Joe Zender

BepiColombo Deputy Project Scientist and Proba-3 Project Scientist


Main Research Fields

I have three main fields of scientific interest:

a) meteor science

b) physics in the solar corona

c) Mercury related, especially in relation to b) the interaction of the solar wind onto the Mercury exosphere and surface.


Some notes, topic for topic:

Meteor Science

As member of ESA's Meteor Research Group (MRG), but also member of several amateur or professional observation teams, I have taken part and contributed to several meteor observation campaigns in the past:

  • Leonid Campaigns (1999, 2001, 2002)
  • Geminid Campaign in Norway, 2005
  • Draconid Airplan Campaign in 2010

Besides operating the cameras, I have a dedicated interest in analyzing the data from the spectral camera. Since some time, we working on a fully automated calibration pipeline that is now reasonable advanced. But still awaiting carefull and thourough validation.

Collaborators on the meteor efforts are:

  • of course, all members of the MRG group at ESA
  • University of Poznan, Poland
  • Observatoire de Paris, France
  • DLR, Berlin, Germany

Activities open for research fellow investigations or any other collaborations:

  • validation of the spectral camera calibration processing
  • definition of FITS file content for spectral meteor information

Physics of the Solar Corona

Besides the main known problems of Solar Physics (check out here for a good summary), we are interested to better understand which parts of the solar atmosphere are contributing and in which way to the long-term evolution of the solar irradiance, i.e. the solar cycle.

To help us answer this question, we segment the solar disk into Active Regions, Coronal Holes, Solar Limb, and the rest (Quiet Sun). These segmentation we apply to several wavelength in the EUV and magnetometer data from Proba-2-SWAP and LYRA, and SDO/AIA  and HMI on data from 2010 onwards.

Collaboration efforts are with:

  • Indian Insitute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India
  • University of Graz, Austria
  • CNRS, LATMOS, Paris, France
  • Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, Tokyo, Japan