People and Project News

ELT MICADO Instrument Passes Preliminary Design Review

January 21, 2020

MICADO, the first dedicated imaging system for ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), has reached an important milestone in its design review. The MICADO consortium, together with a group of external experts from around the world, met at ESO’s Garching headquarters for a week of intense examination of the instrument’s optics, mechanics, software, electronics, and budget plan to identify any areas which needed further design work. After the meeting, the MICADO team addressed all of the major concerns raised during the review and the instrument has now formally passed its preliminary design review. A more detailed design phase is now underway, leading towards the final design review and construction of the instrument’s many components.

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.

Upcoming events

eROSITA: Röntgenaugen blicken auf den Himmel

Apr 7, 2020 19:00 - 20:30
Muffatwerk, Zellstr. 4 (S-Bahn, Isartor / Rosenheimer Platz)

Note due to corona: Contacting MPE

To contain the spread of corona virus infections, the MPE has enacted certain changes to protect its employees. Wherever possible, MPE members will work from their home offices. For the time being, the MPI will not offer public events, and its staff will not undertake travel or attend conferences. Meetings will be held via video conferencing.
Therefore it might be difficult to reach some staff members by telephone, please use Email instead. Mail continues to be received. Please note, however, that there might be some delays in getting a response.

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