Latest Max Planck Institute for Astronomy Stories

Star Formation In Barnard 68
2012-10-30 11:40:17

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team from Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) has observed the earliest stages of star formation using the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory. The astronomers were able to produce a three-dimensional map of the molecular cloud B68, a possible birthplace for a low-mass star. They managed to also identify a previously unobserved class of object that could be the earliest known precursor of the birth of massive...

2011-08-24 15:03:54

  A team of scientists at Germany´s Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy has discovered a potentially habitable planet about 3.6 times as massive of Earth orbiting the star HD 85512, roughly 36.23 light years away (one light year is equivalent to roughly 5.9 trillion miles). Dan Vergano of USA Today reports that the discovery, led by the institute´s Lisa Kaltenegger, adds to the 572 planets orbiting nearby stars listed by the Extrasolar Planets Catalogue. Astronomers around...

2010-09-08 09:05:00

Researchers have observed the signs of distant dwarf galaxies being swallowed up by spiral galaxies, and their findings "could shed further light on the evolution of galaxies," according to BBC News. A team of researchers, led by David Martinez-Delgado of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), noted that the dwarf galaxies that are being absorbed tend to form vine-like structures and long strands of stars known as stellar streams that are produced due to tidal forces. While the...

2010-06-02 09:20:00

By exploiting the exquisite image quality of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and comparing two observations made ten years apart astronomers have, for the first time, managed to measure the tiny motions of several hundred young stars within the central cluster of the star-forming region NGC 3603. The team was surprised to find that the stars are moving in ways that are at odds with the current understanding of how such clusters evolve. The stars in the cluster have not "settled down" as...

2010-04-22 11:32:40

Making the invisible visible The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) partners in Germany, the U.S.A. and Italy are pleased to announce that the first of two new innovative near-infrared cameras/spectrographs for the LBT is now available to astronomers for scientific observations at the telescope on Mt. Graham in south-eastern Arizona. After more than a decade of design, manufacturing and testing, the new instrument, dubbed LUCIFER 1, provides a powerful tool to gain spectacular insights into the...

2010-03-25 06:55:00

Up to now, primitive black holes, which occupy the cores of active galaxies and were around as far back as the early days of the universe, only existed in astronomer's models. Researchers have now found two such gravitational monsters, however, which revealed themselves as brightly glowing quasars. Their light originates from a time when the universe was barely one billion years old - and we can see them now exactly as they appeared 12.7 billion years ago (Nature, March 18, 2010). A quasar is...

2009-12-03 13:20:00

First finding as part of new research collaboration An international team of scientists that includes an astronomer from Princeton University has made the first direct observation of a planet-like object orbiting a star similar to the sun. The finding marks the first discovery made with the world's newest planet-hunting instrument on the Hawaii-based Subaru Telescope and is the first fruit of a novel research collaboration announced by the University in January. The object, known as GJ 758 B,...

2009-02-05 10:00:00

Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy detect that stars were forming at record speeds in the small core region of an infant galaxy When galaxies are born, do their stars form everywhere at once, or only within a small core region? Recent measurements of an international team led by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy provide the first concrete evidence that star-forming regions in infant galaxies are indeed small - but also hyperactive, producing stars at...

2008-09-21 11:30:00

First Light for the PRIMA instrument The PRIMA instrument [1] of the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) recently saw "first light" at its new home atop Cerro Paranal in Chile. When fully operational, PRIMA will boost the capabilities of the VLTI to see sources much fainter than any previous interferometers, and enable astrometric precision unmatched by any other existing astronomical facility. PRIMA will be a unique tool for the detection of exoplanets. "PRIMA is specifically...

Word of the Day
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'