Optical and Interpretative Astronomy (OPINAS)

The Optical and Interpretative Astronomy group at MPE and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Observatory under the leadership of Ralf Bender investigates the evolution of cosmological structures ranging from small to large scales, with special focus on:

  • Formation and evolution of galaxies, as well as their large scale distribution,
  • Characteristics of supermassive black holes,
  • Origin and properties of the dark components of the universe, i.e. dark matter, dark energy.

The hardware/software activities involve the construction of front-line optical and near-infrared instruments to be used at the VLT, the HET and the 2m telescope at Wendelstein (see also Fig.1) telescopes, and software for the automatic reduction of the data.

The education activities through the link to the Ludwig-Maximillian University count lectures for the Physics courses, the supervision of Diploma-, Bachelor-, Master- and Ph.D.-students and the organization of the IMPRS.

Furthermore, OpInAs has close ties to the associated groups of Ortwin Gerhard (Galaxy Dynamics) and Jochen Weller (Cosmology).

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