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Astronomical Institute

International projects

Physical processes in cataclysmic binaries
Fyzikálne procesy v kataklizmatických dvojhviezdach
Program: Medziakademická dohoda (MAD)
Project leader: RNDr. Chochol Drahomír DrSc.
Annotation:The project is a continuation of the study of explosions in cataclysmis binaries (CBs), initiated in a previous common project. Based on obtained observations, we continue to study CBs with emphasize to classical and dwarf novae. The most important parameter is the orbital period, which determines the mutual distance of the components and the mode of the mass transfer in the binary. The main goal of the project is to determine the absolute parameters of the selected CBs: masses, radii and luminosities of the components and the study of the physical mechanism responsible for the outbursts of classical and dwarf novae. While the outbursts of classical novae are caused by ignition of thermonuclear fusion of the accreted material on the surface of the white dwarf, outbursts in the accretion disks of dwarf novae provide valuable information on the mechanisms of accretion and tidal instability. To reach the goals of the project, we will use multicolour photometric and multifrequency spectroscopic observations . The photometric and spectroscopic observations of CBs will be taken by telescopes of the Main Astronomical Observatory in Kiev and Terskol and observatories of the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Stará Lesná and Skalnaté Pleso.
Duration: 6.4.2017 - 31.12.2019

Searching for giant exoplanets around white dwarfs
Hľadanie obrích exoplanét okolo bielych trpaslíkov
Program: Medziakademická dohoda (MAD)
Project leader: RNDr. Garai Zoltán PhD.
Annotation:The project is aimed at search for extrasolar planets orbiting white dwarfs based on the transit method. If such a star has a transiting exoplanet, it is possible to detect significant brightness decreasing of the central star during the transit. Within the project we are going to collect and analyze own photometric data, obtained at different observatories of AI SAS and MAO NASU. In the case of detection will such a planet analyzed in details.
Duration: 6.4.2017 - 31.12.2019

Integrated Quantum Information at the Nanoscale
Integrovaná kvantová informácia na nanoškálach
Program: Bilaterálne - iné
Project leader: RNDr. Saniga Metod DrSc.
Annotation:The project focuses on quantum entanglement, quantum control (quantum filtering and feedback control, open-loop control, quantum information and optical and related applications) and integrated systems. The objective of the project is to develop a coherent ambitious long term program on quantum information based on the know-how of the regional researchers.
Duration: 1.3.2017 - 30.9.2020

ORIGINS - Origins and evolution of life on Earth and in the Universe
Pôvod a evolúcia života na Zemi a vo vesmíre
Program: COST
Project leader: Mgr. Kaňuchová Zuzana PhD.
Annotation:The Action addresses three basic questions that fascinate and intrigue scientists, and the general public alike, questions that are pivotal to our understanding and appreciation of our place in the universe. Where, when and how did life emerge and evolve on Earth? What are the conditions under which life can exist? Does life exist elsewhere in the Universe and, if it does, how can it be detected and identified? The Action has specifically excluded the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life in its portfolio. Creationist theorems are also outside the Action’s remit.
Project web page:
Duration: 15.5.2014 - 14.5.2018

PRE-EST - Preparatory Phase for the European Solar Telescope.
Prípravná fáza pre Európsky slnečný ďalekohľad.
Program: Horizont 2020
Project leader: Mgr. Gömöry Peter PhD.
Annotation:The European Solar Telescope (EST) will be a revolutionary Research Infrastructure that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern Solar Physics. This 4-meter class solar telescope, to be located in the Canary Islands, will provide solar physicists with the most advanced state-of-the-art observing tools to transform our understanding of the complex phenomena that drive the solar magnetic activity. The principal objective of the present Preparatory Phase is to provide both the EST international consortium and the funding agencies with a detailed plan regarding the implementation of EST. The specific objectives of the proposed preparatory phase are: 1) to explore possible legal frameworks and related governance schemes that can be used by agencies to jointly establish, construct and operate EST as a new research infrastructure, with the implementation of an intermediate temporary organisational structure, as a previous step for future phases of the project; 2) to explore funding schemes and funding sources for EST, including a proposal of financial models to make possible the combination of direct financial and in-kind contributions towards the construction and operation of EST; 3) to compare the two possible sites for EST in the Canary Islands Astronomical Observatories and prepare final site agreements; 4) to engage funding agencies and policy makers for a long-term commitment which guarantees the construction and operation phases of the Telescope; 5) to involve industry in the design of EST key elements to the required level of definition and validation for their final production; 6) to enhance and intensify outreach activities and strategic links with national agencies and the user communities of EST.
Project web page:
Duration: 1.4.2017 - 31.3.2021

