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

Stars, stars, stars

January 01, 2021

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

Radio telescopes observe the sky in a very indirect fashion. Sky images in the radio frequency range therefore have to be computed using sophisticated algorithms. Scientists at the MPI for Astrophysics have developed a series of improvements for these algorithms, which help to improve the telescopes' resolution considerably. more

The German Research Foundation DFG announced today that Volker Springel, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, will receive the most important research award in Germany: together with nine other scientists, he will receive the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2021 for his ground-breaking work in the field of numerical astrophysics. more

Three years into its quest to reveal the nature of dark energy, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX) is on track to complete the largest map of the cosmos ever. The team will create a three-dimensional map of 2.5 million galaxies that will help astronomers understand how and why the expansion of the universe is speeding up over time. Scientists in Munich and Garching have contributed to the design of the survey strategy, planning and execution as well as developing key software and data management tools for the cosmology data analysis. more

Dark matter is the most abundant matter component in the universe. But while it influences all structure in the universe, its nature is still unknown. Among the many candidates is ultra-light dark matter, the lightest possible candidate for dark matter, which been receiving a lot of attention recently, as this might be probed by current and future experiments. MPA researchers have written a review on the current status of these models and their search for observational markers, introducing a division into three classes and showing how the rich phenomenology of this leading candidate for dark matter could help answer the question of what dark matter really is. more

Using Planck data from the cosmic microwave background radiation, an international team of researchers has observed a hint of new physics. The team developed a new method to measure the polarization angle of the ancient light by calibrating it with dust emission from our own Milky Way. While the signal is not detected with enough precision to draw definite conclusions, it may suggest that dark matter or dark energy causes a violation of the so-called “parity symmetry”. more

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