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All News (2011 - ...)

For the first time, astronomers have observed a conveyor belt from the outskirts of a star-forming dense cloud directly depositing material near a pair of young forming stars. Scientists at the German Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) and the French Institut de Radioastonomie Millimétrique (IRAM) found that gas motions in the conveyor belt, dubbed a 'streamer', mainly obey the gravitational pull of the innermost part of the core, near the protostar pair.  The streamer delivers a large amount of gas with chemicals recently produced in the mother cloud surrounding the star-forming region directly to the young protostars at the center of the core.  These results are striking evidence that the large-scale environment around forming stars has an important influence on small-scale disk formation and evolution. more

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) released today a comprehensive analysis of the largest three-dimensional map of the Universe ever created, filling in the most significant gaps in our possible exploration of its history. The collaboration, including researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, was able to obtain the most accurate measurements of the expansion history of our Universe over the widest-ever range of cosmic time. more

ESA’s Euclid mission to study more than a billion galaxies is a step closer to launch as its two instruments are now built and fully tested, including the complex near Near-Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer (NISP) instrument delivered by an international consortium coordinated by France, with partners from Italy, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Norway and the United States. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics are responsible for the overall optical design of the near-infrared instrument NISP NI-OA. more

A study led by Alejandra Yrupe Fresco (Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics) during her stay at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has revealed the dim core and the jet structure in the nuclear region of M87, the brightest galaxy in the Virgo cluster. The observations were acquired in early April 2017, almost simultaneously with the Event Horizon Telescope campaign that delivered the world famous first image of the event horizon in a black hole in the nucleus of the galaxy M87. more

The eROSITA telescope has provided a new, sharp view of hot and energetic processes across the Universe. more

Additional images from the first all-sky survey by the eROSITA X-ray telescope.
You are free to use the images for your eROSITA reporting, please give the appropriate credit with each image. more

Laboratory experiments performed at the Centre for Astrochemical Studies (CAS) of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Munich, together with astronomical observations conducted by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), lead to the identification of a new molecule in the molecular cloud known as G+0.693-0.027, close to the Galactic centre. The newly discovered molecule is called propargylimine: according to the experts, this chemical species may play a fundamental role in the formation of amino acids, among the key ingredients for life as we know it. more

High-resolution observations of a young star forming system clearly unveil a pair of proto-stars at their earliest stages of evolution deeply embedded within the source IRAS 16293-2422 in the Ophiuchus molecular cloud. The team led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics used the ALMA interferometer not only to pin down the source configuration, but also to measure the gas and stellar kinematics, determining the mass of the young binary. The two close proto-stars are somewhat heavier than previously thought and they revolve around each other once in about 400 years. more

Observations led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have revealed for the first time that a star orbiting the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way moves just as predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Its orbit is shaped like a rosette and not like an ellipse as predicted by Newton's theory of gravity. This long-sought-after result was made possible by increasingly precise measurements with ESO telescopes over nearly 30 years, which have enabled scientists to unlock the mysteries of the behemoth lurking at the heart of our galaxy. more

Obituary for Reimar Lüst

March 31, 2020

MPE founding director passes away at the age of 97 more

MICADO, the first dedicated imaging system for ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), has reached an important milestone in its design review. The MICADO consortium, together with a group of external experts from around the world, met at ESO’s Garching headquarters for a week of intense examination of the instrument’s optics, mechanics, software, electronics, and budget plan to identify any areas which needed further design work. After the meeting, the MICADO team addressed all of the major concerns raised during the review and the instrument has now formally passed its preliminary design review. A more detailed design phase is now underway, leading towards the final design review and construction of the instrument’s many components. more

X-ray observatory XMM-Newton shows large scale plasma motion more

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