Yearbook 2007

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A variety of recent studies suggest that apes know what other individuals do and do not see. The results of may be explained by postulating some behavioral rule that individuals have learned that does not involve an understanding of seeing. The patchiness of coverage gives this kind of explanation an ad hoc feeling, especially since there is rarely any concrete evidence that animals actually have had the requisite experiences to learn the behavioral rule – there is just a theoretical possibility. Thus, it is more plausible to hypothesize that apes really do know what others do and do not see. more
In social anthropology cultural heritage is mainly seen as cultural production, which connects present interests with the past. This article analyses constructions of cultural heritage against the background of changing nation-state affiliations in the case of the UNESCO World Heritage Site „Curonian Spit“. The social practice of the actors involved is characterised by normative imaginaries that have their origins in different time-related and spatially defined systems of law, which continue to have effects and are even newly mobilised in present times. more
Cassiopeia A is the youngest known supernova remnant in our Galaxy. Although unrecorded at the time, it must have exploded around 1680. The nebula, lying at a distance of about 11000 light years, is one of the best-studied celestial objects. Astronomers succeeded in detecting light echoes in the infrared range around the supernova remnant. These originate from interstellar dust that was heated by the flash of the supernova explosion and by flares of the central neutron star. more
During close encounters or collisions of galaxies huge tidal forces occur that whirl up and compress the dust and gas in the galaxies. This induces a steep increase of star formation. With the help of computer simulations, it was shown how the star formation rate, dust absorption, and observed appearance of the galaxy change during a merger and an analytical formula was derived which can be used to predict the dust absorption. more

The Supernovae that made the Crab Nebulae

Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics Kitaura, Francesco; Janka, Hans-Thomas; Buras, Robert;
A team of X-ray astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics resolved the thirty-years-old puzzle of the origin of the Galactic X-ray background emission. Combining data from various space-based X-ray instruments (RXTE/PCA, INTEGRAL/IBIS, CHANDRA/ACIS, ROSAT/PSPC) and infrared instruments (COBE/DIRBE) they showed that the Galactic X-ray background predominantly consists of emission of a large number of point sources, mostly cataclysmic variables and coronally active stars. more

Nature of the Galactic X-ray background

Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics Revnivtsev, Mikhail; Sazonov, Sergey; Krivonos, Roman; Chluba, Jens
A team of X-ray astronomers resolved the thirty-years-old puzzle of the origin of the Galactic X-ray background emission. Combining data from various space-based X-ray instruments (RXTE/PCA, INTEGRAL/IBIS, CHANDRA/ACIS, ROSAT/PSPC) and infrared instruments (COBE/DIRBE) they showed that the Galactic X-ray background predominantly consists of emission of a large number of point sources, mostly cataclysmic variables and coronally active stars. more