ngVLA Open Day Event at mtex

September 28, 2023

mtex antenna technology was awarded the contract by NRAO & AUI to develop, design, and produce the first 18-metre prototype telescope for the next generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) radio astronomy facility. Top scientists from the USA and Germany including Anton Zensus from MPIfR will deliver remarks and celebrate this exciting collaboration in technological advancement and scientific discovery at the Open Day ceremony in Schkeuditz/Saxonia (mtex News,September 28, 2023). more

For being the first to envision imaging the immediate surroundings of a black hole, and for his leadership of the “Event Horizon Telescope”, specifically designed for this purpose, Prof. Heino Falcke (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands & MPI for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany) will receive this year’s Balzan prizes (Announcement Balzan Foundation, September 11, 2023). more

Open Day at Effelsberg Radio Observatory

on Saturday, September 09, 2023 more

Recent detection of polarized thermal emission from dust grains in a high-redshift, rapidly star-forming galaxy can give us an insight into the formation and evolution of magnetic fields in large-scale structures of the early Universe. News & View Comment by Rainer Beck / MPIfR on the publication “Polarized thermal emission from dust in a galaxy at redshift 2.6” in “Nature”. more

ERC Starting Grant for Dr. Aditya Parthasarathy

How do galaxies evolve? What happens when supermassive black holes merge? How did the Universe look like just after the Big Bang? more

The German Astronomical Society (Astronomische Gesellschaft, AG) today announces prize winners for this year. Felicitas Mokler of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy will receive the Hanno and Ruth Roelin Prize for Science Journalism. The award ceremony will take place at the AG's annual meeting in Berlin in September (AG press release, August 30, 2023). more

On July 13, 2023, Prof. J. Anton Zensus will be awarded the prestigious Tycho Brahe Medal of the European Astronomical Society (EAS) in Krakow. Zensus is being honored for significant advances in Very Long Baseline Interferometry that led to the first images of the shadows of supermassive black holes at the centers of the galaxy Messier 87 and our Milky Way. The Tycho Brahe Medal honors outstanding scientists for the development or use of European research instruments or for significant discoveries based largely on work with such instruments. Prof. J. Anton Zensus is director at the MPIfR and heads the research department 'Very Long Baseline Interferometry' (VLBI), which focuses on the study of galaxies in the universe millions of light-years away from us (EAS Press Release on 2023 prizes).

As part of the SOFIA program SALSA ("Survey on extragALactic magnetiSm with SOFIA"), the magnetic fields of 14 galaxies were studied with the HAWC+ instrument on board the SOFIA aircraft observatory. Rainer Beck and Sui-Ann Mao of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy are involved in the project. The combination with radio data (Effelsberg, VLA) at similar angular resolution allows to compare the magnetic field structure of the cold interstellar medium with that of the warm interstellar medium for these galaxies (DSI News, June 16, 2023, in German language). more

The first radiation belt observed outside our solar system has been identified, using a coordinated array of 39 radio dishes from Hawaii to Germany including MPIfR’s 100-m Effelsberg radio telescope within the High-Sensitivity Array (HSA) to obtain high-resolution images (Nature, May 15). The images of persistent, intense radio emissions from an ultracool dwarf reveal the presence of a cloud of high-energy electrons trapped in the object’s powerful magnetic field, forming a double-lobed structure analogous to radio images of Jupiter’s radiation belts (UC Santa Cruz Press Release, May 15, 2023). more

 Tycho Brahe Medal awarded to Anton Zensus

MPIfR director receives prestigious award of the European Astronomical Society more

An international team led by Nicola Schneider (Univ. Cologne) and Alexander Tielens (Univ. Maryland), has performed observations to study the interactions between gas clouds in the Cygnus X region with the upGREAT receiver built by MPIfR and Univ. Cologne as part of the FEEDBACK research program with the airborne observatory SOFIA. The publication (with Oliver Ricken/MPIfR as co-author) will be published in the journal "Nature Astronomy" (Univ. Cologne press release, February 17, 2023). more

A global collaboration of scientists including  Maciek Wielgus of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (Bonn, Germany) used the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), to investigate the innermost parts of the quasar NRAO 530.  Astronomers are trying to understand the complicated physics of quasars and their central engines, struggling with questions like how the jets emanating from the central region are powered and created, and what is the role of magnetic fields in their formation. The EHT offers extremely high, unprecedented angular resolution, allowing astronomers to image the previously unseen structures in the very central region of NRAO 530 (Original Paper: S. Jorstad, M. Wielgus, et al.: "The Event Horizon Telescope Image of the Quasar NRAO 530", in: Astrophysical Journal ApJ 943 170 (2023); EHT Blog Entry, February 08, 2023). more

Using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, seven rare stellar binary systems were identified in which a neutron star is eclipsed by its stellar companion. This allowed an international research team led by scientists from AEI Hannover and including researchers from MPIfR Bonn to weigh those neutron stars. Their results were published in Nature Astronomy today (AEI Press Release, January 26, 2023). more

The now-retired Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) aircraft will find a permanent home in the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. The airplane made its final flight from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California, to Tucson. The GREAT receiver, operated by MPIfR and Univ. Cologne, was successfully used on board SOFIA for a number of years (NASA Feature, December 08, 2022).

The recently retired airborne observatory SOFIA looked for hints of phosphine in Venus’s sky in November 2021 with its GREAT detector (MPIfR, Cologne Univ.). A presumed detection of that molecule in the atmosphere of Venus was announced in 2020. The SOFIA researchers including Helmut Wiesemeyer from MPIfR don’t see any sign of phosphine. According to their results, if there is any phosphine present in Venus’s atmosphere at all, it’s a maximum of about 0.8 parts phosphine per billion parts everything else, much smaller than the initial estimate (NASA SOFIA Blogpost, November 29, 2022). more

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