MPA News 2021

Eiichiro Komatsu awarded the Inoue Prize for Science

Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics Director Eiichiro Komatsu has been selected as one of the recipients of this year's Inoue Prize for Science. He is recognized for his work to study the physics of the early Universe as a researcher with remarkable achievements in the natural and fundamental sciences. more

Max Grönke starts new research group at MPA

There are still many unanswered questions in galaxy formation and evolution, especially on small scales, thinks Max Grönke, who leads the research group “Multiphase Gas” at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics since November 1, 2021. more

Francesca Rizzo awarded with Kippenhahn Prize

This year’s Kippenhahn Prize goes to Francesca Rizzo for her paper on “A dynamically cold disk galaxy in the early Universe”. The Prize is awarded annually by the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics for the best student paper that has been published in an established journal. Rizzo made most of the contribution to all aspects of the paper: code development, data analysis, and the interpretation and writing of the surprising results. more

Radio and X-ray observations reveal spectacular fossils in nearby group of galaxies<br /> 

Combining radio and X-ray images by LOFAR and SRG/eROSITA, respectively, astrophysicists have studied a group of galaxies where an incredibly rich system of radio-bright filaments are embedded in an atmosphere of hot X-ray emitting gas. These filaments were initially produced by outflows from a supermassive black hole a few hundred million years ago – roughly, when dinosaurs appeared on Earth. Despite their impressive age, the filaments still survive and form an intricate maze of threads and geometrical patterns that are reminiscent of structures formed when buoyant plumes rise in the atmosphere. The lack of full mixing between the X-ray and radio-emitting plasma is particularly interesting for physical models of the so-called mechanical AGN feedback. more

Binaries boost cosmic carbon footprint

A new study led by the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics shows that massive stars produce twice as much carbon when they have a binary partner. The scientists base this on new state-of-the-art computer simulations. Their findings are a small but important step towards better understanding the cosmic origin of the elements we are made of. more

<p>Newly discovered supernova remnant as a probe of the hot gas in the Milky Way halo</p>

The record sensitivity of the X-ray survey performed by the Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma Observatory makes it possible to discover very rare and unusual X-ray sources. After the recently completed third all-sky survey, astronomers identified a gigantic, “round” object, named G116.6-26.1, with an angular size of 8 times the Moon or a physical size of truly astounding 600-700 light-years. The authors of the discovery believe this to be the remnant of a thermonuclear supernova, which exploded some 40,000 years ago. The source is located high above the plane of our Galaxy, most likely in the hot, low density gas of the Milky Way halo. Such an unusual environment makes the remnant almost ten times brighter in X-rays than naive models would predict. This and similar remnants (if more are to be found) open a new way of probing the elusive hot gaseous halo of our Galaxy. more

Shaking stars to get to their cores

Benard Nsamba receives prestigious fellowship to study stars and inspire Ugandan students more

The SRG X-ray observatory receives the Marcel Grossmann Institutional Award 2021

The Spektrum-Roentgen-Gamma (SRG) orbital X-ray observatory receives the Award “for the creation of the world's best X-ray map of the entire sky, for the discovery of millions of previously unknown accreting supermassive black holes at cosmological redshifts, for the detection of X-rays from tens of thousands of galaxy clusters, filled mainly with dark matter, and for permitting the detailed investigation of the growth of the large- scale structure of the universe during the era of dark energy dominance”. more

<p>Luisa Lucie-Smith awarded RAS Michael Penston Thesis Prize - runner up</p>

MPA Postdoc Luisa Lucie-Smith has been awarded the RAS Michael Penston 2020 runner up prize for her thesis, ‘Insights into Cosmological Structure Formation with Machine Learning’, which she did at UCL before coming to MPA. The Michael Penston Prize is awarded annually by the Royal Astronomical Society for the best doctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysics, including astrochemistry, astrobiology and exoplanets. more

Zeldovich medal for Ildar Khabibullin

During the COSPAR 2020 Scientific Assembly, MPA postdoc Ildar Khabibullin received the Yakov Zeldovich Medal for his “major contribution to deciphering the historical high energy activity of the supermassive black hole Sgr A* in the center of our Galaxy and insights into the physical processes of galactic collapsed objects”. This award, jointly established by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), recognises young scientists for excellence and achievements facilitated with the help of space observatories. more

<p>Otto Hahn Medal for Christian Vogl</p>

The Max Planck Society awards the Otto Hahn Medal 2021 to MPA junior scientist Christian Vogl for his excellent Dissertation. The prize is awarded for investigations of measuring today's expansion rate of the Universe with supernovae using a new and independent method that does not rely on other calibrations. His thesis at the Technische Universität München received the highest possible mark, summa cum laude. more

<p>Simona Vegetti now head of Lise Meitner Excellence Group</p>

The Max Planck Society has appointed Simona Vegetti at MPA to head a Lise Meitner Excellence Group. Simona Vegetti will use strong gravitational lensing observations to measure the abundance and structural properties of dark matter haloes and thereby provide clean observational constraints on the nature of dark matter. As part of the programme, the group is endowed with an internationally competitive budget for material and human resources. more

<p>Tempestuous life of galaxy clusters: X-ray view on the Coma cluster with SRG/eROSITA</p>

Galaxy clusters are dynamic systems that grow by continuously accreting large and small chunks of matter. This accretion process should give rise to a rich substructure in the dark matter distribution within the clusters and to shocks and “cold fronts” in the hot baryonic gas. Recent SRG/eROSITA observations provided an unprecedented X-ray view of the Coma cluster, revealing intricate signatures of the merger process, which are predicted by numerical simulations. more

<p>SRG/eROSITA detects large-scale X-ray bubbles encompassing the Fermi bubbles</p>

The first all-sky survey performed by the eROSITA X-ray telescope on-board the SRG observatory has revealed a large hourglass-shaped structure in the Milky Way. These “eROSITA bubbles” show a striking similarity to the Fermi bubbles, detected a decade ago at even higher energies. The most likely explanation for these huge features is a massive energy injection from the Galactic centre region in the past, leading to shocks in the hot gaseous halo around our galaxy. more

<p>Stars, stars, stars</p>

Stars, stars, stars

January 01, 2021

Selma E. de Mink appointed as director at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics more

Go to Editor View