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14th AIP Thinkshop deals with stellar magnetism

Snapshot from a computer simulation showing how the magnetic field of a massive star interacts with the stellar wind originating from the star. (See text for full caption.) Image by: AIP

14th AIP Thinkshop deals with stellar magnetism

12 June 2017. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) organizes the 14th Thinkshop "Stellar Magnetism: Challenges, Connections, and Prospects". From Monday, 12 June 2017, to Friday, 16...

Magnetic fields are present at all stages of stellar evolution – from young stars to so-called magnetars, which are one of the stellar end products. Over the past decade, important progress has been made in measuring the magnetic fields of stars that have a higher or lower mass compared to the Sun. Scientists were able to understand better the origins magnetic fields have and which role related processes play for studying the sun and exoplanets, for example. Within the scientific programme, participants will discuss new findings regarding stellar magnetic field evolution, activity cycles in solar-type stars, and the future perspectives concerning theory and observational facilities.

The website of the Thinkshop:
https://thinkshop.aip.de/14/cms/

Science contact: Dr. Swetlana Hubrig, Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, +49 331-7499 225, hubrig@aip.de

Media contact: Katrin Albaum, +49 331-7499 803, presse@aip.de

Image caption: Snapshot from a computer simulation showing how the magnetic field of a massive star interacts with the stellar wind originating from the star. The colours show the gas density distribution. Red indicates high density, blue lower density. The half circle on the left margin indicates the stellar surface. The strong stellar magnetic field traps part of the outflowing gas, which then moves back to the star along the magnetic field lines. Image by: AIP


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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The AIP at the Long Night of Sciences

The Great Refractor at night. Image by: R. Arlt/AIP

The AIP at the Long Night of Sciences

To marvel at the Great Refractor, to explore the Einstein Tower: The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) participates in the Long Night of Sciences at its location on the Telegrafenber...

During the Long Night of Sciences, in German “Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften” (LNDW), 70 scientific facilities in Berlin and on the Telegrafenberg in Potsdam offer an insight into their research. The AIP opens the doors of the Great Refractor, whose building and dome have been newly renovated, and the Einstein Tower. If the view is clear, interested visitors can have a look at the night sky with the fourth-largest refracting telescope in the world. AIP researchers will give talks in the historical dome about the Great Refractor’s history and astrophysical topics. In the Einstein Tower, visitors have the opportunity to get to know more solar observations and to cast a glance at the laboratory inside of the Tower during a tour. For children, there is a special program.

Please note that all the talks will be given in German.

The program in the Great Refractor
6 pm: Dr. Ernst-August Gußmann – Der Große Refraktor, seine Funktionsweise und Geschichte
7 pm: PD Dr. Axel D. Schwope – Auf Röntgenstrahlen zum Schwarzen Loch
8 pm: Dr. Else Starkenburg – Archäologie der Milchstraße
approx. starting 9 pm: Live Music – jazz session with the Bigge-Kontou-Duo
approx. starting 10 pm: observations with the Great Refractor – after dark and only if the view is clear

The program in the Einstein Tower
6 pm: Dr. Jürgen Rendtel – Feuerkugel und Meteoritenfall - das Ende eines Kleinstplaneten
7 pm: Dr. Horst Balthasar – Die Sonne und Europas größtes Sonnenteleskop „GREGOR“
8 pm: apl. Prof. Dr. Carsten Denker – Das Europäische Sonnenteleskop (EST) - ein neues Teleskop für hoch aufgelöste Sonnenbeobachtung
9 pm: Dr. Christian Vocks – Die Sonne - unser nächster Stern
10 pm: Dr. Horst Balthasar – Die Sonne und Europas größtes Sonnenteleskop „GREGOR“

More information about the LNDW program and tickets:
www.langenachtderwissenschaften.de

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Supercomputer to prove theory of sunspot formation

A global simulation of the Sun (left) cannot resolve the sunspot-formation processes while local high resolution simulations (right panels) can. Full caption in the text. Image by: Petri Käpylä

Supercomputer to prove theory of sunspot formation

15 May 2017. Where do sunspots form? Just below the Sun’s surface or deep down inside? The SPOTSIM project, that studies the origin of sunspots using magnetohydrodynamic simulations has now been ...

Modelling the Sun is difficult and there are two competing models for how sunspots are formed. The common assumption has been that magnetic fields are thin tube-like structures originating at the bottom of the Sun's convection zone at a depth of 200,000 kilometres. From there they erupt to the surface and form sunspots. However, this model does not take turbulence into account. In the SPOTSIM project sunspots are believed to form near the Sun's surface, in its convection zone.

The project has been awarded 20 million CPU hours in the MareNostrum supercomputer in Barcelona through the 14th regular PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) Tier-0 call. The allocation corresponds roughly to the combined yearly computing capacity of the local clusters at the Leibniz-Institute for Astrophysics (AIP).

“The project concentrates in testing a turbulent formation mechanism of sunspots. This would mean that sunspots are born near the solar surface instead of the currently prevailing paradigm.” describes researcher Petri Käpylä from the AIP in Germany and the Aalto University in Finland. „If this turns out to be true it will have far-reaching consequences for solar and stellar dynamo theory.”

