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

Press Releases

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Gravitational waves and emitted light reveal merger of two neutron stars – and a kilonova

October 16, 2017
On 17 August 2017, two merging neutron stars were seen for the first time by their gravitational wave signal as well as high-energy gamma radiation. This simultaneous observation confirms that merging neutron stars are indeed the progenitors of short Gamma-Ray Bursts. Follow-up observations revealed light emission powered by the radioactive decay of heavy elements – a so-called kilonova, confirming theoretical predictions, also by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, that these kinds of stellar collisions can be the cosmic origin of heavy elements such as gold and platinum. [more]
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Volker Springel appointed as new director at MPA

October 05, 2017
From 1st October 2017, Volker Springel is a new director at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics and head of the "Numerical Astrophysics" department, initially with a partial appointment and from 1st August 2018 full-time. The theoretical astrophysicist, whose main research focus is on structure formation in the Universe and the simulation of galaxies, returns to Garching and the institute where his scientific career began. [more]
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Progenitor for Tycho’s supernova was not hot and luminous

September 25, 2017
An international team of scientists from the Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), the Towson and Pittsburgh Universities (USA) and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, has shed new light on the origins of the famous Tycho’s supernova. The research, published in Nature Astronomy, debunks the common view that Tycho’s supernova originated from a white dwarf, which had been slowly accreting matter from its companion in a binary system. [more]
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Rashid Sunyaev becomes 2017 Citation Laureate

September 20, 2017
Each year since 2002, analysts at Clarivate Analytics (formerly Thomson Reuters) mine millions of citations in the Web of Science to identify top-tier researchers in physiology, medicine, physics and chemistry as well as economics. MPA director Rashid Sunyaev is one of five 2017 physics laureates for his “profound contributions to our understanding of the Universe, including its origins, galactic formation processes, disk accretion of black holes, and many other cosmological phenomena.” [more]
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ERC starting grant for Simona Vegetti

September 18, 2017
Using strong gravitational lensing, Simona Vegetti aims to constrain the properties of dark matter and investigate the formation of structure in the universe. Recently, she has been selected as recipient of an ERC starting grant, which will allow her to expand her group and refine her unique modelling technique as well as applying this to new, high-quality data. [more]
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Biermann Lectures 2017: Neutron star mergers and gravitational waves

September 04, 2017
Gravitational waves have become a very hot topic in astrophysics since their detection by LIGO in 2015. This means that also possible precursors are in the focus of research – general relativistic research because these objects are either black holes or neutron stars. The 2017 Biermann Lecturer, Masaru Shibata from the Kyoto University, uses numerical simulations and general relativity (or numerical relativity for short) to study the merger of such extreme objects and the properties of both the electromagnetic radiation and gravitational waves emitted during these events. [more]
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Belopolsky Prize in astrophysics for Eugene Churazov and Marat Gilfanov.

July 26, 2017
The Russian Academy of Sciences awarded the 2017 Belopolsky Prize in Astrophysics to Eugene Churazov and Marat Gilfanov for their work on«X-ray diagnostics of accretion flow in the vicinity of black holes and neutron stars in the Milky Way and external galaxies». [more]
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