27 . 31 May, 2007
UNESCO International Conference
Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Nizhnij Arkhyz, Karachaevo-Cherkesia, Russia
39 scientists and Professors (both Senior Researchers and young researchers), postgraduate and undergraduate students from Russia, Brazil, France, Germany, Poland, Chine, Israel, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan participated in the work of International Conference .Cosmic Physics.. The scientific program of the Conference has been designed to illuminate five different issues in modern astronomy:
The Program of the Conference included 4 Sittings, Poster Session (in all, it was given 22 oral talks and presented 5 posters) and final General discussion .Future of Astronomy.. Excursions to 6-meter optical telescope (BTA) and 600-meter radio telescope (RATAN-600) . the main astronomical instruments of Special Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) . were also made, during which the lectures about the history of SAO and design features of the installed astronomical instruments were given. The cultural program included the excursions to the oldest (X Century) Christians churches on the territory close to SAO, tour to the recreation zone Dombay, as well as the Concert of the National Caucasus artistic troupe.
Besides, Prof. J. Lepine (IAG USP, Brazil) during his stay in Moscow gave 2 seminars at leading Russian astronomical centers: State Astronomical Institute at Moscow State University (SAI, Moscow) and Institute of Astronomy of Russian Academy of Sciences (INASAN, Moscow). The titles of the talks and main results are briefly stated below.
The main by-product of the above two seminars is the expansion of scientific contacts of Astronomical Societies of Russia and Latin America. Such contacts open the opportunity for Russian astronomers to obtain the direct information from southern sky which is inaccessible from northern Earth hemisphere, on the other hand, enable to exchange by new ideas from the both sides. After the seminars several team-works (in collaboration of: Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences at University of San Paulo, Brazil; Space Research Department of Southern Federal University, Russia; State Astronomical Institute of Moscow State University, Russia; and Institute of Astronomy of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia) on Galactic structure and nucleosynthesis were reached.
In the opening talk, Director of SAO, Corresponding member of Russian Academy of Sciences, Prof. Yu.Yu. Balega (Russia) has acquainted the participants of the Conference with the observatory and crowning achievements. SAO is the leading National observatory of Russian Federation. It operates above 40 years and represents a complex of 6-meter and 1-meter optical telescopes, 600-meter radio telescope and several telescopes of smaller diameters. When the observatory was projected, a lot of new design ideas were realized in it, which latter has been used in other telescopes. At present, several new techniques and devices, as well as analysis and processing of astronomical information enable to derive extremely high quality information about the most remote objects in the Universe.
Prof. Yu.N. Mishurov (SFU, Russia) gave a talk on the Galactic status of the Sun. For a long time the Sun was considered as a typical field star which is not situated at some special place in the Galaxy, its trajectory represents a slightly perturbed circle in the galactic plane and the chemical solar abundance is like the content for close stars of corresponding age and parameters. This idea may be considered as an extended Copernicus principal. However, about 20 years ago several authors came to a conclusion that the Sun is an over metal star and for a long time the solar chemical anomaly was considered as unsolvable paradox. Several ideas were put forward to explain this paradox, e.g. that extra solar planets should be searched for near metal-rich stars or that the Sun was born about much closer to the galactic center than its present location. The efforts undertaken for solving this problem led to the following conclusion: it was developed new model for the internal structure of the Sun according to which our star happens to be more or less typical star in its chemical abundance, however the Sun is located in a special position in the Galaxy . the so-called corotation resonance. Perhaps this peculiarity influenced the solar environment and determined the favorable conditions for life origin and evolution of the biosphere on the Earth.
Prof. Yu.A. Shchekinov (SFU, Russia) described in his talk several unresolved problems connected with formation of the first stars in the Universe. These stars mark the transition of the Universe from its primordial state, where all baryons were in gaseous form and all chemical elements were the residual of the primary nucleosynthesis of the first three minutes of the Universe, to the modern state with a highly structure on all scales, with a significant (if not dominating) fraction of baryon mass confined in stars. Physical characteristics of the first stars probably determine not only the transition between these two stages, but most features of the face of modern Universe. Despite a fairly long history of theoretical discussions on this matter the first stars still remain to some extent a mystery because they never have been observed, though several ongoing astrophysical experiments are aimed to detect the light from first stars. At present, all our knowledge on first stars is based on best numerical experiments. Thanks to these experiments it is commonly accepted that first stars are massive, in other words their distribution is biased toward higher masses in comparison with stars in the nearby Universe. This understanding, however, meets troubles with explanation of elemental pattern in the intergalactic medium, Ly-alpha forest systems, damped Ly-alpha systems, and in the vicinity of high-redshift quasars. Possible solutions of this discrepancy were proposed in the talk. Among others the particularity of thermodynamics connected with HD molecular cooling favoring formation of low-mass protostellar clouds, and possible negative feedback preventing formation of stellar population in primeval gas. He stressed that only observational astronomy can bring us conclusive information about the first stars/ their properties and the impact on the overall picture of the Universe, and outlined prospective for observational study of first stars with ongoing astronomical experiments.
