MPE Press Releases (2005 - ...)

<p>eROSITA arrives at Baikonur</p>

On 25 April 2019, the Spektr-RG Space Observatory was transported to the Baikonur Cosmodrome - the final stage in preparation for its launch on 21 June. Spektr-RG carries the X-ray telescope eROSITA, which was developed and built at MPE. Its aim is to perform a highly sensitive survey of the entire sky in X-ray light, once it arrives at its observation point L2. more

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The idea that black holes exist dates back to the 18th century more
<p>GRAVITY reveals details of a storm-wracked exoplanet </p>

The GRAVITY instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) has made the first direct observation of an exoplanet using optical interferometry. This method revealed a complex exoplanetary atmosphere with clouds of iron and silicates swirling in a planet-wide storm. The technique presents unique possibilities for characterising many of the exoplanets known today. more

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Chimneys in the Milky Way

March 26, 2019
Researchers discover unusual structures on a new X-ray map of the Galactic Centre more
<p>X-ray Chimneys in the Milky Way</p>

Outflows of matter and energy from a galaxy’s centre are considered key players in the formation and evolution of galaxies and other structures in the Universe. Astronomers led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have now created the  most extensive X-ray map of the central degrees of the Milky Way, thereby discovering a channel of X-ray emitting gas connecting the Milky Way centre to structures much further out. more

<p>RAS Honorary Fellowship in Astronomy awarded to MPE Director Ralf Bender</p>

On Friday 11 January, the Royal Astronomical Society announced that MPE Director Ralf Bender is awarded an RAS Honorary Fellowship in Astronomy for the unique combination of research leadership and institutional service. more

<p>A close-up look at the whirlpool around a gigantic black hole</p>

Detailed observations of the quasar 3C 273 with the GRAVITY instrument reveal the structure of rapidly moving gas around the central super-massive black hole, the first time that the so-called “broad line region” could be resolved. The international team of astronomers was thus able to measure the mass of the black hole with unprecedented precision. This measurement confirms the fundamental assumptions of the most commonly used method to measure the mass of central black holes in distant quasars. Studying these black holes and determining their masses is an essential ingredient to understanding galaxy evolution in general. more

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