Dr. Norbert Junkes
Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Phone:+49 228 525-399

Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn


Michael Kramer new president of the Astronomische Gesellschaft (AG)

September 22, 2020
At the annual meeting of the Astronomische Gesellschaft (AG), Prof. Michael Kramer from MPIfR has been elected new president of the AG. He has been vice president within the executive committee of the AG for three years and is now following Prof. Joachim Wambsganß from the Zentrum für Astronomie at Universität Heidelberg as president. [more]

Astronomers capture stellar winds in unprecedented detail

September 17, 2020
For the first time ever, astronomers have found an explanation for how planetary nebulae get their mesmerising shapes, based on the largest and most detailed set of observations so far of stellar winds around cool evolved stars that are near the end of their lifetime —  a state that our own Sun will reach in 4—5 billion years A team lead by researchers from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, which includes Karl Menten and Manali Jeste from the MPIfR in Bonn found that chemically highly complex stellar winds are generally not spherical. Rather, their shape has similarities with that of planetary nebulae. This leads to the conclusion that the same process shapes both the winds of cool evolved stars and planetary nebulae (“Science” publication, KU Leuven Press Release, September 17, 2020). [more]

First detection of 13CH in the interstellar medium

September 05, 2020
The CH radical has long been recognized as a reliable tracer of molecular hydrogen, the main material of interstellar clouds, which itself is difficult to observe. An MPIfR research team led by Arshia M. Jacob presents the first detection of Its rare isotopolog 13CH in absorption using the upGREAT receiver on board SOFIA. These studies provide information on the synthesis of elements within stars on a Galactic scale. The publication was presented as “Highlight of the Week” in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” (A&A Highlight Paper, published on August 26, 2020). [more]

SOFIA returns to flight operations

September 01, 2020
SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, a joint project of NASA/USA and DLR/Germany, has returned to science operations with a new series of flights designed to study the chemistry of galaxies, beginning on Aug. 17, 2020. It is planned to return to its regular observing schedule with about four flights each week (NASA News Release, August 31, 2020). [more]

How colliding neutron stars could shed light on mysteries of the Universe

July 15, 2020
An important breakthrough in the understanding of neutron star collisions and the expansion of the Universe has been made by an international team, led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) and including Paulo Freire from MPIfR as second author (UEA Press Release, July 08, 2020) [more]

Betelgeuse – a giant with blemishes

June 29, 2020
Betelgeuse in Orion has been fascinating astronomers in the recent months because of its unusually strong decline in brightness. It has even been suggested that this supergiant star was preparing for a supernova explosion. A team led by Thavisha Dharmawardena (MPIA Heidelberg) shows that most likely unusually large star spots on the surface of Betelgeuse have caused the dimming. Their results rule out the previous conjecture that dust, recently ejected by Betelgeuse, obscured the star. Karl Menten and Axel Weiß (both MPIfR Bonn) are co-authors of the study, based on submillimeter observations made with with the James-Clerk-Maxwell-Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment in the Atacama desert in Chile. (MPIA press release, 29 June 2020). [more]

XMM-Newton spies youngest baby pulsar ever discovered

June 17, 2020
An observation campaign led by ESA’s XMM-Newton reveals Swift J1818.0−1607 as the youngest pulsar ever seen – the remnant of a once-massive star that is also a ‘magnetar’, sporting a magnetic field some 70 quadrillion times stronger than that of the Earth. Alessandro Ridolfi (INAF & MPIfR) is one of the authors of the original paper in ApJ Letters (ESA Press Release, 17 June 2020). [more]

Otto Hahn Medal for MPIfR Scientist

June 17, 2020
Jae-Young Kim, Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, was recently awarded with the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society for the high-resolution studies of the innermost structure and the jet formation in the environment of supermassive black holes. The Otto Hahn Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements from the initial creative period of young scientists (MPG Release, 17 June 2020). [more]

LOFAR: Highlight Articles for 10th Anniversary

June 10, 2020
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the European Low-frequency Radio telescope LOFAR, the ASTRON institute in the Netherlands presents a series of highlight articles on science and technology results with LOFAR. One of the German LOFAR stations is operated at the Effelsberg Radio Observatory (ASTRON News, June 2020). [more]

10 years of SOFIA’s First Light Flight

May 27, 2020
For the 10th anniversary of SOFIA’s first light flight the German SOFIA institute (DSI) presents some of the highlights SOFIA achieved in its mission so far. It also includes a number of discoveries with the German GREAT/upGREAT receiver (DSI News Release, 27 May 2020, in German language). [more]

Ten Important Discoveries from SOFIA

May 19, 2020
Ten years ago, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), jointly operated by NASA and DLR, first peered into the cosmos. Since the night of May 26, 2010, SOFIA’s observations of infrared light, invisible to the human eye, have made many scientific discoveries about the hidden universe. Ten important discoveries with SOFIA are featured here, including the first detection of the HeH+ molecule and the investigation of a stellar wind from a new-born star in the Orion nebula, both with the German GREAT/upGREAT receiver onboard SOFIA (NASA News Feature, 18 May 2020). [more]

The origin of high-energy neutrinos

May 13, 2020
Comparing data of the IceCube neutrino observatory and a VLBI-sample of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), a team of Russian astrophysicists including Yuri Kovalev (Lebedev Institute, MIPT & MPIfR) connects ultra-energetic neutrinos to radio flares at the centers of distant active galaxies caused by the infall of matter towards their central supermassive black holes (MIPT Press Release 13 May 2020, based on A. Plavin et al. 2020, ApJ Vol. 894, no. 2). [more]

John Seiradakis deceased

May 04, 2020
John (Jiannis) Seiradakis, Professor emeritus for Astrophysics at Aristotle University Thessaloniki, died in the night from May 02 to 03, 2020. At MPIfR, a lot of people will remember him as a former employee, a frequent guest and certainly as friend of the institute and many of its students, postdocs and staff (Obituary of the Alumni of Aristotle University, in Greek language). [more]

Spin-evolution of the new magnetar J1818.0-1607

March 26, 2020
The first detection of strong radio pulses of the magnetar candidate Swift J1818.0-1607 was done with the Effelsberg radio telescope (ATel #13553 from March 14, 2020). Subsequent timing of the source with both, Effelsberg and Jodrell Bank radio telescopes determined the spin-evolution of the source, its age and its magnetic field, confirming the nature of the source as a very young magnetar (ATel #13559 from March 17, 2020). [more]

EHT Observing Campaign 2020 Canceled Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak

March 18, 2020
The next observation campaign of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) was due to start at the end of March 2020. Regrettably, several participating observatories have shut down in response to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and it was necessary to cancel the observations for 2020 (EHT News Release, 17 March 2020). [more]
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