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Chat s astronomkou (Chat with an astronomer)

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Did you know that Annie Cannon (1863-1941) was the creator of the current stellar classification, OBAFGKM, based on the stellar spectra? Or that Jocelyn Bell (1943- ) discovered a strange radio signal -which she called "Little Green Men"- that turned out to be rapidly rotating compact stars that emit very regular pulses of radiation, or pulsars? During past times there were exceptional and lucky women that could follow their passion and study Astronomy. Yet, quite often their work was kept behind the scenes. Lucky us, times change!

by Božena Solarová

We would like to celebrate with all of you the International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

And what better way to celebrate this special day than to bring together female professional Astronomers working in the Czech Republic and to put their knowledge and experiences within reach of everyone? That is Chat s Astronomkou,  a series of activities organised between the 11 February (International Day of Women and Girls in Science) and 8 March (International Women's Day). 

What activities will be organised?

We are looking forward to chatting with you!! 

 


 

Zuzana Balkóová is a Slovak astrophysics student currently pursuing her PhD at Charles University in Prague, and also working at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Ondřejov). You can chat with her in Slovak, Czech or English.

Having received her bachelor's degree from physics in her beloved hometown Nitra, Slovakia, and her master's degree from astronomy and astrophysics in the capital, Bratislava, she is currently settled in Prague. Her specialization lies in the field of exoplanetary research, focusing mainly on exoplanetary atmospheres through spectroscopy and photometry. As a member of the local exoplanetary group, she participates in remote night observing using dedicated telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. Besides astronomy, she enjoys nature, animals, books, movies, games and music. While not a keen traveller, she hopes to one day see the northern lights and witness an annular solar eclipse, since these seem more likely than her ever going to space... although that would be great!

 


 

Maïmouna Brigitte comes from France. She is a PhD student at Charles University and works at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Spořilov, Prague). You can chat with her in French or English.

She studies X-ray binary systems. These systems are composed of a black hole accreting matter from a companion star. Her favourite system is the first discovered X-ray binary (in 1964) Cygnus X-1 in the Cygnus constellation. She tries to understand the correlation between the strong wind ejected from the star and the accretion disk surrounding the black hole. In her spare time, she loves learning new things and exploring new places through reading, travelling, hiking and languages (Czech not being the easiest one). She also loves horse riding.

 


 

Soňa Ehlerová is a Czech astronomer working at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Spořilov, Prague). You can chat with her in Czech.

Her research interests include interstellar matter, star formation and galaxies (her favourite galaxy is our Milky Way and her favourite phase of the interstellar medium is the neutral hydrogen). Soňa likes to popularize astronomy and science (by giving talks, participating in Science Fairs, organizing hands-on activities during the open door days at the Institute), she also helps to organize IAU - International Astronomical Union - outreach activities in the Czech Republic (e.g. the Name Exoplanet event). In her spare time she enjoys role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons!

 


 

Marta García Rivas comes from Salamanca (Spain) and she is a PhD student at Charles University and works at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Ondřejov). You can chat with her in Spanish or English.

Her work focuses on the Sun. She analyses magnetic fields on the surface of the Sun and tries to understand how the magnetic fields affect inner convection to form dark structures as pores or sunspots. Datasets from satellites are always available but she also likes to go to observe to Canary islands to run her studies. She likes to do outreach activities, like giving popular talks or participating in events like the Spanish version of 'Chat s Astronomkou' or Famelab CZ. In her free time she enjoys hiking, running with her dog, doing jigsaws and, she especially enjoys struggling to learn Czech and getting to know Czech Republic!

 


 

Romana Grossova is a Slovak astronomer working at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Spořilov, Prague) and at Masaryk University (Brno). You can chat with her in Slovak and English.

Romana studies the activity of supermassive black holes in giant elliptical galaxies but she is also interested in galaxies, whose gas is being stripped away as they move to the center of a galaxy cluster at high relative velocities creating large tails behind the galaxy. Due to this shape, these galaxies are often called jellyfish galaxies. In her free time, she enjoys climbing, cycling, running, skiing.

 


 

Anežka Kabátová is a Czech astronomer working at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Spořilov, Prague) and at ČTUV (Prague). You can chat with her in Czech and English.

