Press releases

Cosmic Beacons Reveal the Milky Way's Ancient Core

Cosmic Beacons Reveal the Milky Way's Ancient Core

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 26, 2016 03:23 PM

22 April 2016. An international team of astronomers led by Dr. Andrea Kunder of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) in Germany and Dr. R. Michael Rich of UCLA has discovered that the central 2000 light years within the Milky Way Galaxy hosts an ancient population of stars. These stars are more than 10 billion years old and their orbits in space preserve the early history of the formation of the Milky Way.

Cosmic Beacons Reveal the Milky Way's Ancient Core - Read More…

Third CALIFA data release: an inspiration to be curious about galaxies

Third CALIFA data release: an inspiration to be curious about galaxies

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 18, 2016 04:10 PM

11 April 2016. The Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area Survey (CALIFA) has released all of the data assembled over six years of work. The data of more than 600 galaxies are accessible for anyone interested at http://califa.caha.es/DR3. The astronomical community thus obtains free access to the largest dataset of spatially resolved properties of galaxies ever obtained.

Third CALIFA data release: an inspiration to be curious about galaxies - Read More…

The Missing Brown Dwarfs

The Missing Brown Dwarfs

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 11, 2016 02:09 PM

8 April 2016. When re-analysing catalogued and updated observational data of brown dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood, astronomers from Potsdam have found that a significant number of nearby brown dwarfs should still be out there, awaiting their discovery. The corresponding study by Gabriel Bihain and Ralf-Dieter Scholz from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) challenges the previously established picture of brown dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood.

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HIRES: The world’s biggest telescope gets the world’s best instrumentation

HIRES: The world’s biggest telescope gets the world’s best instrumentation

by Kerstin Mork last modified Mar 23, 2016 05:00 PM

23 March 2016. Scientists and engineers have begun mapping out the detailed specifications for the High Resolution Spectrograph HIRES that will be part of the instrument suite on ESO’s forthcoming European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Besides the Multi-Object Spectrograph MOS HIRES will be one of the world-leading workhorse instruments on what will be the world’s largest telescope. The contract to begin design studies for HIRES was signed on 22 March 2016 by ESO and the HIRES consortium, led by INAF.

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MOSAIC, the Multi-Object Spectrograph of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)

MOSAIC, the Multi-Object Spectrograph of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT)

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 12, 2016 03:27 PM

18 March 2016. The European Southern Observatory has signed a phase A study contract with the MOSAIC consortium. The multi-object spectrograph will be the workhorse instrument for the E-ELT, with its 39m diameter primary mirror the biggest telescope in the world. MOSAIC will be the world-leading MOS facility, contributing to all fields of contemporary astronomy, from extra-solar planets, to the study of the halo of the Milky Way and its satellites, and from resolved stellar populations in nearby galaxies out to observations of the earliest ‘first-light’ structures in the Universe.

MOSAIC, the Multi-Object Spectrograph of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) - Read More…

“Science Thrives in Open-minded Environments”: An Open Letter from the Directors of Research Institutes in Potsdam

“Science Thrives in Open-minded Environments”: An Open Letter from the Directors of Research Institutes in Potsdam

by Kerstin Mork last modified Mar 17, 2016 01:24 PM

There is no place in Potsdam for hostility towards foreigners and those seeking refuge, argue the heads of educational and research institutes in Potsdam in an open letter published on 16 March 2016 in the Märkischen Allgemeinen, the Potsdamer Neuesten Nachrichten and other newspapers.

“Science Thrives in Open-minded Environments”: An Open Letter from the Directors of Research Institutes in Potsdam - Read More…

Radio detection of cosmic rays

Radio detection of cosmic rays

by Janine Fohlmeister last modified Mar 07, 2016 02:24 PM

3 March 2016. LOFAR, the Low-Frequency Array Radio Telescope, observed ultra-short, bright radio pulses of elementary particles entering the Earth atmosphere at almost the speed of light. The particles were fired off by a cosmic accelerator millions of years ago. An international team of astronomers including a number of scientists from the German Long Wavelength consortium (GLOW) have now unraveled the radio code of these intruders to determine their nature and constrain their origin. Their results are published in today’s edition of Nature.

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ERC Consolidator Grant for Maria-Rosa Cioni

ERC Consolidator Grant for Maria-Rosa Cioni

by Kerstin Mork last modified Feb 19, 2016 09:05 AM

17 February 2016. The European Research Council (ERC) announced Prof. Dr. Maria-Rosa Cioni to be winner of one of the ERC Consolidator Grants worth 2 million Euros. ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers once a year.

