Zaproszeni Nobliści / Invited Nobel Prize Winners


Reinhard Genzel

prof. Reinhard Genzel

(Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics)

Laureat Nagrody Nobla w dziedzinie fizyki w 2020 roku za odkrycie supermasywnego zwartego obiektu w centrum naszej galaktyki
He was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics „for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy

Prelekcja: 14 września 2021 r., 9.00-9.40, A 40-year journey
Lecture: 14 September 2021, 9:00-9:40, A 40-year journey

More than one hundred years ago, Albert Einstein published his Theory of General Relativity (GR). One year later, Karl Schwarzschild solved the GR equations for a non-rotating, spherical mass distribution; if this mass is sufficiently compact, even light cannot escape from within the so called event horizon, and there is a mass singularity at the center. The theoretical concept of a 'black hole’ was born, and was refined in the next decades by work of Penrose, Wheeler, Kerr, Hawking and many others. First indirect evidence for the existence of such black holes in our Universe came from observations of compact X-ray binaries and distant luminous quasars. I will discuss the forty year journey, which my colleagues and I have been undertaking to study the mass distribution in the Center of our Milky Way from ever more precise, long term studies of the motions of gas and stars as test particles of the space time. These studies show the existence of a four million solar mass object, which must be a single massive black hole, beyond any reasonable doubt.


Prof. Barry Barish

prof. Barry C. Barish

(Caltech and UC Riverside)

Laureat Nagrody Nobla w dziedzinie fizyki w 2017 roku za decydujący wkład w detektor LIGO i obserwacje fal grawitacyjnych
He was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics „for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves”

Prelekcja: 16 września 2021 r., 17.20 – 18.00, Understanding our Universe with Gravitational Waves
Lecture: 16 September 2021, 17:20 – 18:00, Understanding our Universe with Gravitational Waves

The discovery of gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein in 1916, is enabling both important tests of the theory of general relativity, and the birth of a new astronomy. Modern astronomy, using all types of electromagnetic radiation, is giving us an amazing understanding of the complexities of the universe, and how it has evolved. Now, gravitational waves and neutrinos are beginning to give us the opportunity to pursue some of the same astrophysical phenomena in very different ways, as well as to observe phenomena that cannot be studied with electromagnetic radiation. The detection of gravitational waves and the emergence and prospects for this exciting new science will be explored.


Prof. Didier Queloz

prof. Didier Queloz

(Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge)

Laureat Nagrody Nobla w dziedzinie fizyki w 2019 roku za odkrycie egzoplanety krążącej wokół gwiazdy typu słonecznego
He was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics „for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star

Prelekcja: 17 września 2021 r., 10.30 – 11.10, The Exoplanet revolution
Lecture: 17 September 2021, 10:30 – 11:10, The Exoplanet revolution

The wealth and diversity of planetary systems that have now been detected modified our perspective on planet formation as a whole and more specifically our place in the Univers. It also present an opportunity of historical perspectives and an irresistible call to look for signs of life on these new worlds as a way to explore our own origins. I will introduce the audience with the challenges and recent progresses in this new field of research and will touch upon the emergence of a new paradigm for the origins of life on Earth.


Zaproszeni Wykładowcy / Invited Speakers

prof. dr hab. Chris Belczyński


Sesja / Session IV. Obiekty zwarte / Compact objects

Title: Astrophysics with LIGO/Virgo Gravitational-wave Detections

LIGO/Virgo Collaboration has published 11 detections from the first two observational campaigns (O1/O2) and results from first half of the third campaign (O3) are also already available. I will first discuss the landscape of O1/O2 detections and their implications for stellar evolutionary modeling. Broadly speaking the basic observational properties of detected double black hole mergers are consistent with predictions of the classical isolated binary evolution of massive stars. These early detections constrain some aspects stellar physics that is unaccessible by electromagnetic observations. On the other hand, the first results from O3 campaign seem to challenge classical binary evolution with black holes found in lower and upper mass gaps. These are regions in which black holes are not expected to form from stars, but rather form via dynamic interactions of stars in dense clusters. I will discuss these curious events in context of their most likely formation sites.


prof. dr hab. Marek Biesiada


Sesja /Session VI. Kosmologia i struktura Wszechświata / Structure of the Universe

Title: Precision cosmology in the era of large surveys

The breakthrough of this decade will unquestionably be the operation of the Vera Rubin Observatory and its legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). LSST is expected to be an unprecedented discovery machine with considerable impact on many branches of astrophysics and cosmology. In particular it is expected to produce a high purity sample of 10 million optically-selected AGNs, 10 000 strong lensing systems including 1000 quasar lenses. Hence, the LSST will become a game changer in precision cosmology. In my talk I will review the new opportunities opening for the precision cosmology in the LSST era.


