News

Free Open Source Materials from the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

Since it opened in April 2018, the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre has shared the wonders of the Universe with more than 55 000 visitors and captured the attention of audiences from around the globe. Now, the ESO Supernova’s extensive library of high-resolution images, stunning videos, educational texts and planetarium resources, as well as a digital version of its state-of-the-art astronomical exhibition, have been made freely available online.

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New Scientific Director: Wolfgang Müller

As of January 2019, Priv.-Doz Dr. Wolfgang Müller is the new Scientific Director of HITS. As the position of Scientific Director rotates through the group leaders, this is a planned change in the HITS management. Michael Strube, who had been Scientific Director for the last two years, stepped down from this position at the end of the year. The new deputy Scientific Director will be Prof. Dr. Frauke Gräter.

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Season’s Greetings!

Dear friends and colleagues, 2018 was a year of change for HITS. Two research groups successfully completed their work at the institute: Siegfried Schloissnig and the “Computational Biology” group bid adieu after five years of intensive work culminating in two publications in “Nature.” Additionally, Volker Springel left HITS after more than eight years to become…

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The Data Revolution in the Night Sky

The HITS Astroinformatics research group led by Kai Polsterer helps astronomers to better analyze the rapidly growing data-sets with modern methods from computer science. The researchers apply artificial intelligence techniques – among others – and develop new methods that are used in major projects, such as LOFAR and SKA. In addition, the group organized this year’s international “Astroinformatics” conference, which for the first time took place in Germany.

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Effort clarifies major branch of insect tree of life

A team of international researchers just published a new study on Hemiptera, using a vast amount molecular data to investigate their evolutionary history of more than 350 million years. An important part of the study was the reconstruction of the phylogenetic trees with a tool developed in the Scientific Computing group at HITS, Heidelberg. The reconstruction was performed on the supercomputer SuperMUC in Garching near Munich.

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New insights into the regulation of haemostasis

German Scientists investigate the structure of the von Willebrand factor (VWF), a key protein involved in blood clotting. HITS researchers from the Molecular Biomechanics group simulated the dynamics of the platelet integrin-binding VWF C4 domain to better understand disease mutations of this protein. The project was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

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“Highly Cited Researchers” at HITS

HITS scientists are listed among the most cited researchers worldwide. This year’s “Highly Cited Researchers” ranking by Clarivate Analytics again lists Tilmann Gneiting (Mathematics) and Alexandros Stamatakis (now in the new category “Cross-Field”).

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ESCAPE: Launch of the European Project for Data Management in Astronomy

2019 marks the beginning of one of the biggest projects for data management in astronomy. The „European Science Cluster for Astronomy & Particle physics ESFRI research infrastructures” (short: ESCAPE) is a consortium of more than 30 European partners that is now developing different strategies to facilitate the management of data-driven research. The project aims, among other things, to make the European science cloud reality and to create infrastructures and methods to deal with the increasing amount of data in astronomy.

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