Order of the Rising Sun awarded to Prof.Trümper
On 29 April 2012, the Japanese Emperor awarded the "Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon" to the German astrophysicist Professor Joachim Trümper. The former MPE Director is honoured for his outstanding contribution to scientific cooperation between Japan and German and for fostering staff exchanges over the course of many years of work. On 10 July 2012 the Japanese ambassador officially bestowed the Order to Trümper in Berlin.
Professor Trümper, a former director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), graduated in 1959 at the University of Kiel in nuclear physics with his work on spark chambers. Later on, in the 1960s, his main research interest became the study of X-rays in space using ballons, rockets and satellites, where he was involved in many national and international projects.
He encouraged the academic exchange between Japan and Germany, and brought many young scientists to MPE. The close cooperation between the German ROSAT satellite and the Japanese ASCA Space Observatory was unique and dominated the study of the X-ray sky in the decade of the 1990s. Many researchers used the two "brothers", which resulted in some 200 refereed publications based on data from both observatories. Even after his retirement in 2001, Trümper actively participates in X-ray astronomy and frequently gives public talks to bring current scientific findings to a broad audience.
The "Order of the Rising Sun" is the highest decoration that the Japanese government can bestow on important personalities from abroad. The medal is awarded for outstanding achievements in civil or military areas to persons who made a significant contribution to Japanese culture and society. Previous recipients of the Order include well-known German figures such as Konrad Adenauer (1960 & 63, former Chancellor), Hans-Olaf Henkel (2001, former President of the Federation of German Industries) and Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker (2009, former President of the DPG). As the name implies, the Order has the form of a rising sun with rays as a symbol of the Japanese national flag "hi nomaru".
Detailed information on the "Order of the Rising Sun" and this year's laureates can be found at http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/info/conferment/pdfs/2012_sp.pdf