AD-ASTRA - Per aspera ad astra simul (Throught difficulties to the stars together)
Spoločne cez prekážky ku hviezdam
Program: Multilaterálne - iné
Project leader: RNDr. Budaj Ján CSc.
Project web page:
Duration: 1.9.2017 - 31.8.2020

Study of the ageing and rejuvenating processes affecting the small Solar system bodies. Experimental and theoretical approach.
Štúdium zvetrávania a rejuvenizačných processov pôsobicich na malých telesách Slnečnej sústavy. Experimentálny a teoretický prístup.
Program: Medziakademická dohoda (MAD)
Project leader: Mgr. Kaňuchová Zuzana PhD.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2018

National projects

FVDM - Physical and dynamical characteristocs of meteoroids
Fyzikálne vlastnosti a dynamika meteoroidov
Program: APVV
Project leader: RNDr. Hajduková Mária PhD.
Annotation:The aim of the project is to research the physical and dynamical properties of meteoroid particles and to obtain new data using our own camera system AMOS. We want to determine the proportion of cometary and asteroidal meteoroids in the actual influx of interplanetary matter in the Earth’s atmosphere, investigate the material heterogeneity in meteor showers and its changes during the evolution of the Solar system. For these purposes, we are going to complete the establishment of the AMOS cameras for observations from both North and South hemispheres, with data connection to the central server of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics of the Comenius University. This will provide the brand new, actual and original information for the basic research and its applications for the Earth-orbiting satellite operators. The new area of research with respect to our previous projects is spectral observations of meteors, with the resulting physical characteristics of the meteors, will help to distinguish their origin. Meteorite analyses will offer us more details about the pre-atmospheric meteoroid size and cosmic radiation history of the body. Consequent analysis based on numerical modeling will lead to an explanation of the dynamical mechanisms of their evolution in the Solar system. The obtained data, as well as already existing data, will be used to find new meteor showers, particularly those with radiants on the Southern sky. The structure of well-known showers will be studied in more detail. A search for a relationship between some showers and their parent bodies will be done. Knowledge of this relationship will, in the future, enable us to predict the approaches of meteoroid streams to the Earth’s orbit, which can threaten artificial satellites as well as inhabited space stations.
Duration: 1.7.2017 - 30.6.2021

Interacting binaries – Key for the Understanding of the Universe
Interagujúce dvojhviezdy – Kľúč k porozumeniu Vesmíru
Program: APVV
Project leader: RNDr. Skopal Augustín DrSc.
Annotation:The cycle of matter from the interstellar medium into stars and then back is the basic engine that drives the evolution of matter across the age of the Universe. During evolution of stars, heavy elements enrich their interior, where extreme conditions can give rise to stellar explosions at the end of the star's evolution. Extreme explosions represent donors of particles, photons and heavy elements in the interstellar medium that is of crucial importance in understanding the circulation of matter in our Universe. More than 60% of stars is gravitationally bounded with another star, which can interact with. The pivotal aim of this project is the investigation of interacting binaries that lie at specific stages of their evolution, which allow us a better understanding of their outbursts, to determine absolute parameters of binary systems as well as to detect and determine basic properties of extrasolar planets – key ingredients for better understanding the circulation of matter in the Universe. We achieve our particular goals by the method of multifrequency modelling the energy distribution in the spectrum during outbursts, and by modelling an accurate multicolour photometric and spectroscopic measurements of the investigated objects (cataclysmic variables, W UMa and T Tauri stars, exoplanets).
Duration: 1.7.2016 - 30.6.2020

