Members

Haakon Andresen (Postdoc)
Robert Bollig (Postdoc)
Thomas Ertl (Postdoc)
Michael Gabler (Postdoc)
Anders Jerkstrand (Postdoc)
Rémi Kazeroni (Postdoc)
Tobias Melson (Postdoc)
Annop Wongwathanarat (Postdoc)
Naveen Yadav (Postdoc)
Robert Glas (PhD student)
Ninoy Rahman (PhD student)
Georg Stockinger (PhD student)
Jakob Ehring (Master student)
Daniel Kresse (Master student)
Mehmet Sag (Master student)

External Collaborators:

Dennis Alp (KTH, Stockholm)
Claes Fransson (Oskar Klein Centre, Stockholm)
Thierry Foglizzo (CEA, Saclay)
Jérôme Guilet (CEA, Saclay)
Alex Heger (Monash Centre for Astrophysics)
Chuck Horowitz (Univ. Indiana)
Oliver Just (RIKEN, Tokyo)
Josefin Larsson (Oskar Klein Centre, Stockholm)
Gabriel Martinez-Pinedo (TU Darmstadt)
Bernhard Müller (Monash Centre for Astrophysics)
Martin Obergaulinger (Univ. Valencia)
Georg Raffelt (MPP Munich)
Achim Schwenk (TU Darmstadt)
Irene Tamborra (Univ. of Copenhagen)
Shinya Wanajo (AEI, Potsdam)
Stan Woosley (UCSC, Santa Cruz)
Victor Utrobin (ITEP, Moscow)

Recent research highlights

A team of astrophysicists from Queen’s University Belfast, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), and Monash University (Australia) has, for the first time, performed three-dimensional computer simulations that follow the evolution of a massive star from its final phase of nuclear burning, through the collapse of the stellar iron core, into the first seconds of the beginning explosion as a supernova.

Bridging the Gap: From Massive Stars to Supernovae in 3D

November 01, 2017

A team of astrophysicists from Queen’s University Belfast, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), and Monash University (Australia) has, for the first time, performed three-dimensional computer simulations that follow the evolution of a massive star from its final phase of nuclear burning, through the collapse of the stellar iron core, into the first seconds of the beginning explosion as a supernova. [more]
Stars exploding as supernovae are the main sources of heavy chemical elements in the Universe. 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.

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. 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. [more]
Supernovae are extremely bright stellar explosions – superluminous supernovae are even brighter. 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.

Probing the nature of the most luminous explosions

February 15, 2017

Supernovae are extremely bright stellar explosions – superluminous supernovae are even brighter. 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. [more]
Latest three-dimensional computer simulations are closing in on the solution of an decades-old problem: how do massive stars die in gigantic supernova explosions? Since the mid-1960s, astronomers thought that neutrinos, elementary particles that are radiated in huge numbers by the newly formed neutron star, could be the ones to energize the blast wave that disrupts the star. However, only now the power of modern supercomputers has made it possible to actually demonstrate the viability of this neutrino-driven mechanism.

Three-dimensional computer simulations support neutrinos as cause of supernova explosions

August 01, 2015

Latest three-dimensional computer simulations are closing in on the solution of an decades-old problem: how do massive stars die in gigantic supernova explosions? Since the mid-1960s, astronomers thought that neutrinos, elementary particles that are radiated in huge numbers by the newly formed neutron star, could be the ones to energize the blast wave that disrupts the star. However, only now the power of modern supercomputers has made it possible to actually demonstrate the viability of this neutrino-driven mechanism. [more]
For the first time, scientists at the MPA have been able to simulate a supernova explosion in all three dimensions with detailed physical input.

Computer simulation confirms supernova mechanism in three dimensions

April 01, 2015

For the first time, scientists at the MPA have been able to simulate a supernova explosion in all three dimensions with detailed physical input.
[more]
The neutron star that is born at the center of a collapsing and exploding massive star radiates huge numbers of neutrinos produced by particle reactions in the extremely hot and dense matter. Three-dimensional supercomputer simulations at the very forefront of current modelling efforts reveal the stunning and unexpected possibility that this neutrino emission can develop a hemispheric (dipolar) asymmetry.

A new neutrino-emission asymmetry in forming neutron stars

The neutron star that is born at the center of a collapsing and exploding massive star radiates huge numbers of neutrinos produced by particle reactions in the extremely hot and dense matter. Three-dimensional supercomputer simulations at the very forefront of current modelling efforts reveal the stunning and unexpected possibility that this neutrino emission can develop a hemispheric (dipolar) asymmetry. [more]
MPA researchers managed for the first time to reproduce the asymmetries and fast-moving iron clumps of observed supernovae by complex computer simulations in all three dimensions.

How a supernova obtains its shape

MPA researchers managed for the first time to reproduce the asymmetries and fast-moving iron clumps of observed supernovae by complex computer simulations in all three dimensions. [more]

Core-collapse supernovae

Explosion in the stellar interior Zoom Image
Explosion in the stellar interior

Core-collapse supernovae are dramatic explosions of giant stars at the end of their thermonuclear evolution giving birth to neutron stars and black holes. They are among the most energetic phenomena in the universe, play a key role in the formation and spreading of the chemical elements, trigger the formation of new stars, and are closely related to a sub-class of the enigmatic gamma-ray bursts. Hence, astro-physicists have a strong interest to understand which stars do explode as supernovae, which physical processes cause the explosion, and which are the observable consequences of these cataclysmic events.

The optical supernova outburst commences when the explosion wave, generated in the optically obscured stellar center, eventually reaches the surface layers of the star. As giant stars have very large radii, the optical outburst begins only hours after the actual onset of the catastrophe in the very center of the star. There the burnt out stellar iron core collapses due to electron captures and photo-disintegration of heavy nuclei to a neutron star or black hole thereby liberating the energy which causes the supernova explosion.

The only means to get direct and immediate information about the supernova "engine" is from observations of neutrinos emitted by the forming neutron star, and through gravitational waves which are emitted when the collapse does not proceed perfectly symmetrically because of rotation, violent turbulent mass motions, and anisotropic neutrino emission. Numerical simulations exploiting the most powerful supercomputers provide a third way to study the complex supernova phenomenon. However, this poses a true challenge as they require multidimensional neutrino radiation hydrodynamics, a detailed treatment of weak interaction processes and neutrino matter coupling, the handling of vastly different length and time scales, in particular when simulating shock propagation through the envelope of the progenitor star, and possibly the incorporation of effects due to rotation and magnetic fields.

The Core-Collapse Supernova group at MPA led by Hans-Thomas Janka has been awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant. More information about ongoing research and recent results can be found on the project page:



Modeling Stellar Collapse and Explosion: Evolving Progenitor Stars to Supernova Remnants


In order to allow for an easy data exchange with collaborators who want to use the simulation results of the Garching group for their own research, a regularly updated data archive is provided. Data and movies of supernova simulations can be found here:

The Garching Core-Collapse Supernova Archive

Funding sources

EXC 153: Origin and Structure of the Universe - The Cluster of Excellence for Fundamental Physics

European Research Council Advanced Grant

This project receives funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement ERC-AdG 341157-COCO2CASA.

Physical Sciences and Engineering → PE9 Universe Sciences → PE9_6 Stars and stellar systems

 
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