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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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Swiftly moving gas streamer eclipses supermassive black hole

June 23, 2014
An international team of astronomers including researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has discovered that the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548 has recently undergone strange, unexpected behaviour rarely seen in the heart of active galaxies. The researchers detected a clumpy gas stream flowing quickly outward and blocking 90 percent of the X-rays emitted by the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. This activity may provide new insights into the interaction of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. [more]
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Reinhard Genzel becomes member of the order “pour le mérite”

June 18, 2014
On 1 June 2014, the chancellor of the order “pour le mérite for sciences and arts”, Prof Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, presented MPE director Reinhard Genzel officially with the golden medal of the order in the presence of German federal president Joachim Gauck, who is the patron of the order. The ceremony took place during the spring meeting of the order in Berlin. The chapter of the order had voted for Genzel already in autumn 2013 during its meeting in Regensburg. [more]
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Rotating globular clusters

May 07, 2014
Recent observations of globular clusters with the VIRUS-W instrument at the McDonald observatory revealed a rotation signal at the centre of these huge agglomerations of stars. This finding is very surprising, as the astronomers expected that any central rotation should have been erased by now due to the old age of these clusters. In addition, the astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and the University of Texas found that the rotation axis agrees with the slight elongation found for some of the clusters, indicating that this flattening is caused by rotation. [more]
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Bridging the gaps

April 10, 2014
Centre for Astrochemical Studies opens at MPE [more]
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Interview with Prof. Paola Caselli, coming soon as director to MPE

February 17, 2014
Starting 1st April 2014, Paola Caselli will take up a directorship at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics. So far, she held several research positions at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the University of California at Berkeley, the Harvard University, and the Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (INAF), and is currently part of the astrophysics group at Leeds University. Her main research interests are astrochemistry, galactic and extragalactic star and planet formation, molecular astrophysics and astrobiology. [more]
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Karl Schuster becomes external scientific member at the MPE

February 04, 2014
The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics is pleased to announce that Dr Karl Schuster, director of the Institute for Radio Astronomy at Millimetre wavelengths (IRAM) in Grenoble, has been appointed as external scientific member at the MPE. By developing detectors and receiver systems and with the NOEMA project - an extended IRAM millimetre interferometer - he makes significant contributions to using millimetre and sub-millimetre wavelengths for a wide range of astronomical topics. [more]
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Water ice in the asteroid belt

January 23, 2014
Herschel detects water vapour on Ceres [more]
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First Planet Found Around Solar Twin in Star Cluster

January 15, 2014
MPE astronomers have used ESO's HARPS planet hunter in Chile, along with other telescopes around the world, to discover three planets orbiting stars in the cluster Messier 67. Although more than one thousand planets outside the Solar System are now confirmed, only a handful have been found in star clusters. Remarkably one of these new exoplanets is orbiting a star that is a rare solar twin — a star that is almost identical to the Sun in all respects. [more]
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Herschel Medal for Reinhard Genzel

January 14, 2014
At its “ordinary meeting” on 10 January 2014, the Royal Astronomical Society announced that Professor Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, and the University of California, Berkeley, will receive the Herschel Medal in 2014 for his outstanding contributions to observational astrophysics. RAS President, Professor David Southwood, will present Genzel with the award during the UK national astronomy meeting in Portsmouth at the end of June. [more]
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One-Percent Measure of the Universe Constrains Dark Energy

January 08, 2014
At the January AAS meeting, researchers from the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) announced that they have measured the distance to galaxies more than six billion light years away to an accuracy of one percent. Together with information on the rate at which the Universe was expanding, these measurements allow the scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics to place powerful constraints on the properties of the mysterious Dark Energy. This component is thought to be responsible for the current accelerated expansion of the Universe. [more]
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Parents’ Office at MPE

December 19, 2013
For more than half a year, since May 2013, parents with young children benefit from a new service at MPE: the Institute now offers a parents office which provides a laptop workplace for parents, and toys as well as a bed and a changing table for children. The parents office is open to all MPE employees and IMPRS students with children, who need the room once in a while, e.g. on a day when their usual childcare is unavailable. It is located next to the print shop, in room 2C7. [more]
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Universe PhD Awards for Oliver Pfuhl

December 12, 2013
This year’s “Universe Award” in the category “experiment” goes to Oliver Pfuhl from the IR group at MPE. In his dissertation he developed innovative components for the GRAVITY interferometer. The prize for the best theoretical work was awarded to Martin Winkler (TUM). During the Science Week 2013 of the excellence clusters both junior scientists were presented with their awards, which are endowed with 2000 Euros each.   [more]
 
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