Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

MPIA News

2014 2013





December 13, 2013

Doomed planet foreshadows Earth's fate

A group of astronomers that includes Amelia Bayo and Luigi Mancini of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has found a doomed planet that within 55 million years – a mere blink of the eye on astronomical scales – will be swallowed whole by its host star.

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December 9, 2013

Patzer Prize 2013 goes to Siddharth Hegde, Annie Hughes and Robert Singh

At the end of November the solemn ceremony of the Ernst-Patzer Prize for the promotion of young scientists was held in the auditorium of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA). The awards were given this year to Siddharth Hegde, Annie Hughes and Robert Singh.

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November 30, 2013

First Light for LINC-NIRVANA Pathfinder – with Adaptive Optics!

On November 17, the LINC - NIRVANA Pathfinder instrument was successfully tested at the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona. The Pathfinder team succeeded not only in acquiring the instrument's first observation of a celestial object – its so-called "First Light" - but also in commissioning of the control loop for the adaptive optics.

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November 28, 2013 – german only

ARGOS-Laser starten Testbetrieb am LBT

Diesen Monat haben die ARGOS-Lasersysteme am Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona ihren ersten Test erfolgreich bestanden. Zwei Strahlenbündel wurden von den Sekundärspiegeln des Teleskops in den Nachthimmel projiziert und erzeugten ihre ersten künstlichen Leitsterne durch Rayleigh-Streuung in der oberen Erdatmosphäre ...

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October 16, 2013

ALMA probes surroundings of giant black hole

A group of astronomers that includes Eva Schinnerer from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have used the telescope array ALMA in Chile to image the center of the active galaxy NGC1433.

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October 15, 2013

George Herbig, pioneering astronomer and emeritus external scientific member of MPIA, dies at 93

Dr. George H. Herbig, astronomer emeritus at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and an emeritus external scientific member of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, as died at the age of 93 in Honolulu. Herbig was a pioneer of the field of star formation.

More information can be found in this obituary at the IfA Hawaii or in this obituary (in German) by MPIA's Wolfgang Brandner.
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September 18, 2013

Der Quantenkosmos und die Physik von morgen (german only)

Der Roelin-Preis für Wissenschaftspublizistik 2013 geht an Claus Kiefer, Universität Köln
Im Urknall, mit dem die Welt begann, die wir heute kennen, nahmen Raum und Zeit, Materie und Energie ihren gemeinsamen Anfang, und damals waren die vier Kräfte noch vereint, die heute ganz unterschiedliche Aspekte der Natur regieren ...

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August 12, 2013

Three Awards for Anica Till

Due to her excellent written work, Ms. Anica Till - trainee in the MPIA administration - received three awards.

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August 1, 2013

In search of the origins of life: Lisa Kaltenegger receives $1 million award from Simons Foundation

Lisa Kaltenegger, a group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and a research associate at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has been named as one of the investigators of the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life. Dr. Kaltenegger is an expert on the potential habitability of exoplanets (planets orbiting stars other than the Sun) and on the chemical signatures that could allow for the detection of life on those planets.

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July 24, 2013

Julian Baldauf received the Trainee Award 2013 of the Max Planck Society

For the seventh time, the Max Planck Society has awarded the Trainee Prize for outstanding achievements in vocational training. The winner 2013 is Julian Baldauf from MPIAs precision engineering department.

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July 23, 2013

Harold C. Urey Prize for Anders Johansen

The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) awarded Dr. Anders Johansen the Harold C. Urey Prize for his outstanding achievement in planetary research.

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July 12, 2013

Planeten außerhalb unseres Sonnensystems – öffentlicher Vortrag von Prof. Willy Benz

Am Dienstag, den 16. Juli hält Prof. Willy Benz von der Universität Bern anlässlich der internationalen Tagung »Protostars & Planets VI« einen allgemeinverständlichen Vortrag in der Alten Aula der Universität Heidelberg.

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July 12, 2013

Royal Astronomical Society honours the SAURON team with the Group Achievement Award 2013 – MPIA scientists involved

A few days ago at the UK National Astronomy Meeting in St. Andrews, the Royal Astronomical Society presented its Group Achievement Award to the SAURON team, including MPIA scientists Dr. Remco van den Bosch and Dr. Glenn van de Ven.

