Press releases

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 Nov 30, 2015 01:41 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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).

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Largest catalogue of  X-ray detected astrophysical objects published

Largest catalogue of X-ray detected astrophysical objects published

by Kerstin Mork last modified Oct 20, 2015 03:36 PM

28 April 2015. A systematic analysis of all observations performed so far by the X-ray satellite XMM-Newton resulted in the worlds most comprehensive catalogue of X-ray detected celestial objects. It was compiled and published by a science consortium, the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre, the AIP being one of its members. The catalogue, called 3XMM-DR5, lists 565 962 X-ray detections, ranging from nearby objects in our Solar System to supermassive black holes at the edge of the Universe. For each detection, a wealth of information is provided to help understand the nature of the object and as a result, many new and extreme astrophysical objects will be discovered.

Largest catalogue of X-ray detected astrophysical objects published - Read More…

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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