In 2013, the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics celebrated its 50th anniversary, on 15. May 1963 the department at the MPI for Physics and Astrophysics was converted into an independent institute with Prof. Lüst as its first director. Only one year later, the scientists could move into their new building on the Garching campus.
Today the MPE consists of four scientific groups that are each headed by a director. The research areas range from the physics and chemistry of stars and the interstellar matter, to exotic objects such as neutron stars and black holes, to near-by and far galaxies and cosmology. In their research, the scientists use mainly experimental methods and observe the cosmos across more than twelve orders of magnitude in the electromagnetic spectrum.