Dr. Ke Wang

Welcome to my home page! I am a research associate at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Garching Headquarters in Germany.

I study the formation of high-mass stars by observing their parent molecular clouds at high angular resolution, using submm/mm/cm interferometers including ALMA, SMA, VLA, CARMA, plus space- and ground-based single dish telescopes including Herschel, IRAM 30m, GBT, APEX, CSO, Nobeyama, and KOSMA.

How did I become an astronomer? Find my personal profile in this ESO Messenger article for a glimpse. As a continuation of my ESO fellowship (2012-2015), I spend some of my working time at the European ALMA Regional Center (EU ARC), where I enjoy serving as an astronomer on duty (AoD), contact scientist (CS), and data analyst (QA2) at the EU ARC, which means I visit the ALMA site in Chile, communicate with ALMA observers about updates of their observing projects, reduce fresh ALMA data right after observations, and make data products deliverable to PIs.


Web www.eso.org/~kwang
kwang at eso.org
Telephone+49 89 3200 6575
OfficeHQ 508
Adress European Southern Observatory
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2
D-85748 Garching bei München
(Note: this site is under active construction, stay tuned!)

3D structure of the Snake IRDC. Use mouse to rotate and zoom. More information in this book chapter and this paper.


2017-Dec-22: ESO-ARO public survey SAMPLING: Data Release 1 is available for download. See formal publication here.
2017-Dec-04: ESO-ARO public survey SAMPLING: Data Release 1 sent to team members for viewing.
2017-Nov-13: VLA semester 18A proposal approved for investigating outflow feedback in infrared dark clouds. Observations expected in June/July 2018.
2017-Oct-27: ESO-ARO public survey SAMPLING: submitted schedule for 2017/18 winter semester. Observations start in February 2018.
2017-Oct-19: ESO-ARO public survey SAMPLING: submitted proposal to compensate weather loss in previous semesters.
2017-July-27: ALMA cycle 5 results: 1/2 PI project highly ranked, 10/22 co-I projects approved.
2017-June-9~12: Astronomy Research Forum at Nanjing University, Talk: "The initial conditions of high-mass star formation revealed by ALMA".
2017-January-21~25: Observations at Nobeyama Radio Observatory, Japan
2017-January-18~19: Visiting NAOJ Mitaka, Seminar: "Building the Galactic Filaments Atlas"
2016-September-21: Proposal to Nobeyama 45m Radio Telescope approved for mapping the gas kinematics in Galactic large-scale filaments, including "bones".
2016-September-08: Paper on 3D Galactic large-scale filaments census is published in ApJS. The paper is highlighted on AAS NOVA and many other medias including Space.com.
2016-August-08: ALMA Cycle 4 proposal approved for CMF (core mass function) evolution.
2016-June-26~July 1: EPoS - The Early Phase of Star Formation, Ringberg Castle, Kreuth, Germany.
2016-June-18~24: ALMA Cycle 4 proposal review, Vienna, Austria.
2016-June-1~3: Galactic cold cores workshop, Budapest, Hungary.
2016-Feb-22~24: ALMA 12m+7m+TP Combination Workshop, Garching.
2015-Oct-27~30: ALMA all-hands meeting, Smogen, Sweeden.
2015-Aug-11: ALMA cycle 3 proposal approved.
2015-Aug-08: Received ALMA cycle 2 data.
2015-July-01: I am leading an ESO public survey on Planck all-sky cold clumps. The survey is awarded 618 hours at the 10m SMT in Arizona in the coming three years. We are preparing the observations, which will start in October 2015.
2015-May-28: Press release! My study on Galactic large-scale filaments is highlighted by ESA Image Release "Threading the Milky Way" and ESA Feature Article "Herschel's hunt for filaments in the Milky Way".
2015-April-15~17: LOC in the ALMA/Herschel Archival Workshop, ESO Garching. Talk slides.
2015-April-13~15: CASA and OT tutor on ESO ALMA Cycle 3 Community Days.
2015-January-13~15: Chair of the "ALMA day" in Workshop on AGN Fueling and Star Formation, Lijiang, China
2014-Nov-06: ALMA long baseline commission took a revolutionary image of a young solar system HL Tau.
2014-Nov-04: My second book is formally published by Springer: "The Earliest Stages of Massive Clustered Star Formation: Fragmentation of Infrared Dark Clouds" .
2014-Nov-02: My IRAM 30m proposal is accepted (A rated)
2014-Sep-30~Oct-02: ARC all-hands meeting at Autrans, France
2014-Sep-15: My DFG priority program ISM-SPP proposal is fully approved
2014-Aug-10~20: Astronomer on Duty at ALMA OSF, Chile
2014-July-23: My series of studies on IRDCs highlighted in SMA Newsletter (issue July 2014) in article "Most In-depth View of the Initial Stages of Massive Clustered Star Formation" .
2014-July-7~11: Workshop "Mass assembly from clouds to clusters", Haus Sexten, Via Dolomiti, Italy
2014-June-24: My research highlighted at the SMA 10 year anniversary "Celebrating a Decade of Discovery" .
2014-June-20: My poster at the EPoS 2014 conference downloadable from here .
2014-June-19: My DFG priority program ISM-SPP proposal is recommended for full funding by the reviewers.
2014-Apr-17: My abstract accepted to EWASS 2014 in Symposia 10: "mm/submm astronomy in the ALMA era".
2014-Apr-09: ALMA cycle 2 results: 1 PI and 2 co-I projects approved.
2014-Apr-1~7: ALMA QA2 training in Garching
2014-Mar-30: My first internal beta release of pixSED v0
2014-Mar-20: ALMA featured in major medias: article, photos
2014-Mar-17: My DFG priority program proposal submitted
2014-Mar-14: Back from ALMA cycle 2 proposal review, results should come out around "mid-April"
2014-Feb-26: Press release! My study on IRDC G11.11-0.12 highlighted by Harvard CfA and UK Royal Astronomical Society, among many other medias word wide.
2014-Feb-15: My abstract accepted to EPoS 2014
2013-Nov-21: Back from AoD trip to ALMA OSF. I resumed cycle 1 observations out of multiple delays :-)
2013-Dec-12: Received permissions to publish my thesis in Springer, start to prepare the manuscript.
2013-Dec-05: Submitted ALMA cycle 2 proposals: PI on 1, co-I on 6 proposals.
2013-Oct-25: My project "Galactic cold interstellar filaments" phase II approved by Hi-GAL consortium.
2012-Dec-20: Received Springer Theses Prize.
2012-Aug-01: My book, Chinese translation of "Super Stars" published (I didn't like the Chinese title they forced me!)

