Anna Franckowiak

Anna Franckowiak

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The multi-messenger group lead by Prof. Anna Franckowiak aims for the identification of the sources of high-energy neutrinos detected by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. The first detection of a diffuse flux of high-energy neutrinos of cosmic origin opens a new window to the high-energy Universe. However, no significant cluster of neutrinos in space or time could be identified and the most pressing question in the young field of neutrino astronomy is: What are the sources of the observed neutrinos and what are the astrophysical processes within the sources that produce these neutrinos? We are aiming to probe transient neutrino source classes, including supernovae and tidal disruption events, in dedicated multi-messenger campaigns. We work with the optical survey instruments ASAS-SN and the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) as well as the gamma-ray space telescope Fermi-LAT. The group leads the development of an optical large field-of-view polarimeter following the design of the Large Array Survey Telescope (LAST).

The group played a leading role in the discovery of the first compelling neutrino source candidate, the blazar TXS 0506+056. Furthermore we identified AT2019dsg and AT2019dfr, two tidal disruption events in spatial coincidence with high-energy neutrinos.

The group started as a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at DESY in 2017 and continues as the group for Multi-Wavelength Astronomy at the University of Bochum in close collaboration with DESY.

We are part of the DFG funded collaborative research center CRC1491 led by Prof. Julia Tjus at RUB.

Prof. Dr. Anna Franckowiak
Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
E-Mail: franckowiak at



★ March 2024: We hosted the MANTS 2024 Meeting at RUB with 75 neutrino experts from all over the world.

★ March 2024: Massimiliano received the IceCube impact award for his exceptional support and improvements to two real-time software projects: SkyMist and Skymap Scanner! Congratulations, Massimiliano!

★ February 2024: Cristina graduated at HU Berlin! Congratulations, Dr. Lagunas Gualda!

★ February 2024: Angela Zegarelli and Nuria Jordana Mitjans joined the group as postdocs. Welcome, Angela and Nuria!
Angela Nuria

★ November 2023: Congratulations Elisa for winning an "ERC Consolidator Grant" to look for dark matter in an unexplored energy range!

★ September 2023: Anna presents preliminary results of our wide-field-of-view polarimeter prototype at the annual meeting of the German astronomical society. Her baby daughter already knows the exciting results and therefore sleeps soundly through the talk.

★ May 2023: Robert Stein was awarded with the Global Neutrino Network (GNN) thesis award. Congratulations, Robert!

★ April 2023: Emma Kun joined the group as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow. Welcome, Emma!

★ March 2023: Our colleagues at Weizmann Institute intalled 8 additional LAST units at the site in Neot Semadar.

★ March 2023: Robert Stein won the PhD thesis award from the German Physical Society. Congratulations, Robert! Here you see him with his proud Doktorgrossvater, Marek Kowalski.

★ March 2023: Cristina Lagunas Gualda won the IceCube Impact Award for her leadership in investigations into the characterization of track reconstruction, including angular errors, for real-time alerts. Congratulations, Cristina!

★ November 2022: Simone Garrappa spend one months in Israel to observe with one of the LAST units, where we attached our polarization filters.
SimoneObserving1 SimoneObserving2

★ September 2022: Simone Garrappa graduated at HU Berlin with summa cum laude. Congratulations Dr. Garrappa!

★ August 2022: Group excursion on the Ruhr river!
Paddling Paddling Paddling

★ June 2022: Multi-messenger cake at Anna's inaugural lecture!

★ June 2022: Vandad received the Goebel Prize, which is awarded to young members of the MAGIC Collaboration that contributed to important achievements. Together with 3 other MAGIC members Vandad received the prize “for the swift and rigorous analysis and modeling of the observations of the RS Oph August 2021 outburst, leading to the establishment of the proton acceleration in recurrent novae”.
Image credit: Chiara Righi

★ June 2022: Simeon's paper on AT2019dfr (aka Tywin) was published by PRL. Check out the press release here .

