This website is obsolete since October 4, 2021 - For up-to-date information, please follow physics.muni.cz/~zajacek/
|For formal purposes:||RNDr. Michal Zajaček, PhD.|
|Where can you usually find me?||Masaryk University|
|Faculty of Science (Building 8, High Energy Astrophysics group)|
|611 37 Brno, Czech Republic|
|Where part of my soul rests:||Charles University in Prague (2012-2014)|
|Astronomical Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences (2012-continuing collaboration)|
|University of Cologne (2014-continuing collaboration)|
|Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (2017-2019)|
|Center for Theoretical Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences (2019-2021)|
|IAU member profile|
Access my photogallery
- 2004-2009: Bilingual High School studies at the Slovak-English Evangelical Lyceum in Bratislava, graduated with honours
- 2009-2012: Bachelor studies of General Physics - Charles University in Prague - awarded title BSc. (Bc.) with Summa cum Laude
- 2012-2014: Master studies of Astronomy and Astrophysics - Charles University in Prague - awarded title MSc. (Mgr.) with Summa cum Laude
- 2014: rigorosum examination - Charles University in Prague - Doctor of natural sciences (RNDr.)
- September 17, 2014 - October 12, 2017: PhD. research project "Interaction between interstellar medium and black hole environment" at the International Max Planck Research School, University of Cologne/MPIfR Bonn, Germany
In the footsteps of Milan Rastislav Štefánik
Academic and Professional background
Michal Zajaček is a postdoctoral researcher in the High Energy Astrophysics group led by Prof. Dr. Norbert Werner at the Department of Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, Masaryk University in Brno. Before he was a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Prof. Bozena Czerny at the Center for Theoretical Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw . Previously he was a junior postdoctoral researcher in the VLBI group of the Max Planck Instute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany. He continues to be a member of the Galactic centre working group of Prof. Dr. Andreas Eckart at the
University of Cologne as well as an external member of the Prague Relativistic Astrophysics Group led by Prof. Vladimír Karas. In 2014 he was selected for the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS)
programme. During his PhD studies he focused on the dynamics in galactic nuclei, especially the Galactic center,
which can be studied at very high resolution.
Michal is also a member of SFB956 Conditions and impact of star formation, where he is involved in the project 'Conditions for Star Formation in Nearby AGN and QSO Hosts', and a member of the StrongGravity consortium. In August 2016 he became an honourable member of the DAUP-Orion astronomical organization located in Makarska, Croatia. In 2018, he was accepted as a member of the International Astronomical Union - see his MEMBER PROFILE.
Michal Zajaček obtained his bachelor degree in general physics in 2012 at the Charles
University in Prague. In his bachelor thesis "Late heavy bombardment at various places
of the Solar System" supervised by Dr. Miroslav Brož he used N-body simulations to study the dynamics
of the Solar System in its early history. In 2014 he finished
the master degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the same university.
The master thesis "Neutron stars near a galactic centre", which was finished under the supervision
of Prof. Vladimír Karas from Prague Relativistic Astrophysics group, dealt with the physics of compact stellar objects
near the Galactic centre, focusing on their interaction with the ambient
medium and possible observable effects. In 2014 he was also awarded
RNDr. degree (Czech Doctor of natural sciences) by defending the enlarged and
updated master thesis.
Michal has been involved on several observational as well as theoretical projects focused on the Galactic centre physics in Prof. Andreas Eckart's group at the University of Cologne. By combining models with observations he constrained the properties of near-infrared excess sources, star-formation, stellar dynamics, and the flaring activity of Sgr A*. Moreover, he has aimed at linking the Galactic centre research with the study of galaxy evolution across optical emission line diagrams. To this aim he performed observations of galaxies from the FIRST survey with the Effelsberg radiotelescope at 4.8 GHz and 10.5 GHz.
- stellar evolution in galactic nuclei, star-jet and star-disc interactions,
- AGN feedback on small and large scales,
- reverberation mapping of quasars, Broad Line Region (BLR) radius-luminosity relationship, BLR dynamics,
- application of quasars in cosmology,
- gas and star dynamics close to the supermassive black hole,
- Galactic Center (Sgr A*):dynamics and radiative processes,
- active galactic nuclei: spectral states, radio-optical properties, jets, binary supermassive black holes
- dynamics of stellar and planetary systems,
- numerical methods.
