Astrophysics, ISSI selected two projects by INAF researchers
Two projects coordinated by INAF researchers have been selected by the Swiss International Space Science Institute-ISSI to exploit the opportunity that every year is offered to research projects to promote international collaboration and exchange of knowledge among researchers.
The first project, coordinated by Fabio Gastaldello, from the Institute of Space Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics-IASF of Milan, focuses on “soft” protons found in the Earth’s magnetosphere.
“Large space telescopes such as Xmm-Newton, sent into space to capture X photons from cosmic sources, have shown to be very much able to capture and concentrate protons found in the Earth’s magnetosphere along their orbit”, said Gastaldello, “generating a background noise that can compromise a considerable share of scientific observations. We still know little of the physics of this phenomenon, and our team intends to investigate this in greater detail”.
The second study, coordinated by Mauro Ciarniello, from the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology-IAPS in Rome, will analyse the composition of the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, also known as Rosetta’s Comet.
“The recent results of the Rosetta mission, including those achieved thanks to the imagining spectrometer Virtis, have shown that the surface of the comet is covered with a regolith made of a mixture of organic materials and opaque minerals. However, a detailed identification of these compounds, quantitative estimates of their relative abundances and physical properties (grain size, porosity) from the spectrophotometric point of view are still open issues” said Ciarniello: the aim of the project is to analyse the composition and physical properties of the Comet’s surface.