Research project is (co) funded by the Slovenian Research Agency.
UL Member: Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Project: Astrophysics and Physics of the Atmosphere
Period: 1. 1. 2015 - 31. 12. 2020
Range per year: 2.23 FTE, category: C
Head: Tomaž Zwitter
Research activity: Natural sciences and mathematics
Program joins 4 main topics: (i) galactic archaeology and structure, including properties of stars and interstellar medium, (ii) transient sources in the Galaxy and beyond, (iii) galaxy environments, including clusters of galaxies, (iv) meteorological research. Item (i) includes participation and leadership involvement in the largest ongoing international spectroscopic surveys of the Galaxy (Gaia satellite, RAVE, Hermes/Galah, Gaia-ESO surveys) in order to clarify its structure and origin as a typical galaxy in the Universe, and with a specific focus on active stars and on properties of interstellar medium. Also (ii) will use Gaia and NASA's Swift satellite data coupled with world-class robotic and conventional telescopes to follow-up transient sources and establish their astrophysical nature and properties. In the core program we will focus mostly on gamma ray bursts (GRB). The emphasis will be on extremely energetic events produced in the strong gravitational field of black holes, therefore connecting various areas from high-energy physics and general relativity to stellar evolution and stellar dynamics in central parts of galaxies. In part (iii) we will focus on numerical modelling of galaxy environments of GRBs and on characterization of galaxy clusters' properties using modern cosmological simulations. Clusters of galaxies are the largest structures in dynamical equilibrium nowadays and are important as tools to determine cosmological parameters. They are also fundamental for interpreting the results of surveys with satellites as Euclid and Athena+. Their evolution and assembly leaves imprints on the thermal content of the hot ionised gas, the IntraCluster Medium (ICM), where most of cluster baryons reside. Meteorological research (iv) aims to extend the ongoing projects within the area of large/scale dynamics, data assimilation for numerical weather prediction (NWP), predictability research, precipitation analysis and verification, and integrated modelling of atmospheric processes with an integrated high resolution meteorological-chemical-transport model aimed at a better air-quality forecast. At the same time, we provide the only research support to the development of operational NWP activities at the Slovenian environment agency (ARSO). New results on large-scale dynamics, data assimilation for NWP, global energetics, predictability, and ensemble forecasting are expected. A special emphasis will be devoted to methods used for verification of precipitation. A coupled climate, chemical transport and meteorology modelling systems will be used at high spatial resolution.