Stellar News

Physics vs. Piano 

September 14, 2021

Instead of following a musical career, MPA postdoc Tiara Battich is investigating the processes inside hot sub-dwarf stars
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Benard Nsamba receives prestigious fellowship to study stars and inspire Ugandan students more

Astronomers have made the rare sighting of two stars spiralling to their doom by spotting the tell-tale signs of a teardrop-shaped star. The tragic shape is caused by a massive nearby white dwarf distorting the star with its intense gravity, which will also be the catalyst for an eventual supernova that will consume both. more

Some of the most energetic radiation that reaches Earth comes from an exploded star in our Galaxy. An international team of researchers was now able to measure the distance to this object using an adjacent dust cloud with much higher degree of precision than ever before. This is the first step in better understanding the energetic processes that are going onin this supernova remnant. more

Stars, stars, stars

January 01, 2021

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

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

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