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]
The Deutsches Museum Bonn (Ahrstraße 45) presents the exhibition „Einstein Inside“, celebrating 100 years of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. The exhibition gives a colorful and entertaining introduction into the world of general relativity and its importance for current research. It was created by astrophysicists from Tübingen University. The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy is one of the participating institutes. [more]
An international team of astronomers including J. Anton Zensus from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, found evidence for a bizarre lensing system in space, in which a large assemblage of stars is magnifying a much more distant galaxy containing a jet-spewing supermassive black hole. The discovery provides the best view yet of blobs of hot gas that shoot out from supermassive black holes. The astronomers used Caltech's Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) for their observations. CalTech Press Release, 15 August 2017 [more]
The airborne observatory SOFIA, a joint DLR/NASA observatory, will use three instruments (GREAT, FIFI-LS and FORCAST) to investigate the southern skies during a total of 25 observation flights from 26 June to 10 August 2017. The spectrometer GREAT with its extensions upGREAT and 4GREAT was built by a German team led by Rolf Güsten from the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie in Bonn. This is SOFIA’s fourth stationing in New Zealand (DLR News, 23 June 2017). [more]
The MeerKAT First Light image of the sky reveals previously unseen galaxies, showing the potential of MeerKAT and SKA. On Saturday, July 16, MeerKAT achieved its first significant scientific milestone by using 16 of its eventual 64 dishes integrated into a working telescope array. In a small patch of sky covering less than 0.01 percent of the entire celestial sphere, the MeerKAT First Light image shows more than 1300 galaxies in the distant Universe, compared to 70 known in this location prior to MeerKAT (SKA Press Release, July 18, 2016). [more]
SOFIA is in New Zealand for the third time – it visited the country in 2013 and 2015 as well. On 6 June 2016, the joint NASA and German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) flying observatory landed at Christchurch Internationl Airport at 01:37 CEST (11:37 local time). The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) will embark on the first scientific flight of this year's campaign in the southern hemisphere on 9 June. Equipped with the German-built remote infrared spectrometers GREAT (German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies) and FIFI-LS (Field-Imaging Far-Infrared Line Spectrometer), as well as with the US FORCAST (Faint Object InfraRedCAmera for the SOFIA Telescope) SOFIA will conduct a total of 25 observation flights until 20 July 2016 (DLR News, June 07, 2016). [more]
Atomic oxygen is a key component in regulation of energy and mass exchanges within the Martian atmosphere. Neutral atomic oxygen (O I) was detected in the Martian atmosphere at a frequency of 4.7 THz (63 μm) on 14 May 2014 using the high-frequency channel of the far-infrared heterodyne spectrometer GREAT (German Receiver for Astronomy at Terahertz Frequencies onboard SOFIA. GREAT principal investigator is Rolf Güsten from MPIfR Bonn. Originalveröffentlichung: L. Rezac et al. 2015, Astronomy & Astrophysics 580, L10 (NASA Feature, May 06, 2016) [more]