Announcements

ESO, the European Southern Observatory, presents a new image from the Orion area as „Holiday Postcard“. The image was created from observations with the MPIfR’s APEX telescope in Chile, jointly operated with ESO and the Swedish Onsala observatory (eso2201 Photo Release, January 04, 2022).
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The 12 selected highlights from the research in the institutes of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in 2021 include the publication by Michael Kramer et al. on the double pulsar PSR J0737-3039 A/B, presented in the press release “Einstein proven right yet again” from December 13, 2021 (MPG News, December 21, 2021).
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List of 10 remarkable results in Astronomy & Space Science, including “Event Horizon Telescope takes high-resolution image of black hole jet”, the EHT observations of the very center of galaxy Centaurus A, see also MPIfR press release from July 19, 2021 (Article by Doris Elin Urrutia in space.com, January 01, 2022).
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Shortlist of 10 breakthroughs within different areas of physics, including “Observing a black hole’s magnetic field”, the EHT results for the magnetic field in the center of M87, see also MPIfR press release from March 24, 2021 (Article by Hamish Johnston in “Physics World”, December 07, 2021).
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Compilation of five scientific breakthroughs within the following areas: Physics, Space,  Chemistry, Biology & Medicine, “Weird Science”. The breakthrough in Physics (“Imaging The Magnetic Field Around A Supermassive Black Hole”) shows the EHT results for the magnetic field in the center of M87, see also MPIfR press release from March 24, 2021 (Article by Robert Lea in “Newsweek”, December 31, 2021).
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Scaled extension of the Milky Way trail at the Effelsberg radio telescope to the neighboring galaxy NGC 205 more

An international team of astronomers has utilized the South African MeerKAT radio telescope to discover a mysterious chain of hydrogen gas clouds the size of a massive galaxy. The accumulation of so much elemental hydrogen without associated stellar components is the largest yet discovered. Appearing at the edge of a relatively massive group of galaxies, there is the possibility that the cloud chain is gas stripped from group-member galaxies, but it may also be primordial and gravitationally drawn into the group through a cosmic filament pathway. Gyula Józsa, the leading author of the publication, is based at MPIfR’s Effelsberg Radio Observatory (SARAO Press Release from December 09, 2021).
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An enormous jet of particles emitted by the giant galaxy M87 can be observed astronomically in various wavelengths. Dr. Alejandro Cruz Osorio and Professor Luciano Rezzolla from Goethe University Frankfurt together with an international team of scientists including Professor Michael Kramer (MPIfR bonn) within the framework of the BlackHoleCam research project has succeeded in developing a theoretical model of the morphology of this jet using complex supercomputer calculations. The images from these calculations provide an unprecedented match with astronomical observations and confirm Einstein’s theory of general relativity (Press Release, Frankfurt University, November 04, 2021).
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An international research team led by Di Li and Pei Wang (National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) including Marylin Cruces, Michael Kramer and Laura Spitler from the MPIfR in Bonn caught an extreme episode of cosmic explosions from the Fast Radio Burst FRB 121102, using the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST). A total of 1,652 independent bursts were detected within 47 days (Nature Paper & NAOC Press release, October 13, 2021).
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SOFIA observations with the GREAT instrument have revealed two previously unknown water vapor masers at a frequency of 1.296 Terahertz in the outflows around two variable stars: Mira and R Crateris. The research team, led by David Neufeld and including eight MPIfR astronomers, combined SOFIA measurements with ground-based radio observations from the 100-meter radio telescope at Effelsberg and APEX in Chile. Comparison of the data with an excitation model for the corresponding maser transitions allows an estimate of the water vapor fraction as well as the gas temperatures and densities within the respective outflow region (NASA Blog, September 28, 2021).
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After almost a decade of work, an international team of astronomers has published the most detailed images yet seen of galaxies beyond our own, revealing their inner workings in unprecedented detail. The images were created from data collected by the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), a radio telescope built and maintained by ASTRON, LOFAR is a network of more than 70,000 small antennae spread across nine European counties, with its core in Exloo, the Netherlands. The first international LOFAR station, one of the six German stations, is been seated at MPIfR’s Effelsberg observatory (ASTRON Newsblog, August 17, 2021). more

On July 19, 2021, SOFIA, the NASA and DLR stratospheric observatory, landed at Faa'a International Airport, outside Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia, and will observe the southern sky from there for the next eight weeks. A total of 32 flights are planned through early September, including 20 with the German Receiver at Terahertz Frequencies (GREAT) built by the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and the University of Cologne (USRA News, July 20, 2021). more

Part of the observatory site was flooded on July 14/15, 2021 more

Jets Pose Many Riddles

July 14, 2021

The super-energetic jets that shoot out of black holes are in the focus of a new DFG research group, being funded with 3.6 million euros.  The MPIfR is involved in two sub-projects: Bia Boccardi and J. Anton Zensus lead the sub-project “mm-VLBI studies of gamma-ray bright radio galaxies”, and J. Anton Zensus and Eduardo Ros participate in the project “jet physics one event horizon scales and beyond” led by Matthias Kadler and Christian M. Fromm in Würzburg (IDW Press Release Univ. Würzburg, July 14, 2021). more

As part of the FEEDBACK program based on observations with the GREAT receiver aboard SOFIA, built by MPIfR in cooperation with Cologne University, a team of researchers led by Maitraiyee Tiwari/UMD and including Rolf Güsten/MPIfR was able to produce the first high-resolution image of an expanding bubble of hot plasma and ionized gas in the star cluster Westerlund 2, one of the brightest and most massive star-forming regions in the Milky Way. The results were recently published in The Astrophysical Journal (UMD press release, July 14, 2021). more

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