Perspectives of Astrophysics in Germany from 2017 to 2030



At the annual meeting of the German Astronomical Society 2017, the Council of German Observatories (in German: Rat Deutscher Sternwarten, or RDS for short) presented the Denkschrift 2017 “Perspectives of astrophysics in Germany 2017-2030: From the beginnings of the cosmos to clues for life on extrasolar planets“. This publication gives an overview of the status of the field of astronomy and astrophysics, presents the main scientific questions and lays out the structures needed to further promote the field. 

As to primarily address the science-political landscape and decision makers in Germany, the document is written in German. At the beginning, however, there is an Executive Summary in English. The Denkschrift 2017 is based on 20 strategy papers in English

The editorial team was formed by Matthias Steinmetz, Marcus Brüggen, Andreas Burkert, Eva Schinnerer, Jürgen Stutzki, Linda Tacconi, Joachim Wambsganß, and Jörn Wilms.

The Denkschrift can be downloaded as PDF and can also be viewed online.


Strategy papers

The strategy papers can be downloaded individually below or as zip archive (90 MB).

  1. Extrasolar Planets and their Formation
    von C.P. Dullemond, R. van Boekel, H. Rauer, A. Reiners
  2. The Sun: a laboratory for stellar and plasma physics
    von H. Peter, M. Roth, C. Denker, A. Gandorfer
  3. Stellar Parameters, Stellar Structure and Evolution
    von M. Bergemann, A. Weiss, S. Barnes, F. Roepke
  4. Star Formation and Interstellar Medium
    von E. Schinnerer, P. Caselli, S. Walch und S. Wolf, mit Beiträgen aus der deutschen SF­ISM Community
  5. The Milky Way and the Local Volume
    von C. Chiappini, N. Christlieb, M.-R. Cioni, G. van de Ven
  6. Galaxy kinematics and evolution
    von C.J. Walcher, T. Naab, N.M. Förster Schreiber, V. Springel, D. Bomans
  7. (Active) Galactic Nuclei
    von A. Merloni, M. Brüggen, S. Gillessen, N. Neumayer
  8. Dark Energy, Dark Matter, and Large-Scale Structure
    von S. Hilbert, J. Liske, T. H. Reiprich, F. Schmidt
  9. The Early Universe from Inflation to Reionization
    von M. Bartelmann, B. Ciardi, E. Komatsu, J. Weller
  10. Fundamental Physics with Astronomical Observations: Testing Gravity and Extreme States of Matter
    von M. Kramer, L. Rezzolla und N. Wex; im Namen einer größeren Community
  11. High-energy astrophysics
    von M. Pohl, S. Funk, M. Kadler und C. Pfrommer
  12. Astronomy from Space
    von J. Wilms, K. Jahnke, H. Rauer, A. Santangelo
  13. Optical/IR Facilities
    von S. Dreizler, F. Eisenhauer, R. Gredel, A. Kelz, H. Nicklas
  14. FIR/submm/mm Facilities
    von P. Schilke, F. Walter, F. Wyrowski, mit Beiträgen aus der Community
  15. Radio astronomy infrastructures
    von E. Ros, D. J. Schwarz und C. Vocks, im Namen der deutschen astronomischen Gemeinschaft
  16. Astroparticle physics with gamma rays and neutrinos: The decade of the great observatories
    von J. Hinton, M. Kowalski und K. Mannheim
  17. Surveys
    von H. Hildebrandt, R. de Jong, J. Mohr, A. Karim
  18. Computational Astrophysics
    von T. Naab, R. S. Klessen, W. Kley, F. Röpke, mit Beiträgen aus der Computational Astrophysics Community
  19. Information Science and E-Infrastructure Challenges in Astronomy
    von K. Polsterer, H. Enke, T. Enßlin; mit Beiträgen von M. Bartelmann, B. Hoyle, J. Weller
  20. Laboratory Astrophysics of Molecular Systems and Dust
    von S. Schlemmer, C. Jäger, Th. Giesen, P. Caselli und H. Kreckel, mit Beiträgen aus der Community