MPE Press Releases (2005 - ....)

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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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Giant Galaxy is Still Growing

June 25, 2015
Messier 87 has swallowed an entire galaxy in the last billion years [more]
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Two international awards for Ewine van Dishoeck

June 19, 2015
The World Cultural Council honours Ewine van Dishoeck, Professor for molecular Astrophysics at the Leiden University and External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), with this year’s Albert Einstein World Award of Science. This prize is awarded to scientists for their outstanding achievements, which bring scientific progress and benefit to mankind. Furthermore, the European Astronomical Society (EAS) elected Ewine van Dishoeck as the Lodewijk Woltjer Lecturer 2015. In this capacity she will give a lecture at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS) at the end of June. The EAS recognizes with the prize her outstanding career, especially her work in the field of star- and planet-formation. [more]
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One long Milky Way bar and bulge

May 21, 2015
The Milky Way’s bar is longer, thinner, and ends closer to the Sun than previously thought. Combining several large stellar surveys, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have now mapped the complete inner region of our Galaxy, containing the majority of its stars. Because the bar is also oriented more towards the Sun, it ends much closer to us, and therefore has a greater influence on the motion of stars near the Sun.The Milky Way’s bar also gets thinner away from the centre of the galaxy. Near the end of the bar it becomes so thin that the scientists have termed the bar super-thin, and believe that the thinness of this new component is probably related to younger stars that were born with low velocities about one billion years ago. [more]
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Harvey Prize for Reinhard Genzel

April 22, 2015
On 29 April, Reinhard Genzel will receive the „2014 Harvey Prize in the field of Science & Technology” from the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa. The Harvey Prize rewards excellence by recognizing breakthroughs in science and technology and this year is awarded jointly to the director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Prof Reinhard Genzel, and the cancer researcher, Prof James P. Allison. Genzel is honoured for developing novel astronomical detectors and using them to prove that there resides a supermassive black hole at the centre of our Milky Way. [more]
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Abell 4067 shows collision of two galaxy clusters

January 16, 2015
X-ray observations by Max Planck scientists show how the two systems merge [more]