MPIA News

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MPG Trainee Award for Tina Brill

October 18, 2018
Tina Brill, a former trainee in the administration of the MPIA, has been awarded the Trainee Prize of the Max Planck Society (MPG) in 2018. [more]
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Bringing the building blocks of life down to Earth, from space

October 02, 2018
Astronomers from McMaster University and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy have completed calculations that lead to a consistent scenario for the emergence of life on Earth, based on astronomical, geological, chemical and biological models. In this scenario, life forms a mere few hundred million years after Earth’s surface was cool enough for liquid water; the essential building blocks for life were formed in space during the formation of the solar system, and delivered to warm little ponds on Earth by meteorites. The new results have been published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences. [more]
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Tracking the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua to its home

September 25, 2018
A team of astronomers led by Coryn Bailer-Jones of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy has tracked the interstellar object ‘Oumuamua to several possible home stars. The object was discovered in late 2017 – this was the first time astronomers have been able to observe an astronomical object from another star system visiting our own Solar System. Bailer-Jones and his colleagues used data from the ESA astrometry satellite Gaia to find four plausible stars where ‘Oumuamua could have begun its long journey, more than a million years ago. [more]
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Gruber Award for Nestor Espinoza

September 24, 2018
Néstor Espinoza, Postdoc in the Planet- and Star Formation Department of the Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), has been awarded The Gruber Foundation (TGF) Fellowship for 2018. He is sharing the award with Dary Alexandra Ruiz-Rodriguez of the Rochester Institute of Technology. [more]
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Paola Pinilla receives Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Humboldt Foundation

September 21, 2018
As one out of six international research talents, Paola Pinilla will be awarded the prestigious Sofja Kovalevskaja Prize by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in November 2018. This will enable the young scientist to set up her own research group at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg starting next year. [more]
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Halfway mark for NOEMA

September 20, 2018
Wit a ceremony on Wednesday, the Max Planck Society (MPG) and the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) celebrated the successful completion of the first construction phase of the NOEMA project. The facility is now on its way to become the most powerful radio telescope for millimeter waves in the northern hemisphere. [more]
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Testing the predictions of general relativity near the Milky Way’s central black hole

July 26, 2018
For the first time, astronomers have clearly detected the effects predicted by general relativity for the orbit of a star around the central supermassive black hole of our home galaxy. The measurements took advantage of the closest approach of one particular star to the black hole in May 2018. The required high precision was provided by the GRAVITY instrument at ESO’s Very Large Telescope, which exploits the wave properties of light to allow for highly accurate relative positions of point sources. [more]
 
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