Emission lines from the simulated interstellar medium

All stars in galaxies form in the dense gas of the interstellar medium (ISM). Ionizing radiation from newly born massive stars and supernova explosions lets the gas shine at characteristic wavelengths of certain atoms and ions. The relative strength of such line fluxes is an important observational diagnostic to reveal the internal state and composition of the ISM. However, emission by diffuse ionized gas has different flux ratios making accurate predictions difficult. Scientist at MPA and their European collaborators have used supercomputers to simulate a realistic star forming interstellar medium and to quantify the contribution of the diffuse gas. This finding allows for a more accurate interpretation of observations also at early cosmic times when these extreme conditions are more common than in the local Universe.  more

Max Planck Medal for Rashid Sunyaev

On November 17, the German Physical Society announced that it will award the Max Planck Medal, its highest award in Theoretical Physics, to Rashid Sunyaev. Thus the DPG honours “his numerous and fundamental contributions to relativistic astrophysics and to cosmology, in particular for the theoretical prediction of experimentally observed changes in the spectrum of cosmic background radiation passing through galaxy clusters.” more

The infinitely small or the infinitely large?

Even though her first interest was in the tiny scales of particle physics, Daniela Galárraga-Espinosa decided to go to the other extreme and study galaxies and the large-scale structure of the Universe. more

Eiichiro Komatsu receives 2022 Nishina Memorial Prize

The Nishina Memorial Foundation announced this week that Professor Eiichiro Komatsu, director at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, receives the most prestigious Japanese physics award. The Nishina Memorial Prize is presented annually, honoring outstanding Japanese scientists who have made substantial contributions to physics research. Komatsu receives the prestigious award for his “contributions to the standard cosmology based on the cosmic microwave background”. The award will be presented during a ceremony in Tokyo on 6 December 2022. more

Cool circumgalactic gas in galaxy clusters

Galaxy clusters are our universe's largest gravitationally bound systems, extending out to several million light-years and hosting up to 1000 galaxies. The matter permeating the clusters is known as the “intracluster medium” (ICM), a very hot and ionized gas (T~ 10-100 million K) emitting bright X-rays due to thermal bremsstrahlung. Scientists from MPA and the University of Heidelberg have discovered that the ICM also contains a significant amount of cool gas (10,000 K) up to large distances. The statistical connection between the haloes of cluster galaxies and absorption features points toward a complex origin of this cool gas where clouds are either associated with satellite galaxies or were previously stripped from their haloes. more

Sherry Suyu selected as Max Planck Fellow

Former MPA research group leader Sherry Suyu has been selected as a Max Planck Fellow to complement her recent appointment as associate professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). For the next five years, she will continue to lead a small working group at MPA to use gravitational lensing as a probe of cosmology and astrophysics. more

Galaxies light up hydrogen halos around neighbouring galaxies

Galaxies are embedded in large reservoirs of gas - mostly hydrogen and helium. This hydrogen gas has been found to glow faintly in a specific ultraviolet wavelength, or color, called Lyman-alpha. Scientists at the MPA have discovered that these Lyman-alpha halos are larger than previously thought, spanning several 100,000 light years. The inferred size and shape of the halos suggest that the light in the outer parts of the halos comes from surrounding galaxies or the gas in their environments rather than from the central galaxy itself. more

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