dr Maciej Bilicki

(Centrum Fizyki Teoretycznej PAN)

Sesja/ Session VI. Kosmologia i struktura Wszechświata / Structure of the Universe

Title: Cosmological imaging surveys – today and tomorrow

Deep wide-angle surveys imaging the extragalactic sky at multiple wavelengths are expected to provide competitive cosmological constraints thanks to such probes as gravitational lensing by the large-scale structure (e.g. the so-called cosmic shear). They have been increasing their extent in the recent years thanks to such campaigns as the Dark Energy Survey or the Kilo-Degree Survey covering a few thousand square degrees to depths of ~25th magnitude. In the near future, next-generation surveys such as by the Vera Rubin Observatory and space-borne Euclid will dwarf the current ones by covering most of the available sky at even larger photometric depth than presently. I will give an overview of the current and forthcoming imaging surveys and will present the current cosmological constraints we have from those already completed or ongoing. An interesting feature that has been arising from current observations is a tension in the joint measurements of the universal matter density (Omega_m) and the degree of its `clumpiness’ (sigma_8) between weak lensing probes and what we get from the cosmic microwave background by Planck satellite. A question to which we do not know the answer yet is if this tension is related to the so-called 'Hubble constant tension’ and whether it points to unknown systematics or to some problems in the currently adopted cosmological model, LCDM.


dr Joanna Drążkowska

(LMU Munich, University Observatory)

Sesja / Session II. Układy planetarne i życie / Planetary systems and life

Title: Formation of the Solar System

Our understanding of planet formation is being transformed thanks to the exoplanet detections and observations of circumstellar disks but also the increasing precision of measurements of the Solar System meteorites. From all fronts, there is increasing evidence that planet formation starts already during the circumstellar disk buildup. I will present results of numerical models connecting disk formation, dust growth, the formation of planetary building blocks, and their internal evolution. Our results suggest that migration of the water snow line generated distinct bursts of planetesimal formation that sampled different source regions. These reservoirs evolved in divergent geophysical modes and developed distinct volatile contents. Our results are consistent with constraints from accretion chronology, thermochemistry, and the mass divergence of the inner and outer Solar System. This implies that the compositional fractionation and isotopic dichotomy of the Solar System were initiated by the interplay between disk dynamics, heterogeneous accretion, and the internal evolution of forming protoplanets. The architecture of the Solar System as we know it today is intimately connected to the earliest phases of the solar disk evolution.


prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Górski

(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CalTech, OA Uniwersytet Warszawski)

Wykład Inauguracyjny / Inaugural Lecture:

13 września 2021, 11:00 -11:40, Gamow – misja satelitarna planowana w ramach programu NASA 2021 MIDEX
13 September 2021, 11:00-11:40, Gamow – a satellite mission planned as a part of NASA 2021 MIDEX program

Satelita Gamow wyposażony w teleskopy LEXT (Lobster Eye X-ray Telescope) i PIRT (Photo-z Infrared Telescope), jeśli zostanie zaakceptowany przez NASA w ramach programu MIDEX, będzie wykrywał błyski gamma i identyfikował te pochodzące ze źródeł we wczesnym Wszechświecie (z>6), gdy pojawiały się pierwsze gwiazdy, formowały się galaktyki i w ośrodku międzygalaktycznym jonizowany był wodór. Głównymi celami programu naukowego misji Gamow  będą próby odpowiedzi na następujące fundamentalne pytania: 1) Kiedy rozpoczęło się i jak przebiegało formowanie gwiazd, 2) Jak i kiedy zjonizowany został ośrodek międzygalaktyczny, oraz 3) Jakie procesy dominowały we  wczesnym chemicznym wzbogaceniu Wszechświata.
Prelekcja przedstawi zarys koncepcji satelity i instrumentów Gamow, elementy programu naukowego misji, oraz perspektywy udziału Polski w tym przedsięwzięciu.


prof. dr Gerald Handler


Sesja /Session III. Gwiazdy, Gromady Gwiazdowe i Materia Międzygwiazdowa / Stars, Star Clusters and Interstellar Matter

Title: Tidally tilted pulsators

The single-sided (or more generally, tidally tilted) pulsators are a new type of oscillating stars in close binary systems. Tidal forces exerted by a close companion star have tilted their pulsation axes into the orbital plane. For some of these objects, the pulsations are clearly tidally distorted and enhanced in addition. As of April 2021, we have discovered six of those systems in TESS space photometry data as well as noticed some related cases in the literature. All those systems are different in terms of their pulsational behaviour, secondary star and Roche lobe filling factor. We will present an overview of those stars, as well as our initial results and work in progress.


prof. dr hab. Agnieszka Janiuk

(Centrum Fizyki Teoretycznej PAN)

