News at MPA

Dancing pattern of red supergiant stars on the sky

The bubbling surface of massive giant stars causes their observable positions on the sky to wobble. An international team of astrophysicists has now performed detailed simulations of the gas motions in the atmospheric layers of these stars and compared these with high-quality data of the Perseus stellar cluster. They find that the surface structures could indeed account for a large part of the measurement uncertainty in the observations. more

Biermann Lectures 2022: Insights on the Milky Way’s history and dynamics

By Prof. Dr. Amina Helmi (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Groningen). more

Scientists develop the largest, most detailed model of the early universe to date

The Thesan simulations help explain how light from the first galaxies transformed the Universe. more

Otto Hahn Medal for Francesca Rizzo

This year, former MPA PhD student Francesca Rizzo is one of the recipients of the Otto Hahn Medal. The Max Planck Society awards the prize to her for original and groundbreaking work into the kinematic and dynamical properties of high-redshift galaxies. more

A new spin on the blue stellar sequence

Not only humans try to look younger than they really are – stars do, too. This is what an international team of astronomers investigates in their paper that was just published in Nature Astronomy. They propose that stars in stellar clusters gain their mass in two different ways: by “normal” disk accretion leading to rapid rotation – contributing to the red main sequence – or by mergers of binary stars, leading to slowly rotating stars that appear bluer and therefore younger. more

<strong>SRG/eROSITA discovers X-ray emission from a record luminous “cow” in the sky</strong>

AT2020mrf could have remained one of many hundreds of ordinary optical transients that are regularly detected by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS). However, in the same place in the sky, and at about same time, the eROSITA telescope aboard the SRG orbital X-ray observatory, discovered an unusual new X-ray source, called SRGe J154754.2+443907. It soon became clear that scientists had found a unique cosmic object. They witnessed the birth of a new magnetar — a neutron star with the superstrong magnetic field – or of a black hole in a distant galaxy. more

Eiichiro Komatsu awarded the Inoue Prize for Science

Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics Director Eiichiro Komatsu has been selected as one of the recipients of this year's Inoue Prize for Science. He is recognized for his work to study the physics of the early Universe as a researcher with remarkable achievements in the natural and fundamental sciences. more

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