On June 11, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope celebrates a decade of using gamma rays, the highest energy form of light in the universe, to study black holes, neutron stars, and other extreme cosmic objects and events. MPE scientists use data from both instruments on-board Fermi, one of which was built jointly by MPE and other institutes.
End of May, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced that Ewine van Dishoeck, External Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, is honoured with the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics “for her combined contributions to observational, theoretical, and laboratory astrochemistry, elucidating the life cycle of interstellar clouds and the formation of stars and planets”.
The next generation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-V) will move forward with mapping the entire sky following a $16 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The grant will kickstart a ground-breaking all-sky spectroscopic survey for a next wave of discovery, anticipated to start in 2020, just after the start of the all-sky survey by the MPE’s eROSITA X-ray telescope.
For the first time, an international team of astronomers led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) has observed a molecular outflow being launched from beyond the disk surrounding a young stellar object. Outflows carry away excess angular momentum and it has been proposed that these disk winds should be launched from a wide region in the protoplanetary disk. The recent observations now show that the outflows are asymmetric and that they are launched beyond the edge of the disk, at the position of the landing site of the in-falling material.
The first release of results from the Green Bank Ammonia Survey (GAS) are now being published in the Astrophysical Journal. A team from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, the University of Toronto and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics are aiming to map all Gould Belt star-forming regions visible from the northern hemisphere in the light of key molecular tracers. Accompanying the first data release, this impressive image shows ammonia molecules in a filament along a star formation region in the Orion Nebula.