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MPE News August 6, 2010

Jansky Lectureship for Prof. Reinhard Genzel

R. Genzel
Reinhard Genzel
Credit: MPE

The US National Radio Astronomy Observatory recently announced that the 2010 Karl G. Jansky Lectureship has been awarded to Prof. Reinhard Genzel, Director of the Max Plank Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching. The Jansky Lectureship, named after the man who first detected radio waves from a cosmic source in 1932, recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of radio astronomy.

Karl Jansky also first discovered radio waves from the central region of our Milky Way galaxy and on 2. November 2010 in Charlottesville Genzel will present the latest results about this region in his Jansky Lecture about "The Galactic Centre Black Hole and Nuclear Star Cluster". In his talk he will explain how observations across the electromagnetic spectrum led to the conclusion that SgrA* has to be a black hole and how - to our current knowledge - this black hole interacts with the surrounding star cluster, including the riddle of recent star formation near the hole.

While the Black Hole in the centre of own Milky Way is one of the core research topics of Genzel and his group, more generally he also studies whether accretion onto massive black holes or star formation powers active galaxies. To this end, together with his collaborators he developed instrumentation at sub-millimetre and infrared wavelengths to probe the central regions of galaxies. Further instrumentation developments in adaptive optics and interferometry will push the frontiers of high-resolution imaging and spectroscopic observations of galaxies using such diverse facilities as Herschel, the VLT, and the Keck telescopes.
Karl G. Janzky
Karl G. Jansky
Credit: NRAO

Genzel's work has been internationally recognized with many honours and awards, including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize (1990), the Shaw Prize (2008), and the "Galileo 2000" Prize (2009). In 1986, Genzel became Director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, also regularly visits the USA as part-time professor at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2000, he became a foreign member of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. It operates a complementary suite of powerful telescopes including the Very Large Array (VLA), an array of 27 radio telescopes, and the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), an array of 10 radio telescopes and the highest resolution astronomical telescope. The NRAO is also building two new major facilities, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a partnership with Europe, Japan, and Chile and the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA), a partnership with Canada and Mexico, and a major step towards the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA).


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