To the left is my picture taken in March 1999, 3 months after I started working at DDO as the Support Astronomer and, later, in July 1999, as the Associate Director of the DDO. The 1.88m telescope dome of the David Dunlap Observatory is in the background. Paradoxically, the observatory was closed on July 2, 2008, exactly on my 65th birthday...
You may wish to peruse my shortened CV. Also you may see me, and my family photos, by looking at the pictures.
article (in Polish)
My research is related mostly to the problem of the angular momentum evolution in stars, from the stage of formation to coalescence. I have worked some time ago on the interstellar polarization, star formation, proto-stellar disks and stellar atmospheres, but most of my work currently is related to binary stars, especially contact binary stars. I used the DDO 1.88m telescope for spectroscopic observations of close binary stars; for this and similar work I developed the Broadening Function approach which gives far superior results to the Cross-Correlation Function. My other interests are large variable-star databases, including those from micro-lensing surveys such as OGLE or MACHO. For more details on my work, please see my publications as listed below.
A successful proposal to the Canadian Space Agency in 1997
(with Dr. Kieran Carroll of Dynacon, Toronto and University of Toronto
Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS)) initiated the MOST micro-satellite
project. The MOST project is led by Prof.J.Matthews
at the University of British
Columbia MOST operations centre,
UTIAS Space Flight Lab
and Dynacon in Toronto.
The satellite is 6.5 years old (end of 2009) and still performs very well.
In addition to ~130 primary-target pointings lasting typically a few weeks,
the satellite has observed almost two thousand secondary targets.
In 2004, prompted by a question of Dr.R.Zee from the
UTIAS Space Flight Lab,
I initiated a project to develop a very small nano-satellite
for astronomy, the "BRIte Target Explorer", BRITE.
It will be a cube 20cm
in size with a small lens telescope to observe variability of at least 300 brightest stars with accuracy better than 0.1%. Paradoxically,
variability of the brightest stars is currently relatively poorly
known due to difficulties with relative photometry
over large angular distances in the sky, in the presence of atmospheric
extinction. It will be one
the series nano-satellites, built at UTIAS.
A Power Point presentation from 2005
gives a description of the original idea; for newer
design features, please consult other pages given there.
The BRITE project has received funds in Canada in December 2010 for a launch in 2013. The Austrian colleagues have been able to arrange funding for two BRITE satellites , to be launched in 2012. In December 2009, Poland decided to add two more satellites to join the BRITE constellation in 2012 and 2013. There have been interest from other countries in joining the constellation, but at this point (April 2012) 6 satellites of the Constellation are going to fly.
I was the Vice President (2003) and then President (2006) of the International Astronomical Union Commission 42 (Close Binary Stars).
The postal address is:
Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
University of Toronto
50 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3H4
My e-mail is: rucinski_AT_astro.utoronto.ca
(please replace _AT_ by the correct character; I don't want robots to contact me...)
(Return to Department of Astronomy homepage)
Update: April 2012