Gravitational wave sources in quadruple-star systems

Massive stars often reside in multiple star systems, therefore it is expected that mergers of their final stages, neutron stars or black holes, contribute significantly to gravitational wave sources. A team at MPA has now studied the evolution of millions of quadruple star systems and estimated that a significant fraction of the black hole – black hole mergers detected by LIGO come from such multiple star systems rather than simple binaries. more

Benard Nsamba appointed head of the MPA partner group<br /> 

The Partner Group of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics at Kyambogo University in Uganda will be led by MPA scientist Dr. Benard Nsamba. The Max Planck Society will support the partner group for up to a period of five years with 20,000 Euros every year. With these funds, Dr. Nsamba will build a research group in Astrophysics at Kyambogo University in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, covering expenses for travel, workshops, doctoral students and postdocs as well as minor equipment. more

Hans-Thomas Janka receives Karl-Schwarzschild-Medal

Today, the German Astronomical Society announced that Hans-Thomas Janka will receive the Karl Schwarzschild Medal, the most prestigious prize in Germany in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. The medal honours his research on the core-collapse supernova mechanism, explosive nucleosynthesis, and supernova neutrino physics. more

Relieving the Hubble tension with Early Dark Energy

Different measurements of the Hubble constant, the current expansion rate of our universe, show a discrepancy known as the Hubble tension. This could hint towards new physics beyond the standard model of cosmology. Using a complementary statistical method, researchers at MPA now narrow down possible new physics in the early universe and constrain the fraction of a proposed new component: early dark energy. more

JWST reveals highly distant galaxies behind a known gravitational magnifier

Using the first science image released by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) this month, an international team of scientists led by the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics has built an improved model for the mass distribution of the galaxy cluster SMACS J0723.3−7327. They used dozens of multiple images of far-away background galaxies revealed in the JWST image, some of which were too faint to be detected previously. Acting as a so-called gravitational lens, the foreground galaxy cluster produces both multiple images of background galaxies and magnifies these images. One family of such multiple images belongs to a galaxy, which the model predicts to be at a distance of about 13 Gyrs, i.e. whose light travelled some 13 billion years before reaching the telescope. If confirmed, this will emphasise the importance of accurate gravitational lens models for the identification of distant galaxies and their detailed study. more

Kippenhahn Prize awarded to Pavan Vynatheya

During this year’s summer barbeque, MPA student Pavan Vynatheya was distinguished with the Kippenhahn Award for his paper on “How Important is Secular Evolution for Black Hole and Neutron Star Mergers in 2+2 and 3+1 Quadruple-star Systems?” more

MPA scientist Marat Gilfanov elected to the Academia Europaea

In June 2022, the Academia Europaea announced the election of its new members including MPA scientist Prof. Marat Gilfanov. Along with Rashid Sunyaev and Simon White, elected to Academia Europaea in 1990 and 2009, respectively, Gilfanov is the third MPA scientist honoured with an AE membership. A few weeks earlier Marat became a full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. more

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