For the first time, astronomers have observed a conveyor belt from the outskirts of a star-forming dense cloud directly depositing material near a pair of young forming stars. Scientists at MPE and IRAM found that gas motions in the conveyor belt, dubbed a 'streamer', mainly obey the gravitational pull of the innermost part of the core, near the protostar pair.

A growing stellar system directly fed by the mother cloud

For the first time, astronomers have observed a conveyor belt from the outskirts of a star-forming dense cloud directly depositing material near a pair of young forming stars. Scientists at MPE and IRAM found that gas motions in the conveyor belt, dubbed a 'streamer', mainly obey the gravitational pull of the innermost part of the core, near the protostar pair.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) released today a comprehensive analysis of the largest three-dimensional map of the Universe ever created, filling in the most significant gaps in our possible exploration of its history. The collaboration, including researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, was able to obtain the most accurate measurements of the expansion history of our Universe over the widest-ever range of cosmic time.

SDSS reveals 11 billion years of the history of our expanding Universe

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) released today a comprehensive analysis of the largest three-dimensional map of the Universe ever created, filling in the most significant gaps in our possible exploration of its history. The collaboration, including researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, was able to obtain the most accurate measurements of the expansion history of our Universe over the widest-ever range of cosmic time.

The eROSITA telescope has provided a new, sharp view of hot and energetic processes across the Universe.

Our deepest view of the X-ray sky

The eROSITA telescope has provided a new, sharp view of hot and energetic processes across the Universe.

Laboratory experiments performed at the Centre for Astrochemical Studies (CAS) of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Munich, together with astronomical observations conducted by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), lead to the identification of a new molecule in the molecular cloud known as G+0.693-0.027, close to the Galactic centre. The newly discovered molecule is called propargylimine: according to the experts, this chemical species may play a fundamental role in the formation of amino acids, among the key ingredients for life as we know it.

From lab to space: discovery of a new organic molecule in an interstellar molecular cloud

Laboratory experiments performed at the Centre for Astrochemical Studies (CAS) of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Munich, together with astronomical observations conducted by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), lead to the identification of a new molecule in the molecular cloud known as G+0.693-0.027, close to the Galactic centre. The newly discovered molecule is called propargylimine: according to the experts, this chemical species may play a fundamental role in the formation of amino acids, among the key ingredients for life as we know it.

High-resolution observations of a young star forming system clearly unveil a pair of proto-stars at their earliest stages of evolution deeply embedded within the source IRAS 16293-2422 in the Ophiuchus molecular cloud. The two close proto-stars are somewhat heavier than previously thought and they revolve around each other once in about 400 years.

Close-up view reveals binary proto-stars in the process of assemblage

High-resolution observations of a young star forming system clearly unveil a pair of proto-stars at their earliest stages of evolution deeply embedded within the source IRAS 16293-2422 in the Ophiuchus molecular cloud. The two close proto-stars are somewhat heavier than previously thought and they revolve around each other once in about 400 years.

Observations led by the MPE have revealed for the first time that a star orbiting the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way moves just as predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Its orbit is shaped like a rosette and not like an ellipse as predicted by Newton's theory of gravity.

Star dancing around supermassive black hole confirms Einstein

Observations led by the MPE have revealed for the first time that a star orbiting the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way moves just as predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Its orbit is shaped like a rosette and not like an ellipse as predicted by Newton's theory of gravity.

X-ray observatory XMM-Newton shows large scale plasma motion

First sighting of hot gas sloshing in galaxy cluster

X-ray observatory XMM-Newton shows large scale plasma motion

People and Project News


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.
For information about MPG research about the Corona virus, please see here:

Euclid space telescope’s Near-Infrared instrument ready to draw a 3-D map of galaxies of the distant Universe

July 09, 2020

ESA’s Euclid mission to study more than a billion galaxies is a step closer to launch as its two instruments are now built and fully tested, including the complex near Near-Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer (NISP) instrument delivered by an international consortium coordinated by France, with partners from Italy, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Norway and the United States. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics are responsible for the overall optical design of the near-infrared instrument NISP NI-OA.

The twisted jet and the weakly polarised nucleus in M87

July 02, 2020

A study led by Alejandra Yrupe Fresco (Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics) during her stay at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has revealed the dim core and the jet structure in the nuclear region of M87, the brightest galaxy in the Virgo cluster. The observations were acquired in early April 2017, almost simultaneously with the Event Horizon Telescope campaign that delivered the world famous first image of the event horizon in a black hole in the nucleus of the galaxy M87.

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