The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) was founded 50 years ago, on 15 May 1963, and became a sub-institute of the MPI for Physics and Astrophsics. To commemorate this jubilee, the institute takes a look back at the various activities and groups that have left their mark at the MPE.
Unusual structures have been found in the central region of the Coma cluster. Observations with the X-ray satellites Chandra and XMM-Newton revealed remarkably long arms that tell astronomers about the collisions between Coma and other galaxy clusters over the last billion years.
Scientists at the MPE have produced the first detailed three-dimensional map of the stars that form the inner regions of our Milky Way, using publicly available VVV survey data from the science archive facility at ESO. They find a box/peanut shaped bulge with an elongated bar and a prominent X-structure.
During its five-year primary mission, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has given astronomers an increasingly detailed portrait of the universe's most extraordinary phenomena, from giant black holes in the hearts of distant galaxies to thunderstorms on Earth. But its job is not done yet. On Aug. 11, Fermi entered an extended phase of its mission -- a deeper study of the high-energy cosmos.
For the first time, physicists from the MPE, biologists and physicians demonstrated the synergistic effect of cold atmospheric plasma and chemo therapy on aggressive brain tumour cells. Laboratory tests showed that the proliferation of glioblastoma cells – the most common and aggressive brain tumour in adults – is arrested if pre-treated with cold atmospheric plasma.
The Gamma-ray burst Monitor (GBM) onboard the Fermi satellite detected a very intense signal on 27 April. This GRB lasted so long that a record number of telescopes on the ground were able to catch it while space-based observations were still ongoing.
The massive stellar clusters accompanying our galaxies as well as other galaxies have passed through a more complex evolution than previously thought. New observations have found evidence for several generations of stars, which can now be explained by a research team from MPE, the observatory of the University of Geneva, and the French science organisation CNRS.