Jacco Vink

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I am an associate professor, working in the field of high energy astrophysics. I am located at the Astronomical Institute Anton Pannekoek at the University of Amsterdam and I am a member of GRAPPA.


My research focusses on cosmic ray acceleration by supernova remnants, but I am also interested, and have published on, other aspects of supernova remnants, and on isolated neutron stars, magnetars, pulsar wind nebulae, clusters of galaxies and AGN.


I am a member of the H.E.S.S. consortium and involved in the future Cherenkov observatory CTA.


Research group members

Toktam Calven (PhD student)

Rachel Simoni (PhD student)


Past group members

Dr Klara Schure

Dr Eveline Helder

Dr Daria Kosenko

Dr Alexandros Chiotellis

Dr Sjors Broersen



PhD theses supervised

Klara Schure, Supernova remnants as particle accelerators and probes of the circumstellar medium (6/2010)

Eveline Helder, Cosmic-ray acceleration in supernova remnants (9/2010)

Alexandro Chiotellis, The interaction of Type Ia supernovae with their circumstellar medium (16/12/2013)

Sjors Broersen, X-ray spectral analysis of non-equilibrium plasmas in supernova remnants (10/9/2014)

Personal stuff: my old page with New York photos (including the Brooklyn rainy wedding) can be found here.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, and for astronomers at a relatively nearby distance of 170 000 light years.


The H.E.S.S. Cherenkov telescope array looked at the the brightest starforming region in this galaxy for 260 hours and detected a trio of very powerful gamma-ray sources: the super bubble 30 Dor C, the pulsar wind nebula N 157B and the 3000 yr old supernova remnant N132D (see the photo-montage).


Of these three source 30 Dor C is in particular very interesting as this for the first time that gamma-ray radiation from a superbubble is detected. Superbubbles are evacuated regions in the interstellar medium created by prodigious star formation, which leads to powerful stellar winds and a rapid succession of supernova explosions.


It has been hypothesized in the past that superbubble could accelerate particles (protons, electrons and other charged particles) to very high energies. These energetic particles should emit gamma-rays. This has been measured now for the first time. It could well be that the conditions for acceleration to high energies is caused by a very large rapidly (2000 km/s) expanding shell with a radius of more than 150 light year. It was probably created by the last supernova that went of in very tenuous medium created by previous supernovae and stellar winds.


N132D is of interest as with 3000 yr it is one of the oldest supernova remnants still emitting very high energy gamma-rays. This means N132D is a transition object, and therefore of great interest to study why and when supernova remnants seize to be very high energy gamma-ray emitters.


N157B is pulsar wind nebula powered by a pulsar as energetic as the Crab pulsar in the Milky Way. Nevertheless N157B appears a more powerful gamma-ray emitter than the Crab nebula. The probable reason is that there is much more light penetrating N157B. The energetic electrons scatter this light to very high energies, resulting in gamma-ray emission.


The study has appeard in Science Magazine: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6220/406

“The exceptionally powerful TeV γ-ray emitters in the Large Magellanic Cloud”

The H.E.S.S. Collaboration

Corresponding authors: Nukri Komin, Chia-Chun Lu, Michael Mayer, Stefan Ohm & Jacco Vink.

Jacco Vink   -   Anton Pannekoek Institute/GRAPPA  -  Last Update: Jan 24, 2015