Press Releases

February 02, 2010: A small snack for the Milky Way

Astrophysicists find new remnants of a neighbouring galaxy in our own galaxy.

An international team of astronomers led by Mary Williams from the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik
Potsdam (AIP) has discovered a new stream of stars in our Milky Way: the “Aquarius
Stream”, named after the constellation of Aquarius. The stream of stars is a remnant of a
smaller galaxy in our cosmic neighbourhood, which has been pulled apart by the gravitational
pull of the Milky Way about 700 million years ago. The discovery is a result of the
measurement of the velocities of 250,000 stars with the RAVE Survey based at the
Australian Astronomical Observatory’s UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory,
NSW, Australia.

“I have a stream”: with these words the 33-year old scientist from New Zealand
enthusiastically presented her discovery to the audience of an international conference.

[full story as PDF…]

February 10, 2006: First Data Release from the Radial Velocity Survey (RAVE):

Clues to the Dynamical and Chemical Evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy

Fossil remains from the infant Universe are in our own Galactic backyard, in the form of old stars that were born a long time ago, possibly even in a different galaxy from our own Milky Way where they are found now. Excavating that record will reveal the history of our Galaxy, including possible evidence for the cannibalism that is predicted by current theories of how galaxies come to be. Large samples of stars are need for this endeavour, and are now becoming available.

The first such large sample is being made public today, and will be announced by an international team of astronomers at an astrophysics workshop at the Aspen Center for Physics, Colorado. This data is the first to be released from the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE), an ambitious spectroscopic survey that aims to measure the radial velocities and stellar atmosphere parameters (temperature, metallicity, surface gravity) of up to one million stars near the Sun.

[full story as PDF…]


lundravelayers5small RAVE-ing in the Southern Sky. The red line divides the northern and southern equatorial hemispheres at declination = 0 degrees. The blue fields of view are part of the first data release from RAVE announced today (10/02/2006).

Further Press Releases

Prva objava podatkov projekta RAVE (RAdialnohitrostni Vesoljski Eksperiment), ki so kljuc do razumevanja dinamicnega in kemicnega razvoja Rimske ceste (in Slovenian) Ljubljana PR (02/2006)
Generations of Astronomers Survey the Stars RAS PR (02/2006)
Erste Datenveroeffentlichung der Radialgeschwindigkeits-Studie (RAVE) Hinweise auf die dynamische und chemische Evolution der Milchstrasse gefunden (in German) AIP PR (02/2006)
RAVE: ein RAVE zur Erkundung der Geschichte unserer Galaxie (in German) AIP PR (01/2006)
RAVE to reveal Galaxy’s history AIP PR (06/2003)
“Archeologie” van de Melkweg met RAVE (in Dutch) Groeningen PR (06/2003)
RAVE mit einer Million Sternen (in German) AIP PR (06/2003)