kiss (Konkoly Observatory, Budapest)
  • Jose Acosta (IAC Tenerife)
  • Daniel Apai, Ilaira Pascucci (University of Arizona, Tucson)
  • Timea Csengeri (MPIfR Bonn)
  • Carol Grady (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
  • Joel Green (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Thomas Henning, Miwa Goto, Zoltan Balog (MPIA Heidelberg)
  • Attila Juhász (Leiden Observatory)
  • Aurora Sicilia-Aguilar (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid)
  • Nikoletta Sipos (Institut fuer Astrophysik, Goettingen)
  • Roland Vavrek, David Ardila (ESA/ESAC)

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

None

ESA Research supervisor

Timo Prusti

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  Nathan Leigh
Post-doctoral fellow

nleigh@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 4574

  Main research field

The majority of my research concerns the development of theoretical and statistical techniques broadly related to gravity. In particular, I study the various ways stars interact with each other in dense stellar environments. I often apply these methods to observations of dense star clusters, where the stellar densities can become so high that direct collisions can even occur between stars.

Keywords

  • gravity
  • stellar dynamics
  • star clusters
  • star formation

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

None

ESA Research supervisor

Torsten Boker

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  Nora Luetzgendorf
Post-doctoral fellow

nluetzge@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 3743

  Main research field

My main scientific interest is stellar kinematics around massive black holes. For this I am using observations of Integral Field Units (IFUs) but also computational techniques such as N-body Simulations. I have started out with looking at the centres of massive Galactic globular clusters in order to find kinematic signatures of intermediate-mass black holes and studied the lower end of the M-sigma relation which has been observed for Supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. My goal is to understand the origin and evolution of this relation by constraining it further on the low-mass and high-mass end. Furthermore I am interested in combining my observational skills with simulated data and the advanced use of simulation codes such as NBODY6(,7) and AMUSE.

Keywords

  • stellar dynamics
  • star clusters
  • black holes
  • black-hole formation
  • N-body Simulations
  • AMUSE

Ongoing collaborations

  • Markus Kissler-Patig (Gemini)
  • Tim de Zeeuw (ESO, Leiden Observatory)
  • Karl Gebhardt (University of Texas, Austin)
  • Holger Baumgardt (University of Queensland, Australia)
  • Nadine Neumayer (ESO, Garching)
  • Diederik Kruijssen (MPA, Garching)
  • Eva Noyola (University of Texas, Austin)
  • Giacomo Beccari (ESO, Chile)
  • Anja Feldmeier (ESO, Garching)
  • Simon Portegies-Zwart (Leiden Observatory)
  • Torsten Boeker (ESA/Baltimore)
  • Guido De Marchi (ESA/ESTEC)

Personal home page

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

None

ESA Research supervisor

Guido De Marchi, Torsten Boeker, Pierre Ferruit

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  Richard Marsden
Heliophysicist

rmarsden@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 3583

  Main research field

My main functional role at ESTEC is Mission Manager/Project Scientist for Ulysses. I am also Study Scientist for Solar Orbiter. My scientific interests are related to the heliosphere and heliophysics in general and include: energetic particle acceleration and propagation, anomalous cosmic ray studies (in particular, latitudinal gradients). I work primarily (but not exclusively) with data from the COSPIN Low Energy Telescope instrument on Ulysses, which I helped to design.

Current science activities

  • Investigating the origin and transport of solar and interplanetary energetic particles in the 3-D heliosphere
  • Using composition measurements to investigate the origin of particles accelerated in transient and recurrent solar wind flows
  • Investigating the effect of the Sun's magnetic cycle on the transport of anomalous cosmic rays

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

Ulysses, Solar Orbiter

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  Paul Mc Namara
Astrophysicist

pmcnamar@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 8239

 

Current science activities

  • Low frequency gravitational wave detection
  • Laser frequency/phase stabilisation
  • Precision interferometry

Project/mission at ESA

LISA Pathfinder (Project scientist), LISA (Deputy Project Scientist)

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  Sara Mazrouei
Young Graduate Trainee

smazroue@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31715653866

  Main research field

My main scientific interests are in the planetary geology and remote sensing field. I am interested in understanding the evolution of planetary objects, in particular small bodies and the Moon, through their surface properties. Currently at ESTEC, I am working on the calibration of the radio science data from Venus Express.

Current science activities

  • Planetary geologie
  • Remote sensing
  • Radio science

Ongoing collaborations

  • O. Barnouin, C. Ernst (APL-Johns Hopkins University, USA)
  • M. Daly (CRESS - York University, Canada)

Publications

ESA Research supervisor

Hakan Svedhem

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  Daniel Müller
Solar Physicist

daniel.mueller@esa.int
Tel: +1 301 286 6983

  Main research field

My main functional role at ESA is Deputy Project Scientist for SOHO, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. I am also Deputy Study Scientist for Solar Orbiter. My scientific interests include the structure and dynamics of the solar corona and photosphere. I use and develop magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) models to study dynamic phenomena in the solar atmosphere. I am also leading a project to develop advanced techniques for data assimilation, visualisation, and browsing.