Sesja /Session IV. Obiekty zwarte / Compact objects

Title: Many faces of black hole accretion in gamma ray bursts

Black holes are formed as the end product of stellar evolution. At birth, some of the black holes must be very rapidly spinning, to be able to power the GRBS, which are ultra-fast jets of plasma, which give a gamma ray burst signal. Under some conditions, the black holes may be born without formation of a disk/jet engine, and then the star will collapse without an electromagnetic transient. On the other hand, the gamma ray bursts may originate from the coalescence of binary compact objects, where also the disk/jet engine is formed. The electromagnetic radiation in gamma rays is accompanied by a gravitational wave signal from the binary merger, while the accretion disk uncollimated outflows may contribute to the subrelativistic neutron-rich material, which is responsible for blue and red kilonova.
I will discuss the properties of these different types of signals observed from gamma ray bursts, and focus on the role of accretion disk in their origin.


prof. dr hab. Włodek Kofman

(Centrum Badań Kosmicznych PAN,Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, CNES, IPAG)

Sesja / Session II. Układy planetarne i życie / Planetary systems and life

Title: The interior of 67P/C-G comet as seen by CONSERT bistatic radar on ROSETTA mission

The structure of the nucleus is one of the major unknowns in cometary science. The scientific objective of the Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission (CONSERT) aboard ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta was to perform an interior characterization of comet67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko nucleus. This was done by means of a bi-static sounding between the lander Philae laying on the comet’s surface and the orbiter Rosetta. During the first night after the landing of Philae on the comet, CONSERT operated during 9 hours and acquired measurements through the small lobe (head) of comet 67P/ C-G. The analyses and interpretation have been done using the shape of the received signals and then 3D modeling of the signal propagation through the comet. The first analyses concerned the propagation delay from which the average permittivity of the cometary interior was derived. We discovered that rays propagating in the shallow subsurface have smaller velocities than those propagating in the deeper interior. This means that the permittivities are different, with the shallow subsurface showing larger permittivity values than the deep interior. These differences likely indicate varying densities between the shallow subsurface (< about 25 m) and the interior of the small lobe of comet 67P/C-G. Dielectric data for ices and dusts particles, compared with CONSERT measurements, constrains the possible constituents of comet 67P/C-G. The shape of the signal, which is very close to the shape of the calibration, shows that scattering by inhomogeneities in the medium is not detected. This indicates that the interior is homogenous at the scale of few wavelengths (the wavelength is about 3.3m in vacuum). The signal propagation in the non-homogeneous medium was studied, to define the sensitivity of CONSERT to detect the inhomogeneities and to constrain the internal structures in terms of size and composition at a scale commensurate with the wavelength.

We will describe CONSERT radar and measurements that explored the interior of the comet, discuss results, their interpretation in terms of the internal structure and composition.


dr hab. Katarzyna Małek


Sesja /Session V. Galaktyki Spokojne i Aktywne. Materia Międzygalaktyczna / Normal and Active Galaxies and Intergalactic Matter

Title: New directions in multi-wavelengths astrophysics: using radio data to uncover properties of star-forming galaxies in young Universe

Understanding how galaxies evolve and how form their stars through cosmic time is one of the main topics in modern astrophysics. Nowadays we have far-infrared and radio surveys which detect emission from millions of regular star-forming galaxies at the epoch of cosmic noon and beyond. The combination of those unique data with
optical and near infrared surveys creates an opportunity to study star formation processes in the young Universe on a wide scale. During my talk, I am going to focus on radio emission as one of the indicators of star-formation activity in galaxies and as an important component in the broadband spectral energy modelling process. I am going to discuss the newest results obtained from the joint project of the Herschel Extragalactic Legacy Project (HELP) and the International Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) survey.


dr Tomasz Mrozek

(Instytut Astronomiczny Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego,
Centrum Badań Kosmicznych PAN, Zakład Fizyki Słońca, Wrocław)

Sesja / Session I. Słońce i heliosfera / The Sun and its heliosphere

Title: The Sun in X-rays. Past, STIX, Future

Fifty-one years ago, on 28 November 1970, an instrument constructed in Wrocław took a solar X-ray image. It was a starting point for developing a solar X-ray group in Poland. The group consist of scientists and engineers from the Solar Physics Division of Space Research Centre PAS (SRC PAS) and Astronomical Institute, University of Wrocław. Solar physicists from Astronomical Institute are mainly concentrated on data analysis and numerical modelling. SRC PAS team, apart from data analysis and numerical modelling, construct instruments that were flown outside the Earth’s atmosphere performing imaging and spectroscopy of solar flares in X-ray regime. The sum of experience gathered during all these years resulted in cooperation in the STIX instrument mounted on board the ESA interplanetary mission Solar Orbiter. STIX is the X-ray imaging spectrometer that is aimed to observe solar flares in the range of 4-150 keV. Its angular resolution is typical for coded aperture imagers, 7 arcsec, but it will approach the Sun as close as 0.3 au. Therefore, the spatial resolution will reach an unprecedented 1500 km. Together with high energy resolution, of the order of 1 keV, we expect many exciting discoveries to be made with STIX in near future. Since the launch, 10 February 2020, STIX performs perfectly thus, by ESA decision, it is the only instrument on board Solar Orbiter which is operated nonstop giving opportunity for uninterrupted registration of solar Hard X-rays. More similar instruments are expected within few next years to be launch on the geocentric and heliocentric orbits. This will give an occasion for stereoscopic imaging of solar Hard X-rays which will open a completely new era of solar flares observations.