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July 9, 2013

Astronomical conference "Protostars & Planets"
to take place from 15 to 20 July 2013


Nine hundred scientists will be meeting in Heidelberg between 15 and 20 July 2013 for one of the biggest astronomical conferences anywhere in the world. On these six days, the experts intend to exchange views and knowledge about the present state of research on the evolution of stars and planets.

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July 9 2013

ESA awards major Euclid contract

After years of planning a space mission, the awarding of contracts for actual construction to industry marks a major step. This step has now been taken for the Euclid mission, a space telescope slated for launch in 2020 which is set to explore the dark side of our cosmos: The ubiquitous dark matter, which can only be detected indirectly, but whose gravitational attraction plays a key role for the structure of galaxies and galaxy clusters, and dark energy, which is responsible for the fact that our universe not only expands, but accelerates its expansion.

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July 1, 2013

MPI for Astronomy employee's children join the "Glückskinder" in September

The MPIA has expanded its existing services for improving ways to reconcile career, academia and family. As of September 2013, six further crèche places will be available to the institute in the "Glückskinder" group. The "Glückskinderwelt" in Heidelberg is centrally located and easy to reach, offers extremely flexible opening hours and uses the latest educational methods.

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June 3, 2013

Hubert Klahr is the 2013 Russell Severance Springer Professor in Berkeley

Professor H. Hubertus Klahr was nominated by the Mechanical Engineering faculty of the University of California at Berkeley as the Distinguished Russell Severance Springer Professor for 2013. Klahr, who is an expert in the theory of planet formation, will visit Berkeley in September 2013 to present a course of four to six lectures to Berkeley student and hold a Department Colloquium.

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May 27, 2013

Reimar Lüst Fellowship for Christoph Mordasini

Christoph Mordasini is Reimar Lüst Fellow 2013 of the Max Planck Society. The junior scientist, who works at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, will use the two-year fellowship to continue his research on the statistical properties of planets around other stars (exoplanets).

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April 12, 2013

Bringing the telescope jitters under control: A unique service at the LBT

Large mechanical structures such as the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on Mt. Graham in Arizona are susceptible to vibrations. As the telescope is moved, but also as it is influenced by wind, the structure begins to oscillate slightly. Yet even very slight vibrations can jeopardize one of the LBT's key objectives: to combine the two 8.4m primary mirrors on the LBT mount to act like a single, much larger telescope. In this mode, achieved by what is called interferometry, the LBT could discern details otherwise accessible only to a telescope with a giant 23 meter mirror. Structural vibrations can all but spoil the interferometric combination, severely limiting the achievable resolution, and leading to a substantial loss of detail ...

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February 26, 2013

Blazing the Trail for a Binocular Telescope: Pathfinder arrives
at Mt. Graham


The mere fact that the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona features two 8,4 meter diameter mirrors on a single mount is impressive enough. But this telescope is designed to be so much more: With the help of the LINC-NIRVANA instrument currently being assembled at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), the two mirrors will be linked to act like a single, much larger telescope. The resulting "interferometer" will be able to image details that would otherwise only be accessible with a (single) telescope with a 23-meter mirror ...

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February 2, 2013

Andromeda in a new light

NASA's "Astronomy Picture of the Day" for February 2, 2013, is an infrared image of the Andromeda galaxy, by the Herschel Space Telescope. The image is part of a program led by Oliver Krause of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA).

Krause said: "MPIA contributed to the construction of the PACS instrument on the Herschel space telescope. In return, we were allowed guaranteed observation time, part of which we used for these observations of the Andromeda galaxy. For us, this observation was an absolute must-have: Andromeda is the closest spiral galaxy to our own, and Herschel can show in detail which regions of Andromeda are currently forming new stars. This data set is bound to be part of Herschel's long-term legacy – 20 years from now, astronomers will still be using it in their analyses."
 

The Herschel Space Telescope itself only has about one month of observation time left. It is gradually running out of coolant, which is a necessary prerequisite for infrared observations.

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January 23, 2013

New APEX image of interstellar clouds in Orion

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has just released spectacular new images of a region near the reflection nebula NGC 1999 in the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which includes data from the submillimeter telescope APEX. The team of astronomers who made these observations includes MPIA's Amy Stutz, who was involved in the scientific analysis of the data. Stutz comments: "These APEX images just amaze me; across Orion they reveal with stunning clarity the very dense and cold dust that stars are born from."

The images and further information can be found on the ESO webpages at
http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1304

 

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Verantwortlich / Responsible: Axel M. Quetz
Letzte Änderung / Last update: 6. Februar 2014