Archived News

Here you can have a look at older press releases, news and event announcements.

In the highly interdisciplinary research project "Loss of the Night", scientists of very different institutions of the Leibniz Association investigate the increasing illumination of the night, its ecological, cultural and socioeconomic effects, and the effects on human health. Their aim is to develop improved lighting concepts and sustainable technologies.

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.

Dec. 10, 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.

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.

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.

The images show a large Sunspot that appeared two days earlier. The SDI telescope uses the Sun as a guide star to keep its image to be well-projected onto the entrance fibres to the spectrograph.

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) welcomes Jenny Sorce, who received a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Researchers.

The second data release of the international project CALIFA - a survey of galaxies carried out at Calar Alto observatory – will take place today. Galaxies are the result of an evolutionary process started thousands of million years ago, and their history is coded in their distinct components. The CALIFA project is intended to decode the galaxies’ history in a sort of galactic archaeology, through the 3D observations of a sample of six hundred galaxies. With this second data release corresponding to two hundred galaxies, the project reaches its halfway point with important results behind.

Prof. Dr. Matthias Steinmetz, scientific chairman of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), is the new President of the German Astronomical Society (Astronomische Gesellschaft, AG).

Davor Krajnović, astronomer at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), and his colleagues Eric Emsellem (ESO) and Marc Sarzi (University of Hertfordshire), have discovered how giant elliptical galaxies move.

Magnetic fields on the solar surface come in many shapes and sizes. The smallest magnetic flux elements become visible in the Fraunhofer G-band, a narrow spectral region with many molecular lines at around 430.6 nm, as bright points – sometimes aligned in chains and arcs.

The AIP welcomes this years Karl Schwarzschild Fellow Else Starkenburg.

Using data from the RAVE survey, a large observation project initiated and led by the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), an international team of astronomers has produced new maps of the material between the stars in the Milky Way that should move astronomers closer to cracking a stardust puzzle that has vexed them for nearly a century.

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) hosts its 11th Thinkshop under the title "Satellite galaxies and dwarfs in the local group“. From August 25 to 29 over 130 scientists will get together on the Potsdam Telegrafenberg to discuss their research in the field of cosmology.

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.

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.

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

June 3, 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.

March 27, 2014

For Girls'Day / Future Day Brandenburg, the AIP invited a good twenty girls from Brandenburg and Berlin to take a look at the world of astrophysics.