Press releases

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 Dec 08, 2014 04:22 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 Sep 24, 2014 02:52 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).

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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 Nov 11, 2014 01:52 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.

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The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Expands Its Reach

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Expands Its Reach

by Gabi Schoenherr last modified Jul 29, 2014 12:11 PM

16 July 2014. Building on 14 years of extraordinary discoveries, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has launched a major program of three new surveys, adding novel capabilities to expand its census of the Universe into regions it had been unable to explore before.

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Wempe award for Brent Tully

Wempe award for Brent Tully

by Gabi Schoenherr last modified Sep 09, 2014 11:53 AM

30 June 2014. Today Prof. R. Brent Tully from the Institute for Astronomy Honolulu, Hawaii receives the Wempe Award in recognition of his groundbreaking research about the structure of galaxies and the large-scale structure of the cosmos. Since many decades Tully has been promoting the analysis and mapping of galactic structures and flows. The award ceremony will take place from 3:30 p.m. at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP).

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A unique star

A unique star

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jun 24, 2014 10:23 AM

3 June 2014. Using ESA’s X-ray telescope XMM-Newton a team of Potsdam astronomers together with collegues from Belgium and the USA have found X-ray pulsations of a unique star. It is a celestial wonder with a body of a normal star but with the magnetic field much stronger than normal. The race is now on to understand why it behaves in this way.

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NASA awards AIP scientists

NASA awards AIP scientists

by Kerstin Mork last modified May 26, 2014 08:46 AM

+++ only German version available +++

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Girls’Day at AIP

Girls’Day at AIP

by Kerstin Mork last modified Mar 28, 2014 09:55 AM

27. März 2014. Zum Girls’Day / Zukunftstag Brandenburg hat das AIP wieder gut zwanzig Mädchen aus Brandenburg und Berlin eingeladen, einen Blick in die Welt der Astrophysik zu werfen.

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First Light for MUSE

First Light for MUSE

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jun 24, 2014 10:32 AM

5 March 2014. A new innovative instrument called MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) has been successfully installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MUSE has observed distant galaxies, bright stars and other test targets during the first period of very successful observations.

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Dwarfs of the Milky Way

Dwarfs of the Milky Way

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jun 13, 2014 12:00 PM

25 February 2014. Noam Libeskind, scientist of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), explains in an article in the latest issue of “Scientific American”, why dwarf galaxies (also called “satellite galaxies”) are arranged on a plane instead of being scattered randomly. Superhighways of Dark Matter might be the solution to this astronomic puzzle.

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Milky Way shaken... and stirred

Milky Way shaken... and stirred

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jun 13, 2014 11:47 AM

20 January 2014. A team of scientists headed by Ivan Minchev from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) has found a way to reconstruct the evolutionary history of our galaxy, the Milky Way, to a new level of detail. The investigation of a data set of stars near the sun was decisive for the now published results.

Milky Way shaken... and stirred - Read More…

Matthias Steinmetz Becomes a Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

Matthias Steinmetz Becomes a Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jul 10, 2014 03:39 PM

29 November 2013. The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften - BBAW) has elected Matthias Steinmetz, Director of the Leibniz Institute Potsdam (AIP), as a full member of the Academy. A total of seven new members were admitted. To be appointed, scientists must distinguish themselves through outstanding scientific achievements.

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