Dynamical and magnetic properties of active phenomena in the solar atmosphere – complex study.
Komplexný výskum dynamických a magnetických vlastností aktívnych javov v atmosfére Slnka.
Program: VEGA
Project leader: Mgr. Gömöry Peter PhD.
Annotation:Temporal variability and evolution of the magnetic fields significantly affects excitation, evolution and propagation of the flares and CME’s in the solar atmosphere, i.e. events which strongly influence Earth environment and technological devices. Thus, the main goal of this project is to study topology, temporal evolution and dynamical properties of the solar magnetic phenomena. New findings expected in this field will be delivered by a combination of a) the highest quality data, b) specialized routines for numerical modelling and c) inversion codes developed to determine the components of magnetic vector fields related to phenomena under study. We plan to use spectroscopic and spectro-polarimetric measurements taken by the largest ground-based telescopes (GREGOR, SST, THEMIS) and space-born instruments (IRIS, Hinode) to reach the goals of the project. Particularly important part of the data acquisition will be observations performed using unique infrastructure at Lomnický Peak Observatory (Comp-S, SCD).
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Ivanova1978 - Investigation of development of the physical activity of dynamical new comets over the wide range of heliocentric distances
Skúmanie vývoja fyzikálnej aktivity dynamickych nových komét v širokom rozsahu heliocentrických vzdialeností
Program: SASPRO
Project leader: Mgr. Ivanova Viktorovna Oleksandra PhD.
Annotation:The main goal of the presented project is the study of physical properties of the atmospheres and tails in the dynamically new comets and comparison with comets from others dynamical groups. Currently, attempts are underway to establish a taxonomy of comets on the basis of their composition and to link it to the place of their origin. A comparison of physical characteristics of short-period comets with those for long-period and new comets may elucidate which properties of comets are primordial and which are a product of subsequent evolution. The physical properties of the body mainly depend on genetic factors such as stratification of temperature with distance from the Sun, structure and density on the surfaces of bodies, the ratio of volatile and refractory materials and so on. However, the role of evolutionary processes that have determined the dynamics of small bodies, sources of internal energy, and so on, can also be significant. It is recognized that the temperature gradient in the initial dust cloud and the presence of massive proto-planets influenced the processes of accumulation, formation and evolution of small bodies in the Solar System. The result of this process are the different properties of bodies in the main asteroid belt (the difference between the properties of the main types of asteroids S, C, E, etc.), objects of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort cloud. Collisions, dynamic and evolutionary processes have generated in the Solar System objects with transient properties - meteoroid streams, objects such as Centaurs, comets with dynamic characteristics of the main asteroid belt, comets different classes as regards polarization and thermal properties and dormant cometary nuclei. Main goal of first year of work is a comprehensive study of the observed characteristics of the radiation scattered by dust particles and gas properties of comets of different dynamical groups in the Solar System. A dust and a gas are parts of atmospheres of comets, active centaurs, and also a new class of objects - comets of the main asteroid belt. Dust and gas play an important role in the process of forming different bodies and in their evolution. The main observable characteristics of scattered radiation, such as intensity, color, polarization, their spatial and spectral characteristics depend on a mechanism of the scattering of light on the dust particles and the physical properties of dust, which are size, composition, structure and form. So, a study of the properties of radiation scattered by dust particles of different objects, is the basis for the development of theoretical ideas about the interaction of radiation with matter, building physical and cosmological models of celestial bodies.
Duration: 25.2.2016 - 31.12.2018

VEGA 2/0003/16 - Veldkamp Spaces in Quantum Information and Astrophysics
Veldkampove priestory v kvantovej informácii a astrofyzike
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Saniga Metod DrSc.
Annotation:The project will deal with the role of the concept of the Veldkamp space of a point-line incidence structure in the framework of both quantum information theory and the so-called black-hole-qubit correspondence (BHQC). Given a particular point-line incidence structure (finite geometry), the structure of its Veldkamp space will be employed as an essential and fairly efficient tool for assessing, on the one side, its possible relevance for quantum information theory and/or BHQC and, on the other side, for revealing finer traits of its physically relevant structure that would otherwise go unnoticed. A special attention will be given to Veldkamp spaces featuring a “point-within-a-point” property, as these may furnish particularly interesting representations of quantum contextuality/quantum non-locality. New (astro)physics behind possible generalizations of Veldkamp spaces will also be given a serious thought.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2019

Outbursts of cataclysmic variables
Vzplanutia kataklizmatických premenných hviezd
Program: VEGA
Project leader: RNDr. Skopal Augustín DrSc.
Annotation:Outbursts of stars represent an important phase in their final stages of evolution. The aim of this proposal is a better understanding of outbursts of cataclysmic variables. For this purpose we will investigate outbursts of classical novae, dwarf novae and symbiotic stars, which represent subclasses of cataclysmic variables. Fulfillment of this aim is based on: 1. Obtaining new observations with telescopes of the Astronomical Institute SAS by methods of CCD photometry and echelle spectroscopy, that will be complemented with those obtained within international cooperation and from public archives. 2. Modelling the spectral energy distribution using the method of disentangling the composite spectra. 3. Research of the circumstellar environment by methods of Raman, Rayleigh and Thomson scattering. 4. Modelling of the ionization and geometrical structure during outbursts. 5. Modelling mass outflows - determination of the mass-loss rate and amount of the emitting mass during outbursts.
Duration: 1.1.2017 - 31.12.2020

Projects total: 13