Given the current epidemiological context, as of 01.04.2020, the direct public relations activities carried out at the INSTITUTE OF SPACESCIENCE (ISS) headquarters are suspended for an indefinite period

The communication will be done exclusively by telephone, fax or e-mail.


Thank you for understanding!


Email: office[at]spacescience[dot]ro

Tel: +4 021 457 44 71

Fax: +4 021 457 58 40

JWST Master Class: a local workshop in ROMANIA

Between 17 and 18 February 2020, within the Institute of Space Sciences (ISS) of Măgurele, the workshop “JWST Master Class – the local version, for Romania” was held. The purpose of the whole event was to familiarize the scientific community with the James Web Space Telescope (JWST), as well as training the interested persons, both theoretically and practically, in the process of applying for observation time.

Because drafting proposals for observation time has a high degree of complexity, involving different software packages (general and dedicated), the workshop focused on presenting these tools, as well as the JWST instruments and observations modes.

The event was organized by Laurențiu Caramete, Bogdan Dumitru and Răzvan Balașov from the ISS and guests from European Space Agency (ESA): Marco Sirianni – Scientific Operations Development Manager ESA JWST, Tim Rawle – NIRSpec Instrument & Calibration Expert JWST, Sandor Kruk – Expert Galactic Training and Evolution ESA, who actively supported the whole event.

The first day included a series of presentations on the current state of the JWST mission, instruments, observation modes and tools. The activity related to the second day was structured on concrete examples of the use of software tools.

The feedback for this event was extremely positive, both from the participants and from the ESA guests.


Photo gallery:

Group photo, JWST Master Class: a local workshop in Romania (Photo: O. Bănaru)





Marco Sirianni (Photo: L. Caramete)      Tim Rawle (Photo: L. Caramete)     Sandor Kruk (Photo: L. Caramete)




Bogdan Dumitru (Photo: L. Caramete)                      Răzvan Balașov (Photo: L. Caramete)














                               Hands on from JWST Master Class: a local workshop in Romania





Astronomical event of the year: the Transit of planet Mercury over the Sun’s disk as seen from the Institute of Space Science

Sequence showing the Mercury transit's advance over the Sun's disk observed in H-alfa, on November 11th, 2019. (Foto: M. Teodorescu)
Sequence showing the Mercury transit’s advance over the Sun’s disk observed in H-alfa, on November 11th, 2019. (Foto: M. Teodorescu)

Transits of the inner planets over the disk of the Sun occur periodically, being observed for several centuries now. The interest in such events was mainly a scientific one, focused on a problem that remained unresolved in celestial mechanics for some time. The problem was the advancement of the perihelion of Mercury (a point where a planet, in its movement around the Sun, is closest to it) with a value greater than that calculated by Newton’s law of gravitation. Eventually, the problem was solved at the beginning of the 20th century, with the emergence of the general theory of relativity.

At the headquarters of the Institute of Space Science, a team of researchers from the Space Plasma and Magnetometry Laboratory (Maximilian Teodorescu, Gabriel Voitcu, Costel Munteanu, Eliza Teodorescu and Cătălin Negrea) observed the event from the building’s rooftop. The observation conditions, although not perfect due to the low altitude of the Sun above the horizon, allowed the acquisition of images in two wavelengths (in “white light” at 540 nm for the observation of the solar photosphere, and in the light of ionized hydrogen “H-alpha” at 656.28 nm for the observation of the chromosphere).

In addition to the actual observations, the team had the pleasure of engaging in solar observations with other researchers of the institute. Also, a few children viewed the event through the instrument’s eyepiece, and were fascinated by the appearance of the small dark disk of Mercury with the Sun’s chromosphere in the background.

The current transit showed a major interest from the astronomical community worldwide. The next such event will occur in November 2032.

Below are some photos from the event as well as some astronomical images resulted from the observation session.

This movie  shows the transit of Mercury over the disk of the Sun. Observations are done in the wavelength of ionized hydrogen (H-alpha).

