News

eROSITA X-ray telescope launch

Illustration of SRG with eROSITA (left) and ART-XC, the russian X-ray telescope (right). Credit: DLR.

eROSITA X-ray telescope launch

– Update 21 June 2019: The Proton-M launch has been delayed – On 21 June 2019 eROSITA, the main payload for the Russian-German “Spectrum-X-Gamma” mission, will be launched with a Proton-M r...

The Russian-German mission will provide the first complete sky survey in the medium X-ray range. eROSITA will study the distribution of huge galaxy clusters and find out more about the mysterious dark energy that influences their formation and evolution. It is expected to detect about 100,000 clusters of galaxies, the largest gravitationally bound objects, which map the large-scale structure of the universe and provide insights into how it is expanding. An estimated three million active galactic nuclei (AGN) containing massive black holes will be discovered. Within our Milky Way, eROSITA will discover about 700,000 active stars and 10,000 compact objects including binary stars and stellar explosions such as supernovae and their remnants.

eROSITA (extended Roentgen Survey with an Imaging Telescope Array) is an X-ray telescope built by a German consortium under the leadership of theMax Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physicsin Garching. The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) contributed to the data reduction software system with special emphasis on the attitude solution system and the source detection. AIP also provided flight hardware for the camera filter wheels and the whole mechanical ground segment equipment for integration and tests of the X-ray telescope array.

"We have come a long way. Behind us lie 12 years of preparation with ups and downs. A real highlight is right ahead of us and, naturally, we feel a growing tension whether everything will work out,” says Axel Schwope, eROSITA project leader at AIP. “Our position-determining software will be called into action a few days after the launch and after all the tests its components will soon have to prove their suitability in space. We are proud that eROSITA, the main instrument aboard SRG (Spectrum X-Ray Gamma), has been assembled in the integration and test rig we delivered." Prof. Matthias Steinmetz, scientific director of the AIP, emphasizes that "a few parts Made-in-Potsdam, holders of the calibration sources in the 7 filter wheels, are also onboard."

The approved mission time is seven years. During the first four years of the mission, eight independent all-sky X-ray surveys will be performed. An operational phase with pointed observations will follow and last for 2.5 years. “The X-ray images and the catalogues – the basis for a scientific evaluation – will be created with our software. The first data which is specifically for us at the AIP will be recorded in October and we will virtually leap at it,” adds project scientist Dr. Georg Lamer. “After six months, eROSITA will have found more sources of X-ray radiation in the sky than in the first 50 years of X-ray astronomy. For now, we will celebrate these great prospects.”

Members of AIP are also participating in the eROSITA scientific working groups. Optical identification of new X-ray sources is of major relevance: The eROSITA cluster and AGN surveys were selected as design reference surveys for the future 4MOST facility, a 4-meter multi-object spectroscopic telescope for the European Southern Observatory ESO, currently under construction lead by the AIP.

 

Livestream of the rocket launch

http://www.tvroscosmos.ru/5129/

MPE about eROSITA

http://www.mpe.mpg.de/eROSITA

DLR press release

http://bit.ly/DLR_eROSITA_EN

Scientific contact

Dr. Axel Schwope, 0331-7499-232, aschwope@aip.de

Press contact

Sarah Hönig, 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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Physics study price awarded to Ekaterina Ilin and Timon Thomas

Timon Thomas and Ekaterina Ilin. Credit: AIP

Physics study price awarded to Ekaterina Ilin and Timon Thomas

17 June 2019. The Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin awards this year's Physics Study Prize to two students who have completed their master theses at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsda...

The master thesis of Ekaterina Ilin, supervised by Prof. Klaus Strassmeier and Dr. Sydney Barnes, was dedicated to the statistical description of radiation outbursts on stars (flares) in open star clusters. To do this, she examined the light curves of small stars for flares and measured how flare frequencies and energies develop with stellar age. Ekaterina Ilin summarizes the results of her work: "I was able to show that the energies decrease with age and that the decrease depends strongly on stellar mass. I would particularly like to thank Dr. Sarah Schmidt, who supported me as a mentor.“ Ekaterina Ilin continues her studies as a PhD student at the AIP in the Stellar Physics and Exoplanets section with Prof. Katja Poppenhäger.

