News at MPA

Reimar Lüst, former Max Planck President and pioneer of European space research, has died more

Magnetars are neutron stars endowed with the strongest magnetic fields observed in the Universe, but their origin remains controversial. In a study published in Science Advances, a team of scientists from CEA, Saclay,  the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris developed a new and unprecedentedly detailed computer model that can explain the genesis of these gigantic fields through the amplification of pre-existing weak fields when rapidly rotating neutron stars are born in collapsing massive stars. The work opens new avenues to understand the most powerful and most luminous explosions of such stars. more

A little more than a month has passed since the beginning of the regular all-sky survey of the SRG observatory, moving on a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L2. The spacecraft is at a distance of one and a half million kilometers from Earth, rotating around an axis directed towards the Sun. Since the start of the scan, the ART-XC and eROSITA telescopes have already covered more than 1/6 of the entire celestial sphere and demonstrated the excellent capabilities of SRG in mapping the X-ray sky. By mid-June 2020, the scientists will have the first map of the entire sky, and after four years, each part of the sky will be covered 8 times, increasing the sensitivity of the survey by a record 20-30 times compared to the existing one by the ROSAT satellite. more

Some unidentified features in one of the brightest stellar explosions ever witnessed, SN 2006gy, have now been explained by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. The spectral lines arise from neutral iron - very unusual for such a high-energy event - and imply that more than a third of a solar mass of this heavy element was created. The dominance of iron in the spectrum rules out several previously proposed scenarios for SN 2006gy and instead opened up the door for a new one. more

New Hubble Constant Measurement Strengthens Discrepancy in Universe's Expansion Rate more

Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP), and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching (MPA), have investigated galactic radio objects that adopt shapes such as Christmas trees and harps. They were able to answer the old question of the transport of cosmic rays. more

The Spectrum-RG observatory, launched from Baikonur on July 13, 2019, now begins with scanning the entire sky. On December 8, the spacecraft moving on a wide orbit around the L2 liberation point at a distance of 1.5 million kilometres started rotating around the axis directed towards the Earth. Both, the ART-XC and eROSITA telescopes began scanning the sky along the big circle on the celestial sphere, thus marking the start of the 4-years long all-sky survey. more

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