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Reimar-Lüst-Fellowship for Adriana Pohl

September 27, 2016
Adriana Pohl has been awarded with the Reimar-Lüst-Fellowship by the Max-Planck-Society (MPG). She receives a two year funding for her research project. [more]
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Reconstructing the cosmic history of star formation: ALMA takes stock of the fuel for star formation in distant galaxies

September 22, 2016
A study by a large international team led by Fabian Walter of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, using the millimeter telescope ALMA, has traced the raw building blocks of star formation back in time to an era about 2 billion years after the big bang, yielding clues as to the history of star formation in our universe. The study targeted one of the best studied regions of the sky: the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), first imaged in depth by the Hubble Space Telescope in 2003/2004. This is the first time a millimeter wave image that includes spectral information has been taken of this portion of the HUDF, sufficient to show galaxies whose light took up to 11 billion light years to reach us.  [more]
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Otto Hahn Medal for Eduardo Banados

September 16, 2016
Dr. Eduardo Enrique Bañados Torres has been awarded with the Otto Hahn Medal from the Max Planck Society (MPG). With the ceremony during the annual meeting of the MPG, the society recognized his work for the understanding of quasars in the early universe. [more]
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Planet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star

August 24, 2016
Astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting the nearest star outside our solar system, Proxima Centauri. The planet, designated Proxima Centauri b, is in the habitable zone of its star, where liquid water could exist. The discovery is the result of a patient search using the radial velocity method, which searches for tiny wobbles of a star caused by an orbiting planet. In addition to newly acquired data, the analysis uses spectra taken by MPIA astronomer Martin Kürster and colleagues between 2000 and 2007. [more]
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Gigantic X-shaped structure throws (infrared) light on Galactic history

July 19, 2016
Two astronomers have produced the first direct images of a gigantic X-shaped distribution of stars in the center of the Milky Way. The collaboration shows the value of open science: it began when Dustin Lang (University of Toronto) tweeted an image he had recently created. From the tweet, Melissa Ness (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy) recognized the image's significance for reconstructing the history of our home galaxy. The X-shaped distribution indicates that the bulge of stars surrounding the center of the galactic disk was formed through dynamical interactions of stars, not by the merger of smaller galaxies with our own. [more]
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Ludwig Biermann-Prize of the German Astronomical Society (AG) for Karin Lind

June 30, 2016
This  year,  the  Ludwig  Biermann  Prize  of  the  German  Astronomical  Society  (AG)  will  be awarded to Dr. Karin Lind from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg. [more]

Successful first galactic center observation with new instrument GRAVITY targets stars around black hole

June 23, 2016
Another first for the new instrument GRAVITY: Observations of the direct neighborhood of our galaxy's central black hole in unprecedented detail show GRAVITY living up to its promises. The instrument made these observations by combining light from all four 8 meter telescopes that comprise ESO's Very Large Telescope into a virtual telescope with the same eye for detail as a 130 m telescope. [more]
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