Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany.
Head of the Department of High Energy Astrophysics , Space Research Institute (SRI), Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia.
Professor of Moscow Physical-Technical Institute,
Editor-in-Chief of "Pis'ma v Astronomicheskii Zhurnal" ( translated into English as "Astronomy Letters - The Journal of Astronomy and Space Astrophysics"),
Theoretical astrophysics, X-Ray astronomy, cosmology, high energy astrophysics.
Professor Sunyaev worked for several years with his teacher, Yakov B. Zel'dovich, in the Moscow Institute of Applied Mathematics, where he and Zel'dovich proposed what is known as the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, an important method for determining absolute distances and hence the Hubble constant from the effect of gas in galaxy clusters on the microwave background radiation. Sunyaev and N. Shakura developed a model of disk accretion onto black holes, and he has proposed a signature for X-radiation from matter spiraling into a black hole. He has collaborated in important studies of the early universe, including the recombination of hydrogen and the formation of the cosmic microwave background radiation. He led the team which built and operated the Kvant X-ray observatory attached to the MIR space station and also the GRANAT orbiting X-ray observatory. Kvant made the first detection of X-rays from a supernova in 1987.
American Astronomical Society, High-Energy Astrophysics Division, Rossi Prize, 1988.
International Academy of Astronautics, Basic Science Award, 1991.
Royal Astronomical Society, Gold medal, 1995.
Royal Society and COSPAR, Massey Award, 1998.
2000 Bruce Medal.
Syunyaev, R.A., "Sources of Helium 3 and Possibilities for Observing It," Astronomicheskii Zhurnal 43, 1237 (1966). [translation in Soviet Astronomy 10, 989 (1967)].
Sunyaev, R. A. & Zeldovich, Ya.B, "Formation of Clusters of Galaxies; Protocluster Fragmentation and Intergalactic Gas Heating," Astronomy & Astrophysics 20, 189-200 (1972).
Shakura, N. I. & R.A. Sunyaev, "Black Holes in Binary Systems. Observational Appearance," Astronomy & Astrophysics 24, 337-55 (1973).
Gnedin, Yu. N. & R.A. Sunyaev,"Polarization of Optical and X-radiation from Compact Thermal Sources with Magnetic Field," Astronomy & Astrophysics 36, 379-94 (1974).
Syunyaev, R.A. & N.I. Shakura, "Thermal Instability of Disk Accretion by a Black Hole," Soviet Astronomy Letters 1, 158-61 (1975). [translation]
Shakura, N. I. & R.A. Sunyaev, "A Theory of the Instability of Disk Accretion on to Black Holes and the Variability of Binary X-ray Sources, Galactic Nuclei and Quasars," MNRAS 175, 613-32 (1976).
Sunyaev, R.A. & Ya. B. Zel'dovich, "Microwave Background Radiation as a Probe of the Contemporary Structure and History of the Universe," Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 18, 537-60 (1980).
Suniaev, R.A. & Ia. B. Zeldovich, "The Velocity of Clusters of Galaxies Relative to the Microwave Background-The Possibility of its Measurement," MNRAS 190, 413 (1980).
Zeldovich, Ya.B. & R.A. Syunyaev, "The angular distribution of the microwave background, and its intensity in the direction of galaxy clusters," Soviet Astronomy Letters 6, 285-88 (1980). [translation]
Zeldovich, Ya.B. & R.A. Sunyaev, "Intergalactic Gas in Galactic Clusters, the Microwave Background Radiation and Cosmology," in Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics (Izdatel'stvo Nauka, Moscow, 1982), p. 9-65. [in Russian]
Siuniaev, R. A., et al, "Highlights from the KVANT mission," (COSPAR, International Academy of Astronautics, and IAU, Plenary Meeting, 27th, Symposium on X-ray and Gamma-rayAstronomy, 14th, Espoo, Finland, July 18-29, 1988) Advances in Space Research 10, 2, (1990), p. 41-46.
Lewin, Walter H.G., George W. Clark, & Rashid A. Sunyaev, eds., High-Energy Astrophysics: American and Soviet Perspectives, Proceedings from the U.S.-USSR Workshop on High-Energy Astrophysics, June 18-July 1, 1989 (National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1991).
Ostriker, J.P., G. I. Barenblatt & R. A. Sunyaev, eds., Zeldovich, Yakov Borisovich: Selected works, translated by A. Granik and F. Jackson from the 1985 Russian edition. Volume 2: Particles, Nuclei, and the Universe(Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 1993).
Sazonov, S.Yu. & R.A. Sunyaev, "Gas Heating Inside Radio Sources to Mildly Relativistic Temperatures via Induced Compton Scattering," Astronomy Letters 27, 481-492 (2001).
Cramphorn, C.K. & R.A. Sunyaev, "Interstellar gas in the Galaxy and the X-ray luminosity of Sgr A* in the recent past," Astron. & Astrophys. 389, 252-70 (2002) [abstract].