Press releases

Matthias Winker new administrative chairman of AIP Board

Matthias Winker new administrative chairman of AIP Board

by Kerstin Mork last modified Aug 11, 2015 03:44 PM

4 August 2015. Matthias Winker is appointed as new administrative chairman at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP). Together with the scientific chairman and speaker of the Board, Prof. Dr. Matthias Steinmetz, Winker completes the Executive Board of the institute.

Matthias Winker new administrative chairman of AIP Board - Read More…

Starry surprise in the bulge: encounter of a halo passerby

Starry surprise in the bulge: encounter of a halo passerby

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jul 21, 2015 02:12 PM

21 July 2015. A team led by Andrea Kunder from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) measured the velocity of a sample of 100 old RR Lyrae stars* thought to reside in the Galactic bulge, the central group of stars found in most Galaxies.

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A Dark Matter bridge in our cosmic neighborhood

A Dark Matter bridge in our cosmic neighborhood

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jul 14, 2015 09:13 AM

14. Juli 2015. By using the best available data to monitor galactic traffic in our neighborhood, Noam Libeskind from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) and his collaborators have built a detailed map of how nearby galaxies move. In it they have discovered a bridge of Dark Matter stretching from our Local Group all the way to the Virgo cluster - a huge mass of some 2,000 galaxies roughly 50 million light years away, that is bound on either side by vast bubbles completely devoid of galaxies. This bridge and these voids help us understand a 40 year old problem regarding the curious distribution of dwarf galaxies.

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To flare or not to flare: The riddle of galactic thin–thick disk solved

To flare or not to flare: The riddle of galactic thin–thick disk solved

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 27, 2015 09:03 AM

24 April 2015. A long-standing puzzle regarding the nature of disk galaxies has finally been solved by a team of astronomers led by Ivan Minchev from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), using state-of-the-art theoretical models. The new study shows that groups of stars with the same age always flare as the result of massive galactic collisions. When taken all together, these flares, nested like the petals of a blooming rose, puff up the disk and constitute what astronomers call the “thick” disk.

To flare or not to flare: The riddle of galactic thin–thick disk solved - Read More…

First Light for PEPSI

First Light for PEPSI

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jul 02, 2015 08:51 AM

22 April 2015. The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) has received its first celestial light through the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). Astronomers from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam showed the instruments incredible capabilities at different wavelengths and resolving powers. Among the first targets were several of the bright Gaia-ESO benchmark stars, magnetically active stars, solar-like stars with planets, a solar twin in M67, Jupiter’s four Galilean moons, and the bright Nova Sgr 2015b.

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Stars with the chemical clock on hold

Stars with the chemical clock on hold

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 13, 2015 02:56 PM

10 April 2015. An international team of astrophysicists, led by Cristina Chiappini from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, has discovered a group of red giant stars for which the ‘chemical clock’ does not work: according to their chemical signature, these stars should be old. Instead, they appear to be young when their ages are inferred using asteroseismology. Their existence cannot be explained by standard chemical evolution models of the Milky Way, suggesting that the chemical enrichment history of the Galactic disc is more complex than originally assumed.

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Solar eclipse seen by the LOFAR RadioTelescope

Solar eclipse seen by the LOFAR RadioTelescope

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 02, 2015 11:06 AM

23 March 2015. The European radio interferometer LOFAR succeeded in taking unique pictures of the solar eclipse on March 20th as it is not possible by eye.

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ESO: Looking Deeply into the Universe in 3D

ESO: Looking Deeply into the Universe in 3D

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 02, 2015 11:09 AM

26 February 2015. MUSE goes beyond Hubble

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Nature article: How stars reveal their ages

Nature article: How stars reveal their ages

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 02, 2015 11:10 AM

5 January 2015. A recently published study in the scientific journal Nature presents a method by which the age of stars can be determined very precisely: "Gyrochronology", an analytical procedure for determining the ages of stars with knowledge of their masses and rotation periods. The word "Gyrochronology" is a neologism of the AIP scientist and co-author of the study, Sydney Barnes.

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A universal comb

A universal comb

by Kerstin Mork last modified Dec 10, 2014 09:33 AM

10 December 2014. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) and the Centre for innovation competence innoFSPEC have tested a novel optical frequency comb using an astronomical instrument. This new light source will improve the calibration of spectrographs and hence their scientific measurements.

