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Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle
Press Officer
Phone:+49 89 30000-3980Fax:+49 89 30000-3569
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All News (2011 - ....)

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Amateur satellite "MaxValier Sat" launches with µROSI

June 23, 2017
On the 23rd of June, the amateur satellite "MaxValier Sat" was successfully launched into an Earth orbit on an Indian rocket. On board: the miniature X-ray telescope μROSI, which was built by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching. Intensive work had been carried out in South Tyrol, Munich and Bremen to get all instruments ready. The MaxValier satellite is a unique cooperation between academic research, the aerospace industry and the commercial schools in Bolzano and Merano. The aim of the mission is to provide a complete survey of the sky in soft X-rays – with the data being broadcast to amateur astronomers - as well as observing the Earth’s upper atmosphere to discover an oxygen absorption line. [more]
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Radio Astronomers Peer Deep into the Stellar Nursery of the Orion Nebula

June 15, 2017
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. [more]
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Punching above its weight, a brown dwarf launches a parsec-scale jet

May 17, 2017
Astronomers led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and using the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory report the discovery of a spectacular extended jet from a young brown dwarf. With masses too low to sustain hydrogen fusion in their interiors, brown dwarfs occupy the mass range between stars and giant planets. While young stars are commonly found to launch jets that extend over a light year or more, this is the first jet with a similar extent detected from a brown dwarf. The result lends new insight into how sub-stellar objects form. [more]
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CNES and MPE sign agreement for SVOM astronomy mission

April 21, 2017
CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall and Kirpal Nandra, Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), have signed a memorandum of understanding on Germany’s contribution to the MXT and ECLAIRs instruments that CNES is developing for the French-Chinese SVOM astronomy mission. [more]
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Distant galaxies are dominated by gas and stars - where is the Dark Matter?

March 16, 2017
New observations of rotating galaxies at the peak epoch of galaxy formation, 10 billion years ago, surprisingly show that these massive, star-forming galaxies are completely dominated by baryonic or “normal” mass with dark matter playing a much smaller role in comparable regions of their outer disks than in the local universe. The international group of researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics mapped the rotation curves of six galaxies to distances of ~65,000 light years from their centres and found that their rotation velocities are not constant but drop with radius. These findings are supported by observations of more than 200 further galaxies, where different estimates of their dynamical state also indicate a high baryonic mass fraction. In addition, the analysis shows that these early galaxies had a much thicker disk with turbulent motion accounting for part of the dynamical support. These findings are published in a paper in the journal Nature as well as three accompanying papers in the Astrophysical Journal. [more]
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ALMA peers into star-forming gas regions outside our Milky Way

March 13, 2017
An international team of astronomers led by MPE has used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to zoom into sites of star formation in the nearby galaxy NGC 6822. The new ALMA observations reveal the structure of star-forming gas clouds with a high level of detail making in possible to compare it to similar regions in our home galaxy. They indicate that the physics of star formation may be the same in low mass, pristine galaxies - the building blocks of more massive galaxies - as in our own Galaxy. [more]
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1000 citations for dust scattering halos

February 23, 2017
In 1995, a paper was published about ROSAT observations of dust scattering halos, which has now reached more than 1000 citations. This makes it the top ranking paper under more than 9000 publications that mainly deal with the “hot” topics in astrophysics, such as supernovae, neutron stars, black holes, quasars or galaxy clusters. Why did a side issue such as interstellar dust receive so much attention? [more]
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A journey of a million miles begins with a single step: eROSITA travels to Russia for launch into deep space in 2018

January 20, 2017
On 20 January 2017, the completed eROSITA X-ray telescope boarded a cargo plane and was transported from Munich, where it had been built at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, to Moscow. Like any other passenger, it had to pass customs before journeying onwards towards the premises of Lavochkin Association, in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, where it is expected to arrive on 25 January. There it will be further tested and integrated with the ‘SRG’ spacecraft in preparation for launch in spring 2018. It will then take another three months to arrive at its final destination, about 1.5 million kilometres from Earth. From there, eROSITA will produce a new map of the Universe in X-rays, revealing how the largest cosmic structures evolve. [more]
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Pan-STARRS releases catalogue of 3 billion astronomical sources

December 19, 2016
The Pan-STARRS project, including astronomers at the Max Planck Institutes for Astronomy in Heidelberg and for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, is publicly releasing the world’s largest digital sky survey today. The catalogue is based on 4 years of observations of 3/4 of the night sky and provides extensive information on more than 3 billion stars, galaxies and other sources.  [more]
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International team discovers major supercluster of galaxies hidden by Milky Way

November 16, 2016
An international team of astronomers has discovered a previously unknown major concentration of galaxies in the constellation Vela, which they have dubbed the Vela supercluster. The gravitational attraction from this large mass concentration in our cosmic neighbourhood may have an important effect on the motion of our Local Group of galaxies including the Milky Way. It may also help to explain the direction and amplitude of the Local Group’s peculiar velocity with respect to the Cosmic Microwave Background. [more]
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A galaxy with a double heart

October 14, 2016
Recent high-resolution images of the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 5419 clearly show a double nucleus. The nature of this structure remained unclear until scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics measured the velocities of the stars. A detailed analysis of the images and kinematic data suggests that this galaxy hosts two supermassive black holes at its centre, with a total mass of at least 7 billion solar masses and a separation of only some 200 lightyears. [more]
 
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