Save the Date: The First James Webb Space Telescope Images and Spectroscopic Data will be released on 12th July 2022

The James Webb Telescope – the most sophisticated space telescope to date – was launched last Christmas, and has now acquired its first images and spectra. 

Save the date for the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Early Release Observations (ERO) event on July 12th, 2022.

The International Space Science Institute (ISSI) in Bern has been selected as the Swiss node in the worldwide network of institutions for celebrating and broadcasting to the public the unveiling of the first images and spectra. These images and spectra will be presented to the global community and public for the very first time during this event.

You are kindly invited to join us using our Game Changer Seminar platform (Zoominar) starting on Tuesday, July 12th at 15:00h CEST, 9:00h EDT. 

Please click on this Link for the Zoom Session >> 

Meeting ID: 852 6990 9362        Password: 459004

 

Agenda
15:00  Welcome from Tilman Spohn (ISSI) & Valerie Koller (Swiss Space Office)
15:10  Main talks from Swiss Scientists 
JWST and the Swiss Contribution to the Mid Infrared Instrument – Adrian Glauser (ETH Zurich)
From Dark to Light: The First Generations of Galaxies – Pascal Oesch & Anne Verhamme (University of Geneva)
Making the Building Blocks of Life in Interstellar Ices – Beatrice Kulterer (University of Bern)
16:10 Presentation of the 1st images from JWST
What to Expect from the Early-Release Observations – Antonella Nota (STScI)
16:30  Start of the NASA/ESA/CSA ERO live broadcast

We are looking forward to welcoming you to the seminar on the occasion!

Marco Velli is elected as the Johannes Geiss Fellow 2022

The International Space Science Institute ISSI is proud to announce

Prof. Marco Velli

(Space Physics at the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Department,  University of California, USA) as the Johannes Geiss Fellow 2022.

Marco Velli, Johannes Geiss Fellow 2022

Marco Velli is Professor of Space Physics at the Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences Department,  University of California, Los Angeles, USA. A student of the University of Pisa and Scuola Normale Superiore, he has spent research periods at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, the Observatoire de Paris, France, Università della Calabria, Italy, and the Smithsonian CfA, Cambridge, MA, as well as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where he remains a Senior Scientist.

Marco Velli’s research has focused on space plasma physics and solar magnetic activity, with many original results on the stability of magnetic structures anchored in the photosphere, wave propagation and shock formation in inhomogeneous and stratified plasmas, nonlinear evolution of current sheets and magnetic reconnection, the properties of turbulence in dynamically forced, open systems and wave particle interactions in the solar corona and heliosphere.

Prof. Velli carried out a complete analysis of the propagation of Alfven waves in stratified stellar atmospheres, showing how total reflection is never achieved and providing a general discussion of the profile of the transmission into the solar wind. He was also among the first to suggested that wave reflection plays a role in the formation of the turbulence spectrum seen in the solar wind. This work was the basis for the election to AGU fellowship in 2014. Prof. Velli demonstrated the dynamical reason the solar wind is supersonic and showed that generally speaking subsonic flows connecting a star to the interstellar medium survive only over a vanishingly small range of parameters. In other words stars either accrete material or emit supersonic winds connecting with a shock to the interstellar medium. To study solar wind turbulence via numerical simulations, Prof. Velli developed the expanding box model. More recently, together with his students he showed that Sweet Parker current sheets cannot form in space plasmas generally, and that the tearing instability proceeds on ideal time-scales.

Professor Velli played a major role in the development of Parker Solar Probe (PSP), the first spacecraft to fly within 9 solar radii of the Sun’s surface to directly study the outer solar corona and acceleration region of the solar wind, as well as in the Science Definition team for Solar Orbiter. Marco Velli has taught mechanics, electromagnetism, astrophysics, and plasma physics courses at the University of Florence and UCLA. He has been member of peer review committees for NASA research and payload proposals, and member of the Space Science and Exploration working group for the European Space Agency (ESA). He has published over one hundred peer-reviewed research papers involving many international collaborators, as well as invited papers and lecture notes.