- Astrobiology (now a hobby :))
- collisional processes in planetary systems and transport of substances,
- origin and evolution of complex organic substances.
Research papersFor an (almost) full list of research papers see my entry on ADS.
For the citation record, follow this LINK.
Curriculum VitaeDownload my CV (last update 30.08.2021).
Find more about my activities
In the News
- The last day of September I had a chance to give a talk about the short-term jet precession in the VLBI data, focusing on the blazar OJ287. A short summary of the talk is provided on the website of the Vienna Center for VLBI, read HERE (09/2021)
- A popular account of our research paper on the jet-star interaction in the Galactic Center published on NOW powered by Northrop Grumman (08/2021)
- Video by Anton Petrov (see also the link below among public videos) featuring our Astrophysical Journal paper on the red giant-jet interactions and collisions in the Galactic Center (01/2021)
- Science News article The Milky Way’s central black hole may have turned nearby red giant stars blue featuring our Astrophysical Journal paper on the depletion of bright red giants in the Galactic Center (12/2020)
- Talk "Constraining the charge of the Galactic centre black hole" presented at FISICPAC 18 conference at the University of Sharjah, UAE - DOWNLOAD (11/2018)
- Study about the charge of the Galactic centre black hole published in MNRAS article was included as a research highlight in Nature Astronomy (10/2018)
- Press release of the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIfR) based on our OJ287 study (06/2018)
- MNRAS paper by Britzen et al. "OJ287: deciphering the ‘Rosetta stone of blazars’", which I co-authored, featured in NATURE News & Views article "Jet precession in binary black holes", (05/2018)
- PhD. diploma received at the Graduation Ceremony in the Main Building of the University of Cologne - Short announcement by Prof. Zensus (28/01/2018)
- Launch of the new issue of LABAK workshop and competition for students in Slovakia that I co-founded in 2012. Read an article HERE, STARTITUP (01/2018)
- ESO Press Release of the ApJ paper "Investigating the Relativistic Motion of the Stars Near the Supermassive Black Hole in the Galactic Center" by M. Parsa et al. that I co-authored : Press release (08/2017)
- Detection of polarized continuum emission of the Dusty S-cluster Object (DSO/G2) at the Galactic centre featured in the June issue of the British Observatory magazine: Download (06/2017)
- New review paper about the supermassive black hole Sgr A* in the Galactic center by Andreas Eckart, of which I am a co-author. Link to the review paper on Springer Paper. Part of the Astronomy News on the Russian web Gazeta: NEWS. Link to Heino Falcke's Tweet about the paper: TWEET. Tweet of T. Marshall Eubanks TWEET (03/2017)
- European Southern Observatory (ESO) commemorated 10 years of the Czech Republic in ESO LINK (03/2017)
- Lecture about the Universe for the public in the wine town of Dubova, Slovakia VIDEO (in Slovak, text in English) (26/02/2017)
- A short appearence in the Czech state television (CT) expressing the view on the terrorism in Germany and elsewhere (available in Czech/Slovak; 12/2016): LINK
- Press coverage of the Cologne-Prague-Kiel meeting 2016 (CPK16) that took place at Castle Wahn, Cologne, Germany (12/2016): LINK - English version and LINK - Czech version
- Speaker and moderator at the Science Talks event - Report (in Slovak) and Photogallery (11/2016)
- The main lecturer at the annual Days of the Universe at Makarska observatory, Croatia: The press release, Makarsko Primorje (Croatian) (08/2016)
- Short write-up of the second significant detection of gravitational waves from the 228th AAS meeting in San Diego, California: "Press conference about the second detection of gravitational waves: event GW151226", ASTRO CZ (06/2016)
- Planned talk and poster presentation in the Milky Way and Dwarf Galaxies section at the 228th American Astronomical Society meeting, San Diego, California (14/06/2016), abstracts: "Character and properties of near-infrared excess sources in the Galactic centre" and "Neutron star population in the Galactic center region as a potential source of polarized X-ray emission"
