The Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA) of the American Astronomical Society has named Dr. Ortwin Gerhard from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) as the 2017 recipient of its Dirk Brouwer Award. Gerhard receives the distinction for his achievements in modelling the inner Milky Way galaxy.
Ein internationales Team von Astronomen, geleitet vom MPE, konnte mit dem Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in die nahe gelegene Galaxie NGC 6822 hinein zoomen. Die neuen ALMA-Beobachtungen zeigen die Struktur von Gaswolken mit Sternentstehung in einer derart hohen Detailfülle, dass es nun möglich ist, diese mit ähnlichen Regionen in unserer Heimatgalaxie zu vergleichen. Die Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass die Physik der Sternentstehung in ursprünglichen Galaxien geringer Masse - den Bausteinen massereicherer Galaxien – dieselbe ist, wie in unserer eigenen Galaxie.
In 1995, a paper was published about ROSAT observations of dust scattering halos, which has now reached more than 1000 citations. This makes it the top ranking paper under more than 9000 publications that mainly deal with the “hot” topics in astrophysics, such as supernovae, neutron stars, black holes, quasars or galaxy clusters. Why did a side issue such as interstellar dust receive so much attention?
The Pan-STARRS project, including astronomers at the Max Planck Institutes for Astronomy in Heidelberg and for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, is publicly releasing the world’s largest digital sky survey today. The catalogue is based on 4 years of observations of 3/4 of the night sky and provides extensive information on more than 3 billion stars, galaxies and other sources.
An international team of astronomers has discovered a previously unknown major concentration of galaxies in the constellation Vela, which they have dubbed the Vela supercluster. Its gravitational attraction may have an important effect on the motion of our Local Group of galaxies including the Milky Way.
Recent high-resolution images of the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5419 clearly show a double nucleus. The nature of this structure remained unclear until scientists of the MPE measured the velocities of the stars. A detailed analysis of the images and kinematic data suggests that this galaxy hosts two supermassive black holes at its centre, with a total mass of at least 7 billion solar masses and a separation of only some 200 lightyears.