Starlight contains a wealth of information, not only about the stars themselves, but also of the exoplanets that are bound to them. The infinitesimal signal of the planet can reveal many secrets, for example the constituents of its atmosphere.
The direct detection of gravitational waves has opened a completely new chapter in the study of gravity and the physics of the most compact objects in nature, black holes and neutron stars, especially using the electromagnetic counterparts
Planets around other stars than the Sun are collectively called “Exoplanets”. The first exoplanets were discovered in the late 1990s, and since then, the field has rapidly developed, with thousands of exoplanets known to date.
The James Webb Space Telescope will open up a new vista for supernova studies, in particular for their chemistry. This project serves to develop new theoretical models for molecular processes in supernova ejecta, to be able to interpret and analyse the new incoming data.
About 14 billion years ago, the Universe began with the Big Bang. A few minutes later, hydrogen, helium, and traces of lithium were formed during the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. However, the Universe expanded and cooled, leading to the end of this process after 20 minutes. Where, when, and how were the remaining elements of the periodic table produced?
The ZTF project uses a robotic telescope on Palomar in California to search for cosmic explosions like supernovae (exploding stars) or kilonovae (colliding neutronstars). Several groups at the Department of Astronomy and the Department of Physics use these data to understand supernova physics, cosmology or the creation of the heavy elements in the universe.