News and Recent Results

<span><span><span><span><span>Massive black holes in low-mass galaxies: what happened to the X-ray Corona?</span></span></span></span></span><br /> 

Identifying massive black holes in low-mass galaxies is crucial for understanding black hole formation and growth over cosmic time but challenging due to their low accretion luminosities. Astronomers at MPE, led by Riccardo Arcodia, used the eROSITA X-ray telescope's all-sky survey to study massive black hole candidates selected based on variability in other wavelength ranges. Surprisingly, despite being flagged as accreting MBHs, the X-rays were weak and didn't match predictions from more massive AGN scaling relations. This discrepancy suggests either the absence of a canonical X-ray corona or the presence of unusual accretion modes and spectral energy distributions in these dwarf galaxy MBHs. more

<span><span><span><span><span>Cosmic dance of the ‘Space Clover’</span></span></span></span></span>

Odd radio circles (ORC), a recently identified new class of extended faint radio sources, have captivated the curiosity of astronomers worldwide. A groundbreaking discovery by a team led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics unveils the first detection of diffuse X-ray gas in the vicinity of the Cloverleaf ORC. Leveraging the advanced capabilities of the XMM-Newton telescope and the complementary multi-wavelength observations, the team unveiled the origin of the ORC as a cosmic dance of two galaxy groups.  more

eROSITA relaxes cosmological tension<br> 

Results from the first X-ray sky survey resolve the previous inconsistency between competing measurements of the structure of the Universe

The X-ray sky opens to the world<br /> 

First eROSITA sky-survey data release makes public the largest ever catalogue of high-energy cosmic sources more

New wide-field X-ray mission will revolutionise search for transient high-energy events

The X-ray satellite “Einstein Probe” of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was launched successfully from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China on a Long March-2C rocket on January 9th, 2024. Equipped with cutting-edge X-ray mirrors and detectors, with major contributions from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE), the spacecraft will start a new era in high-energy time-domain astrophysics, with a particular focus on highly variable and short-lived phenomena associated with black holes and neutron stars in our Milky Way and distant galaxies. more

eROSITA finds hot gas all around the Milky Way – closer than expected

A new all-sky map by the eROSITA telescope reveals X-rays emitted by million-degree hot plasma in and around the Milky Way. Analysing this data, the team at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics found that the very hot, ionized gas shows a disk-like distribution similar to the stellar disk, possibly embedded in a much larger spherical halo. This discovery sheds light on the shape and size of a large portion of the Milky Way circumgalactic medium, providing a large reservoir of gas to fuel future star formation. more

eROSITA sees changes in the most powerful quasar

Researchers have observed the X-ray emission of the most luminous quasar seen in the last 9 billion years of cosmic history. Significant changes in the quasar’s emission give a new perspective on the inner workings of quasars and how they interact with their environment. The study was led by Dr Elias Kammoun, a postdoctoral researcher at the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology (IRAP), and Zsofi Igo, a PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE). more

Helium-burning white dwarf discovered

A white dwarf star can explode as a supernova when its mass exceeds the limit of about 1.4 solar masses. A team led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has now found a binary star system in which matter flows onto the white dwarf from its companion. The system was found due to bright, so-called super-soft X-rays, which originate in the nuclear fusion of the overflowed gas near the surface of the white dwarf. The unusual thing about this source is that it is helium and not hydrogen that overflows and burns. The measured luminosity suggests that the mass of the white dwarf is growing more slowly than previously thought possible, which may help to understand the number of supernovae caused by exploding white dwarfs. more

Serendipitous detection of a rapidly accreting black hole in the early Universe

eROSITA telescope finds an X-ray bright, optically faint quasar accreting material at an extremely high rate only about 800 million years after the big bang more

Star on a dangerous path provides regular meals for supermassive black hole

eROSITA all-sky survey detects repeating X-ray flares in an otherwise quiescent galaxy. more

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Forschungsbericht 2014 - Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik
Our Solar System in X-rays – a novel view of our cosmic home
Solar system X-ray research has experienced a boost during the last two decades. Before 1996, Sun, Earth, Moon, and Jupiter were the only solar system X-ray sources known. Since then, this number has considerably increased, including now also Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, the Jovian moons Io and Europa, the Io plasma torus, the rings of Saturn, two asteroids, as well as comets as an unexpected new class, and even the heliosphere itself. This article outlines the sequence of discoveries, describes how the X-ray emissions originate, explains their importance, and concludes with an outlook. more

A Window to the Past:

In the following frame, all news  from the High-Energy Astrophysics group before February 2011 are made available in the format prior to the release of the new MPE web site.

Please be aware that some of the links may not be functioning anymore!


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