Prof. Dragan Huterer currently is spending his sabbatical from the University of Michigan in the cosmology group at MPA. Funded through the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award of the Humboldt Foundation, he hopes to find new inspiration for studying the expansion history of the universe as well as having the time to write a cosmology textbook. more

Zooming in on Dark Matter

September 02, 2020

Computer simulation reveals similar structures for large and small dark matter halos more

The origin of mysterious fast radio bursts (FRBs) has been debated since their discovery in 2007. A theory developed at Columbia University and MPA suggested that FRBs are emitted by blast waves from flaring magnetars -- neutron stars with ultrastrong magnetic fields. On 28 April 2020, an FRB was detected from SGR 1935+2154, a known magnetar in our Galaxy. A new numerical experiment demonstrates how perturbations can grow in a magnetar and launch a magnetic explosion – and a burst such as the observed one. more

Astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), have revealed an extremely distant and therefore very young galaxy that looks surprisingly like our Milky Way. The galaxy is so far away its light has taken more than 12 billion years to reach us: we see it as it was when the Universe was just 1.4 billion years old. It is also surprisingly unchaotic, contradicting theories that all galaxies in the early Universe were turbulent and unstable. This unexpected discovery challenges our understanding of how galaxies form, giving new insights into the past of our Universe. more

When interstellar gas falls towards a supermassive black hole, it liberates vast amounts of energy - so vast as to be capable of ejecting much of a galaxy’s gaseous reservoir. Ultimately, supermassive black holes may thus deprive themselves of further fuel and bring about the end of their own growth and that of their host galaxies. A new model developed at MPA now makes it possible to simulate winds accelerated by accreting black holes in galaxy evolution simulations in a physically accurate and validated way. By blowing dense gas from the galactic nucleus, and by halting inward flows from the galactic halo, the winds play a vital role in shaping the evolution of the black hole host galaxy. more

Two teams of astronomers have made a compelling case in the 33-year-old mystery surrounding Supernova 1987A. Based on observations with ALMA and a theoretical follow-up study, the scientists provide new insight for the argument that a neutron star is hiding deep inside the remains of the exploded star. This would be the youngest neutron star in our cosmic neighbourhood known to date. more

Astrophysicist Sherry H. Suyu will receive the 2021 Lancelot M. Berkeley–New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy. Bestowed annually since 2011 by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and supported by a grant from the New York Community Trust, the Berkeley prize includes a monetary award and an invitation to give the closing plenary lecture at the AAS winter meeting, the “Super Bowl of Astronomy.” The 237th AAS meeting will be held virtually from 11 to 15 January 2021. more

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