In his master thesis, Timon Thomas generalized the previous hydrodynamic theories for cosmic rays, so that small-scale effects can be better described. The thesis was supervised by Prof. Christoph Pfrommer at the AIP and apl. Prof. Achim Feldmeier at the University of Potsdam. "My area of interest, the physics of cosmic rays, has a simple problem that is difficult to solve: the interesting scales of cosmic rays are far apart. With the development of a new hydrodynamic theory it is easier to bridge the differences in size on a theoretical level," says Timon Thomas about his work. He also continues his research as a PhD student at the AIP, in the Cosmology and High-Energy Astrophysics section with Prof. Christoph Pfrommer.

The Physics Study Prize of the Physikalische Gesellschaft zu Berlin (PGzB) is awarded for outstanding degrees in the field of physics. This year's award ceremony will take place on 11 July 2019 in the Magnus-Haus in Berlin.

AIP cordially congratulates the two award-winning students on their outstanding graduation.

 

News on the PGzB site https://www.pgzb.tu-berlin.de/index.php?id=29

Media contact Sarah Hönig, 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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A look into the cosmos: Long Night of the Sciences 2019

Impression of the Long Night on Telegrafenberg with GFZ, PIK, AWI and AIP. Credit: AIP

A look into the cosmos: Long Night of the Sciences 2019

The Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) takes part in the Long Night of the Sciences, which takes place on June 15, 2019 from 5 pm to midnight. The AIP opens its scientific-historical ...

Built between 1919 and 1924 according to plans by architect Erich Mendelsohn, the Einstein Tower is not just an architectural masterpiece. The solar telescope was created to prove the redshift of spectral lines through the Sun's gravitational field predicted in Einstein's theory of relativity – the tower is still used for scientific purposes today. On this day visitors will have the rare opportunity to take a look at the laboratory of the Einstein Tower.

In the historic dome hall of the Great Refractor, interested visitors can admire one of the largest refracting telescopes in the world, which is celebrating its 120th birthday this year. Scientists of the AIP give exciting insights into modern research in lectures. Piano sounds fill the room with a special atmosphere before, after dark and with a clear sky, the guests themselves become observers under expert guidance and can take a look through the telescope into the vastness of the cosmos.

 

 

Lectures in the seminar room of the Great Refractor (in German):

6 pm: Andrea Diercke – Facets of the Sun: Filaments in various colours

7 pm: Dr. Alexander Warmuth – Departure to the sun: the mission Solar Orbiter

8 pm: Dr. Christian Vocks – The sun - our next star

9 pm: Dr. Horst Balthasar - The Sun and Europe's Largest Solar Telescope GREGOR


In the dome hall:

Handicraft table for children until 8.30pm; Astroquiz (research diploma)

Presentation about the telescope and ist history

from approx. 9.30 pm: Live music – piano and bass with Tinski Music

from approx. 10.30 pm: Observation at the Great Refractor – after dusk and only with a clear view!

 

The complete programme of the event and information on tickets

https://www.langenachtderwissenschaften.de/index.php?article_id=534

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Dutch royal couple visits Telegrafenberg

Credit: Reinhardt & Sommer / GFZ

Dutch royal couple visits Telegrafenberg

22 May 2019. His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands today visited the Great Refractor of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) at the Albe...

Matthias Steinmetz, chairman of the AIP, together with Reinhard Hüttl, head of the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and the directors of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer, welcomed the royal couple, the Prime Minister of Brandenburg, Dietmar Woidke, his wife Susanne, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven and the Brandenburg Minister of Science, Research and Culture Martina Münch. In the dome hall of the Great Refractor, the historic telescope, Matthias Steinmetz greeted the delegation: “For almost 150 years, the Telegrafenberg has not only stood for the exploration of our planet and its place in the cosmos, it has also been a place for international cooperation and interdisciplinary scientific discourse ever since.”

The reason for the visit was the ceremonial signing of two cooperation agreements between the GFZ and the Technical University of Delft, as well as the PIK and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. At six thematic tables in the Great Refractor, the royal couple could inquire about research in the fields of geothermal energy and underground storage of cold and heat in cities, the use and storage of deposited carbon as well as effects of climate change or the decarbonisation of the energy system.

“I am very pleased that the royal guests from the Netherlands today visited this unique research campus on Telegrafenberg," said Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke. "The discussions and encounters have made clear the many points of contact that connect researchers in Germany and the Netherlands. The three institutes, of which the state of Brandenburg is rightly proud, are leaders in the German and international research landscape. They have contributed to Potsdam's international reputation and recognition and to the fact that its name stands for the high quality of scientific research. The royal couple underlined this with their visit today.”

