RAS Honorary Fellowship in Astronomy awarded to MPE Director Ralf Bender
Professor Ralf Bender wrote early seminal papers on the structural properties of massive galaxies and the definition of the Fundamental Plane of Elliptical galaxies. He is one of the main contributors to the discovery and definition of the fundamental relation between galaxies and their central supermassive black holes. Professor Bender was among the first to notice the peculiar chemical pattern of the most massive galaxies. Professor Bender’s recent work focuses on cosmology, aiming at determining the dark energy nature.
In 2002 he was nominated Director of the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, while being Chair of Astronomy at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich. Over the years, Professor Bender has covered several institutional roles at the European Southern Observatory and he is a member of the German National Academy of Science Leopoldina.