Rudolf-Kippenhahn-Prize for Ákos Bogdan

End of May, the Rudolf-Kippenhahn-Prize for the best scientific paper written by a student at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics was awarded to Ákos Bogdan for his publication “Unresolved X-ray emission in M31 and constraints on progenitors of Classical Novae”. The prize is awarded jointly by the institute and its former director, after whom it is named, to recognize originality, a large impact on science but also the quality of writing for a publication to which students themselves made substantial contributions.

Image: Former MPA-director Rudolf Kippenhahn presented Ákos Bogdan with the prize certificate.

The prize committee, composed of senior scientific members of the institute, did not have an easy task: Twelve publications were nominated with MPA-students as first author of a paper submitted to or accepted in a major astronomical journal in 2009. After narrowing it down to four papers on the short list, the committee finally accorded the prize to Ákos Bogdan in appreciation of the comprehensive nature of his investigation, its novel approach and style of employing simple but physically justified analytical calculations. In his paper Ákos studies the appearance of the Andromeda galaxy in X-rays and demonstrates that three main components shape the X-ray surface brightness of the galaxy: numerous faint unresolved sources associated with an old stellar population, hot gas and protostars in star-forming regions, and a galactic scale wind that is driven by supernovae. Using these observations, Ákos derived important constraints on the nature and properties on classical novae, a certain type of stellar explosions.

Former director Rudolf Kippenhahn was pleased that the prize bearing his name was awarded for a topic that he had worked on in his early scientific life. “The good old classical novae were already an important topic when we still analysed stars on photographic plates and tried to do stellar structure computations with the early computers, which did not have enough memory. Novae are variable and remain variable it is nice to see that they still play an important role in astronomy.”

Original publication:
Ákos Bogdan, Marat Gilfanov “Unresolved X-ray emission in M31 and constraints on progenitors of Classical Novae” accepted for publication in MNRAS Preprint available at linkPfeilExtern.gif