Latest Press Releases

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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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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“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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Parasites discovered in fossil fly pupae

Parasitic wasps existed as early as several million years ago. Within a project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers of various disciplines for the first time definitively discovered fossil parasites inside their hosts. The scientists studied fly pupae from old collections using ultrafast X-ray imaging. They found 55 cases of parasitation and described four extinct wasp species that were unknown until now. The project was managed by the KIT. Researchers from HITS and Heidelberg University developed the algorithms and software for the digital reconstruction. Their findings are reported in Nature Communications.

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Kerstin Hoppenhaus named “Journalist in Residence” at HITS

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies provides science journalists the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of computer-based, data-driven science through a residence at the institute. Candidates from six continents applied for the position in 2018, and a jury selected Kerstin Hoppenhaus (Berlin, Germany). The award-winning science journalist intends to use her stay to develop new media formats suitable for making the complexity of “big data” accessible to laypeople.

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An Honor and a Farewell

After more than eight years at HITS, Volker Springel, head of the Theoretical Astrophysics group at HITS, has assumed his new role as Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) in Garching. As part of his farewell ceremony, he was made an honorary “HITS Fellow.”

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The need for speed: Why malaria parasites are faster than human immune cells

Elementary cytoskeleton protein is different in parasites and represents a starting point for a possible new therapy against malaria infections. Researchers from the Heidelberg University Hospital, the Centre for Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg (ZMBH), and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have published these findings in the journal “PLOS Biology”.

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New computational method for drug discovery

HITS researchers developed tauRAMD, a tool to predict drug-target residence times from short simulations. The method is illustrated on the cover page of July 2018 issue of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation, software is freely available.

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