Contact person: Dr. Maximilian Teodorescu <tmaxim[at]>

Photo Gallery:


JWST Master Class: a local workshop in ROMANIA

Workshop organisers:

Laurentiu Caramete, Bogdan Dumitru and Razvan Balasov from Institute of Space Science (ISS)

Marco Sirianni and Tim Rawle from European Space Agency (ESA)

Date: Feb 17-18, 2020

Location: Institute of Space Science, Măgurele


The launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and also the proposal submission process (Cycle1 GO – General Observation) will start soon. In preparation for this event, ISS in collaboration with ESA is organizing a workshop in Romania to train the scientific community. This training helps building the necessary skills to use the proposal tools (APT and ETC, which are relatively complex) and to stimulate proposal ideas.

During this local workshop the participants will be familiarized with the JWST mission status and the scientific instruments (NIRCam, NIRSpec, NIRISS, and MIRI). Furthermore, the available proposal tools and observing scientific modes will be presented and discussed.

The participation is based of registration (Registration Form – Click here). There is no registration fee for this workshop. The entire workshop will be held in English. Please use the form below and provide some information on your interests and science questions. Deadline for Registration is Jan 28th, 2020.


If the registration deadline has been exceeded, you can register by email bogdan[dot]dumitru[at]spacescience[dot]ro.

20th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Pierre Auger Observatory

Artwork by Sandbox Studio Chicago with Pedro Rivas
Artwork by Sandbox Studio Chicago with Pedro Rivas

Pierre Auger Observatory celebrates this year the 20th Anniversary. The Scientific Symposium, Science Fair and official Celebration take place in Malargüe (Province Mendoza, Argentina), during November 14th -16th, 2019, at the site of the Pierre Auger Observatory.

The Pierre Auger Observatory is the world-wide largest cosmic ray detector, covering an area of 3000 km2. It is operated by a collaboration of more than 400 scientists from 17 countries (including Romania since 2014, represented presently by IFIN-HH and ISS). The aim of the Observatory is the study of the highest-energy particles of the cosmos, up to 1020 electronvolts and above. Data of the Auger Observatory led to major advances in our understanding of high-energy phenomena linked to the most violent processes in the Universe. Scientific breakthroughs have been achieved in several fields. Still, the sources of the particles of such extreme energies have not been identified. In addition, the properties of multiparticle production are studied at energies not covered by man-made accelerators searching for new or unexpected changes of hadronic interactions. The currently ongoing upgrade of the Pierre Auger Observatory, called AugerPrime, will help to address also those remaining open questions and will favor the emergence of a uniquely consistent picture.

More info about the event here.

Seminar about “The High Energy Universe: Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays, Active Galactic Nuclei and Gamma-ray Bursts”

Hercules A (an active galactic nucleus). Visible light image obtained by Hubble Telescope superposed with a radio image taken by the Very Large Array (VLA)

Guest: Dr. Athina Meli, Liège University, Belgium and Athens Institute for Education and Research, Greece

When: 23 May 2018, from 11:00

Where: ISS, Auditorium


The Universe is filled with a rich diversity of high-energy phenomena and highly energetic processes. Great developments in astrophysical observations over the last years, as well as in-tandem simulation studies, opened a wide window into the understanding of the electromagnetic wavebands of astrophysical phenomena, from the radio waves up to the high-energy gamma-rays but also to high energy cosmic-rays, which carry a multitude of information about the most energetic phenomena in Cosmos. Accelerated particles (cosmic-rays) are believed to be created in the cataclysmic ”explosions” of astrophysical sources like Gamma-Ray-Bursts and in the jets of Active Galactic Nuclei. The acceleration of cosmic-rays and the emission of very high energy electromagnetic radiation (i.e., x-rays, gamma-rays) mostly occur in the relativistic superalfvenic cosmic plasmas and jets that act as cosmic accelerators. In this talk I will give an overview of these high-energy accelerators and will discuss the mechanisms responsible to producing very high-energy cosmic rays and radiation.