Current science activities

  • MHD models of coronal mass ejections and jets
  • Solar spectropolarimetry (radiative transfer calculations and data analysis)
  • Helioinformatics (development of advanced techniques for data assimilation, visualisation, and browsing)

Ongoing collaborations

  • Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, DC, USA)
  • Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD, USA)
  • Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics (Freiburg, Germany)
  • Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo (Norway)
  • High Altitude Observatory (Boulder, CO, USA)

Personal home page

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

SOHO, Solar Orbiter

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  Andrea Opitz
Post-doctoral fellow

aopitz@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 3935

  Main research field

My main scientific interest is solar wind and its interaction with planets. I study the temporal and spatial evolution of solar wind structures using multi-spacecraft data (STEREO, Venus Express, Mars Express, etc). Their effects on the planetary plasma environments is my key focus now.

Keywords

  • Terrestrial magnetotail in STEREO view
  • Spatial and temporal evolution of the solar wind by STEREO
  • Solar wind structures affecting the terrestrial planets
  • Solar input at Venus and Mars
  • Solar cycle dependence of the planetary upper atmospheres

Publications

ESA Research supervisor

Olivier Witasse

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  Timo Prusti
Astronomer

tprusti@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 4794

  Main research field

My main scientific work is concerning star formation. At the moment the focus is on aspects which can be addressed with the Herschel data: disks around young stars, circumstellar matter and far-infrared variability. I am gradually moving toward topics which will benefit from the Gaia data of young stellar clusters: membership, dynamics and initial luminosity or mass function. The binding element between Herschel and Gaia studies is concentration on close by targets in the Gould Belt system.

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

Gaia

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  Stefanie Raetz
Research Fellow

sraetz@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 ....

  Main research field

Following a general interest in astronomy I started first astronomical observations already in basic school. At the age of 12 I started to visit the meetings of the BAV (”Bundesdeutsche Arbeitsge-meinschaft für Veränderliche Sterne”) to learn how to observe and analyze variable stars especially eclipsing binaries. Today my main research field are transiting exoplanets in particular the search for transiting planets and the analysis of transit timing variations in already known transiting exoplanets. Additionally I'm also interested in the observations and analysis of variable stars especially eclipsing binaries. I'm involved in several research activities concerning the photometric observation of transiting planets and variable stars, including the search for transiting planets in young open clusters with the “Young Exoplanet Transit Initiative” (YETI), the observation of eclipsing binaries to search foreclipse timing variations within the “DWARF project” and the “Search for extrasolar planets by observations of transit timing variations” (TTV@YETI). The project I'm currently working on is the analysis of Transit Timing for the CoRoT planets and ground-based high precision follow-up photometry. I'm a very experienced observer. I observed >150 nights at the University Observatory Jena between 2006-2013, 15 nights at the 2.2 m telescope on Calar Alto, Spain between 2010-2012, and one night at the National Observatory Venezuela.

Keywords

  • transiting exoplanets
  • eclipsing binaries
  • variable stars
  • high precision photometry
  • young stellar clusters
  • planet formation and evolution

Ongoing collaborations

  • Ralph Neuhäuser, Ronny Errmann, Martin Seeliger, Tobias Schmidt (AIU Jena)
  • Gracjan Maciejewski (Torun Centre for Astrophysics)
  • Theo Pribulla, Martin Vanko (Astronomical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences)
  • Cesar Briceno (CIDA, Venezuela)
  • Matilde Fernandez (IAA, Granada)
  • YETI observers all over the world

Personal home page

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

none

ESA Research supervisor

Ana Heras

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  Maik Riechert
Young Graduate Trainee

mriecher@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31715654881

 

Current science activities

  • Geographic mapping of ISS auroral photography
  • Magnetic ephemerides for Cluster

Ongoing collaborations

  • Matt Taylor; ESTEC
  • Andrew Walsh; ESTEC

Project/mission at ESA

None

ESA Research supervisor

Matt Taylor

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  Matt Taylor
Space Plasma Physicist


mtaylor@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 8009

  Main research field

My current position at ESTEC is as Project Scientist of Rosetta. I was previously deputy Project Scientist and Project Scientist of the Cluster and Double Star missions. My main scientific interests therefore are focused on space plasmas, particularly at the Earth's magnetosphere and boundary layer dynamics


Project/mission at ESA

Rosetta, Cluster, Double Star

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  Andrew Walsh
Post-doctoral fellow

awalsh@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 3872

  Main research field

My research focuses on the the structure and dynamics of the terrestrial magnetotail, particularly the properties of and asymmetries in the particle distributions in the magnetotail plasma sheet. Examining these distributions allows us to understand how mass and energy enter the magnetosphere from the solar wind and ionosphere, which particle acceleration processes are the most effective in the magnetotail and ultimately how the seed population for the ring current and radiation belts is formed. I am also working on how the particle acceleration that happens in the magnetotail and closer to the Earth results in the bright visible aurora. I use data from ESA's Cluster and Double Star missions in my research.