Participants in the research project “SPOTSIM – Spot-forming convection simulations” include Petri Käpylä, Maarit Käpylä, Aalto University and the Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research, Nishant Singh and Jörn Warnecke, Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research, as well as Axel Brandenburg, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (NORDITA) and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Press release by the Aalto University:
http://www.aalto.fi/en/current/news/2017-05-10/

Science contact: Dr. Petri Juha Käpylä, +49 331-7499 525, pkapyla@aip.de

Media contact: Katrin Albaum, +49 331-7499 803, presse@aip.de

Image caption: A global simulation of the Sun (left) cannot resolve the sunspot-formation processes while local high resolution simulations (right panels) can. The top right panel shows the magnetic field and the lower panel shows the velocity. The blue box indicates the size of the local simulation. Image by: Petri Käpylä

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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Experiencing the Cosmos, Understanding X-ray Astronomy

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) is presenting itself at the Potsdam Science Day, which takes place on Saturday, 13 May 2017, in the Science Park Potsdam Golm. Researchers of mo...

The AIP exhibition stand will be in the building of the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute, in short MPI-AEI). Scientists will introduce the AIP and for example demonstrate how X-ray astronomy works. Visitors can furthermore have a look at the history of  the cosmos, travel virtually to observatories and space, take a bath in dark matter, and take home a 3D hologram. There will also be more than 200 separate events.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Strassmeier, Director of the AIP’s research branch Cosmic Magnetic Fields, will explain what astrophysics teaches us about life in the universe. This talk will take place in the seminar room in the MPI-AEI building, ground floor.

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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Peeking Through the Cloud’s Dusty Veil

VISTA’s view of the Small Magellanic Cloud. (Full caption in the text.) Credit: ESO/VISTA VMC

Peeking Through the Cloud’s Dusty Veil

5 May 2017. The biggest infrared image ever taken of the Small Magellanic Cloud: With the telescope VISTA, an international team of astronomers led by AIP researcher Prof. Dr. Maria-Rosa Cioni has ...

The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) galaxy is a striking feature of the southern sky even to the unaided eye. The SMC is a dwarf galaxy, the more petite twin of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). They are two of our closest galaxy neighbours in space — the SMC lies about 200 000 light-years away, just a twelfth of the distance to the more famous Andromeda Galaxy.

Their relative proximity to Earth makes the Magellanic Clouds ideal candidates for studying how stars form and evolve. However, one of the major obstacles to obtaining clear observations of star formation in galaxies is interstellar dust. Enormous clouds of these tiny grains scatter and absorb some of the radiation emitted from the stars — especially visible light. Infrared radiation passes through interstellar dust much more easily than visible light. VISTA’s infrared observations have now allowed a clear view of what is in the galaxy.

VISTA, the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) located at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, was designed to image infrared radiation. The VISTA Survey of the Magellanic Clouds (VMC) is focused on mapping the star formation history of the SMC and LMC, as well as mapping their three-dimensional structures. Millions of SMC stars have been imaged in the infrared thanks to the VMC, providing an unparalleled view. “The data obtained by VISTA have outshined our expectations,” says Maria-Rosa Cioni. “At AIP, we measured tiny motions of stars we thought would have not been possible from the ground, and this is just one aspect of the breadth of research enabled by VMC described in over 24 articles to date.”

The VMC has revealed that most of the stars within the SMC formed far more recently than those in larger neighbouring galaxies. This early result from the survey is just a taster of the new discoveries still to come, as the survey continues to fill in blind spots in our maps of the Magellanic Clouds.

Image Caption: The whole frame of this VISTA image is filled with stars belonging to the Small Magellanic Cloud. It also includes thousands of background galaxies and several bright star clusters, including 47 Tucanae at the right of the picture, which lies much closer to the Earth than the SMC. The wealth of new information in this 1.6 gigapixel image (43 223 x 38 236 pixels) has been analysed by VMC team member Stefano Rubele of the University of Padova.

Credit: ESO/VISTA VMC

The full press release, more information, images and videos are published on the ESO website:
https://www.eso.org/public/unitedkingdom/news/eso1714/


Science contact: Prof. Dr. Maria-Rosa Cioni, +49 331-7499 651, mcioni@aip.de

Media contact: Katrin Albaum, +49 331-7499 803, presse@aip.de

Publication presenting the research:
Stefano Rubele, Léo Girardi, Leandro Kerber, Maria-Rosa L. Cioni, Andrés E. Piatti, Simone Zaggia, Kenji Bekki, Alessandro Bressan, Gisella Clementini, Richard de Grijs, Jim P. Emerson, Martin A. T. Groenewegen, Valentin D. Ivanov, Marcella Marconi, Paola Marigo, Maria-Ida Moretti, Vincenzo Ripepi, Smitha Subramanian, Benjamin L. Tatton and Jacco Th. van Loon. „The VMC survey – XIV. First results on the look-back time star formation rate tomography of the Small Magellanic Cloud”, MNRAS 449, 639–661 (2015).


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.

Read more ...