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Sun in sight: Tailored solution for collaborative research

Three-dimensional flow field on the sun on September 26, 2016, reconstructed from GREGOR data. Credit: Carsten Denker/AIP

Sun in sight: Tailored solution for collaborative research

Since 2014, Europe's largest solar telescope GREGOR has been used for scientific measurements and has collected large amounts of very complex, multidimensional data during this time. To make these ...

With the GREGOR telescope astronomers of the AIP study active dynamic processes on the Sun with high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution. In terms of observations and data acquisition, they face particular challenges arising from various factors: Turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere affects the image quality, small solar structures develop on short time scales of a few seconds to minutes, and large-format detectors generate very large amounts of data.

"With the powerful instruments of the GREGOR telescope we are able to detect even the smallest structures on the sun's surface and provide time series of high-resolution images every 10 to 20 seconds," says Prof. Carsten Denker, head of the working group Optical Solar Physics at the AIP. "A reconstructed image every 20 seconds is based on a few hundred individual image frames. That's about 200,000 images or 4 terabytes per observation day."

The large number and high-resolution of images and spectra as well as the required computational effort in the post-processing require extensive and efficient structures for storage and archiving. In order to make the GREGOR data optimally usable and accessible, a dedicated CRE has now been implemented at AIP. This infrastructure served initially as a central data hub within the GREGOR consortium, but is now open to all interested scientists. It provides data space and access, computational resources and customized tools for analysis and processing. Collaborators have also the option to publish selected and curated data for the solar community via the CRE.

In order to make research data available to as many scientists as possible or even to the interested general public, the open access paradigm has gained increased importance in recent years. The newly developed CRE for GREGOR data also builds on this concept and is specifically tailored toward the requirements of the high-resolution solar physics community. In the now published article, AIP scientists around Prof. Carsten Denker give an overview of the GREGOR data –from the photons arriving at the detector to the final data products. In addition, they describe the developed approach for the systematic processing, analysis, management and archiving of these data.

The development of research technology and e-infrastructure is a strategic goal of AIP. In close collaboration between the two research areas of E-Science and Solar Physics, a tailor-made solution was developed for the data-specific challenges of high-resolution solar observations obtained with ground-based solar telescopes such as GREGOR.

 

GREGOR consortium

Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics, Freiburg

Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP)

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen

Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Canary Islands

 

Further information

Publication: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-4365/aab773

Solar telescope GREGOR: GREGOR

Collaborative Research Environment (CRE): gregor.aip.de

 

Scientific contact at AIP

Apl. Prof. Dr. Carsten Denker, +49 331-7499 297, cdenker@aip.de

 

Media contact

Dr. Janine Fohlmeister, +49 331-7499 802, presse@aip.de

 

The key areas of research at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aim at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and e-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1992.

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May 17 | Starry Night

Artistic representation of high speed jets from supermassive black holes. Credit: ESA/Hubble, L. Calçada (ESO)

May 17 | Starry Night

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) invites to the next Starry Night in Babelsberg on Thursday, May 17, 2018, starting at 7:15 pm with a public lecture of Sabine Thater on "Superma...

Milky Way, Andromeda galaxy, magellanic clouds: If you ask about galaxies, most people think of galaxies similar to our Milky Way with beautiful spiral arms. In fact, galaxies have a variety of appearances and properties: There are elliptical galaxies, spiral galaxies, massive galaxies, dwarf galaxies - just to name a few.

But they have one thing in common: most galaxies harbor a so-called "supermassive black hole" in their center. Black holes are among the most mysterious entities in our universe. It is not surprising that they often play a major role in science fiction novels: objects that are so massive that even light can no longer escape their attraction. Until very recently, the world doubted its very existence. Meanwhile, however, black holes and their big brothers, the "supermassive" black holes, are firmly integrated into research.

In this talk, we'll take you on a journey to the nearest galaxies and learn how to find a ‚dark‘ supermassive black hole, how it interacts with its parent galaxy, and what we can learn from exploring supermassive black holes.

 

After the talk, we offer a tour over the AIP campus and – if the sight is clear – an observation with one of our historical reflecting telescopes.

We look forward to your visit!

Free entry, no previous registration necessary.

Location: AIP, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam

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Off to space: Potsdam Science Day on May 5th

Under the motto "Research. Discover. Participate." the Potsdam Science Day will take place for the sixth time on Saturday, May 5. More than 40 universities and research institutions in the region p...

From 1 to 8 pm, the participating institutions will give exciting insights into their daily work, show spectacular experiments and present innovative projects that will change the world of tomorrow. The AIP is also represented with two program items: At the information booth (Haus 28, Nordfoyer), visitors of all ages can, among other things, make star maps, travel virtually to space or to observatories around the world and discover the prototype of the STIX X-ray telescope.

