News at MPA

<span><span><span><span><span><span>Black-hole binary tests supernova theory</span></span></span></span></span></span>

Observations of a newly discovered binary star system combined with advanced models of stellar collapse have provided key insights into the formation of stellar mass black holes. A team of international researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics and the Niels Bohr Institute (NBI), University of Copenhagen, conclude that massive black holes can form without a bright supernova explosion. The energy from the collapse is carried away mainly by lightweight neutrino particles with only small asymmetry, leading to a small natal kick for the black hole. more

<span><span><span><span>Full STEAM ahead for astronomy in Uganda! </span></span></span></span>

End of April, the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, and Mathematics) festival took place at Kyambogo University in Uganda. One of the highlights: the mobile planetarium set up by Benard Nsamba, head of the MPA partner group and Branco Weiss fellow. more

<span><span><span>Biermann lectures 2024: Galaxies and Intergalactic Matter at Cosmic “Late Morning”</span></span></span>

By Charles (Chuck) Steidel, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California more

ESA gives go-ahead for flagship gravitational-wave observatory in space

LISA, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, has passed a major review with flying colours: the entire concept – from the definition of the overall mission and operations to the space hardware to be built – stood up to the intense scrutiny of ESA´s reviewers. Now the space agency´s Science Programme Committee (SPC) has confirmed that LISA is sufficiently mature and that mission development can proceed as planned. LISA should go into orbit in the mid-2030s. more

What happens if you put a black hole into the Sun?

In a hypothetical scenario, small, primordial black holes could be captured by newly forming stars. An international team, led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, has now modelled the evolution of these so-called “Hawking stars” and found that they can have surprisingly long lifetimes, resembling normal stars in many aspects. Asteroseismology could help to identify such stars, which in turn could test the existence of primordial black holes and their role as a component for dark matter. more

Maria Werhahn honoured with the Carl Ramsauer Prize

MPA postdoc Maria Werhahn has been awarded the Carl Ramsauer Prize by the Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin for her doctoral thesis “Simulating Galaxy Evolution with Cosmic Rays: The Multi-Frequency View”. The award ceremony took place on 22 November 2023 at the Technical University of Berlin, where she also presented her work in a short lecture. more

Volker Springel becomes Vice President of the Astronomical Society

At its 2023 Annual Meeting, the German Astronomical Society elected Volker Springel, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics as Vice President. more

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