Since the beginning of her astronomical journey, she has been studying molecular gas in galaxies - first to see if supermassive black holes are destroying its reservoirs, and now to see if hot intergalactic matter is ripping it out of galaxy disks. Her favourite observatory is ALMA in Chile. In her spare time, she enjoys lifting weights, singing, hiking, and cooking. She also loves to talk about astronomy, which is why you can find her at open door days, science fairs, or on Chat s Astronomkou!

 


 

Jana Kašparová is a Czech astronomer working at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Ondřejov). You can chat with her in Czech or English.

Her research focuses on data analysis and modelling of solar flare emission. She talks about astronomy and astrophysics with her friends and sometimes popularizes science participating in the Open Days organized at the Institute. Outside of work, she likes the outdoors, spending time with her family, reading and the music!

 


 

Brankica Kubátová is a Serbian woman working at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Ondřejov). You can chat with her in Czech or English.

She is involved in researching massive hot stars and their modelling. These stars are much more massive than our Sun (about 8 to 100 times) and have strong stellar winds. The wind affects the life of the star itself and also has a strong influence on its surroundings, especially the galaxies in which the stars are located. The fascinating thing is that everything we see around us on planet Earth, right down to our bodies, is made up of atoms of different chemical elements, created by thermonuclear reactions in the interior or in the explosion of some of now defunct stars. At the Ondřejov Observatory, Brankica helps to organise the Open Doors Days and the Researchers' Night. She spends her free time with her family and friends. She is also a yoga teacher and leads yoga classes for adults and children.

 

 


 

Tiina Liimets is from Estonia and she works at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Ondřejov). You can chat with her in Estonian or English.

Her research focuses on nebulae: she wants to know why they look the way they look and how they evolve. Back in Estonia she used to -and sometimes still does- give interviews to explain her science, as well as to write popular articles. She was also part of an amateur astronomers club, where different activities were organized. In her free time she enjoys travelling, reading books, sports, gardening work and playing with Lego!

 


 

Martina Pavelková is from Chodov -Karlovy Vary- and she works at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Ondřejov). You can chat with her in Czech.

Her main work consists in observing the Sun, collecting images from different cameras, drawing what she can see with the telescope -like sunspots, faculae...- and forecasting solar events. She also participates in popular activities such as tour guiding at the Institute, giving public talks or writing popular articles in magazines. In her spare time she likes to go tramping, reading books and doing bobbin lace work!

 


 

Julieta Sánchez Arias is from Argentina and she works at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Ondřejov). You can chat with Julieta in Spanish or English.

Her research interests lie on the pulsational behaviour that some stars show. The main topic of her research is to link the oscillations of variable stars with their internal structure and their evolutionary status. This field, named asteroseismology, allows her to study a wide variety of astrophysical topics: the changes in the internal structure that stars experience during their evolution, the effect of stellar rotation during their evolution, the processes that trigger mass loss on massive stars, even the internal structure of exoplanets and more. She used to participate in outreach activities back in Argentina. Outside of work she is currently learning how to play the ukelele, studying Czech and trying to do yoga everyday. She likes to paint with watercolours, she loves reading about philosophy, psychology, history and politics and she finds board games as the best way to spend time with friends!

 


 

Petra Suková is originally from Prague, but she spent most of her childhood in the town Svitavy. She works at the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Spořilov, Prague). You can chat with her in Czech or English.

In her research she studies the behaviour of matter in the vicinity of black holes. She is interested in the chaotic behaviour of test particles in spacetimes, where a black hole is surrounded by another source of gravitational field - a disc or a ring. She also runs magnetohydrodynamic simulations that describe how the matter falls into a black hole. These simulations help to investigate the origin and behaviour of shock waves  in a gas with low angular momentum. The motion and oscillations of these shock waves could partly explain quasiperiodic oscillations that are observed in the light curves of some X-ray binary stars. By using numerical simulations she also studies the passage of a star through an accretion flow around supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies. She has participated in activities such as 'S vědátory na pivo'. She has given several popular lectures -including at 'Science to go' and she has written articles for the Astropis magazine. In her spare time she used to sing at the Sebranka choir or to draw and paint but after the birth of her son she devotes all of her free time to him!