The Partner Group of MPIfR at NAOC

The partner group of the Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIfR) at the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) was founded based on the Memorandum of understanding, signed by the presidents of the MPG and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The partner group will function for 3 years with a possibility of another 2 years extension.  The partner group scientifically associated with "Research Group of Compact Objects and Diffuse Medium" at NAOC, led by the chief research professor, Dr. JinLin Han, and technically supported by Urumqi Observatory of NAOC.  An introduction of the partner group was published in the special issue of the Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (also web page in Chinese).

The Partner Group does research on cosmic magnetic fields using radio astronomy methods.

Magnetic fields are found in every astronomical object: the Earth, the Sun, planets, stars, pulsars, the Milky Way, nearby galaxies and in distant radio galaxies. The role of the magnetic fields in the cosmic universe has not been well investigated, mainly because of the difficulties of their observation.  See the invited review on cosmic magnetic fields by J.L. Han and R. Wielebinski (2002).

The Partner Group is active in studying magnetic fields, in particular of the Milky Way. The studies of magnetic fields of galaxies have been pursued since the beginning of the collaboration a few years ago. The magnetic fields of NGC2997, M31 and M101 have been studied by radio polarization mapping. In particular, the question of 'magnetic arms' in NGC 2997 has been investigated. The extent of the magnetic fields around M31 was studied by determining the rotation measure of distant extragalactic radio sources observed through the magnetic interstellar medium of M31.

The partner group has executed several successful observational projects using the 100m radio telescope in Effelsberg, the Very Large Array in the USA and the Australia Telescope National Facilities to collect polarization data tracing the magnetic fields in the Milky Way. In 2004 August the group has installed a 6cm receiver system in a 25m radio telescope in Urumqi Observatory. Afterwards, we have started the "Sino-German 6-cm polarization survey of the Galactic plane", making polarization observations that give an unambiguous pictures of magnetic field structures emerging from the disk of the Milky Way. The monitor observations of "IntraDay Variables (IDV)" have been also carried out using the Urumqi 6cm system. In the other hand, we also used Effelsberg 100m telescope to make a polarization survey of 1700 radio sources for their rotation measurements (RMs), which could be used to study the magnetic fields of the Galactic halo.

The partner group hosted two Sino-German bilateral conferences on radio astronomy: one is the Radio Studies of Galactic Objects, Galaxies, and AGNs, 2002, July 18-25th, Xian, China. You are welcome to read the proceedings of that conference; the second one is: Cosmos Probed by Radio, 2005, September 7th-14th, Kashi/Urumqi, Xingjiang Xian, China. You can find talks of this meeting.

The partner group is a purely research-related group (rather than a group of administration-related).  The group has a few members and students, with some visitors activating the research. Current members: Former members:
Most of students come from the "Research Group of Compact Objects and Diffuse Medium" at NAOC . All members and students are happy to work together. The group is very active (see the calendar of the group).

Here is the publication list.

Research of the partner group is advised and evaluated by an international advisory board.