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Dusty substructure in a galaxy far far away

April 09, 2015
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) have combined high-resolution images from the ALMA telescopes with a new scheme for undoing the distorting effects of a powerful gravitational lens in order to provide the first detailed picture of a young and distant galaxy, over 11 billion light-years from Earth. The reconstructed images show that star formation is heating interstellar dust and making it glow strongly in three distinct clumps embedded in a broader distribution, suggesting that object may be a rotating disk galaxy seen nearly edge-on. [more]
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Computer simulation confirms supernova mechanism in three dimensions

April 01, 2015
Massive stars explode as supernovae at the end of their lives, but how exactly does the explosion begin and what is the role of different physical processes? For the first time, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics have been able to simulate such a stellar explosion in all three dimensions with detailed physical input. The results show that the energetic neutrinos radiated by the newly formed neutron star indeed trigger the explosion by heating the stellar matter. Turbulent flows support this process and lead to an even more energetic explosion. [more]
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Chushiro Hayashi Prize awarded to Eiichiro Komatsu

March 25, 2015
On 19 March, the Astronomical Society of Japan honoured MPA Director Eiichiro Komatsu with the "Chushiro Hayashi Prize" during its annual spring meeting at Osaka University. The prize is awarded to scientists who made major contributions to the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. The Chushiro Hayashi Prize was founded in 1996, using a part of the Kyoto Prize money awarded to Hayashi in 1995. Komastu is the 19th laureate for this prestigious award. [more]
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The Software Legacy of the Planck Mission

March 24, 2015
The Planck mission to survey the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) has not only advanced our understanding of the Universe, it also created advanced software systems for data analysis. Three interrelated software packages, which were developed at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) specifically for the Planck mission, are now publicly available for use in other projects: the basic Planck simulation package to generate mock observations with Planck and other CMB experiments, the “ProC” workflow engine to define and execute scientific data analysis workflows, and the data management component “DMC” to store and organize the results of complex data processes. [more]
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Rashid Sunyaev receives Zel'dovich Gold Medal

March 20, 2015
In 2015, the presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) decided to award MPA director Rashid Sunyaev with the Gold Medal named after Ya.B. Zel'dovich for a sequence of the papers about the very early universe, containing calculations about the last scattering of photons and the black body radiation that was later observed as the cosmic microwave background. This is the first time that the RAS honours a scientist with this medal for outstanding work in the field of physics and astrophysics. The award is named in honour of the Soviet physicist and physical chemist Ya B. Zel'dovich, PhD supervisor to Rashid Sunyaev and long-time collaborator. [more]
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Rashid Sunyaev receives Eddington Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society

March 01, 2015
In 2015, the Eddington Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society goes to Professor Rashid Sunyaev, director at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. It is awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in theoretical astrophysics. [more]
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Measuring gas velocities in galaxy clusters with X-ray images

March 01, 2015
X-ray observations provide us with detailed information on the density and temperature of the hot gas inside galaxy clusters. The other major gas characteristic that still needs to be measured is the gas velocity. While current generation X-ray observatories lack the required energy resolution to measure velocities directly, future observatories such as ASTRO-H and ATHENA will address this limitation. An international team including MPA scientists has shown that the power spectrum of the velocity field can inferred indirectly from existing X-ray images of relaxed clusters. Numerical simulations confirm this simple theoretical idea, opening a way of probing gas velocities using already existing X-ray data. [more]
 
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