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]
The SOFIA science team has published a new map of the horsehead Nebula (IC 434), an interstellar cloud in Orion. The data in the spectroscopic line of ionized carbon (C+) resp. [CII] were observed with the upGREAT instrument onboard SOFIA which was built by MPIfR/Bonn and KOSMA/University of Cologne under the leadership of Rolf Güsten/MPIfR. (SOFIA Science Center) [more]
For the first time, VLBI images have been obtained of the archetypal radio galaxy Cygnus A at the frequency of 86 GHz. The high spatial resolution gives insight into the transverse width profile at the onset of the two-sided flow. The publication from an MPIfR research team led by Biagina Boccardi appears as highlight in the present issue of the research journal "Astronomy & Astrophysics": A&A 588, L9 (2016). [more]
A special receiver system (phased array feed or PAF receiver) developed for the Effelsberg 100m radio telescope in Germany has been built by CSIRO in Australia through an agreement with the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR).
“The PAF is a key technology for future astronomy, and an exciting step towards a new generation of receivers with capabilities not previously possible,” says Gundolf Wieching, head of the Electronics department at MPIfR. “The installation of the PAF on Parkes is a continuation of the long collaboration between the ATNF and MPIfR, and I'm looking forward to being able to use this new technology to look at the northern sky, from Effelsberg."
The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) announced that Michael Kramer, Director at Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, and Professor at the University of Manchester, will receive this year’s George Darwin lecturer award. The award will be presented at the Society's 2016 National Astronomy Meeting in Nottingham in June.
Each year the RAS recognises significant achievement in the fields of astronomy and geophysics through a series of awards. [more]
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) continues to expand its power and capabilities by linking with other millimeter-wavelength telescopes in Europe and North American in a series of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations. Successful detection of fringes was reached for observations on 30 March 2015 by linking ALMA with IRAM’s 30-m telescope in Pico Veleta, Spain, and for further observations on 1-3 August 2015 between ALMA and the Very Long Baseline Array in the USA. Post-processing analysis is being performed at the MPIfR in Bonn [more]
The far-infrared spectrometer upGREAT, developed and built by a consortium of German research institutes, led by Rolf Güsten from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, recently completed its first successful mission onboard SOFIA. The air-borne observatory SOFIA is a joint project of NASA (USA) and DLR (Germany). Four commissioning flights between May 13 and May 22, 2015, showed the performance of upGREAT. [more]
At their meeting on Wednesday 29 April, the Members of the SKA Organisation decided that negotiations should start with the UK government to locate the permanent headquarters of the SKA project in the UK, at the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank site. Germany is one of 11 member countries of the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. [more]
SKA Organisation HQ – At their meeting last week at the SKA Organisation Headquarters near Manchester, UK, the SKA Board of Directors unanimously agreed to move the world’s largest radio telescope forward to its final pre-construction phase. The design of the €650M first phase of the SKA (SKA1) is now defined, consisting of two complementary world-class instruments – one in Australia and one in South Africa – both expecting to deliver exciting and transformational science. [more]