Contact person: Dr. Ioana Dutan <idutan[at]spacescience[dot]ro>


Intensive Course about: Computational Methods for Kinetic Processes in Plasma Physics

Particle-in-cell numerical simulations for an electron-proton plasma jet with a larger radius. Credit: Nishikawa et al., Galaxies, 5(4), 58, 2017.

Instructor: Dr. Ken-Ichi Nishikawa, University of Alabama, Huntsville, SUA

When: 21-25 May 2018. Course hours:

Mo: 2pm-4pm;
 Tu: 10am-12am and 2pm-4pm; Wed: 2pm-4pm;
 Thu: 10am-12am and 2pm-4pm; Fri: 10am-12am

Where: ISS, Auditorium


This course is intended to provide students/researchers with basic concepts of computer simulations using a particle-in-cell (PIC) numerical code in order to understand kinetic processes in plasmas. PIC simulation is, in principle, an accurate method and provides the widest range of plasma effects. Nowadays, the computer power is powerful enough to perform reasonable 3-dimensional (3D) simulations to investigate realistic plasma dynamics. The course will cover the fundamental concepts of plasma simulation by performing small 3D electromagnetic codes with applications to relativistic jets. Starting with a brief introduction to plasma physics, the mathematics and physics behind the algorithms will be described. We will explore how PIC simulations reveal plasma behaviors as they are highly nonlinear phenomena. Some examples of how to run the PIC simulations will be also given.


  1. Plasma physics on computer (general description)
  2. Kinetic plasma simulations (nonphysical instability, approximate nonlinear analysis, plasma behavior, linear weighting, nonphysical effects)
  3. How PIC works (cold plasma dispersion, plasma dispersion function)
  4. Electrostatic codes (grid quantities, beat heating)
  5. Electromagnetic codes (hybrid oscillation, warm and unmagnetized plasmas)
  6. Finite-difference time-domain Maxwell solver on Yee grid: leapfrog algorithm
  7. Particle movers: Boris’s algorithm
  8. Conservative charge deposition method
  9. Boundary conditions (particles and fields)
  10. Simulations for astrophysical plasmas
  11. Recent work: (1) Weibel instability in relativistic jets (radiation, weighted beam) and (2) Reconnection (particle acceleration)

Reference: “Plasma Physics via Computer Simulation (Series in Plasma Physics)”, C.K. Birdsall & A.B. Langdon; Programs in the text book are written in Fortran.

Prerequisites: Elementary physics (Bachelor level)

Registration: Subscription for attending the course should be sent to Dr. Ioana Dutan <idutan[at]spacescience[dot]ro>, with your name, status (e.g., student, researcher) and affiliation, no later than May 15th 2018.

The event can be followed live on the ISS Facebook and YouTube channels.

List of participants

Photo Gallery:

Seminar about: Reconnection and associated flares in global relativistic jets containing helical magnetic fields with particle-in-cell simulations

Dr. Ken-Ichi Nishikawa, University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA

Guest: Dr. Ken-Ichi Nishikawa, University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA

When: 21th May 2018, from 11:00

Where: Institute of Space Science – ISS (Auditorium)


The discovery by Advanced LIGO/Virgo of gravitational waves from the binary neutron star (BNS) merger GW170817 triggered sequential observations of the electromagnetic counterparts, which has opened the era of multi-messenger astronomy. These multi-frequency observations provide us profound information to investigate the processes from the generation of gravitational wave, associated relativistic jets and merger ejecta, and consequently radiation from the interaction of jets and ejecta with interstellar medium. The investigation of these phenomena requires extensive and systematic theoretical and computational research with various observations. In the study of relativistic jets one of the key open questions is their interaction with the environment on the microscopic level. We have studied the initial evolution of both electron–proton and electron–positron relativistic jets containing helical magnetic fields, focusing on their interaction with an ambient plasma. We have performed particle-in-cell simulations of “global” jets containing helical magnetic fields in order to examine how helical magnetic fields affect kinetic instabilities such as the Weibel instability, the kinetic Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (kKHI) and the Mushroom instability (MI) using a larger jet radius. In our previous simulation study, these kinetic instabilities are suppressed and new types of instabilities can grow. In the electron-proton jet simulation a recollimation-like instability occurs near the center of jet. In the electron-positron jet simulation mixed kinetic instabilities grow and the jet electrons are accelerated. In this talk, I will present results of synthetic radiation spectra that are obtained directly from simulations using much larger systems for global jets containing helical magnetic fields., which can then be compared with observations of gamma-ray burst objects. I will also present possible mechanisms of X-ray flare production for such objects due to magnetic reconnection.

