Scientific Highlights

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Expands Its Reach

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Expands Its Reach

by Gabi Schoenherr last modified Jul 16, 2014 04:35 PM

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 Jun 30, 2014 11:40 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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CosmoSim Database for cosmological simulations released

CosmoSim Database for cosmological simulations released

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jun 23, 2014 09:56 AM

23 June 2014. The CosmoSim database (www.cosmosim.org) has now been released after an intensive testing period. This service to the scientific community is the successor of the MultiDark database (www.multidark.org) and it is used as a platform for publishing and sharing data products from cosmological simulations.

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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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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.

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Technology from Potsdam for the World’s Largest Telescope

Technology from Potsdam for the World’s Largest Telescope

by Kerstin Mork last modified Mar 21, 2014 01:57 PM

19 November 2013. Two high performance instruments from Potsdam-Babelsberg arrived at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona, the largest reflector telescope in the world. The so-called PFUs (Permanent Fibre Units) provide both telescope control and the transmission of starlight collected via the telescope mirror to the spectrograph PEPSI (“Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument”)

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The Galactic Mosh Pit

The Galactic Mosh Pit

by Kerstin Mork last modified Nov 04, 2013 04:07 PM

22 October 2013. Astronomers have discovered that our Galaxy wobbles. An international team of astronomers around Mary Williams from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) detected and examined this phenomenon with the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE), a survey of almost half a million stars around the Sun. In addition to the regular Galactic rotation the scientists found the Milky Way moving perpendicular to the Galactic plane.

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Cancer Diagnostics with Astrophysics

Cancer Diagnostics with Astrophysics

by Kerstin Mork last modified Nov 04, 2013 09:33 AM

14 October 2013. Physicians and Astrophysicists work on a new Diagnostic Method - Scientists from innoFSPEC Potsdam, a centre of innovative competence in the research field “Fibre-optical Spectroscopy and Sensing“ established at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), are working together with researchers of Charité Berlin on a new method of minimally invasive, optical cancer diagnostics.

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This is your galaxy - New data help astronomers explore the hidden Milky Way

This is your galaxy - New data help astronomers explore the hidden Milky Way

by Kerstin Mork last modified Aug 01, 2013 01:38 PM

31 July 2013. Today, astronomers with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) released a new online public data set featuring 60,000 stars that are helping to tell the story of how our Milky Way galaxy formed.

This is your galaxy - New data help astronomers explore the hidden Milky Way - Read More…

Nature article on frequency of planets inside and outside of open starclusters

Nature article on frequency of planets inside and outside of open starclusters

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jul 16, 2013 08:52 AM

27 June 2013. An international team of astronomers led by Soeren Meibom of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has found two planets smaller than Neptune orbiting Sun-like stars in the open star cluster NGC 6811. The discovery, published in the journal Nature, shows that planets can develop even in crowded clusters jam-packed with stars.

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Measuring the Universe More Accurately Than Ever Before

Measuring the Universe More Accurately Than Ever Before

by Kerstin Mork last modified Apr 12, 2013 09:34 AM

6 March 2013. New results pin down the distance to the galaxy next door. - After nearly a decade of careful observations an international team of astronomers, among them Jesper Storm, scientist at the Leibniz-Institute for Astophysics Potsdam (AIP), has measured the distance to our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, more accurately than ever before. This new measurement also improves our knowledge of the rate of expansion of the Universe — the Hubble Constant — and is a crucial step towards understanding the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is causing the expansion to accelerate. The team used telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile as well as others around the globe. These results appear in the 7 March 2013 issue of the journal Nature.

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Where are all the dwarfs?

Where are all the dwarfs?

by Gabi Schoenherr last modified Jun 13, 2014 11:26 AM

1 February 2013. Astronomers of the international CLUES collaboration have identified “Cosmic Web Stripping” as a new way of explaining the famous missing dwarf problem: the lack of observed dwarf galaxies compared with that predicted by the theory of Cold Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

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Life possible on extrasolar moons

Life possible on extrasolar moons

by Kerstin Mork last modified Oct 15, 2013 01:13 PM

10 January 2013. In their search for habitable worlds, astronomers have started to consider exomoons, or those likely orbiting planets outside the solar system. In a new study, a pair of researchers has found that exomoons are just as likely to support life as exoplanets.

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From Sunspots to Starspots

From Sunspots to Starspots

by Kerstin Mork last modified Feb 04, 2013 01:49 PM

6 December 2012. For the first time, astronomers have detected the magnetic field of a starspot

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CALIFA: The local extragalactic universe unveiled

CALIFA: The local extragalactic universe unveiled

by Kerstin Mork last modified Feb 04, 2013 01:49 PM

1 November 2012. The Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area survey (CALIFA survey) announces today its first public release of data, offering an unprecedentedly detailed view of 100 galaxies in the local universe with ample opportunities for scientific study.

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Astronomers see galaxy-altering quasars ignite

Astronomers see galaxy-altering quasars ignite

by Kerstin Mork last modified Jul 10, 2014 03:20 PM

27 September 2012. Analysing data from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes an international team of astronomers around Tanya Urrutia from AIP has caught sight of luminous quasars igniting after galaxies collide. Quasars are bright, energetic regions around giant, active black holes in galactic centers.

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Using artificial intelligence to chart the universe

Using artificial intelligence to chart the universe

by Kerstin Mork last modified Sep 25, 2012 10:13 AM

24 September 2012. Astronomers in Germany have developed an artificial intelligence algorithm to help them chart and explain the structure and dynamics of the universe around us. The team, led by Francisco Kitaura of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam, report their results in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Minor planet renamed after scientist from Potsdam

Minor planet renamed after scientist from Potsdam

by Kerstin Mork last modified Aug 27, 2013 02:32 PM

13 September 2012. The Committee on Small Body Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has decided that the main-belt Asteroid 278513 is from now on called "Schwope".

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