1. General Seminars

The Mini-EUSO telescope onboard the International Space Station: launch and first observations.

by Marco Casolino (ROMA2)

Piattaforma Vibe - Modalita' Webinar (Seminari ON LINE)

Piattaforma Vibe - Modalita' Webinar

Seminari ON LINE

Modalita' Webinar
Mini-EUSO (Multiwavelength Imaging New Instrument for the Extreme Universe Space Observatory), is a next-generation telescope for the study and monitoring of terrestrial, atmospheric and cosmic emissions in Ultraviolet (UV). The instrument (37 * 37 * 62 cm3), consists of an ultra-fast video camera (400 thousand frames per second, 2.5 microsecond/frame), capable of single-photon detection on each of the 2304 pixels of the focal surface. The optics is based on Fresnel lenses with a 25 cm diameter. The thin and compact construction of the lenses is particularly suitable for space-borne detectors. The field of view on the ground is 40 degrees, corresponding to 260 * 260 km2 on the surface of our planet.  
Mini-EUSO was launched with the Soyuz MS14 capsule from the Baikonur cosmodrome on August 22nd, 2019, and is currently being operated on board of the International Space Station. It was one of the Italian experiments performed by Luca Parmitano in his “Beyond” mission and is currently being operated by Russian cosmonauts as part of an ad hoc agreement between the Italian and Russian space agencies (ASI-Roscosmos).  
 The scientific objectives of Mini-EUSO pan multiple research fields:
1. ELVES (Emission of Light and Very low-frequency perturbations due to Electromagnetic pulse Sources), a class upper atmosphere lighting. A thunderstorm discharge at about 20 km high gives rise to an electromagnetic wave that reaches the ionosphere, at 100 km high, exciting the Nitrogen molecules. The interaction between the spherical wave and the flat layer of the atmosphere produces a series of rings, photographed by Mini-EUSO at 2.5 microsecond intervals (each pixel has 6 km on each side). The rings seem to expand at speeds higher than that of light, but it is an apparent speed. The rings are not causally connected one to the other but are linked only to the initial electromagnetic discharge. Mini-EUSO has already observed various ELVES: from the detailed study of their characteristics it is hoped to be able to shed light on the phenomena that produce these elusive events.
2. Meteoroids. Mini-EUSO observes about 50 meteors per hour. By studying their frequency and luminosity it is possible to trace their origin and size to better understand the potential dangers that these celestial bodies can pose for our planet. Among these, Mini-EUSO will look for meteoroids of interstellar origin, identifiable by their high speed, and nuclear strange matter, a state of matter still unobserved, but predicted by various theoretical models.
3. Maps of the Earth's nocturnal emissions in the ultraviolet. The study of their natural and anthropic and bioluminescence variations will be carried out. Atmospheric phenomena in the upper atmosphere will also be studied and the possibility of identifying and removing space debris will be verified.
4. Mini-EUSO is also able to limit the flow of cosmic rays of energy above 1020 eV and reveal similar signals emulated by light generated by terrestrial lasers to help define the characteristics of future and larger detectors.
 In this seminar we will discuss the realization, integration, and launch phases of the apparatus as well as the first observations and results obtained so far.

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