Contact person: Dr. Ioana Dutan <idutan[at]spacescience[dot]ro>


Conference about “Societal changes determined by the national program of JAXA Space Education Center”

Organizers: ISS and the White Cross Foundation


When: 6th March 2018, from 09:00

Where: Institute of Space Science – ISS (Auditorium)


The speakers, experts of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), will present the premises, methods used and the national program results of promoting curiosity and the adventure spirit, as well as creativity, applied to children with the purpose of generating not only further generations of researchers in aerospace sciences but moreover citizens with broad vision and respect for scientific research.

Access to the conference <see program > will be made exclusively upon registration here.

The event can be followed live on the ISS Facebook and YouTube channels.

Contact person: Cristian Dumitru Ionescu <idcristi[at]spacescience[do]ro>


Participation of the Institute of Space Science to LISA space mission

Illustration of a LISA mission satellite. © AEI/MM/exozet; GW simulation: NASA/C. Henze

The Institute of Space Science was represented at the LISA Consortium Meeting – LISA Phase A Activities, which took place between January 29th – 30th, 2018, at the Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute), in Hannover, Germany, by Dr. Ion Sorin ZGURĂ, Director of the Institute of Space Science, Dr. Laurențiu Ioan CARAMETE, Head of the Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics Group and Dr. Eugeniu Mihnea Popescu, Head of the High Energy Astrophysics and Advanced Technology Group. The status of the future LISA space mission, which is an L-type (Large) mission of the European Space Agency, was presented, as well as the foreseen contributions of each entity in the consortium.

The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) will be the first space-based gravitational wave observatory and it will consist of 3 satellites joined by laser interferometers, placed in a triangle, at a distance of 2.5 million kilometers that will follow the Earth in its orbit around the Sun for an in-depth study of the Gravitational Universe. The satellites will have similar characteristics with the LISA Pathfinder mission, which flew successfully in December 2015 and has tested the most important technical components.

The Institute of Space Science will contribute to the LISA space mission with the Constellation Acquisition Sensor (CAS) system, which will verify the alignment of the 3 satellites, ensuring the acquisition of the laser signal on the interferometric detectors. Together with the Coarse Star Tracker (STR) system, CAS will check the visualization of the laser signal at the scanning maneuver stage. This contribution is fully supported by the Romanian Space Agency (by the programs “Romanian Incentive Scheme”, PRODEX and national programs) and is in excellent agreement with the Institute of Space Science strategy, as well as with the national strategy of research and development in Romania.

At the express request of the LISA Consortium, the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) appointed as representative in the “LISA National Agency Board” (which has representatives from each national space agency in the consortium) Dr. Marius-Ioan Piso, president and CEO of the Romanian Space Agency, who is recognized by the scientific community as one of the main initiators of gravitational radiation research since the ’80s. Also, Dr. Ion Sorin ZGURĂ, Director of the Institute of Space Science was appointed as delegate member in the LISA National Agency Board.

LISA space mission is proposed by an international consortium made by researchers from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, Holland, Romania, Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary and United States of America. The launch of LISA is foreseen in 2034, with a lifetime of the mission for 4 years and the possibility of an extension up to 10 years.

Contact person: Dr. Laurențiu Ioan CARAMETE <lcaramete[at]spacescience[dot]ro>

Photo gallery


Dr. Laurențiu Ioan Caramete (left) and Dr. Ion Sorin Zgură (right) at the LISA Consortium Meeting – LISA Phase A Activities
Presentation of the Institute of Space Science contribution, at the LISA Consortium Meeting – LISA Phase A Activities, given by Dr. Laurențiu Ioan Caramete