- The Bachelor Thesis of Michal Zajaček about the Late Heavy Bombardment mentioned in Astrobiology study of Katharina Bosiek et al.: "Perspectives on Comets, Comet-like Asteroids, and Their Predisposition to Provide an Environment That Is Friendly to Life", Astrobiology (04/2016)
- "Stellar shock waves close to Sgr A*", ASTRO CZ (12/2015)
- "Mystery survivor of a supermassive black hole", Nature (08/2015)
- "An astrophycisist from Max Planck Institute visits the Makarska observatory", Makarsko Primorje (Croatian) (08/2015)
- "Scharfer Infrarotblick auf das Schwarze Loch im Zentrum der Milchstraße", PhysiKonkret (Press Release of the German Physics Society) (07/2015)
- "Variable and Polarised Near-infrared Emission from the Galactic Centre", The Messenger (03/2015)
- "Best View Yet of Dusty Cloud Passing Galactic Centre Black Hole", eso1512 — Science Release (03/2015)
- "A dust-enshrouded star close to the supermassive black hole", ASTRO CZ (09/2014)
- Description of my Solar energy project presented at international competition MOSTRATEC 2010 (Brazil, Novo Hamburgo), Polvo-Special Edition (10/2010)
- Video by Anton Petrov on the red giant-jet collisions and their disappearance in the Galactic Center:
- Presentation at the CFT PAS colloquium summarizing the Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 (October 28, 2020):
- High-eccentricity clouds and stars near the supermassive black hole in the Galactic center:
- A young star survives the passage close to the supermassive black hole, inspired by Valencia-S., M., Eckart, A., Zajaček, M., et al., 2015, Zajaček et al., 2014, and Zajaček et al., 2015:
- "Cologne-Prague meeting in Prague 2015: From supermassive black holes to star-formation in galactic nuclei", November 2015, Prague
- "Cologne-Prague-Kiel meeting 2016: Star formation, accretion, and feedback in galactic nuclei", November 30 - December 2, 2016, Castle Wahn, University of Cologne.
- "The Footpoint: Relativistic disk and jet modelling of Sgr A* and M87", May 8 - May 10 2017, Castle Wahn, University of Cologne.
- I am leading general physics tutorials at the University of Cologne (Atomic physics, 2016/2017)
- I have been leading astrophysics tutorials for bachelor and master students at the University of Cologne (Astrophysics II, 2015/2016)
- advisor of bachelor and master students in Prague and Cologne:
- Sebastian Vider, BSc., Thesis: Planning Mid-Infrared Observations of the Galactic Center with the James Webb Space Telescope (2017)
- Lýdia Štofanová, BSc., Thesis: Coherent dusty and gaseous structures near the Galactic center (2016)
- occasional seminars for students, e.g. a workshop on "Supermassive Black Holes and their Host Galaxies" at the weekend seminar of the Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy (BCGS) that took place on 17-19 April 2015 in Bad Honnef
- Co-founder of online student competition LABAK and author of physics and mathematics problems (2012 - now)
- Coordinator of international competition SCIENCE CUP for Slovakia in the years 2013-2017
- Co-author of several booklets for elementary and high school students: Booklet of Curious Scientists and LABAK Problem collection for students
Public outreach videos
- 6th Series of the "Interviews about the Universe" (Masaryk University, Faculty of Science) with the focus on the Galactic Center (published on May 4, 2021; speech in Slovak):
- Public lecture "Stars on Cosmic Highways" (Astronomy on Tap) (Presented in the FIDDLERS PUB, Bonn, Germany, on December 18, 2018; Speech in English):
- Activities of AMAVET SLOVAKIA and from 16:40 GRAVITATIONAL WAVES - A NEW WINDOW INTO THE UNIVERSE (in Slovak):
- Public lecture about our neighborhood in the Universe (Presented in Dubová, Slovakia, on February 26, 2017; Speech in Slovak/Slides in English):
Background photo: Sagittarius Star Cloud, Credit:The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)
Last change: 02/10/2021 by M. Zajaček .