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Saturn’s moon Mimas, a Snowplough in the Planet’s Rings

The Solar System's second largest planet both in mass and size, Saturn is best known for its rings. These are divided by a wide band, the Cassini Division, whose formation was poorly understood until very recently. Now, researchersfrom the CNRS, the Paris Observatory – PSL and the University of Franche-Comté have shown that Mimas, one of Saturn's moons, acted as a kind of remote snowplough, pushing apart the ice particles that make up the rings.  The findings are the result of two studies supported by the International Space Science Institute and CNES, the French space agency, published simultaneously in June 2019 in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Announcement Johannes Geiss Fellowship 2019

The International Space Science Institute ISSI is proud to announce Dr. Bruno Leibundgut, European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany as the 2019 Johannes Geiss Fellow. Dr. Bruno Leibundgut is a highly-recognized, world-renowned scientist who specializes in the Astrophysics of Supernovae. 

The Fellowship is named after Prof. Johannes Geiss, the founder of the institute. ISSI had received more than ten excellent proposals from top level scientists from which the selection committee chose the fifth JGF recipient after thorough evaluation. The selection committee consisted of the Directors and the Chair of the ISSI Science Committee. ISSI is honored by the high interest from the science community in the Johannes Geiss Fellowship and would like to deeply thank all applicants. The call for the JGF 2020 will be issued in due time.

Homepage of Bruno Leibundgut >>


Workshop "Star Formation"

The Workshop is devoted to an in-depth examination of complex astrophysical  phenomena of star formation via multi-wavelength observations and modeling. From their birth to their death, stars are playing a major role in the chemical evolution of the matter and the energy budget of galaxies via their radiation, their wind, and the supernovae. The complex interplay of physical processes from gas dynamics and cosmochemistry to nuclear physics leading to the formation of protostars in molecular clouds and then their feedback on the cloud are subject of a great current interest. 
Among the fundamental issues to be discussed are: 
- The role of gravity in the formation and evolution of molecular clouds
- The role of stellar feedback (supernovae, winds) in regulating star formation, Jets, magnetic fields and cosmic rays in star clusters
- The origin of first stars and the star formation rate across the cosmic evolution

Workshop Webpage >>



Pro ISSI Talk with K. Schrijver (recorded on May 8, 2019)

"Solar Magnetic Activity in a Nutshell, and How Stars and Exoplanets Can Help Us Understand It All" by Karel Schrijver, Johannes Geiss Fellow 2018

Abstract: For us on Earth, the Sun is the most important star. For billions of years, its steady glow has kept Earth habitable. The Sun also has a harmful side that humanity is increasingly affected by because of our growing dependence on electrical systems and on communication systems, and also because we venture into space beyond Earth’s atmospheric and magnetic shields. Fortunately, the Sun is also by far the nearest star: a complement of instruments on the ground and in space can study it in detail from its deepest interior to its outermost atmosphere. Distant Sun-like stars may not reveal much in detail, but their diversity enables us to understand what drives the Sun’s variability, to learn about the history and future of the Sun’s magnetism, and to quantify the infrequent extremes of space weather. This lecture will touch upon what we have learned about the dynamo that drives solar activity, how magnetism heats the solar atmosphere and drives the solar wind, what causes solar explosions, and what all that has to do with habitability of planets and how exoplanets can help us understand the Sun.


Voyage 2050: ESA Call for White Papers

The ESA Science Programme relies on long-term planning of its scientific priorities. The next planning cycle, Voyage 2050, is now underway. As was the case for the previous plans - Horizon 2000, Horizon 2000 Plus, and Cosmic Vision - the definition of the Voyage 2050 plan relies on open community input and on broad peer review. The community input will be gathered through a Call for White Papers while the peer review of this input will take place through a two-tiered committee structure, with a Senior Committee of 13 European scientists supported by a number of Topical Teams.

The Call for White Papers solicits ideas from the scientific community for the science themes that should be covered during the Voyage 2050 planning cycle. Any scientist or science team can submit a White Paper, with no limitation in terms of residence or nationality. All White Papers must be submitted in English. White Paper lead scientists cannot be members of the Topical Teams. The deadline for receipt of White Papers is 5 August 2019

Further Details >>


Thomas Zurbuchen nominated for the Greinacher-Preis 2018

Laudatio of the committee: In recognition of his work in the field of space science in the broadest sense stretching from his role as an innovative instrument designer and builder to data analysis and interpretation of solar wind plasma from many space missions, from studying Mercury’s magnetosphere in detail to theoretical work in space plasma research, and all the way to becoming one of the most supreme advocates of space science in his role as NASA Associate Administrator for Science Missions. 
The foundation was established in Bern in 1988 with the name of Heinrich-Greinacher-Stiftung from the estate of the couple Frieda and Heinrich Greinacher. Interest income of the Foundation's capital is used to fund the Heinrich Greinacher Prize and for the promotion of young researchers and scientists. 


Prof. Tilman Spohn has been elected as the new Executive Director of the International Space Science Institute

The Board of Trustees of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) has elected Professor Tilman Spohn
from Germany to head the Institute as its new Executive Director as of January 1, 2019. Tilman Spohn will
succeed Professor Rafael Rodrigo, who was called to the ministry of Science, Innovation, and
Universities after a change of the Government of Spain in June 2018.

More Information >>


Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure launches New Era of Planetary Collaboration in Europe

ISSI is pleased to announce that it has been selected to be a part of a €9.95 million project to integrate and support planetary science activities across Europe. The Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI) has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 654208 and will run for four years until August 2019. The project is led by the Open University, UK, and has 34 beneficiary institutions from 19 European countries. ISSI is presently the only Swiss institute participating in this project and its funding comes directly from the Swiss Government. Europlanet 2020 RI is addressing key scientific and technological challenges facing modern planetary science by providing open access to state-of-the-art research data, models and facilities across the European Research Area.

Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure Webpage >>

Announcement by ISSI about the Europlanet 2020 RI >>


ISSI Newsletter

The ISSI Newsletter will appear 2-3 times per year with the latest information about the International Space Science Institute. If you wish to be informed regularly about the International Space Science Institute please subscribe here >.

Newsletter Nr. 1 October 2010 >

Newsletter Nr. 2 February 2011 >

Newsletter Nr. 3 October 2011 >

Newsletter Nr. 4 February 2012 >

Newsletter Nr. 5 October 2012 >

Newsletter Nr. 6 January 2013 >

Newsletter Nr. 7 October 2013 >

Newsletter Nr. 8 February 2014 >

Newsletter Nr. 9 July 2014 >

Newsletter Nr. 10 January 2015 >

Newsletter Nr. 11 May 2015 >

Newsletter Nr. 12 October 2015 >

Newsletter Nr. 13 February 2016 >

Newsletter Nr. 14 April 2016 >

Newsletter Nr. 15 October 2016 >

Newsletter Nr. 16 December 2016 >

Newsletter Nr. 17 January 2017 >

Newsletter Nr. 18 June 2017 >

Newsletter Nr. 19 October 2017 >

Newsletter Nr. 20 December 2017 >

Newsletter Nr. 21 February 2018 >

Newsletter Nr. 22 September 2018 >

Newsletter Nr. 23 December 2018 >

Newsletter Nr. 24 February 2019 >



last update: 13 June 2019