MAIN FIELDS OF RESEARCH
The main objectives are as follows:
- fundamental and applied studies of kinematic and physical characteristics of celestial bodies (Sun, planets, stars,galaxies, etc.);
- promoting and organizing international cooperation in astronomical research;
- support of education activities by involving university students in research work.
Research activities at the Terskol Branch are coordinated by the Institute of Astronomy, as well as by the international programm “Astronomy in the Elbrus Region. 2010-2014”, wich was initiated by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
The programme includes 42 projects on fundamental and applied research covering different areas of astronomy:
- study of physical characteristics and chemical composition of stars using high- and ultrahigh-resolution spectroscopy;
- interstellar medium studies;
- investigation of stellar variability by means of high-speed photometry and asteroseismology methods;
- investigation of galactic nuclei and star-formation processes;
- study of optical afterglows of gamma-ray bursts;
- physics of extrasolar systems;
- asteroid and comet hazard;
- solar physics;
- integrated study of near-Earth space;
- development of new methods and techniques for astronomical observation and data processing;
- ground-based support of space projects and missions; experimental astronomical observations;
- experimental development of astronomical instruments and equipment.
38 research institutes from Russia, Ukraine, USA, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, South Korea, etc. are concerned in this international programme, which was approved by the International Association of Academies of Sciences as well.
The Terskol staff is heavily involved in most of the projects included in the international program “Astronomy in the Elbrus Region. 2010-2014”. Especially, the collaboration with other divisions of the Institute of Astronomy RAS is focused on studies of Solar System small bodies. A special attention is given to the detection and monitoring of potentially hazardous objects (Earth-approaching asteroids, comets) and space debris. Precise astrometric and photometric observations of comets and asteroids have been performed with the aid of the 2-m telescope; due to the large aperture of the telescope, high-speed precision automatic drives, and high-sensitivity light detectors, an accuracy of about 0.5 arcsec for an observation of objects to magnitude 23 and down is gained. In fact, a number of new Solar System small bodies were found among hundreds of objects observed at Terskol in the last few years. The Terskol staff successfully pursues a broad spectrum research, including investigations of fast stellar variability, monitoring of GRBs optical afterglows, studies of pulsating stars through asteroseismology, etc.Over the past five years Terskol branch staff have published 226 papers, including 62 publications in refereed journals.