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The Lambda effect confirmed

The Lambda effect confirmed

by Gabi Schoenherr last modified Apr 01, 2015 04:05 PM

2 December 2014. Solar turbulence theory confirmed by solar observations: the Lambda effect exists. AIP theoreticians have long believed that turbulence on the Sun behaves opposite to what is known in classical experimental physics due to a complex mechanism taking place, called "Lambda Effect". A publication by Günter Rüdiger and colleagues in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters comparing theory to observational data now concludes that this predicted effect indeed occurs on the Sun.

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Epsilon Aurigae - an extremely dynamic binary star

Epsilon Aurigae - an extremely dynamic binary star

by Kerstin Mork last modified Nov 12, 2014 10:57 AM

12 November 2014. Based on an observation campaign lasting seven years, scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) published new findings about the binary star system Epsilon Aurigae in Astronomische Nachrichten (Astronomical Notes). The observation data was obtained using AIP’s robotic STELLA telescope on Tenerife.

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Partial solar eclipse observed by SDI

Partial solar eclipse observed by SDI

by Kerstin Mork last modified Dec 12, 2014 10:24 AM

23 October 2014. The images show a large Sunspot that appeared two days earlier. The SDI telescope uses the Sun as a guide star to keep its image to be well-projected onto the entrance fibres to the spectrograph. As it is equipped with a guiding video camera, it allows us to observe any other events of interest like the partial solar eclipse in Arizona on October 23 which lasted from 14:21 to 16:45 MST with a maximum of the obscuration up to 33% at 15:37 MST (UTC-7).

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Humboldt Research Fellowship for Jenny Sorce

Humboldt Research Fellowship for Jenny Sorce

by Kerstin Mork last modified Nov 10, 2014 10:31 AM

22 October 2014. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) welcomes Jenny Sorce, who received a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers.

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 An unprecedented view of two hundred galaxies

An unprecedented view of two hundred galaxies

by Kerstin Mork last modified Oct 01, 2014 10:28 AM

1 October 2014. The second data release of the international project CALIFA - a survey of galaxies carried out at Calar Alto observatory – will take place today. Galaxies are the result of an evolutionary process started thousands of million years ago, and their history is coded in their distinct components. The CALIFA project is intended to decode the galaxies’ history in a sort of galactic archaeology, through the 3D observations of a sample of six hundred galaxies. With this second data release corresponding to two hundred galaxies, the project reaches its halfway point with important results behind.

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Matthias Steinmetz elected President of the German Astronomical Society

Matthias Steinmetz elected President of the German Astronomical Society

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 01, 2015 04:12 PM

24 September 2014. Prof. Dr. Matthias Steinmetz, scientific chairman of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), is the new President of the German Astronomical Society (Astronomische Gesellschaft, AG). On their annual fall meeting the AG elected Steinmetz also chair of the Council of German Observatories (Rat Deutscher Sternwarten, RDS).

Matthias Steinmetz elected President of the German Astronomical Society - Read More…

Astronomers unveil secrets of giant elliptical galaxies

Astronomers unveil secrets of giant elliptical galaxies

by Kerstin Mork last modified Sep 25, 2014 02:25 PM

12 September 2014 Davor Krajnović, astronomer at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), and his colleagues Eric Emsellem (ESO) and Marc Sarzi (University of Hertfordshire), have discovered how giant elliptical galaxies move. Their study is based on data obtained by the newly installed Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE).

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Facets of Solar Magnetic Fields

Facets of Solar Magnetic Fields

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 01, 2015 04:10 PM

3 September 2014. Magnetic fields on the solar surface come in many shapes and sizes. The smallest magnetic flux elements become visible in the Fraunhofer G-band, a narrow spectral region with many molecular lines at around 430.6 nm, as bright points – sometimes aligned in chains and arcs. Once the magnetic flux is sufficiently strong to inhibit the convective energy transport from the solar interior to the solar atmosphere, dark structures begin to develop, which are called solar pores.

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Karl Schwarzschild Fellow 2014: Else Starkenburg

Karl Schwarzschild Fellow 2014: Else Starkenburg

by Kerstin Mork last modified Sep 12, 2014 11:56 AM

1 September 2014. The AIP welcomes this years Karl Schwarzschild Fellow Else Starkenburg. She completed her Ph.D. in 2011 at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Else Starkenburg also holds an M.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy and an M.A. in Theoretical Philosophy.

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New Milky Way Maps from RAVE data

New Milky Way Maps from RAVE data

by Kerstin Mork last modified Aug 15, 2014 01:28 PM

15 August 2014. Using data from the RAVE survey, a large observation project initiated and led by the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), an international team of astronomers has produced new maps of the material between the stars in the Milky Way that should move astronomers closer to cracking a stardust puzzle that has vexed them for nearly a century.

New Milky Way Maps from RAVE data - Read More…