News

Astronomy in the European Open Science Cloud

20 November 2018. First quarter 2019 sees the exciting launch of ESCAPE, one out of the five successfully retained Cluster projects, which the European Commission supports with €16 million to boo...

Nowadays, machine learning techniques are being used in many fields of science. Instead of developing complex codes, a computer learns how to solve otherwise time-consuming problems that involve much manual labor. Typically, a huge amount of data is a prerequisite to teach the computer how to identify patterns in the training set and enabling it without any human interaction to recognize similar features in new data.

European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is a cloud for research data in Europe allowing for universal access to data; a single online platform where all European researchers will be able to find, access and re-use data produced by other scientists, and to deposit, analyse and share data they have been paid to produce. EOSC will help increase recognition of data intensive research and data science. Its architecture is developed as a data infrastructure commons serving the needs of scientists, providing both common functions and localised services delegated to community level. EOSC will federate existing resources across national data centres, European e-infrastructures and research infrastructures by gradually opening up its user base to the public sector and industry.

ESCAPE – « The European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle Physics ESFRI Research Infrastructures » answers the EOSC ambition in bringing People, Data, Services, Training, Publications, Projects & Organisations, all together in an integrated and federated environment. The project is led by CNRS, the French public research organisation, with a consortium of 31 partners including 27 European partner institutions.

The Optical Solar Physics group and the Super Computing and E-Science section at AIP will develop a Classification Engine for Solar and Stellar Spectra, which automatically identifies, classifies, and provides physical properties of solar and stellar atmospheres. This contribution by AIP to Escape's Foundation for Competence for Software and Service Innovation (COSSI) is embedded in a major effort bringing together machine and deep learning techniques from all branches of astronomy, astrophysics, solar physics, and high-energy particle physics.

ESCAPE press release and further information: https://lapp.in2p3.fr/spip.php?article2624&lang=en

 

Scientific Contact: apl. Prof. Dr. Carsten Denker, 0331-7499-297, cdenker@aip.de,
Dr. Harry Enke, 0331-7499 433, henke@aip.de
Media contact: Dr. Janine Fohlmeister, 0331-7499 803, presse@aip.de

 

The key areas of research at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aim at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and e-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1992.

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IAU Symposium 354: Magnetfelder der Sonne und der Sterne

The Leibniz-Insitute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) invites together with the New Jersey Institute of Technology to a symposium of the International Astronomical Union. It is going to take place du...

One of the puzzles of solar and stellar magnetism is related to the origin of extreme flare events. Despite the very weak magnetic cycle the Sun produced, in 2017 some of the strongest flares in the history of observations were seen. How are such observations related to the magnetism of stars that produce super-flares? What physical mechanism may cause such extreme events?  These and more questions will be discussed at the conference. The role of stellar magnetism in the interactions of stars and their planets is also of special interest for determining conditions for the habitability of planets.

The Symposium will include an open public session on solar eclipses and planetary transits. In particular, total solar eclipses provide high-resolution measurements of the magnetic field in the low corona, which cannot be obtained by any other means. The Symposium has thus been organized to embrace the total solar eclipse in Chile on July 2nd. In addition, this session will present a broad historical overview of solar eclipses, planetary transits, their role in astronomy, as well as a general talk on habitability of exoplanets.

More information and the registration form for the symposium can be found on the conference web page.

 

Web page: https://iaus354.aip.de

Scientific Contact: Prof. K. G. Strassmeier, 0331-7499-223, kstrassmeier@aip.de

Press Contact: Franziska Gräfe, 0331-7499 803, presse@aip.de

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Starry Night on November 15

An artist's impression of the X-ray telescope XMM-Newton. (Credit: ESA-C. Carreau)

Starry Night on November 15

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) invites to the next Starry Night in Babelsberg on Thursday, November 15, 2018, starting at 7:15 pm with a public lecture of Dr Iris Traulsen on ...

