MPE Press Releases (2005 - ....)

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1.2 million galaxies in 3D

July 14, 2016
Astronomers hope a new map will help to shed light on the dark side of the universe [more]
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1.2 Million Galaxies in 3D

July 14, 2016
What are the properties of Dark Energy? This question is one of the most intriguing ones in astronomy and scientists are one step closer in answering this question with the largest three-dimensional map of the universe so far: This map contains 1.2 million galaxies in a volume spanning 650 cubic billion light years. Hundreds of scientists from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III) – including researchers at the Max Planck Institutes for Extraterrestrial Physics and for Astrophyics - used this map to make one of the most precise measurements yet of dark energy. They found excellent agreement with the standard cosmological model and confirmed that dark energy is highly consistent with a cosmological constant. [more]
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Behind the scenes of protostellar disk formation 

July 11, 2016
For a long time the formation of protostellar disks – a prerequisite to the formation of planetary system around stars – has defied theoretical astrophysicists: In a dense, collapsing cloud of gas and dust, the magnetic field would be dragged to the centre as well resulting in a braking effect. Hardly any rotationally supported disk can form this way, unless the tiny grains are removed from the cloud by growing or coagulating into bigger grains. This is the result from a new study published by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and other institutions. The more realistic simulations now take into account non-ideal magneto-hydrodynamics and ionization chemistry to form a rotationally supported protostellar disk. [more]
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The ideal black hole laboratory

June 21, 2016
Successful observations with GRAVITY and the ESO 8m Very Large Telescopes [more]
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Unexpected excess of giant planets in star cluster

June 17, 2016
An international team of astronomers have found that there are far more planets of the hot Jupiter type than expected in a cluster of stars called Messier 67. This surprising result was obtained after long-term observations using a number of telescopes and instruments, which led to the discovery of three giant planets. The denser environment in a cluster will cause more frequent interactions between planets and nearby stars, which may explain the excess of hot Jupiters. [more]
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First detections of the key prebiotic molecule PO in star-forming regions

May 31, 2016
An international group of scientists from the Arcetri Astrophysical Observatoryin Florence, the Center of Astrobiology in Madrid and the Max-Plank Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has detected for the first time the prebiotic molecule PO in star-forming regions. This molecule plays a key role in the double helix structure of DNA, and is therefore directly linked to the origin of life in the Universe. [more]
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Black hole in a lonely galaxy

April 07, 2016
Astronomers find unusual descendant of a quasar [more]