People and Project News


ALMA and Rosetta map the journey of phosphorus

Phosphorus, present in our DNA and cell membranes, is an essential element for life as we know it. But how it arrived on the early Earth is something of a mystery. Astronomers including researchers of the CAS group at MPE have now traced the journey of phosphorus from star-forming regions to comets using the combined powers of ALMA and the ESA space probe Rosetta. Their research shows, for the first time, where molecules containing phosphorus form, how this element is carried in comets, and how a particular molecule may have played a crucial role in starting life on our planet.

With the start of the SRG all-sky survey, eROSITA promises most accurate maps of the X-ray sky ever

December 08, 2019

Launched from Baikonur on July 13th 2019 to the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L2), the Russian-German SRG mission has now started its main task. On December 8th, after an extensive program of commissioning, calibration and performance verification of its two X-ray telescopes (ART-XC and eROSITA), the satellite has begun observing the sky in continuous scanning mode. As SRG follows the revolution of Earth, and hence also of the L2 point, around the Sun, it will perform eight complete surveys of the whole sky, one every six months, for the next 4 years. Pre-launch predictions suggest that, over that time, the eROSITA instrument, conceived, designed and built at MPE, should discover approximately 100,000 clusters of galaxies, around 3 million accreting supermassive black holes and half a million active stars.

Ewine van Dishoeck receives Karl Schwarzschild Medal 2019

Ewine van Dishoeck, Professor for molecular astropyhsics at University Leiden and external scientific member at the MPE, receives the Karl Schwarzschild Medal 2019 for her research on the formation of stars and planets. She has made important contributions to our understanding of the matter between stars: large clouds of gas and dust that are the birthplaces for solar systems like ours. By using observations, theory and experiments, she has shown how molecules form and evolve in these interstellar clouds. By studying interstellar molecules, she made significant impact on the understanding of the formation of stars and planets.
The award ceremony will take place during the Annual Meeting of the Astronomical Society 16.-20. September 2019 in Stuttgart.

Upcoming events

ASKAP's ORCs, AGN and SNRs - early results

Jan 17, 2020 11:00 - 12:00
MPE, Room: Old Seminar Room, X2 209

The young and the wild: What happens to protoclusters forming at z=4?

Jan 17, 2020 15:00 - 16:00
ESO Headquarters, Garching, Room: ESO library (room 365)

The Standard Model is Just the Beginning

Jan 20, 2020 14:00 - 15:00
Max-Planck-Institut für Physik / MPP, (Werner-Heisenberg-Institut), Föhringer Ring 6, 80805 München , Room: Auditorium

Exploring the primordial Universe

Jan 20, 2020 15:30 - 16:30
MPA, Room: Large Seminar Room E.0.11.

"Meet the speaker''

Jan 20, 2020 16:00 - 17:00
Physik LMU, Schellingstr. 4, Munich , Room: 522

Tracing mass accretion in the young population of the NGC1333 cluster

Jan 21, 2020 10:00 - 11:00
ESO Headquarters, Garching, Room: Fornax Room

MPG Advent Calendar

Our online science advent calendar is back! Each day until December 24, we will open a door of our advent calender for you to dazzle you with images from science and provide the scientific background to the image. Enjoy!

This year's background image of our advent calendar takes us far north. Nowhere else is climate change so starkly visible: the Arctic sea ice is melting faster than ever before, and by the end of this century, the North Pole could be completely free of ice in the summer.

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