Subject: ESA fellowship candidate

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 15:07:50 +0200

From: Philippe Lamy

To:, Lamy Philippe

Dear Luigi,

As you probably know, the LASCO coronagraphs aboard SOHO has detected and are still detecting hundreds of sun-grazing comets and has also observed several bright comets. So far the tasks of detecting and analyzing the sungrazers were carried out by the US side (NRL) of the LASCO consortium (essentially Doug Biesecker) with important assistance from us. Because of heavy involvements on other space programs, NRL has discontinued these activities.

I am strongly encouraged by several colleagues and by the ESA SOHO project scientist Bernhard Fleck to take over those activities in Marseille. Following extensive discussions, our preferred approach is to take advantage of the ESA External Fellowship program to secure the funding for a postdoc to work here. The application will obviously be strongly supported by the SOHO project scientist.

I am therefore looking for a postdoc from an ESA member state (excluding France but including Canada) having the appropriate background (solar system studies, preferably comets + image analysis, preferably with IDL) interested in this program. It is anticipated that 50% of his/her time will be devoted to the handling of LASCO comets (astrometry + photometry) and the other 50%, to related scientific analysis (for instance, origin of the sungrazers, modeling of a sublimating nucleus near the Sun, analysis of the dust tails, physical properties of cometary nuclei,...).

Please disseminate this information among your young colleagues or directly inform me of any potential candidate you may know. The fellowship is nominally for one year but is always extended to two.

More info is available at: The next round of selection has a deadline of 30 September, still leaving enough time to prepare the application form (essentially a research program). Otherwise, the next deadline will be 31 March 2004.

Thanks for your help and kind regards,