★ May 2022: Sven and Anatolii travelled to Israel to work with our colleagues at Weizmann Institute and to install our polarization filter on a 4-telescope LAST unit in the desert. Luckily, nobody was stung by a scorpion.
filters observing node

★ April 2022: MAGIC published their work on the first very-high-energy gamma-ray detection of a recurrent nova! Vandad was leading the optical observations.

★ March 2022: Sven and our high-school intern Ole Steiner took some pretty images with our LAST prototype. Here you see the Orion nebula!

★ March 2022: We had a productive week making plans to probe supernovae as high-energy neutrino sources with our two visitors Tetyana Pitik (from Copenhagen) and Steve Schulze (from Stockholm).

★ December 2021: We had a fun "postdoc retreat" at RUB with great discussions on multi-messenger topics.

★ November 2021: Watch Xavier Rodrigues' talk at the "NBIA Astroparticle Physics Seminar"

★ October 2021: The RAPP Center is looking for several PhD students . Two would work with our group: one on diffuse gamma-ray emission from the Galactic Center and the other on gamma-ray and neutrino emission from tidal disruption events.

★ October 2021: Watch Anna Franckowiak's outreach talk at "Faszination Astronomie Online" (in German).

★ July 2021: Richard Naab received an award for his Master thesis. Congratulations, Richard!

★ May 2021: Our Neutrino TDE Paper made it to the cover of Nature Astronomy!


★ May 2021: First light of LAST prototype at RUB!

LAST_sky LAST_observations

★ May 2021: Our OPTICON observing time proposal during semester 2021B was successful!
We aim to spectroscopically classify potential neutrino counterparts identified by ZTF.

★ April 2021: Anastasiia Yovych was awarded a DAAD scholarship and will join the group at RUB in October. Congratulations, Anastasiia!

★ March 2021: Robert Stein was awarded the IceCube Impact Award. Congrats, Robert!

★ February 2021: Press release on our paper about the tidal disruption event AT2019sdg in spatial and temporal coincidence with a high-energy neutrino published in Nature Astronomy.

★ January 2021: Our observing time proposal at the Gemini during semester 2021A was successful! PI is our US collaborator Mansi Kasliwal at Caltech.
We aim to spectroscopically classify potential neutrino counterparts identified by ZTF.

★ July 2020: Our observing time proposal at the Gran Telescopio Canarias during semester 2020B was successful! PI is our Spanish collaborator Pau Amaro Seoane at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, who is currently a visiting scientist at DESY.
We aim to spectroscopically classify potential neutrino counterparts identified by ZTF.

★ July 2020: The group is looking for two postdoc positions. One in Bochum and one at DESY.

★ June 2020: Our Fermi guest investigator proposal in Cycle-13 was successful! PI is Daniel Kocevski at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. With an international team of gamma-ray and neutrino astronomy experts we will use a new untriggered all sky search for neutrino clusters in IceCube data, as well as the IceCube real-time alert streams, to trigger a comprehensive search of Fermi GBM and LAT data on a variety of timescales.

★ June 2020: Check out the group's posters from Neutrino 2020. Robert's TDE poster won the poster competition!

Robert's poster: A high-energy neutrino coincident with a Tidal Disruption Event. ZTF identifies tidal disruption event AT2019dsg as a likely high-energy neutrino source.

Jannis' poster: Searching for high-energy neutrinos from core-collapse supernovae. Results of a search for high-energy neutrinos from core-collapse supernovae with 7yr of IceCube data.

Xavier's poster: Neutrinos from blazar PKS 1502+106. Cosmic-ray interactions in blazar PKS 1502+106 may help explain recent IceCube neutrino observation.

Richard's poster: Real-time identification of short transient neutrino sources within the IceCube optical follow-up program. Improvements on the IceCube real-time search for short transients.

★ March 2020: Workshop "Enabling novel real-time multi-messenger studies" in Berlin March 26-27 (held remotely).

★ October 2019: Robert Stein won the DESY Science Slam! Congratulations!