Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle
Press Officer
Phone:+49 89 30000-3980

Press Releases

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Radioactive elements in Cassiopeia A suggest a neutrino-driven explosion

June 21, 2017
Stars exploding as supernovae are the main sources of heavy chemical elements in the Universe. In particular, radioactive atomic nuclei are synthesized in the hot, innermost regions during the explosion and can thus serve as probes of the unobservable physical processes that initiate the blast. Using elaborate computer simulations, a team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) and RIKEN in Japan were able to explain the recently measured spatial distributions of radioactive titanium and nickel in Cassiopeia A, a roughly 340 year old gaseous remnant of a nearby supernova. The computer models yield strong support for the theoretical idea that such stellar death events can be initiated and powered by neutrinos escaping from the neutron star left behind at the origin of the explosion. [more]
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State Prize of Russia for Rashid Sunyaev

June 19, 2017
Professor Rashid Sunyaev, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, received the State Prize of the Russian Federation in Science and Technology jointly with Nikolay Shakura, professor of astrophysics at Moscow State University, for their seminal 1973 paper "Black holes in binary systems. Observational appearance". [more]
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Matteo Bugli wins Leibniz Scaling Award

June 13, 2017
During a scaling workshop end of May at the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum, Matteo Bugli from MPA won the Leibniz Scaling Award. He was able to produce the best relative improvement with his ECHO code for three-dimensional simulations of relativistic magnetized accretion disks orbiting around black holes. [more]
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Shaw Prize for Simon D.M. White

May 24, 2017
Max Planck Director receives award for numerical simulations of structure formation in the early universe [more]
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Girls brave cold April weather

April 27, 2017
As in previous years at the end of April, MPA invited 30 girls to learn more about astronomy and what it means to pursue a career in science. This event was part of the annual Girls’ Day, an initiative throughout Germany to encourage girls to learn more about occupational areas that are still male dominated. Even though the weather did not cooperate, the girls were very active and braved the cold and the rain to visit the roof telescope and launch their “rockets”. [more]
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ALMA’s ability to see a “cosmic hole” confirmed

March 17, 2017
Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) successfully imaged a radio “hole” around a galaxy cluster 4.8 billion light-years away. This is the highest resolution image ever taken of such a hole caused by the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect (SZ effect). The image proves ALMA’s high capability to investigate the distribution and temperature of gas around galaxy clusters through the SZ effect. [more]
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Probing the nature of the most luminous explosions

February 15, 2017
Supernovae are extremely bright stellar explosions – superluminous supernovae are even brighter. However, the nature of these most luminous explosions has remained a mystery. In a new study, MPA researchers now present their simulations of superluminous supernova spectra months and even years after the outbreak and show that they are very similar to gamma-ray bursts, another type of highly energetic explosions. In addition, the results point to very high masses of oxygen and magnesium, suggesting very massive progenitor stars that will use an exotic explosion mechanism rather than the standard neutrino-driven explosion believed to power most supernovae. [more]
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