Research Interests

Initial conditions of high-mass star formation
Infrared dark clouds, molecular filaments
submm/mm/cm interferometric observations


European Southern Observatory, Garching Headquarters, Germany
(Funded by DFG Priority Program 1573 "Physics of the Interstellar Medium")

ESO Fellow
European Southern Observatory, Garching Headquarters, Germany
(Close collaboration with Leonardo Testi)

Erasmus Mundus Lotus Post-doctoral Fellow
Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, The Netherlands
(Close collaboration with Floris van der Tak)

Submillimeter Array (SMA) Pre-doctoral Fellow
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge MA, USA
(Supervised by Qizhou Zhang)


Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Peking University, Beijing, China (highest distinction)
Thesis: "The Earliest Stages of Massive Clustered Star Formation: Fragmentation of Infrared Dark Clouds"
Supervisors: Qizhou Zhang (Harvard CfA), Yuefang Wu (Peking University)
Annual Research Review Committee: Philip C. Myers, Tirupati K. Sridharan (Harvard CfA)

B.S. in Physics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China (highest distinction)
Thesis: "Circumstellar Habitable Zones of Solar-like Stars"
Supervisor: Xiaowei Liu (Peking University)

Tsinghua High School, Chongqing, China (highest distinction)

Journal Papers

See my papers in this ADS library

Reviews and Conference Proceedings

1. From ATLASGAL to SEDIGISM: Towards a Complete 3D View of the Dense Galactic Interstellar Medium
Schuller, F.; Urquhart, J.; Bronfman, L.; Csengeri, T.; Bontemps, S.; Duarte-Cabral, A.; Giannetti, A.; Ginsburg, A.; Henning, T.; Immer, K.; Leurini, S.; Mattern, M.; Menten, K.; Molinari, S.; Muller, E.; Sánchez-Monge, A.; Schisano, E.; Suri, S.; Testi, L.; Wang, K.; Wyrowski, F.; Zavagno, A.
2016, The Messenger, vol. 165, p. 27-33

2. Most In-depth View of the Initial Stages of Massive Clustered Star Formation
Wang, Ke; Zhang, Qizhou
SMA Newsletter, issue July 2014


1. "The Earliest Stages of Massive Clustered Star Formation: Fragmentation of Infrared Dark Clouds"
Wang, Ke
Springer, 2014

2. Chinese translation of "Super Stars"
Wang, Ke
Anhui Children's Publishing House, 2012, ISBN: 9787539761626
(a popular science book for kids, original author David A. Aguilar)

Observing Experience

Summary since Feb 2009: I've visited all these telescopes and operated most of them:

Functional and Science Duties



Public Outreach

I am enthusiastic to tell the general public about the beauty of our Universe and to share fresh, exciting research results of my own. My wife, Dr. Xiaojin An is always my first listener and reader.

Spare Time

When I am not doing astronomy, I love cooking, skiing, running, and writting (basically food, sports, and sort of literature :-). From 2003 to 2008 I have run the Beijing Marathon yearly, achieved my personal record 3h32m29s in 2006. Since 2013 I started to participate in the Garchinger Runde, in the lovely town we live in. In winter 2013/14, I learned skiing and immediately fell in love with the Alps.