Astronomical Institute AS CR Academy of Sciences CR
Astronomical Institute,
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Working Group of High Energy Astrophysics

The High Energy Astrophysics Group focuses on research of cosmic sources of high energy radiations in the X-ray and gamma-ray spectral regions, such as gamma-ray bursts and its optical afterglows, AGNs (in particular blazars) and different types of X-ray binaries. The group is participating in the European Space Agency (ESA) projects INTEGRAL, Gaia and XEUS. It is also collaborating with NASA on the project Constellation X. One of the group's main achievements is the preparation and operation of the robotic ground-based telescopes (BART, D50, BOOTES).

Our participation in the satellite project INTEGRAL mainly consists of analysing gamma-ray burst observations obtained with the satellite (light curves, spectra, spectral evolution) in the framework of a negotiated international collaboration. We also perform the ground-based observations with an emphasis on the physical interpretation of the observed phenomena. And we also analyse other high energy sources observed with this satellite focusing on blazars and sources in our Galaxy.

The robotic telescope BART is a small aperture telescope designed for quick gamma-ray burst follow-ups with a response time as short as possible. The primary scientific goal of the telescope is to gain data about optical transients and afterglows of gamma-ray bursts - a simultaneous or quasi simultaneous light emission from these high-energy cosmic sources. In addition the telescope monitors other interesting sources such as supernovae, blazars, active galaxies or cataclysmic variable stars. It is equipped with a wide-field CCD camera with the field of view 40x60 arc minutes and resolution 3088x2056 pixels. A limiting magnitude of this camera is about 15 for a 60s exposure with the possibility of detecting a one second flash of magnitude 10. For more precise measurements there is a Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope with the CCD camera FLI MaxCam CM2-1. The telescope uses a standard Johnson BVRiz filter set for photometry.

In the future we will continue our scientific research of high energy cosmic sources by using both satellite and ground-based telescopes with emphasis on a multispectral analysis of these objects and wide international collaboration. We want to work further on ESA and NASA projects and become a member of the team in another space-borne experiment, LOBSTER, which aims on monitoring soft X-ray sources at various time scales.
Last update 19.09.2010