Siegel der Universität

Universität zu Köln
Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Fachgruppe Physik

I. Physikalisches Institut

H2Dplus figures

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The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) is located in the Chilean Andes at an altitude of 5,100 meters. APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO. Operation of APEX at Chajnantor is entrusted to ESO.
Copyright: ESO / C. Duran, M. Dumke)
SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, shown in flight. SOFIA,  carrying a 2.7 meter diameter telescope as high as 13.7 km altitude, is a joint project between NASA and the DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt).
(Copyright: NASA / Carla Thomas)
The inset shows the spectral line of para-H2D+ observed at a frequency of 1.370 Terahertz with the GREAT instrument on board SOFIA. This important ion resides in a cold cloud of molecular gas and dust from which a young protostellar system has recently formed. The signal from para-H2D+ is seen in absorption against the bright continuum emission of warm dust surrounding the newly born stars, and it is probing the outer, cold envelope of the parent cloud. Its position is marked by a circle in the background false-color infrared image which was taken by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WISE). The protostellar system (IRAS 16293-2422 A/B) is part of the Rho Ophiuchus star-forming complex, at a distance of around 400 light years from Earth.
(Copyright:  background image NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team)
Artist impression of a newborn star (a so-called protostar) surrounded by a disc of gas and dust in which planets are forming.
(Copyright: ESO / L. Calçada)
The life cycle of stars. The duration of the first step in this evolutionary cycle, the formation of a Sun-like protostar from a contracting dense interstellar cloud, has now been determined to last at least one million years.
(Copyright: NRAO / Bill Saxton)