 

GFZ press release

https://www.gfz-potsdam.de/en/media-and-communication/news/details/article/dutch-royal-couple-visits-telegrafenberg/

PIK press release

https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/press-releases/dutch-royal-couple-visits-telegrafenberg

 

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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AIP successful in European contest for knowledge and technology transfer

Credits: NASA, Zarya Maxim/stock.adobe.com; Montage: University of Potsdam, ZIM

AIP successful in European contest for knowledge and technology transfer

April 8 2019, updated 22 May 2019. From galaxy research to the fight against cancer – the research and innovation center innoFSPEC, part of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP), r...

The rewarded idea „3D-CANCER-SPEC“ by the research and innovation center innoFSPEC is based on accomplishments in the transfer of high-technology from astronomy research to cancer diagnostics. The aim is an optical design study for the development of a prototype suitable for clinical studies. The innoFSPEC team under leadership of Prof. Dr. Martin Roth and a French industry partner, Winlight Systems, jointly and successfully entered the ATTRACT contest. "Under the motto 'From Molecules to Galaxies', we have been working on interdisciplinary research topics for several years – we are pleased that these efforts are now coming to fruition," explains Roth.

As part of the transfer idea “3D-CANCER-SPEC”, they will now develop a compact screening device, based on an original MUSE spectrograph, in a one-year funding phase. The concept will be publicized in a science journal and a presentation at the final ATTRACT conference in September 2020 in Brussels. This support is expected to encourage funding of a medical device by funding bodies or industrial companies.

Basic research, as it is practiced at the AIP, facilitates excellence in the development of high-technology. Imaging spectroscopy with instruments like PMAS and MUSE and the analysis of huge amounts of data (big data) with artificial intelligence in eScience are some examples. Since its establishment in 2009, innoFSPEC Potsdam engages in the utilization of high-technology developed during its research of optical technologies and photonics for economy and society. Among the center’s efforts is the transfer of imaging spectroscopy in astronomy to minimally invasive cancer diagnostics. This experiment, a cooperation with Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, was successfully completed in 2018 with a publication in the renowned Journal of Biomedical Optics. Additionally, two further projects in the Leibniz research alliance Health Technologies address bladder cancer diagnostics and technological improvements for use in surgery. These projects in partnership with the Leibniz Association and industry partners have already led to one patent application.

Spectroscopy is a powerful technique that can be used to determine the composition of an object from the light it emits, whether that light comes from an object in space or a person's body on Earth. Cancerous tissue differs enough from healthy tissue that it can be distinguished using Raman Spectroscopy — providing a promising way to avoid taking invasive tissue samples. While this has previously been shown to work in principle, the imaging process took hours, which is far too long to be practically useful. To make this process fast enough in a clinical setting, the team plans to apply a special technique of integral-field spectroscopy — as used by MUSE at the Very Large Telescope of ESO — developed to solve a particular challenge of astronomical imaging.

One stated aim of the Pact for Research and Innovation is to strengthen the exchange of science with economy and society. Against this background, the biggest European research organizations such as the high energy laboratory CERN, the X-ray laser laboratory XFEL or the European South Observatory ESO have sponsored the project ATTRACT with a total of 17 million euros funded by the European Commission. All in all, the project rewards 170 exceptional transfer ideas in the area of detecting and imaging technologies. Among them are promising application innovations in microelectronics, information and communication or life sciences and medical technology.

 

ESO press release

https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1909/

Attract press release

https://attract-eu.com/170-projects-disruptive-solutions-societal-challenges/

Attract Website

https://attract-eu.com/

innoFSPEC Website

https://innofspec.de/en/

More about Muse

https://www.aip.de/en/research/research-area-drt/research-groups-and-projects-1/3d-spectroscopy/muse/development-of-the-muse-integral-field-spectrograph

Scientific contact

Prof. Dr. Martin Matthias Roth, 0331-7499-313, mmroth@aip.de

Media contact

Sarah Hönig, 0331-7499-803, presse@aip.de

Publication

Elmar Schmälzlin, Benito Moralejo, Ingo Gersonde, Johannes Schleusener, Maxim E. Darvin, Gisela Thiede, Martin M. Roth, “ Nonscanning large-area Raman imaging for ex vivo /in vivo skin cancer discrimination,” J. Biomed. Opt. 23 (10), 105001 (2018)

https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JBO.23.10.105001

 

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 ...