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Reproducing the large-scale Universe

Reproducing the large-scale Universe

by Kerstin Mork last modified Feb 19, 2016 11:10 AM

16 February 2016. The BOSS survey has scanned the sky measuring the redshifts of more than 1 million galaxies, yielding a three dimensional picture of luminous sources in our Universe covering about 4.5 billion years. An international team of astronomers has now reproduced the observed galaxy clustering and determined the uncertainties in the measurement of observed quantities by generating thousands of simulated galaxy catalogues. For the first time, the separation between pairs of galaxies, and the separation between triplets of galaxies has been explicitly constrained to reproduce the observations. Hence, the cosmic web in particular the empty regions between galaxies are described.

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New AIP research project on human-machine interaction

New AIP research project on human-machine interaction

by Janine Fohlmeister last modified Feb 16, 2016 12:51 PM

15 February 2016. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) has successfully raised funding for a new project as part of the funding scheme "Zwanzig20" (Federal Ministry of Education and Research). The aim of the one-year research project "4D high throughput spectroscopy" (4D HTS) within the Innovation Alliance 3Dsensation is a significant improvement of the processing of large data volumes.

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Perspectives of Astrophysics in Germany

Perspectives of Astrophysics in Germany

by Kerstin Mork last modified Dec 07, 2015 09:35 AM

7 December 2015. From December 7 to 9 the state of astrophysical research in Germany will be presented and strategies for the next decade will be discussed at a workshop organized by the Council of German Observatories (Rat Deutscher Sternwarten, RDS) and the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) on Telegrafenberg in Potsdam.

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Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) validated by excellent evaluation result

Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) validated by excellent evaluation result

by Kerstin Mork last modified Mar 07, 2016 02:19 PM

30 November 2015. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) was given excellent marks in the independent evaluation process by the Leibniz Association, which takes place every seven years. The development of the institute over the past years was described to be extremely successful. AIP has taken important and clever strategic decisions in continually developing and extending its instrumentation and computer-aided infrastructure. The senate of the Leibniz Association has now confirmed the results of the evaluation, recommending continued funding by the federal government and the federal states.

Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) validated by excellent evaluation result - Read More…

First movie of stellar-surface evolution beyond our Solar System

First movie of stellar-surface evolution beyond our Solar System

by Kerstin Mork last modified Oct 21, 2015 09:05 AM

20 October 2015. Astronomers from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), present for the first time a movie that shows the evolution of stellar spots on a star other than our Sun. The long-term, highly-sampled, phase-resolved spectroscopic data were made possible with the STELLA robotic telescopes on Tenerife. Over a period of 6 years the growth and fade of giant stellar spots on the star XX Tri are seen. The spots reveal an underlying magnetic cycle that has a period comparable to our Sun’s but is much stronger.

First movie of stellar-surface evolution beyond our Solar System - Read More…

Wempe award for Oliver Gressel

Wempe award for Oliver Gressel

by Kerstin Mork last modified Oct 13, 2015 01:42 PM

13 October 2015. In recognition of his outstanding research on the galactic dynamo and the evolution of planets in protoplanetary disks, Prof. Dr. Oliver Gressel from the Niels Bohr International Academy Copenhagen, Denmark is awarded the Wempe Award. The ceremony will take place on 16th October 2015, starting at 10 a.m. at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP).

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Karl Schwarzschild Fellow 2015: Sarah Jane Schmidt

Karl Schwarzschild Fellow 2015: Sarah Jane Schmidt

by Kerstin Mork last modified Oct 07, 2015 02:05 PM

21 September 2015. The AIP welcomes this years Karl Schwarzschild Fellow Sarah J. Schmidt. She completed her Ph.D. in 2012 at the University of Washington in Seattle and was most recently the Columbus Prize Postdoctoral Fellow at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

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Biermann Award goes to Ivan Minchev

Biermann Award goes to Ivan Minchev

by Kerstin Mork last modified Sep 15, 2015 10:13 AM

14 September 2015. Ivan Minchev, Astronomer at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), is awarded the Ludwig Biermann Award of the German Astronomical Society (Astronomische Gesellschaft, AG). The award ceremony takes place in Kiel on September 15, 2015.

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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.

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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.

Starry surprise in the bulge: encounter of a halo passerby - Read More…

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.

A Dark Matter bridge in our cosmic neighborhood - Read More…

Digitizing astronomical photographic plates

Digitizing astronomical photographic plates

by Kerstin Mork last modified Oct 20, 2015 03:35 PM

5 May 2015. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), in collaboration with Hamburger Sternwarte and Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, is digitizing an archive of astronomical photographic plates as a means to preserve cultural heritage. These photographic plates contain observations spanning nearly 100 years. They provide precious longterm information which can be mined by modern data extraction techniques. The project is supported by a DFG grant (German Research Funding Organisation).

Digitizing astronomical photographic plates - Read More…