Until the 20th century, astrophysics were mainly influenced by observations in optical light. Extraterrestrial light of other wavelengths is shield by the Earth's atmosphere. As technological development enabled telescopes to rise above the Earth's atmosphere with rockets and satellites, new fields of research opened up. By now, hundreds of thousands of stars and galaxies are known to emit X-rays, from our sun to huge galaxy clusters far away. An international team, including the AIP, evaluates X-ray observations and publishes catalogs of objects, all of which were recorded using the European Space Telescope XMM-Newton. What imeans X-ray astrophysics? Which processes in the universe do we observe in X-rays? And what is the work of the team behind the catalogs? You are invited to a journey into hot and extreme areas of the universe that are hidden from the naked eye.

 

After the talk, we offer a tour over the AIP campus and – if the sight is clear – an observation with one of our historical reflecting telescopes.

We look forward to your visit!

Free entry, no previous registration necessary.

Location: AIP, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam

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AIP welcomes nominations for 2019 Wempe Award

7th November 2018. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam, Germany (AIP), is calling for nominations and applications for the Johann Wempe Award 2019.

In honour of Professor Johann Wempe (1906–1980), the last director of the former Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam (AOP), the AIP grants the Johann Wempe award to outstanding scientists.

 

The award consists of a stipend to facilitate a research visit to the AIP of up to six months. The recipient may be either a promising young scientist who has already made notable achievements or a senior scientist, in recognition of his or her life's work. The recipient is expected to enrich the scientific life of the institute through a series of lectures in their area of expertise.

 

See also: http://www.aip.de/en/institute/johann-wempe-award/nominations/announcement-2019

Application and nomination materials must arrive no later than December 31, 2018.

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Historical star data digitally available

Exposure of Andromeda nebula, taken on September 30, 1913. At this time, it was still unknown that Andromeda is a galaxy outside the Milky Way. (Credit: Hamburg Observatory/APPLAUSE)

Historical star data digitally available

The large-scale digitization project APPLAUSE provides historical photographic plates from more than one hundred years of astronomical observation of numerous observatories online. The digital arch...

For more than 100 years astronomy has used photography to explore planets, stars, galaxies and other astronomical objects. At the end of the 1980s, digital receivers almost completely replaced the classic photographic plates. Thanks to their lifetimes of more than 100 years, the latter are above all very reliable storage.

Hundreds of thousands of such astronomical images were dormant in the archives of German observatories, waiting for their second, now digital, scientific evaluation with modern computer software.

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) alone has about 20,000 photographic plates of observations in the period from 1893 to 1970. Only through digitization can these treasures be fully analyzed. The abundance of information contained in the old photographic images allows us to take a look into the past decades and with the aid of modern computer programs we can measure billions of stars much more accurately and objectively. The availability of data over a period of more than 130 years allows science to take a more complete look at long-term phenomena.

Together with the Hamburg University, the Friedrich Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nuremberg and the University of Tartu (Estonia), the digitization of these photo plates was tackled.

In the third data release, the web archive now contains over 70,000 scans of photographic plates from the holdings of four observatories in Germany and Estonia. In addition to stars, the objects observed include planets, comets, and asteroids. Altogether, information on three and a half billion objects was extracted from the plates and identified in comparison with modern astronomical catalogues. To do this, the scientists first assigned the sky plates to the scanned plates – with the help of PyPlate, a specially developed software. This compares the positions of the objects on the scans of each photographic plate with known constellations and calibrates the magnitudes of the objects which are affected by the plate emulsion. This step achieves comparability of the data with other catalogs. In addition, the team also manually transcribed and digitally recorded the observation notes and logbooks. Thanks to this information, the historical data can be used for scientific studies, e.g. for environmental parameters such as air temperature and observation quality, which are included in the data evaluation. At the same time, the scans of the observation logbooks also illustrate the astronomical mode of operation of the past century and are thus also of interest to historians.

The joint project of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, the Hamburg University, the Dr Remeis Observatory Bamberg, and the Tartu Observatory is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

 

Various scans of historical photographic plates, logbooks and observation notes from the APPLAUSE archive (Credit: AIP/APPLAUSE)

 

 

Archive access and further information https://www.plate-archive.org/applause/

Scientific Contact Dr. Harry Enke, 0331-7499 433, henke@aip.de

Media contact Franziska Gräfe, 0331-7499 803, presse@aip.de

 

The key areas of research at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aim at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and e-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1992.

Read more ...