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All News (2011 - ....)

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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]
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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]
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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]
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ROSAT – the end of an exceptional satellite

November 14, 2011
(1.June 1990 – 23. October 2011) [more]
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VLT Observations of Gamma-ray Burst Reveal Surprising Ingredients of Early Galaxies

November 02, 2011
An international team of astronomers led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has used the brief but brilliant light of a distant gamma-ray burst as a probe to study the make-up of very distant galaxies. Surprisingly the new observations revealed two galaxies in the young Universe that are richer in the heavier chemical elements than the Sun. The two galaxies may be in the process of merging. Such events in the early Universe will drive the formation of many new stars and may be the trigger for gamma-ray bursts. [more]
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Agreement on eROSITA data reached

October 19, 2011
German scientists ready for the hunt on dark energy [more]
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EUCLID space mission selected by ESA

October 04, 2011
The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, together with the Observatory of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, is a major partner in the EUCLID space mission that has been selected today by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the Cosmic Vision Program. EUCLID¿s primary goal is to study the accelerating expansion of the universe. Launch is expected by the end of 2019. [more]
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Citation landmarks for two high-energy papers

September 20, 2011
As of mid-September, there are 1000 citations for each of two papers published by the high-energy group at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics: The ROSAT source catalogue and the paper describing the focal plane instruments for the three X-ray mirror systems on board the XMM-Newton satellite. [more]
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Reimar Lüst receives honorary doctorate

September 01, 2011
The founding father and long-time director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Reimar Lüst, will receive a special distinction on 17 September: On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, the Jacobs University Bremen awards its first honorary doctorate to the astrophysicist. Reimar Lüst will be honoured for his outstanding lifetime achievements in the fields of space science and as a science manager. [more]
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Skinakas Obseravatory celebrates 25th anniversary

July 26, 2011
The Skinakas Observatory has been in existence for 25 years and this was celebrated end of May on top of the Ida mountains. Founded in 1986 by the University of Crete, the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas FORTH and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, it is used both for the training of students and basic astronomical research. Today the Skinakas Observatory has three telescopes: a 1.3m Ritchey Chrétien telescope, a 0.6m and a 0.3m telescope. The 0.6m fully robotic telescope is a joined project of the University of Crete and the University of Tübingen, Germany. [more]
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James-Maxwell-Prize for Gregor Morfill

July 19, 2011
This year's James Clerk Maxwell Prize in Plasma Physics goes to Professor Gregor Morfill, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. With the award, the American Physical Society (APS) recognizes Morfill's pioneering and seminal contributions to the field of dusty plasmas. The bestowal of the award will take place at the annual meeting of the Division of Plasma Physics to be held in Salt Lake City in November 2011. [more]
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Reinhard Genzel receives Karl Schwarzschild Medal 2011

July 13, 2011
The highest honour for astronomical research in Germany, the Karl Schwarzschild Medal of the German Astronomical Society (AG), this year goes to the Garching astrophysicist Reinhard Genzel, director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. The AG bestows the award to a researcher who made a discovery with wide-reaching consequences. Genzel and teams were able to provide evidence that the centre of our Milky Way harbours a Black Hole. This Black Hole in the galactic centre is the best empirical evidence for the existence of these exotic objects that are postulated in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. [more]
 
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