At ISSI Marco Velli plans to work on a book on the expansion of the corona into space and formation of the heliosphere in the light of the new data of Parker Solar Probe. He will also participate in relevant ISSI Teams and continue collaborations using Parker and Solar Orbiter data to shed light on the sources and evolution of the solar wind and embedded turbulence.

The Fellowship is named after Prof. Johannes Geiss, the founder of the institute.

ISSI had received excellent proposals from top level scientists from which the selection committee chose the eighth 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.

PLEA FOR PEACE IN EUROPE

The Chair of the ISSI BoT and the ISSI Executive Director are, like the ISSI staff, deeply shocked and saddened by the current events in Ukraine. As a scientific international institution, we consider that mutual respect, integrity and kindness, as well as dialogue among ourselves are absolutely essential.

Our thoughts and sympathy are with all those who suffer during these terrible times.

Visiting Scientists Application

ISSI invites researchers of all career stages to submit a research proposal to spend time at ISSI as a Visiting Scientist. Applications can be submitted at any time and are evaluated by the ISSI directorate on a monthly basis.

ISSI has – through its history – supported short visits of individual scientists to its premises in Bern, in addition to its International Teams, Workshops, Working Groups and Forums program. The many visits over the years by eminent scientists have left a prominent mark on the institute. Given its success, the directorate has recently decided to make this opportunity more accessible by offering a web interface for applications at https://www.issibern.ch/visiting-scientist-application/

ISSI offers support for short term visits of a week up to one or two months. However, the program is limited and competitive, and the ISSI directorate expects to approve no more than one or two visiting scientist applications each month.

Dr. Vittorio Manno

Vittorio Manno

Dr. Vittorio Manno, former and first Science Program manager of ISSI between 1995 and 2009, born on 31st July 1938, passed away at the end of the night on 1st February 2022 in Brussels where he lived. He was recruited by Professor Johannes Geiss who died on 30th January 2020, nearly exactly two years before him. He was a genuine eclectic scientist, though a profoundly humble person, fully honest and loyal. He was deeply appreciated and admired by the members of the international space science community, ISSI teams and workshop members, for his personal sense of service and his impressive scientific culture covering all fields of space science. Vittorio Manno was both a man of dialogue and also certainly of principles. He will be remembered by all ISSI staff members who have certainly lost a very elegant respected colleague and a very dear friend.

Roger-Maurice Bonnet

Mark Sargent, ISSI Science Program Manager

The ISSI Directorate appointed Dr. Mark Sargent as ISSI’s new Science Program Manager as of September 15, 2021. Mark Sargent succeeds Maurizio Falanga, who was the ISSI Science Program Manager since 2009. As of August 1, 2021, Maurizio is now ISSI’s Administrative Director.
 
Mark Sargent was born in Zurich, Switzerland and graduated with a degree in Physics (with specialisation in geophysics) from the ETH Zurich. After completing his PhD studies at the ETH Zurich in Switzerland in 2007, Mark went on to postdoctoral positions at the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg (MPIA) and at the “Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA)” near Paris. He subsequently joined the Astronomy Centre at the University of Sussex in 2013 as a member of their teaching and research faculty, and in 2016/17 also held the position of Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Research fellow. Before joining ISSI, Mark spent a year at EPFL in Lausanne and Geneva Observatory as visiting fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
 
Dr. Mark Sargent, Science Program Manager
Mark works in the field of galaxy formation and evolution, with a particular focus on how the gas and dust content of galaxies evolves over time, and how the process of star formation plays out in different types of galaxies, both in the nearby and distant Universe.
 
He is author or co-author of about 150 publications and in his career has mentored approximately 30 students for MSc or PhD projects. He currently chairs the Square Kilometre Array Science Working Group on Extragalactic Continuum science, and has recently also served the community as chair of the e-MERLIN time allocation committee and as a member of the UK radio astronomy strategy review panel.
 
 
 
 
Mark is very much looking forward to interacting with the whole ISSI community, and to “absorbing” as large a dose as possible of the science discussions that will take place at ISSI in the coming years.

