Highlights — Some exciting recent scientific results from our group

Energetic Winds blow from the Triangulum Galaxy
Radio observations reveal a complex scenario for the interplay between star formation and the interstellar medium in the galaxy M33

Studying the interplay between massive star formation and the interstellar medium is important to understand the evolution of galaxies. An international research team led by Fatemeh Tabatabaei including several scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, performed high-resolution radio observations of the local group galaxy Messier 33 with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA). Their results show a direct connection between molecular gas and star formation exists in M33. Massive star formation amplifies the magnetic field and increases the number of high-energy cosmic ray electrons, which can help the onset of winds and outflows. more
"Sleeping" black hole discovered outside our galaxy
July 20, 2022

An international research team including Norbert Langer (AIfA & MPIfR Bonn) has detected a stellar-mass black hole outside the Milky Way, in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a companion of the Milky Way. The discovery was made during a six-year observing campaign with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The results have been published in the journal Nature Astronomy (University of Bonn press release, July 18, 2022, in German language). more
A Slowly Rotating Neutron Star
Unusual neutron star spinning every 76 seconds is discovered in stellar graveyard

An international team of scientists including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has discovered an unusual radio emitting neutron star, which rotates extremely slowly, completing one rotation every 76 seconds. The team, led by members of the MeerTRAP (More Transients and Pulsars) group at The University of Manchester say it is a unique discovery as it resides in the neutron star graveyard where they do not expect any pulsations at all. The discovery was made using the MeerKAT radio telescope in South Africa. more
Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way
Breakthrough discovery: EHT´s unprecedented observations improve our understanding of what happens at the very centre of our galaxy

Astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the nature of such giants, which are thought to reside at the centers of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes.  The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn plays a major role in all the aspects of this discovery, from founding and establishing the EHT collaboration to the final production and interpretation of the data. more
The Hunt for the Gravitational Wave Background
NASA’s FERMI Satellite Hunts for Extremely Long-wavelength Gravitational Wave Signals

Coalescing supermassive black holes in the centers of merging galaxies fill the universe with low-frequency gravitational waves.  Astronomers have been searching for these waves by using large radio telescopes to look for the subtle effect these spacetime ripples have on radio waves emitted by pulsars within our Galaxy.  Now, an international team of scientists has shown that the high-energy light collected by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope can also be used in the search.  Using gamma rays instead of radio waves yields a clearer view to the pulsars and provides an independent and complementary way to detect gravitational waves. more
Cosmic flashes pinpointed to a surprising location in space
Localisation of a recurring source of radio flashes in the nearby galaxy M81

Astronomers have been surprised by the closest source of mysterious flashes in the sky called fast radio bursts. Precision measurements with radio telescopes reveal that the bursts are made among old stars, and in a way that no one was expecting. The source of the flashes, in nearby spiral galaxy M 81, is the closest of its kind to Earth. more
The Search for an Isotropic Gravitational Wave Background
World-wide radio telescope network enhances signal that may hint at ultra-low frequency gravitational waves

An international team of astronomers including a number of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has announced the results of a comprehensive search for a background of ultra-low frequency gravitational waves. These light-year-scale ripples, a consequence of general relativity, permeate all of spacetime and could originate from mergers of the most massive black holes in the Universe or from events occurring soon after the formation of the Universe in the Big Bang. more
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