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).

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).

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).

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

In 2019, the EHT Collaboration published the first image of a black hole located at the centre of the galaxy M87. Now a collaboration team led by theoretical physicists at the Goethe University Frankfurt, including MPIfR scientists, have analysed data from the black hole M87* to test Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. According to the tests, the size of the shadow from M87* is in excellent agreement with a black hole predicted by general relativity, but narrows the properties of black holes in other theories down. The publication in the current issue of Physical Review D is within the framework of the BlackHoleCam (BHC) project (EHT Press Release, May 20, 2021). more

On the occasion of the anniversary, the Time Travel Trail is opened as the fourth astronomical hiking trail at the radio telescope more

Based on observations from the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in China, an international research team led by Jumei Yao, including Michael Kramer from the MPIfR, found the first evidence for three-dimensional (3D) spin-velocity alignment in pulsars.The study was published in Nature Astronomy on May 6 (CAS-Press Release, May 07, 2021). more

On May 12, 1971, an opening ceremony of the 100-m telescope took place with a number of official guests more

European Research Council supports Bonn astrophysicists with 2.5 million euros to explain the phenomenon more

Two international teams of astronomers including Ramesh Karuppusamy from MPIfR have narrowed-down the origin of the flashes produced in the fast radio burst FRB20180916B by examining them with the highest time resolution and at the lowest possible frequencies. These studies, using the Effelsberg 100-m telescope within the EVN network and the European LOFAR telescope network, have been published in Nature Astronomy and in The Astrophysical Journal Letters (JIVE Press Release, April 15, 2021). more

Observing campaign in April 2021: world-wide radio telescope network retakes observations after 3-year long break more

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