Postdoctoral Research Associate - High Angular Resolution Astronomy and Instrumentation

MPIA - Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Heidelberg, Germany

The Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg is seeking an ambitious, highly qualified post-doctoral researcher to work on high angular resolution astronomy and instrumentation.

Your tasks

The successful candidate will be expected to carry out an independent program of research, as well as collaborate with Tom Herbst and other MPIA scientists on ongoing programs. Specifically, we are recruiting a postdoctoral fellow to assist us with the commissioning and early scientific exploitation of LINC-NIRVANA (LN), a high-resolution near-infrared imager on the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). LN employs natural guide-star Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) to deliver a wide field, diffraction-limited image. The instrument was installed on LBT in late September 2016 and acquired “first technical photons” a month later. Since that date, we have been executing a series of commissioning runs which should culminate in scientific readiness in 2018. The successful candidate will participate in these preparatory runs and contribute to the Early Science program. In this context, individual research projects and ideas are strongly encouraged.

The MPIA provides a rich environment for collaboration on extragalactic astronomy, star and planet formation, theoretical astrophysics, and instrument development.

As an MPIA researcher, the successful applicant will have privileged access to the twin 8.4 meter Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, the 2.2 m MPG telescope on La Silla, the Calar Alto 2.2m telescope, and the IRAM millimeter facilities, including the newly upgraded NOEMA. MPIA astronomers also have access to all ESO facilities, including the VLT, and our researchers make extensive use of the (sub) millimeter observatories ALMA, IRAM, and APEX. In addition, MPIA scientists have access to a range of (super) computing facilities, and we are a full member in SDSS-IV (MANGA, eBOSS, APOGEE). The MPIA has a leading role in the data processing for the Gaia mission and is heavily involved in their exploitation. The institute is also actively involved in developing instruments for many of these existing facilities, as well as for future observatories, including the European Extremely Large Telescope and upcoming space missions.

Your profile

Applicants should have a PhD in astronomy, astrophysics, or a closely related field.

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