Prof. J. Krelowski (N. Copernicus University, Torun, Poland) had given a very interesting and clear talk about his more than 20-year study of the so-called diffuse interstellar bands (in a large part the observed spectra has been collected at Special Astrophysical Observatory). In his talk, he illuminated several issues related with the study of absorption spectra of interstellar HI clouds and particular the diffuse interstellar bands. These are: purely technical (observational) problems connected with sensitivity of receivers of optical emission, which are therefore tightly connected with technological developments; problems related to recognition and identification absorption spectral features and diffuse bands; problems connected with physical interpretation of the spectra. From this point of view the talk was very instructive not only for young participants but for professionals as well. Through his talk J. Krelowski brought the audience to the conclusion that diffuse interstellar bands most likely are connected with complex interstellar molecules. Perhaps, the most striking conclusion of his talk was that in some cases one can meet clouds (the so-called .caf.. clouds, containing a pronounced CaII and FeII absorption) which do not show presence of dust in them. This discovery has been recognized by the participants as a very important for understanding the origin and dynamics of the interstellar and interplanetary dust.
Dr. L.Pustil.nik (Tel Aviv University & Israel Space Agency, Israel) analyzed current approach to solar flare origin. Standard consideration of pre-flare state based on potential fields with some force-free adds, generated by motion on photosphere level, is in contradiction with observational facts of the last years: fine structures of magnetic fields on photosphere level and of coronal magnetic-current structure based on numerous magnetic threads-arcs observed in X-ray and UV. Possible reasons for stability loss with transition of system in flare state is controlled by global current which causes catastrophic transition of the system of currents into flare state, the external disturbances being the possible triggers for flare process. Turbulent current sheet may be described by process of current percolation through random resistor.s network with dependence resistance from current of threshold like type. Flare energy releases in turbulent current sheet and particle acceleration in this system. This percolation process is a base for well known effects of phase transitions and may explain different mysterious properties of flare process: sudden start of flare itself in large volume, precursors and pre-fluctuation preceded to flare state, etc. Sudden flare burst influences space weather, modulated by cycle of solar activity, and in turns, on the Earth weather and the price bursts in the Earth markets, for instance, in the case of isolated wheat market with limited external supply of agriculture production we may wait specific "price burst" reaction on unfavorable phase of solar activity and space weather, what leads to corresponding abnormalities in the local weather and next crop failure.
Senior Researcher, Dr. L.V. Ksanfomaliti (Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia) gave a talk on New planetary research. Space missions discovered a lot of new information about planets and their satellites in our solar system, among them a mystery on a Saturnian rings and satellite Japet, a strange hole on Mars surface, etc. But the most impressive recognition is the one that the structure of solar planetary system is, in some sense, inverse to known extra solar planetary systems.
Dr. A.V. Moiseev talked about Scanning IFP for Galactic and extragalactic researches in SAO RAS. The scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer (IFP) is a powerful tool for the investigation of the kinematics of extended objects by the method of panoramic (3D) spectroscopy. In this review, the opportunities of the IFP are illustrated on the observations recently obtained on the SAO RAS 6-m telescope. The main attention is given for kinematically decoupled regions in the galaxies: bars, spirals, polar disks and rings, regions of the violent starformation.
Dr. A. Akyuz (Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey) had a talk on Preliminary results on observations of Supernovae remnants in two spiral galaxies. Supernova remnants (SNRs) are important probes of the interstellar medium. Although the sample of Galactic remnants is large it is plagued by interstellar extinction and uncertain distances. These problems are much less in extragalactic samples. A number of nearby spiral galaxies have already been observed in order to identify SNRs in them. One of the objectives of this work is to derive radial distribution of supernova remnant surface densities in spiral galaxies. This project will help in extending the database so that we can meaningfully explore the SNR distribution as a function galaxy type. Other objectives include the comparison of the SNR radial distribution with the radial distribution of HII regions to look for any association between Type II progenitors and the SNRs and comparison of the SNR distribution to the spiral arm patterns. The future follow-up spectroscopic observations for SNRs detected in these galaxies are also planned. In this work, the results of an optical search for SNRs in the spiral galaxies NGC3184 and NGC2903 are presented. These observations were performed with the 1.5m Russian-Turkish Telescope (RTT150), Spectrograph TFOSC's (TUG Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera) CCD imaging system using narrowband interference filters at Turkish National Observatory (TUG). Furthermore, it is aimed to have the extended SNR catalogue with these two spiral galaxies and previously examined NGC6946 and NGC628 galaxies.
Several interesting talks were made by researchers of SAO in collaboration with researchers from other Observatories.
