Black holes have mass, angular momentum and potentially a charge. While the first two were measured routinely for some time now, constraining a black hole’s charge is more difficult. The comment by Marios Karouzos in "Nature Astronomy" refers to an original paper by MPIfR authors (Michal Zajaček et al.) in MNRAS, proposing an observational way to test limits on the charge of Sgr A*, the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. [more]
A new publication led by MPIfR astronomers (Kim et al., 2018, Astronomy & Astrophysics 616, A188) presents Global mm-VLBI Array (GMVA) observations at 86 GHz (λ = 3.5 mm) of the nearby radio galaxy Messier 87 (M 87), the central galaxy of the Virgo cluster in a distance of about 50 million light years. The highlight image shows the central region of M 87 at an angular resolution of ~50 μas (7 Schwarzschild radii). [more]
At the Max Planck Day on Friday, 14 September 2018, the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn offers a series of German language talks on astronomical topics. The talks will be presented in the institute building in Bonn-Endenich, Auf dem Hügel 69. [more]
Professor Yuri Kovalev from the Lebedev research institute in Moscow/Russia started his Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel fellowshiüp of the German Alexander von Humboldt foundation (AvH) at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in July 2018. Professor Kovalev is project scientist for RadioAstron, a space VLBI project connecting radio telescopes on Earth with a space-based radio telescope. [more]
On July 13, 2018, the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa is officially inaugurated. After a decade in design and construction, this project of South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology has now begun science operations. The Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) and the Max Planck Society (MPG) are participating in the project by providing a receiver system in the S-Band range (1.8 - 3.5 GHz) for all 64 MeerKAT antennas (Media Release, SKA South Africa). [more]
The T-TST Best Paper Award, recognizing the most significant contribution in a paper published in the IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology, was awarded to the GREAT team for the publication by R. Risacher et al.: “First Supra-THz Heterodyne Array Receivers for Astronomy with the SOFIA Observatory”, IEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology, Vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 199-211, March 2016 at the “International Microwave Symposium“ June 10-15, 2018, in Philadelphia. [more]
Astronomers, working on a project to detect supernovas, made a surprise discovery when they found that one supernova explosion was actually a star being pulled apart by a supermassive black hole. The Effelsberg Radio Telescope was involved in the observations within EVN, the European VLBI Network (ASTRON Press Release, June 14, 2018). [more]
Gisela Ortiz won the prize of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for the best 2017 astronomy thesis for Division A (Fundamental Astronomy) for her thesis „Ultra-high precision astrometry with centimeter and millimeter very long baseline interferometry“ at the Instituto de Radioastronomía y Astrofísica, Mexico.
She is now a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.
The first fully assembled dish for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) was unveiled today at a ceremony in Shijiazhuang, China, by the Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, in the presence of representatives from the countries involved and the SKA Organisation. The dish is one of two final prototypes that will be tested ahead of production of an early array. A second dish, currently under production and funded by the German Max Planck Society, will be shipped to South Africa and assembled at the South African SKA site in the next few months (SKA Press Release, 6 February 2018). [more]
On the base of the HI4PI survey of the distribution of neutral hydrogen in the sky, Tobias Westmeier from ICRAR/University of Western Australia has created the most detailed map ever of clouds of high-velocity gas in the Universe. HI4PI is based upon observations with the Effelsberg 100-m radio telescope for the Northern Sky and the Parkes 64-m radio telescope for the Southern Sky. The results are published in “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” (ICRAR Press Release, December 04, 2017). [more]
Einstein's theory of general relativity has withstood 100 years of experimental scrutiny. However, these tests do not constrain how well the very strong gravitational fields produced by merging neutron stars obey this theory. Scientists at the Max Planck Institutes for Gravitational Physics and for Radio Astronomy studied two foremost tools for testing the strong-field regime of gravity – pulsar timing and gravitational-wave observations – and demonstrated how combining these methods can put alternative theories of general relativity to the test (AEI Press Release 24 October 2017). [more]
For the first time, scientists have directly detected gravitational waves - ripples in space and time - in addition to light from the spectacular collision of two neutron stars. This marks the first time that a cosmic event has been viewed in both gravitational waves and light. The EVN collaboration of European radio telescopes including the 100-m Effelsberg telescope has been involved in the observing campaign, looking for radio emission from the colliding neutron stars witnessed by LIGO and Virgo. (JIVE Press Release, 16 October 2017) [more]