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

Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik

MPE Press Releases (2005 - ....)

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Gamma rays reveal pair plasma from a flaring black hole binary system

February 29, 2016
ESA’s INTEGRAL observatory saw the microquasar V404 Cygni flaring in June last year, which helped a team of astronomers led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics to discover electron-positron pair plasma from the black hole’s immediate surrounding. In such a binary system, a stellar black hole swallows matter from a companion star, but also ejects a two-sided jet. An accretion disk can be seen in X-ray emission, while radio observations show escaping plasma clouds in jets far out. The relation between accretion and ejection is completely unknown, as are processes which happen close to the black hole. Radiation near the black hole should be energetic enough to produce electrons and their anti-matter partners, the positrons, creating so-called ‘pair plasma’. The INTEGRAL data now showed a clear signature of this materialisation of radiation into pair plasma, as the escaping positrons emit a characteristic gamma-ray signal. This was discovered by the Max Planck scientists. [more]
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First Light For Future Black Hole Probe

January 13, 2016
Successful commissioning of GRAVITY at the VLTI [more]
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MPE contribution to Euclid takes next hurdle

December 16, 2015
The complex optics being developed at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics for the near-infrared instrument NISP aboard the Euclid space telescope has passed its Critical Design Review and will now enter the construction phase. From 2020 onwards and with the help of this instrument as well as an imaging camera for visible light, the Euclid satellite is expected to map the universe more accurately than ever before. Scientists will thus be able to track the history of the universe more accurately and to get valuable insights into the mysterious components of the universe, "dark energy" and "dark matter". [more]
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Kick-off for a new era of precision astronomy

October 06, 2015
Start of the Preliminary Design Phase for the MICADO camera for the E-ELT [more]
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The turbulent heart of the Milky Way

August 20, 2015
Using the X-ray satellite XMM-Newton, astronomers observe the events around the black hole at the centre of our galaxy [more]
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CSI: The heart of the Milky Way

August 19, 2015
An international team of astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has been scouring cosmic images of X-ray emission, hunting for elusive clues that reveal the culprit responsible for violent acts that have left deep scars on the heart of the Milky Way. The prime suspect is the supermassive black hole lurking at the centre of the Milky Way, with a number of massive stars also implicated as suicide bombers. [more]
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Treasure hunting in archive data reveals clues about black holes’ diet

July 23, 2015
Using archival data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, as well as from the XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray telescopes, a team of astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have discovered a gigantic black hole, which is probably destroying and devouring a big star in its vicinity. With a mass of 100 million times more than our Sun, this is the largest black hole caught in this act so far. The results of this study are published in this month’s issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. [more]
 
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