Research Highlights

On this page you can find a monthly updated list of short articles highlighting current MPA research topics.

Current Research Highlights

Current Research Highlights

Teaser 1559052074

Heat conduction in the Interstellar Medium

June 01, 2019
A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, the University Observatory Munich, and collaborators have investigated the effect of heat conduction on the evolution of supernova blast waves and the structure of the supernova-driven interstellar medium (ISM). They find that thermal conduction has a strong impact on the volume filling fractions of cold, warm and hot gas. Thermal conduction also plays an important role for an accurate description of the hot ISM phase structure and the chemical composition of the cold phase of the turbulent ISM. [more]
Original 1556804515

Towards a complete model of the interstellar medium

May 01, 2019
For the first time MPA scientists and European collaborators have simulated the solar neighborhood interstellar medium (ISM), including physical processes following all major thermal and non-thermal components - ionized, neutral and molecular gas, dust, interstellar radiation, magnetic fields, and cosmic rays in the presence of star formation. As the different processes strongly influence each other, the simulations highlight the importance of including them all, in particular radiation and cosmic rays, for a realistic model of the star-forming ISM. Within the Gauss Center for Supercomputing (GCS) project SuperSILCC the team will use SuperMUC-NG, one of the world’s fastest supercomputers, to reveal the physical origins of the ISM structure also in extreme environments at high redshift. [more]
Teaser 1553099091

Sloshed and shocked: diagnosing gas motion in galaxy clusters

April 01, 2019
Recent high-resolution microwave and X-ray observations of the galaxy cluster RX J1347-1145 offer a new diagnosis tool of gas motion. Probing different parameters of the hot gas in galaxy clusters, these observations allow the MPA scientists to distinguish between gentle and violent motion of gas stirred by encounters with smaller sub-clusters. [more]
Teaser 1551267154

Galaxy physics beyond the halo boundary

March 01, 2019
Models of the large-scale structure of galaxies in the Universe suffer from serious limitations, when artificial boundaries are imposed at the virial radius of the dark matter halo. As MPA scientists demonstrate, environmental effects vary smoothly across the traditionally adopted halo boundary and need to be taken into account even in low-density environments. [more]
Teaser 1549007089

Next generation imaging

February 01, 2019
The Information Field Theory Group at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics has released a new version of the NIFTy software for scientific imaging. NIFTy5 generates an optimal imaging algorithm from the complex probability model of a measured signal. Such algorithms have already proven themselves in a number of astronomical applications and can now be used in other areas as well. [more]
Original 1545315851

Dynamo-amplification and magnetic driven outflows in Milky Way-like galaxies

January 01, 2019
Lately, the impact of magnetic fields in simulations of galaxy formation and evolution is being widely studied. However, it is still unclear to which degree magnetic fields influence the formation and evolution of galaxies. A team of researchers from the astronomical Max Planck Institutes in Garching, the University Observatory in Munich, and the University of Konstanz have introduced a new galactic model with an explicitly modelled circum galactic medium (CGM) to investigate the impact of magnetic fields in an isolated simulation of a Milky Way-like galaxy with the focus on the dynamo amplification of the magnetic field. Further the researchers discuss the possibility of bi-conical magnetic driven outflows and their impact on the star formation rate of the galaxy. [more]
Original 1542710912

Gamma-rays Reveal the History of Star Formation in the Universe

December 01, 2018
Astrophysicists at MPA along with an international team of scientists have made a measurement of all the light in the universe, the so-called Extragalactic Background Light (EBL). The EBL is a sea of photons (particles of light) that have been gradually accumulating since the first stars started shining, shortly after the Big Bang. The results are published in Science on November 30th. [more]
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