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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Caught in the act: collision of two galaxy clusters ends almost deadly

January 15, 2015
Recent observations of the galaxy cluster RXCJ2359.5-6042 with the XMM-Newton space observatory reveal evidence for an ongoing merger that strips the smaller system of much of its gas. The analysis of the data by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), however, also shows that the compact core of the infalling cluster has survived this encounter so far. This bullet-like cluster goes right through the central region of the main cluster without being disrupted, but is stripped of its layers outside the core. [more]
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Gas cloud in the galactic centre

November 25, 2014
Max Planck researchers discover that two clouds belong to the same complex [more]
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Gas cloud in the galactic centre is part of a larger gas streamer

November 24, 2014
In November, astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics presented new observations of the gas cloud G2 in the galactic centre originally discovered in 2011. These data are in remarkably good agreement with an on-going tidal disruption. As a complete surprise came the discovery that the orbit of G2 matches that of another gas cloud detected a decade ago, suggesting that G2 might actually be part of a much more extensive gas streamer. This would also match some of the proposed scenarios that try to explain the presence of G2. One such model is that G2 is originating from the wind from a massive star. [more]
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Astrochemical dating of a stellar nursery

November 17, 2014
An international research team led by scientists from the Coordinated Research Center (CRC) 956 “Conditions and Impact of Star Formation” at the University of Cologne has used observations made with the GREAT instrument on board the SOFIA aircraft observatory and the APEX telescope to date the core of an interstellar cloud that is forming a group of Sun-like stars. This work, to which scientists from the University of Helsinki as well as from the Max-Planck-Institutes for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) and Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) contributed, is published in this week’s Nature journal. [more]
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Igniting a supernova explosion

July 31, 2014
High-energy observations with the INTEGRAL space observatory have revealed a surprising signal of gamma-rays from the surface of material ejected by a recent supernova explosion. This result challenges the prevailing explosion model for type Ia supernovae, indicating that such energetic events might be ignited from the outside as well – rather than from the exploding dwarf star’s centre. The scientists from the Max Planck Institutes for Extraterrestrial Physics and for Astrophysics present their findings in the current edition of Science to the astronomical community. [more]
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“Go ahead” for Athena!

June 27, 2014
ESA’s Science Program Committee (SPC) has selected the Athena project for its next large (€1bn-class) mission, due for launch in 2028. [more]
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Swiftly moving gas streamer eclipses supermassive black hole

June 23, 2014
An international team of astronomers including researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has discovered that the supermassive black hole at the heart of the galaxy NGC 5548 has recently undergone strange, unexpected behaviour rarely seen in the heart of active galaxies. The researchers detected a clumpy gas stream flowing quickly outward and blocking 90 percent of the X-rays emitted by the supermassive black hole at the centre of the galaxy. This activity may provide new insights into the interaction of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. [more]
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