Press releases

Historical Sky: Half a century of Potsdam solar research digitally accessible

Historical Sky: Half a century of Potsdam solar research digitally accessible

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Sep 23, 2020 09:59 AM

23 September 2020. As part of the large-scale digitization project APPLAUSE, digitized photographic plates have recently become available online, with images of the sun taken between 1943 and 1991 at the Einstein Tower Solar Observatory in Potsdam.

Historical Sky: Half a century of Potsdam solar research digitally accessible - Read More…

Cosmic dance: A solution to the Galactic bar paradox

Cosmic dance: A solution to the Galactic bar paradox

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Sep 22, 2020 11:42 AM

25 August 2020. The very heart of our Milky Way harbours a large bar-like structure of stars whose size and rotational speed have been strongly contested in the last years. A new study has found an elegant solution to the discrepancies found in different observational studies, using the fact that the bar and spiral arms move at different rotational velocities, encountering each other about every 80 Million years. As the faster-rotating bar approaches a spiral arm, it appears to be much longer and their ongoing mutual attraction due to gravity periodically varies both their rotational speeds.

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Mysterious dimming of Betelgeuse: Dust clearing up

Mysterious dimming of Betelgeuse: Dust clearing up

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Sep 08, 2020 10:10 PM

13 August 2020. Between October 2019 and February 2020 the brightness of the star Betelgeuse has dropped by more than a factor of three. New observations by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the robotic STELLA telescope of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) now provide an explanation for the phenomenon.

Mysterious dimming of Betelgeuse: Dust clearing up - Read More…

The ultimate RAVE: final data release published

The ultimate RAVE: final data release published

by Kristin Riebe last modified Sep 08, 2020 10:10 PM

27 July 2020. How do the stars in our Milky Way move? For more than a decade RAVE, one of the first and largest systematic spectroscopic surveys, studied the motion of Milky Way stars. The RAVE collaboration now published the results for over half a million observations in its 6th and final data release. RAVE succeeded in measuring the velocities, temperatures, compositions and distances for different types of stars. The unique database enables scientists to systematically disentangle the structure and evolution history of our Galaxy.

The ultimate RAVE: final data release published - Read More…

First images of the Sun from Solar Orbiter

First images of the Sun from Solar Orbiter

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Jul 16, 2020 02:25 PM

16 July 2020. Solar Orbiter, a mission of the space agencies ESA and NASA, publishes for the first time images that show our home star as close as never before. Prior to this, the test phase of all instruments was successfully completed.

First images of the Sun from Solar Orbiter - Read More…

Joseph Whittingham receives study prize for physics

Joseph Whittingham receives study prize for physics

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Jul 09, 2020 09:29 AM

9 July 2020. The Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin (PGzB) awards the student for his master thesis, which he completed in the Department of Cosmology and High Energy Astrophysics at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP).

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The X-ray sky in its full glory

The X-ray sky in its full glory

by Sarah Hönig last modified Jun 20, 2020 04:30 AM

19 June 2020. The eROSITA space telescope has provided a new, sharp 360° view of the hot and energetic processes across the Universe. The new map contains more than one million objects, roughly doubling the number of known X-ray sources discovered over the 60-year history of X-ray astronomy. Scientists at the Leibniz Institute of Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) have contributed with the discovery of a circular structure caused by a black hole outburst 10,000 years ago.

The X-ray sky in its full glory - Read More…

Four newborn exoplanets get cooked by their sun

Four newborn exoplanets get cooked by their sun

by Sarah Hönig last modified Jun 11, 2020 09:59 AM

11 June 2020. Scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) examined the fate of the young star V1298 Tau and its four orbiting exoplanets. The results show that these recently born planets are roasted by the intense X-ray radiation of their young sun, which leads to the vaporisation of the gaseous envelope of these planets. The innermost planets could be evaporated down to their rocky cores, so that there is no atmosphere left.

Four newborn exoplanets get cooked by their sun - Read More…

AIP Schwarzschild Fellow Marcel Pawlowski receives Klaus Tschira Boost Fund

AIP Schwarzschild Fellow Marcel Pawlowski receives Klaus Tschira Boost Fund

by Sarah Hönig last modified May 12, 2020 10:39 AM

11 May 2020. Dr. Marcel Pawlowski, Schwarzschild Fellow at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), receives funding from the Klaus Tschira Foundation and the German Scholars Organisation for his research on the distribution of satellite galaxies around the Milky Way and the nature of dark matter.

AIP Schwarzschild Fellow Marcel Pawlowski receives Klaus Tschira Boost Fund - Read More…

Science donates equipment to health care facilities

Science donates equipment to health care facilities

by Sarah Hönig last modified Apr 01, 2020 01:49 PM

1 April 2020. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) provides protective equipment to fight the corona epidemic. The Minister of Science and Culture Manja Schüle hands over the utensils, which were collected at Brandenburg universities and non-university research institutions, to the mayor of Potsdam, Mike Schubert.

