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Simona Vegetti starts her own junior research group at MPA

August 25, 2015
Using gravitational lensing to constrain the distribution of dark matter is by now a well-established tool in astrophysics. Simona Vegetti, however, uses it for a very specific purpose: using high-resolution images of strong gravitational lenses, she tries to find and constrain the properties of small satellite galaxies in the distant universe. Recently she has been awarded a Max Planck Junior Research Group position at MPA, which will allow her much more extensive studies using this technique with her own small group. [more]
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Kippenhahn Prize 2014 is awarded to two junior scientists

August 03, 2015
This year's MPA barbeque saw quite a number of celebrations: Richard D'Souza and Marco Selig, two young MPA researchers, wrote outstanding scientific publications and were awarded the Kippenhahn Prize 2014. In addition, the summer party marked also end-point of this year’s Biermann Lectures by Isabelle Baraffe, which were all about exoplanets. [more]
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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]
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Understanding how stars form from molecular gas

July 01, 2015
The star formation rate in galaxies varies greatly both across different galaxy types and over galactic time scales. MPA astronomers have been trying to gain insight into how the interstellar medium may change in different galaxies by studying molecular gas in a wide variety of galaxies, ranging from gas-poor, massive ellipticals to strongly star-forming irregulars, and in environments ranging from inner bulges to outer disks. They find that the gas depletion time depends both on the strength of the local gravitational forces and the star formation activity inside the galaxy. [more]
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A new observable of the large-scale structure: the position-dependent two-point correlation function

June 01, 2015
Observations of the large-scale structure, such as galaxy surveys, are one of the most important tools to study our universe. In particular, how the growth of structure is affected by the large-scale environment can be used to test our understanding of gravity, as well as the physics of inflation. A research group at MPA has recently developed a new technique to extract this signal more efficiently from real observations. Specifically, we divide a galaxy survey into sub-volumes, quantify the structure and the environment in each sub-volume, and measure the correlation between these two quantities. This technique thus opens a new avenue to critically test fundamental physics from real observations. [more]
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Biermann lectures - How to model an extra solar planet

May 22, 2015
In this year’s Biermann Lectures Professor Isabelle Baraffe from the University of Exeter will talk about exoplanet modelling. The different aspects touched on in the course of the miniseries will range from an exoplanet’s interior structure to its outer atmosphere. [more]
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Understanding X-ray emission from galaxies and galaxy clusters

May 01, 2015
By combining data for more than 250,000 individual objects, an MPA-based team has for the first time been able to measure X-ray emission in a uniform manner for objects with masses ranging from that of the Milky Way up to that of rich galaxy clusters. The results are surprisingly simple and give insight into how ordinary matter is distributed in today's universe, and how this distribution has been affected by energy input from galactic nuclei. [more]
 
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