Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle
Dr. Hannelore Hämmerle
Press Officer
Phone:+49 89 30000-3980Fax:+49 89 30000-3569

All News (2011 - ....)

Teaser image horizontal 1339764850

Tycho Brahe Prize for Reinhard Genzel

June 01, 2012
The European Astronomical Society has announced that the 2012 Tycho Brahe Prize will be awarded to Professor Reinhard Genzel, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to European near-infrared instrumentation and for ground-breaking work in galactic and extragalactic astronomy. [more]
Teaser image vertical 1339764850

How interstellar beacons could help future spacecraft find their way across the universe

April 12, 2012
The use of stars, planets and stellar constellations for navigation was of fundamental importance for mankind for thousands of years. Now a group of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching have developed a new navigation technique using the periodic signatures of neutron stars. With this method, future spacecraft will be able to navigate across the universe - independently from Earth. Team member Prof. Werner Becker presented their work at the National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester end of March. [more]
Teaser image vertical 1340035240

Ewine van Dishoeck and Peter Hagoort receive prestigious prize from Dutch Academy of Sciences

April 05, 2012
This year, the Academy Professor prize of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) is awarded to Ewine van Dishoeck, professor in molecular astrophysics at Leiden University and external scientific member of the MPE, and Peter Hagoort, professor of cognitive neurosciences at the Radboud University Nijmegen. The prizes, both 1 Million Euro, are meant as a lifetime achievement award for scientists that have proven that they are at the very top of their discipline. There are two annual prizes: one in the social sciences and humanities, the other in the natural and technical sciences. The awards ceremony will take place on 21 June 2012. [more]
Teaser image horizontal 1340035238

Observing the galaxy distribution when the universe was half its current age

March 30, 2012
Manchester, 30. March 2012 - At the UK-Germany National Astronomy Meeting NAM2012, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) team today announced the most accurate measurement yet of the distribution of galaxies between five and six billion years ago. This was the key 'pivot' moment at which the expansion of the universe stopped slowing down due to gravity and started to accelerate instead, due to a mysterious force dubbed ”dark energy". The nature of this ”dark energy" is one of the big mysteries in cosmology today, and scientists need precise measurements of the expansion history of the universe to unravel this mystery – BOSS provides this kind of data. In a set of six joint papers presented today, the BOSS team, an international group of scientists with the participation of the Max Planck Institute of Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, used these data together with previous measurements to place tight constraints on various cosmological models. [more]
Teaser image horizontal 1340035242

Plasma research for future ion propulsion system for space

March 06, 2012
In an official ceremony late February, the MPE received a certificate as an associated partner in the LOEWE-priority project "RITSAT - ion propulsion system for space" presented by the Hessian Ministry of Science and Arts. The MPE, led by Prof. Markus Thoma from the "Theory and Complex Plasmas" group will participate in the project area "Plasma Modeling" to test and model new engine concepts with simulations. [more]
Teaser image horizontal 1340035235

First ultraluminous source in Andromeda galaxy unmasked as stellar mass black hole

February 23, 2012
Detailed observations show that the first ultraluminous X-ray source detected in our neighbouring Andromeda galaxy is due to a stellar mass black hole swallowing material at very high rates. An international team of astronomers, including scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, have now published their findings in two papers. The emission of the ultraluminous source probably originates from a system similar to X-ray binaries in our galaxy with matter accreting onto a black hole, which is at least 13 times more massive than our Sun. Unlike X-ray binaries in our own Milky Way, however, this source is much less obscured by interstellar gas and dust, allowing detailed investigations also at low X-ray energies. [more]
Teaser image horizontal 1340035235

The Milky Way - tomography of a barred spiral galaxy

February 15, 2012
Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is still enigmatic. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have now modelled the components in its interior, linking new observations of projected star counts with the three-dimensional distribution of the stars: in the middle of an elongated bulge, extending some 10 000 light-years across the Milky Way centre, there is a dense, almost round distribution of stars about 4000 light-years in diameter. Further out the bulge transforms into a bar reaching out to about 15 000 light years and interacting with the Milky Way's spiral arms. In the model, these components form naturally during the intrinsic development of a disk galaxy and consist of stars made originally in the disk. Our Milky Way therefore could have started out as a pure disk galaxy. [more]
Teaser image vertical 1314888494

Crafoord Prize in Astronomy 2012 for Reinhard Genzel

January 19, 2012
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced today that the Crafoord Prize in Astronomy 2012 will be jointly awarded to Reinhard Genzel from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, and Andrea Ghez from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA "for their observations of the stars orbiting the galactic centre, indicating the presence of a supermassive black hole". [more]
Teaser image horizontal 1340035241

Linda Tacconi receives Lancelot Berkeley Prize

January 10, 2012
This week, Linda Tacconi will receive the "Lancelot M. Berkeley - New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy" during the annual winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas. In her prize lecture, the MPE scientist will talk about how powerful millimetre telescopes can probe distant, massive galaxies to reveal that they were indeed rich in molecular gas and therefore formed stars much more rapidly than galaxies today. [more]
Teaser image horizontal 1340035240

Galactic Black Hole disrupts Gas Cloud

December 14, 2011
Over the next few years, astronomers will be able to observe first-hand how the super massive black hole at the centre of our Milky Way is being fed: an international team of astronomers led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has found a gas cloud that is falling towards the black hole in the galactic centre. While some distortion due to the huge gravitational pull of the black hole can already be seen, the gas cloud will be completely disrupted and ultimately swallowed by the black hole, resulting in largely increased X-ray emission. The observations and analysis are described in a Nature paper, published online on 14 December 2011. [more]
Conica collage s 1322832475

Scharfe Augen für das VLT - NACO beobachtet seit zehn Jahren

November 25, 2011
Vor einem Jahrzehnt, am 25. November 2001, wurde das erste System mit adaptiver Optik am Very Large Telescope (VLT) der ESO installiert. Seitdem gehört die adaptive Optik zur Routine und erlaubt es den Astronomen am MPE und anderen Instituten mit scharfen Augen in den Himmel zu blicken und viele wichtige astronomische Entdeckungen zu machen. [more]
Nea blue map s 1321458197

Herschel meets asteroid – close encounter of the fast kind

November 16, 2011
It is the closest, fastest and smallest object so far seen by Herschel. In fact, such observations were not even foreseen due to technical constraints. The asteroid 2005 YU55 is moving on the sky with a speed exceeding by far Herschel's possibilities to track it. But with the help of a little trick scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and at the European Space Astronomy Centre in Spain were able to use Herschel to catch a glimpse of this asteroid shortly after it had crossed the Moon's orbit. With these observations the astronomers could determine some thermal and physical parameters. As it turned out, 2005 YU55 is somewhat smaller than had been assumed and probably might be a loose assembly of boulders, pebbles and dust. [more]
Go to Editor View
loading content