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Total lunar eclipse: observing the Earth as a transiting planet

Total lunar eclipse: observing the Earth as a transiting planet

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Mar 02, 2020 03:57 PM

2 March 2020. Astronomers succeeded in recording sunlight shining through the Earth’s atmosphere in a manner similar to the study of distant exoplanets. During the extraordinary occasion of a lunar eclipse, the Large Binocular Telescope observed the light that was filtered by the Earth’s atmosphere and reflected by the Moon in unique detail. In addition to oxygen and water, atomic spectral lines of sodium, calcium and potassium were detected in our atmosphere in this way first time.

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20 February | Starry Night in Babelsberg

20 February | Starry Night in Babelsberg

by Sarah Hönig last modified Feb 21, 2020 09:09 AM

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) invites to the next Starry Night in Babelsberg on Thursday, 20 February 2020, starting at 7:15 pm with a public lecture of Dr. Axel Schwope with the title "eROSITA and the new image of the x-ray sky". Please note that the lecture will be given in German.

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Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Rädler (1935-2020)

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Rädler (1935-2020)

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Mar 03, 2020 01:04 PM

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) mourns the loss of Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Rädler. On the 9th of February, 2020, he passed away at the age of 84. As the founding director of the AIP and Chairmen of the board from 1992 to 1998, Karl-Heinz Rädler made a significant contribution to the establishment of the institute and development as an internationally recognized research center for astrophysics.

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Rädler (1935-2020) - Read More…

Towards the Sun

Towards the Sun

by Sarah Hönig last modified Feb 11, 2020 09:27 AM

– Update 11 February 2020 – In the early morning hours of 10 February, the Solar Orbiter space probe started its journey into space. The mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) will explore the Sun at close range. On board is the X-ray telescope STIX, which was developed and built with involvement from the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP).

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"Working with your head and your hands" – Apprenticeship at the AIP

"Working with your head and your hands" – Apprenticeship at the AIP

by Sarah Hönig last modified Feb 13, 2020 01:07 PM

3 February 2020. In addition to excellent astrophysical research, the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) excels in the development of modern research infrastructure. This is possible in part thanks to the institute's own precision engineering workshop in the technical section. For many years, precision machinists have been trained there according to the principles of trade. The graduates Cornelius Lübke and Leander Leibnitz successfully completed their apprenticeship in January 2020 and tell of their experiences in an interview.

"Working with your head and your hands" – Apprenticeship at the AIP - Read More…

Sun under double observation

Sun under double observation

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Feb 10, 2020 09:44 AM

– Update 29 January 2020 – At the end of January, NASA's space probe "Parker Solar Probe" is approaching the Sun for the fourth time, this time up to a distance of only 28 solar radii. Never before has a spacecraft been so close to our home star. An international project under the auspices of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) adds ground-based measurements at the same time – enabling completely new insights into solar activity and its effects on Earth.

Sun under double observation - Read More…

X-ray eye in space celebrates 20 years

X-ray eye in space celebrates 20 years

by Sarah Hönig last modified Jan 20, 2020 09:28 AM

20 January 2020. At the beginning of the millennium, the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton space telescope started observing the X-ray sky. On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, scientists, including those at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), are now publishing new catalogues of all X-ray sources discovered with XMM-Newton.

X-ray eye in space celebrates 20 years - Read More…

16 January | Starry Night in Babelsberg

16 January | Starry Night in Babelsberg

by Franziska Gräfe last modified Jan 17, 2020 09:07 AM

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) invites to the next Starry Night in Babelsberg on Thursday, 16 January 2020, starting at 7:15 pm with a public lecture of Dr. Marcel Pawlowski with the title "Dark matter and the dance of dwarf galaxies". Please note that the lecture will be given in German.

16 January | Starry Night in Babelsberg - Read More…

8 January | Observation night in the Great Refractor

8 January | Observation night in the Great Refractor

by Sarah Hönig last modified Mar 03, 2020 05:04 PM

On Wednesday, 8 January 2020, from 7 pm, the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) invites to a public observation night in the Great Refractor.

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Of harps, Christmas trees, a wandering star and the mysterious streams of cosmic rays

Of harps, Christmas trees, a wandering star and the mysterious streams of cosmic rays

by Kristin Riebe last modified Jan 07, 2020 05:01 PM

19 December 2019. Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP), and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching (MPA), have investigated galactic radio objects that adopt shapes such as Christmas trees and harps. With the help of these objects, the old question of how cosmic radiation propagates could be answered.

Of harps, Christmas trees, a wandering star and the mysterious streams of cosmic rays - Read More…