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

Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik

MPE Press Releases (2005 - ....)

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Looking for clues in the cosmic network

April 02, 2012
Observing the galaxy distribution when the universe was half its current age [more]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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A big meal coming up for galactic black hole

December 14, 2011
Astronomers discover a gas cloud which will soon be swallowed up by the object Saggitarius A* [more]
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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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The magnetic field pattern of the Milky Way

December 06, 2011
New all-sky map shows complex structure of magnetic fields in unprecedented detail [more]
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