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On 17 August 2017, for the first time, light – or electromagnetic radiation to be precise – has been associated with a gravitational wave signal. The GBM instrument aboard the Fermi satellite was the first to trigger on a new source at highly energetic gamma rays, which was soon confirmed by the INTEGRAL satellite. Subsequent observations by GROND later captured a fading transient at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial physics contributed to this exciting discovery from the start and confirmed its origin as being the merger of two neutron stars. 

GRB seen with gravitational waves

October 16, 2017

On 17 August 2017, for the first time, light – or electromagnetic radiation to be precise – has been associated with a gravitational wave signal. The GBM instrument aboard the Fermi satellite was the first to trigger on a new source at highly energetic gamma rays, which was soon confirmed by the INTEGRAL satellite. Subsequent observations by GROND later captured a fading transient at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial physics contributed to this exciting discovery from the start and confirmed its origin as being the merger of two neutron stars. 

[more]
Ten observatories in six European countries teamed up for recent observations of a stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Haumea, which surprisingly show a narrow and dense ring orbiting the dwarf planet. In addition, the astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and more than 50 further institutions were able to constrain the size, shape and density of Haumea,which are closer to theoretical predictions than previous estimates but still puzzling.

Ring around dwarf planet detected

October 12, 2017

Ten observatories in six European countries teamed up for recent observations of a stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Haumea, which surprisingly show a narrow and dense ring orbiting the dwarf planet. In addition, the astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and more than 50 further institutions were able to constrain the size, shape and density of Haumea,which are closer to theoretical predictions than previous estimates but still puzzling.

[more]
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.

Next Generation Astronomical Survey to Map the Entire Sky

November 16, 2017

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. [more]