At 3 pm, Alexander Warmuth speaks about the instrument and the mission for which it was developed. In the lecture titled "Solar Orbiter - The Sun close up" the listeners will learn more about our home star and how we examine it.

Admission is free for all visitors.

From 1 to 8 pm the participating institutions will give exciting insights into their daily work, show spectacular experiments and present innovative projects that will change the world of tomorrow. The AIP is also represented with two program items: At the information booth (Haus 28, Nordfoyer), visitors can, among other things, make star maps, travel virtually to space or to observatories around the world and observe the prototype of the STIX X-ray telescope up close.The instrument and mission for which it was developed speaks at 3:00 pm Alexander Warmuth. In the lecture with the title "Solar Orbiter - The Sun close up" the listeners will learn more about our home star and how we examine it.

Admission is free for all visitors.

The website of the Potsdam Science Day with the complete program:
www.ptdw.de

 

The key areas of research at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aim at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and e-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1992.

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1.69 billion stars

Gaia’s all-sky view of our Milky Way Galaxy and neighbouring galaxies, based on measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars. Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC

1.69 billion stars

Derived from 22 months of observations, the much awaited second data release of the Gaia mission is now public. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) contributed to the common effort...

The second data release contains the position and brightness of 1 692 919 135 stars, as well as measurements of the parallax and proper motion of 1 331 909 727 stars. Parallax is a small motion in the apparent position of a star caused by the Earth's yearly orbit around the Sun and depends on its distance from us. Proper motion is caused by the movement of a star through the Galaxy.

The now published data release contains more astrometric information than any other catalogue and represents a huge leap forward with respect to the mission's first data release. For the first time, the Gaia catalogue also includes high accuracy three-band photometry, radial velocities and stellar atmospheric parameters. With this observational data the Gaia mission produces a precise 3D map of the Milky Way with positions and velocities.

“The AIP contributes to the Gaia data analysis with two software modules for the radial velocity spectrometer on board Gaia: a first look module for data verification and a module taking care of the background correction for the spectra” explains Katja Weingrill, Co-I of Gaia at AIP.“The first look software performs a daily data validation check. The background correction cleans the observed spectra from 'false' light arising from point sources and the diffuse background.”

The full Gaia data release 2 is available at https://gaia.aip.de. “Gaia will be a major leap forward in our understanding of the cosmos. There is hardly any field in astronomy that will not fundamentally change owing to this new Galactic census” says Matthias Steinmetz, PI of Gaia at the AIP. ”The Gaia data will also be correlated with the results by one of AIP's core projects, the RAVE Survey, which will allow an even more thorough determination of the properties and chemical compositions of the stars in this catalogue. RAVE will release its full data set in summer 2018”.

Gaia is a cornerstone mission in the science programme of the European Space Agency (ESA). Gaia was launched in December 2013 and arrived at its operating point, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, a few weeks later. Gaia is measuring stars in our Milky Way and neighbouring galaxies at a level of accuracy never before achieved. The first data release was based on 14 months of  data and listed positions of 1.1 billion stars, but only two million parallaxes and proper motions, and no photometry, radial velocities or stellar parameters.

 

More information

Pressemitteilung der ESA: https://bit.ly/2vIIKIJ

Gaia Media Kit: https://bit.ly/2qZhlwJ

Gaia Data Center am AIP:  https://gaia.aip.de

 

 

Scientific contact at AIP

Prof. Dr. Matthias Steinmetz, 0331-7499 801, msteinmetz@aip.de
Dr. Katja Weingrill, 0331-7499 671, kweingrill@aip.de

 

Media contact

Franziska Gräfe, 0331-7499 803, presse@aip.de

 

The key areas of research at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aim at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and e-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP has been a member of the Leibniz Association since 1992.

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Girls' Day/Future Day 2018 at AIP

On April 26, 2018, the Future Day will take place once again. On thisnationwide day of action, female students from the 5th grade onwards have the opportunity to gain insight into occupational fiel...

It gives young participants a chance to look over astrophysicists' shoulders and learn more about working in science. How is everyday life for an astrophysicist? Where do the questions come from whose answer researchers are looking for? Which steps are part of the research process?

At this year's Girls’ Day, employees of the AIP present their work, showcasing

current projects and answering the questions of the students. They learn more about the history and meaning of constellations, create their own star map and immerse themselves in the exciting world of galaxy research. They also look behind the scenes of the historic site of the observatory Babelsberg and look - in case of suitable weather conditions - even through the telescope in the sky.

The limited to twenty participants seats were booked out after a short time.

 

Media contact:

Franziska Gräfe, 0331 7499-803, presse@aip.de

Further information:
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