Current science activities

  • Magnetosphere
  • Magnetotail
  • Plasma Sheet
  • Aurora
  • Dawn-Dusk Asymmetry
  • Particle Accelaration

Ongoing collaborations

  • M.G.G.T. Taylor; ESTEC
  • C. Forsyth, A. N. Fazakerley, C. J. Owen; Mullard Space Science Laboratory, UCL, UK
  • A. Masters; ISAS/JAXA, Japan
  • K. R. Murphy, I. J. Rae, I. R. Mann, C. E. J. Watt; University of Alberta, Canada
  • Dawn-Dusk Asymmetries Team, International Space Science Institute, Switzerland

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

None

ESA Research supervisor

Matt Taylor

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  Christoph Winkler
Astronomer

cwinkler@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 3591

  Main research field

My scientific interest is observational gamma-ray astronomy in the keV to MeV energy range. It covers in particular: nucleosynthesis, gamma-ray line astrophysics, gamma-ray bursts and soft gamma repeaters, neutron stars and black hole candidates. Data are from Compton GRO and INTEGRAL.

Current science activities

  • Very limited due to project priorities, but if time permits:
  • 511 keV annihilation from the inner Galaxy
  • Mapping of line emission from radioactive 26Al and 60Fe
  • Transient compact objects

Ongoing collaborations

  • MPE Garching (Roland Diehl)
  • CESR Toulouse (Juergen Knoedlseder, Georg Weidenspointner)
  • IASF Rome (Angela Bazzano)

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

INTEGRAL

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  Olivier Witasse
Planetary Scientist

owitasse@rssd.esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 8015

  Main research field

I am currently interested in the analysis and interpretation of the Mars Express SPICAM (UV spectrometer) data. The idea is to understand how the airglow and auroral emissions of the upper atmosphere of Mars are generated. I am also studying how the meteoroid deposition in the Martian atmosphere influences the ionosphere.

Current science activities

  • Study of planetary upper atmospheres
  • Focus on: ionosphere, airglow and aurorae
  • Bodies of interest: Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan

Ongoing collaborations

  • Laboratoire de Planetologie de Grenoble (France)
  • Osservatorio Astronomico di Trieste (Italy)
  • Laboratoire LPCE, Orleans (France)
  • SRI, Menlo Park (USA)

Publications

Project/mission at ESA

Chandrayaan-1, Venus Express

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  Former Research Fellows of RSSD and year of departure

At least for the past 10 years !!

  Astronomy/Astrophysics
  • Nicola Da Rio, 2013
  • Nathan Leight, 2013
  • Davide Gandolfi, 2012
  • Morten Andersen, 2012
  • Elaine Winston, 2012
  • Silvia Vicente, 2011
  • Loredana Spezzi, 2011
  • Maria Messineo, 2010
  • Jakob Walcher, 2010
  • Giacomo Beccari, 2010
  • Jens Rodman, 2008
  • Jimmy Paillet, 2008
  • Bruno Martin Merin, 2008
  • Jesus Falcon Barroso, 2008
  • Claudia Isola, 2007
  • Solan Balman, 2007
  • David Thi, 2007
  • Christiane Helling, 2006

Planetary Science

  • Damien Loizeau, 2012
  • Arianna Piccialli, 2012
  • Jan Soucek, 2012
  • Ruth Ziethe, 2011
  • Rosario Brunetto, 2010
  • Sandra Schumacher, 2010
  • Jessica Agarwal, 2010
  • Maria Gritsevich, 2010
  • Fabrice Cipriani, 2010
  • Pierre Vernazza, 2010
  • Cyril Simon, 2008
  • Nicolas André, 2008
  • Jonathon McCauliffe, 2008
  • Tra-Mi Ho, 2008
  • Angelo Rossi, 2008

Solar/Terrestrial Science

  • Catherine Fischer, 2012
  • Angels Aran, 2012
  • Bartolomeo Vitticchie, 2012
  • Kavita Sharma, 2011
  • Annette Borg, 2011
  • Benjamin Grison, 2009
  • Alexandr Afanasiev, 2010
  • Arne Asnes, 2008
  • Claire Vallet, 2007
  • Olga Malandraki, 2007

Instrumentation

  • Conny Hansson, 2012
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This page was first created on 21 March, 2007 and was last updated on 10 December, 2013.
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