User:Markus Pössel/Thomas Henning

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Thomas Henning
Born 1956 (age 60–61)
Jena, Germany
Residence Germany
Nationality Germany
Alma mater Greifswald University (Diploma) / University of Jena (PhD)
Scientific career
Fields Physics, Astronomy
Institutions Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Thomas Henning (born 1956) is a German Astrophysicist. Since 2001, he is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy. Henning is an expert in the field of star and planet formation.

Education and career[edit]

Henning studied physics and mathematics at the University of Greifswald, specializing in plasma physics. He continued his studies at the University of Jena, specializing in astronomy and astrophysics and obtaining his PhD in 1984. After joining Charles University in Prague as a postdoc (1984-1985), Henning returned to Jena where he served as an assistant at Jena Observatory, completing his habilitation in 1989. He then became a guest scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn 1989-1990 and a guest lecturer at the University of Cologne in 1991. Henning returned to the University of Jena that same year, taking over as managing scientist of the Max Planck Research Unit "Dust in Star-Forming Regions", a post he held until 1996. Henning became a professor at Jena University in 1992.[1]

In 1999, Henning became Chair of Astrophysics at Jena University; a position he was to hold until 2002. At the same time, he became Director of the Astrophysical Institute and of Jena Observatory. The same year, he was chosen as a fellow of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and served as a guest professor at the University of Amsterdam. Between 2000 and 2007, he was co-chair of the DFG research group "Laboratory Astrophysics" in Chemnitz and Jena. Since 2001, Henning is a director and scientific member at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, where he is head of the planetary and star formation department. He retains his professorship at Jena and, in 2003, joined the faculty at Heidelberg University as an honorary professor.[1]

The asteroid 30882 has been named "Tomhenning" in his honour.[2]


Henning works in the field of star and planet formation. One of his areas of specialization is the observation and modelling of protoplanetary diskss around young stars -- an early stage in the evolution of planetary systems. To this end, Henning has also done research on the properties of interstellar dust and, more generally, on the physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium -- both theoretically and using the methods of laboratory astrophysics and observational astronomy. The focus of his observational work is at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths.[3]

Throughout his career, Henning has been involved in large cooperative research projects, such as instrument-building for the ESA space telescope Herschel, for the James Webb Space Telescope and for the telescopes of the European Southern Observatory; construction of the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona; the Spitzer Legacy Project "Formation of Planetary Systems", several Herschel legacy projects, the Pan-STARRS survey and the HAT-South transit network. Henning is a member of several astronomical steering and advisory committees, including the CAHA board, the boards of directors of the LBT and of PS1,and the scientific advisory council of the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg.[4]


  1. ^ a b Biographical note on the pages of the Max Planck Society (last accessed on 2011-10-15) and entry for Thomas Henning in Who's Who at Jena University (last accessed 2011-02-19).
  2. ^ Data base entry for minor planet 30882 at the Minor Planet Center (last accessed 2011-02-19).
  3. ^ Entry for Thomas Henning in the Membership directory on the web pages of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (last accessed 2011-10-15)
  4. ^ Sections "Forschungsprojekte" and "Mitgliedschaften und Funktionen" in the entry for Thomas Henning in Who's Who at the University of Jena (last accessed 2011-02-19.

External links[edit]

Category:1956 births Category:Living people Category:German physicists Category:German astronomers Category:Fellows_of_the_Leopoldina