Prof. Dr. Maurizio Falanga is the new ISSI Administrative Director as of 1st of August 2021

The ISSI Board of Trustees and the University of Bern appointed Prof. Dr. Maurizio Falanga to serve ISSI as the new Administrative Director and at the University of Bern as Professor at the Physics Institute. Maurizio Falanga succeeds Rudolf von Steiger in these positions as of 1st of August 2021.


Prof. Dr. Maurizio Falanga

Maurizio Falanga was born in Basel, Switzerland and graduated in Theoretical Physics at the University of Basel. He received his PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy. Afterwards he held various research fellowship positions in astrophysics departments around Europe. His scientific background is in high-energy astrophysics (hot universe and compact objects). He is author and co-author of about 200 published papers and (co-)editor of several books in his research fields. He has been invited to serve on a number of high-level international committees like Board member of the A&A Journal and others. Since 2009 he is the science program manager at ISSI, and between 2013 and 2019 he has been appointed as the first part-time Executive Director of ISSI-Beijing, China. Thus, Maurizio is known to the ISSI community and is highly regarded as a friendly and open-minded person who is always approachable. ISSI is looking forward to working with Maurizio in his new function.

 

 

Prof. Dr. Rudolf von Steiger

Ruedi von Steiger, at ISSI since the first days of the institute in 1995, has retired from his position as Administrative Director and as Professor at the University of Bern by the end of July 2021. For ISSI’s science portfolio, Ruedi represented Solar and Plasma Physics with his own focus on the composition of the solar wind using theoretical modeling and data from Solar Composition Analyzers on space missions such as Ulysses. As the full-time administrative director, Ruedi was essential in running the institute and nurturing its growth from a few to almost a thousand visitors per year. Moreover, Ruedi was the institute’s link to the University of Bern for which he taught courses in Observational Cosmology, Nucleosynthesis, and Quantum Mechanics and served on the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Science. ISSI will forever be thankful to Ruedi for his tireless and inspirational service for more than 25 years.

Prof. em. Dr. Hans Balsiger

Hans Balsiger (picture taken on the ISSI Annual Dinner 2015)
Hans Balsiger (picture taken on the occasion of the ISSI Annual Dinner 2015)

With great sadness, ISSI heard of the passing away of Prof. Hans Balsiger, former Director of the Physics Institute of the University of Bern and Professor of Experimental Physics. Prof. Balsiger helped found the institute and served on the ISSI Science Committee and the Board of Trustees for twenty years, between 1995 and 2014. He was a true friend of the institute and always a great supporter. His advice was highly appreciated. 

 

ISSI and its staff will miss him greatly!

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

 

 

“The Earth, a Planet like no Other” – Online Presentation with Anny Cazenave

This presentation was recorded on November 13, 2020 (on the occasion of ISSI’s 25th anniversary).

Abstract: The Earth is the only planet of the Solar System hosting evolved life. «How to build an habitable planet ?» has led to considerable scientific literature in the recent decades and has strongly motivated research on exoplanets. All along its history the Earth has displayed specific chemical and physical properties, including a relatively stable climate that a played major role in the evolution of living organisms. In this presentation we discuss the physical particularities of planet Earth, such as gravity and magnetic fields, rotation, mantle convection and plate tectonics, volcanism and water cycle, and their impacts on climates and life, from paleo times to present. Today, Homo Sapiens polulation is approaching 8 billions, a factor 8 times larger than 2 centuries ago, and an indirect consequence of fossil energy use and associated technological innovation. However, our present-day world is facing a number of new «Grand Challenges», as summarized by the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By providing invaluable information on the Earth system and its evolution under natural and anthropogenic forcing factors, Earth observation from space has a key role to play for reaching several of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda, in particular those related to current climate change, water resources, land and marine biodiversity and food security.