Prof. dr hab. Igor Soszyński

(OA Uniwersytet Warszawski)

Sesja /Session III. Gwiazdy, Gromady Gwiazdowe i Materia Międzygwiazdowa / Stars, Star Clusters and Interstellar Matter

Title: The phenomenon of long secondary period in red giants

Long secondary periods (LSPs), observed in a third of pulsating red giant and supergiant stars, are the only unexplained type of large-amplitude stellar variability known at this time. Numerous authors have explored various scenarios for the origin of LSPs, but were unable to give a final solution to this problem. I will present known properties of LSP variables and show new results proving that the physical mechanism responsible for LSPs is binarity. Namely, the LSP light changes are due to the presence of a dusty cloud orbiting the red giant together with the brown-dwarf companion and obscuring the star once per orbit. In this scenario, the low-mass companion is a former Jupiter-like planet that accreted a significant amount of mass from the envelope of its host star and grown into a brown dwarf.


dr hab. Łukasz Stawarz

(OA Uniwersytet Jagielloński)

Sesja /Session V. Galaktyki Spokojne i Aktywne. Materia Międzygalaktyczna / Normal and Active Galaxies and Intergalactic Matter

Title: The High-Energy View of Evolving Galaxies and Their Nuclei

All massive galaxies contain supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in their centres, and the growth of SMBHs and the cosmological evolution of galaxies are tightly connected: during the galaxy merger events, accreting gas triggers starbursts, and at the same time feeds SMBHs and fuels their activity. Through powerful winds from black hole accretion disks, and relativistic jets produced via extraction of a rotational energy of a spinning black hole, SMBHs respond to this fuelling in a complex feedback loop, that couples the energy output of active galactic nuclei (AGN) to the surrounding matter available for the accretion and starformation. In this way, AGN are now recognized as a fundamental component of all the models of galaxy evolution. Indeed, there are growing observational evidence for dramatic interactions between AGN jets and their environment, i.e. for the jets driving outflows in the interstellar medium of host galaxies, as well as raising the central entropy and heating of the intracluster gas in groups and clusters of galaxies. And while the evolution of stars and dust in galaxies is imprinted in the extragalactic background light at optical and infrared frequencies, the mass and spin distribution of co-evolving SMBHs may be imprinted in the cosmic background emission at radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray photon energies, through the broad-band radiative output of AGN accretion disks and jets.


dr Paweł Swaczyna

(Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA)

Sesja / Session I. Słońce i heliosfera / The Sun and its heliosphere

Title: The Local Interstellar Medium Probed by Neutral Atom Observations

The solar wind emitted from the Sun inflates a cavity, called the heliosphere, extending beyond 100 au from the Sun. The solar system is shielded from the vast majority of charged interstellar particles by the heliosphere. However, neutral atoms penetrate the heliosphere and bring information about the physical conditions of the local interstellar medium (LISM) outside the heliopause. The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) is a NASA satellite in Earth orbit dedicated to sample neutral atoms. IBEX is equipped with two neutral atom cameras covering the energy range from ~10 eV to 6 keV. Thermal interstellar neutral (ISN) atoms, observed in the lowest energy steps of IBEX, originate mostly far from the heliosphere and allow for the determination of the LISM temperature and its relative velocity with respect to the Sun. However, fluxes of these atoms are modified in the heliospheric boundaries due to elastic collisions, ionization processes, and radiation pressure. Therefore, analyses of ISN atoms need to account for these changes to find the pristine LISM conditions around the heliosphere. The filtration outside the heliosphere depends on the global shape of the heliosphere, which is affected by the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF). Fortunately, the ISMF is found from observations of higher energy atoms, called energetic neutral atoms (ENAs), which show an arc-like enhancement of ENA fluxes, called the IBEX ribbon. This structure is created just outside the heliosphere and shows directions in which the local ISMF direction is almost perpendicular to the line of sight. Therefore, the IBEX observations allow for a detailed reconstruction of the interstellar conditions in the solar neighborhood, which can be confronted with the knowledge of the LISM structure obtained from astronomical observations.