Among participants there were several postgraduate students involved in this period into a training program (A. Moskvitin and V. Diachenko from South Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia, E. Tikhonov, Saint-Petersburg University, St. Petersburg, Russia), PhD students (E. Sonbas, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey) T.Semenova, Yu.Sotnikova and D.Kratov (SAO). They presented both oral talks and brief talks in a poster session, where they had an opportunity to show the results obtained during several months in a compact form. The purpose of these presentations was not only to report formally the results of their work but also to provide the young astronomers the very first experience to present the problems they are involved in, to train an immediate reaction to the questions from the audience, and, what is most important, to stimulate their interest by these questions. This is similar to the training programs through a network of workshops for young astronomers organized in western European countries (such as Graduirten Kollege programs in Germany). It has to be stressed that this poster session was inspiring and stimulating for young participants and for professional astronomers as well. Very briefly the poster session can be summarized as follows:
Prof. M. Passarge (Sonnenobservatorium, Bad Salzschlirf, Germany) shared by his experience in popularization of astronomy knowledge in Germany. During recent years it was developed a scheme for popularizing scientific astronomy to a broad audience in form of: Monthly Talks Newspaper Articles, Radio and TV Talks, Guided Tours and Practical instructions. The experiences of these scheme covers the wide range of children in the age of the Kindergarden, pupils with different schooling and not at least working persons of different age and a different education background. The report shows at first the structure of each task, the key indicator itself and as a result of all five different tasks there will be shown the general key to convey detailed knowledge in astronomy to this wide spectrum of the audience.
Dr. L.Pustil.nik (Israel) presented 12 year experience of educational project in Space/Astrophysics/ Environment field, realized on the base of National Science-Educational Center "Blossoms of Science" of the Jordan Valley College. The described approach is based on the natural curiosity of children as driver of their self-development from the first minutes of their life and even in adult state. This approach shift center of the weight in educational process from direct lectures, sermons, explanation from teacher to children on own attempts of children to investigate problem, what is interesting for them, by themselves (individually or in group). The approach includes four levels of the projects: "nano-projects" for children garden and basic school (up to 10-12 years), "micro-projects" for intermediate school (12-16 years), "mini-projects" for high school (16-18 years), and "macro-projects" for the best graduates high schools and students of colleges (17-22 years). These levels and projects are interconnected one with another and sometimes participants, started on the micro-projects level in intermediate school, continue their activity up to macro-projects of the graduate's diploma level. For each level courses for preparation of the teachers who are interested in the using of the receipts and instructors were organized, as well as books and brochures for them were published. The content of the activity for different levels: a) Level of kinder gardens-basic schools - special software with interactive movie - "nano-projects"; b) Level of intermediate school: "Days of Science" in tens schools of Israel - first contact with astronomy in "micro-projects"; c) Summer astronomy camps (4.5 of one week camps on 200-300 pupils from all country) with introduction to astronomy and preparation of mini-projects on themes - first successful experience of research in real science fields (hundreds projects); d) ASTROTOP - one year program for preparation of short projects, with solution on the quality level of chosen astrophysical problem -macro-projects with first experience of data acquisition, collection, critical analysis and comparison with alternative explanation (many tens projects); e) Graduate Diploma - 1.5-2 year real participation of students-graduates of high school in astrophysical projects in national observatories and research space centers.
Very interesting talks of common and conceptual interest, stimulating hot discussions, were given by Drs. O. Zhelenkova and M. Prokhorov on the topics connected with storage and processing of huge astronomical data. It is now world-wide accepted that in the present state science in general and astronomy in particular requires a completely new concept of accumulation and reduction technique of continuously growing amount of experimental data. Many of the issues met recently by astronomers connected with managing of these data are similar to those which the human society will meet soon in an enormously growing amount of information in mass media and the world-wide-web, and have therefore a strong and obvious social impacts.
The main subjects of Joint discussion were:
In conclusion (round-table) discussion the participants of the Conference came to the following decisions.
From social point of view one can stress the following two aspects:
Astronomy came about from every day needs of ancient mankind but for the time being it is a world outlook science which joins in itself many brunches of basic science such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology. And not only the basic science but applied sciences also such as medicine, computer science, electronics and etc. For the time being astronomy is the subject like .philosophia naturalis. of ancient Greeks and mediaeval science. That is why astronomy is very important for the human being.
From general scientific point of view it must be stressed that as astronomy is one of the most active among other sciences in using and processing of huge volumes of information, the experience accumulated in astronomy can be transferred and efficiently used in other branches of human activity. Moreover, as astronomy always works basically with weak signals, it requires constantly using of the highest achievements in receivers of all wavelength bands, and therefore possible contacts between professional astronomers and people working in development of new receivers, based for instance on nano-structures, seem very timely and could be suggested for future such meetings. On the other hand, at present astrophysical studies are normally based on a tight combination of observations and hard numerical modeling, and therefore there is a vital need for meetings of astronomers and astrophysicists with professionals working in numerical fluid dynamics. Last years Special Astrophysical Observatory and Southern Federal University work in all these area in a tight cooperation and they can naturally coordinate such kind of meetings joining inter-disciplinary professionals in astronomy, information technologies, numerical fluid dynamics, optical and radio devices.