Anny Cazenave received her Ph.D. in geophysics in 1975 from the University of Toulouse. Subsequently, working at the French space agency CNES, she went into space geodesy, the use of satellites to track changes in Earth’s surface, gravity field and orientation in space. She first focused on the dynamics of the oceanic crust and the mechanically strong layer of the uppermost mantle below it. Among other things, she used early space- borne radars to show that the ocean surface is not flat, but follows the topography of the ocean floor. In other early work, she addressed questions about the rotation of Venus and the origins of the Mars moons, Phobos and Deimos. Towards the end of last century, European and American space agencies launched a new series of satellite radar altimeters capable of monitoring sea level everywhere in the world oceans in more or less real time. By the early part of the 21st century, it had been determined that global sea level was rising by at least about three millimetres a year. As one of the leading scientists in the joint French/American satellite altimetry missions, TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and the Ocean Surface Topography Mission, Anny Cazenave has contributed to a greater understanding of this sea level rise and its dependence on global warming. Besides a large number of publications, Anny was lead author of the sea level sections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent full reports, in 2007 and 2014.

Since 2013, she has been director of Earth sciences at the International Space Science Institute in Bern. In 2020, she received the prestigious Vetlesen Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize in geophysics, for her pioneering work in using satellite data to chart and quantify rises in the surface of the oceans, and related changes in ice sheets, landmasses and freshwater bodies.

 

“The Earth, a Planet like no Other” – Online Presentation with Anny Cazenave

The extraordinary talk will take place on Friday, November 13, 18h CET and can be attended online at https://bit.ly/37J001Z (Zoom Webinar).

Meeting ID: 846 6905 4306         Password: 972498

Abstract: The Earth is the only planet of the Solar System hosting evolved life. «How to build an habitable planet ?» has led to considerable scientific literature in the recent decades and has strongly motivated research on exoplanets. All along its history the Earth has displayed specific chemical and physical properties, including a relatively stable climate that a played major role in the evolution of living organisms. In this presentation we discuss the physical particularities of planet Earth, such as gravity and magnetic fields, rotation, mantle convection and plate tectonics, volcanism and water cycle, and their impacts on climates and life, from paleo times to present. Today, Homo Sapiens polulation is approaching 8 billions, a factor 8 times larger than 2 centuries ago, and an indirect consequence of fossil energy use and associated technological innovation. However, our present-day world is facing a number of new «Grand Challenges», as summarized by the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. By providing invaluable information on the Earth system and its evolution under natural and anthropogenic forcing factors, Earth observation from space has a key role to play for reaching several of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda, in particular those related to current climate change, water resources, land and marine biodiversity and food security.

 

Anny Cazenave received her Ph.D. in geophysics in 1975 from the University of Toulouse. Subsequently, working at the French space agency CNES, she went into space geodesy, the use of satellites to track changes in Earth’s surface, gravity field and orientation in space. She first focused on the dynamics of the oceanic crust and the mechanically strong layer of the uppermost mantle below it. Among other things, she used early space- borne radars to show that the ocean surface is not flat, but follows the topography of the ocean floor. In other early work, she addressed questions about the rotation of Venus and the origins of the Mars moons, Phobos and Deimos.

Towards the end of last century, European and American space agencies launched a new series of satellite radar altimeters capable of monitoring sea level everywhere in the world oceans in more or less real time. By the early part of the 21st century, it had been determined that global sea level was rising by at least about three millimetres a year. As one of the leading scientists in the joint French/American satellite altimetry missions, TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason-1, and the Ocean Surface Topography Mission, Anny Cazenave has contributed to a greater understanding of this sea level rise and its dependence on global warming.

Besides a large number of publications, Anny was lead author of the sea level sections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent full reports, in 2007 and 2014.

Since 2013, she has been director of Earth sciences at the International Space Science Institute in Bern. In 2020, she received the prestigious Vetlesen Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize in geophysics, for her pioneering work in using satellite data to chart and quantify rises in the surface of the oceans, and related changes in ice sheets, landmasses and freshwater bodies.

 

 

Recently, a SPATIUM issue on Climate Change and Sea Level Rise by Anny Cazenave was published by the Association Pro ISSI.