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NOVA: Water in Small Dust Grains Can Explain Large Amounts of Water on Earth

September 11, 2018
Water trapped in dust grains from which the Earth formed can explain the current large amount of water on Earth. This is suggested by scientists from the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, based on calculations and simulations. The research will appear in two articles in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. [more]
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Honorary Doctorate for Gerhard Haerendel

September 07, 2018
The University of Crete awards former MPE director Gerhard Haerendel the title of Honorary Doctor of Physics. The proposal was made by the Department of Physics and the University wishes to honour his personality, his research work as well as his educational accomplishments. In addition this honour is an acknowledgement of his contribution to the scientific development of Greece and his strong links with the University. The award ceremony will take place in October in Heraklion, Crete.  [more]
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First Successful Test of Einstein’s General Relativity Near Supermassive Black Hole

July 26, 2018
Observations of the Galactic Centre team at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) have for the first time revealed the effects predicted by Einstein’s general relativity on the motion of a star passing through the extreme gravitational field near the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. This long-sought result represents the climax of a 26-year-long observation campaign using ESO’s telescopes in Chile. [more]
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Fermi celebrates 10 years of discoveries

June 11, 2018
On June 11, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope celebrates a decade of using gamma rays, the highest energy form of light in the universe, to study black holes, neutron stars, and other extreme cosmic objects and events. MPE scientists use data from both instruments on-board Fermi, one of which was built jointly by MPE and other institutes. [more]
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Ewine van Dishoeck receives Kavli Prize in Astrophysics

June 04, 2018
End of May, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced that Ewine van Dishoeck, External Scientific Member at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, is honoured with the 2018 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics “for her combined contributions to observational, theoretical, and laboratory astrochemistry, elucidating the life cycle of interstellar clouds and the formation of stars and planets”. [more]
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Euclid NI-OA opens its eyes!

May 07, 2018
For the first time, the near-infrared optics for the Euclid satellite has produced real images under cryogenic and vacuum conditions. Euclid is an ESA mission, planned to launch in 2021 to study the “Dark Universe”. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics are responsible for the overall optical design of the near-infrared instrument NISP NI-OA, which is now fully qualified for instrument integration and will be delivered to the instrument by the end of May. [more]

Yasuo Tanaka 1931-2018

January 30, 2018
Obituary by Joachim Trümper [more]
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Ewine F. van Dishoeck receives 2018 James Craig Watson Medal

January 17, 2018
On 17 January 2018, the the US National Academy of Sciences announced that Ewine F. van Dishoeck, Leiden Observatory, Leiden University and Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, will receive the 2018 James Craig Watson Medal. She is recognized as a world leader in the fields of molecular astronomy and astrochemistry, employing observations, theory and experiments to improve our understanding of how molecules, stars and planets form. [more]
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Next Generation Astronomical Survey to Map the Entire Sky

November 16, 2017
The next generation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-V) will move forward with mapping the entire sky following a $16 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The grant will kickstart a ground-breaking all-sky spectroscopic survey for a next wave of discovery, anticipated to start in 2020, just after the start of the all-sky survey by the MPE’s eROSITA X-ray telescope. [more]
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Gamma-ray burst and its visible afterglow seen simultaneously with gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars

October 16, 2017
Simultaneous detections of a short Gamma-Ray Burst by Fermi/GBM, INTEGRAL, and as gravitational wave by LIGO/Virgo, followed by MPG/GROND multi-wavelength observations heralds the start of a new era in astronomy [more]
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Ring around a dwarf planet detected

October 12, 2017
Ten observatories in six European countries teamed up for recent observations of a stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Haumea, which surprisingly show a narrow and dense ring orbiting the dwarf planet. In addition, the astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and more than 50 further institutions were able to constrain the size, shape and density of Haumea,which are closer to theoretical predictions than previous estimates but still puzzling. [more]
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Joachim Trümper receives Cothenius medal

September 07, 2017
The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina honors Joachim Trümper, Director Emeritus at the MPE, with the Cothenius Medal for his outstanding scientific lifetime achievement. The award will be presented to Joachim Trümper at the opening ceremony of the Annual General Meeting of the Leopoldina on Friday, 22 September 2017, in Halle (Saale). [more]