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All News (2011 - ...)

The Max Planck director is honoured for his observations of the black hole in the galactic center more

Pope Francis has named the winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics Prof. Reinhard Genzel to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The Vatican announced this news a few days after the Nobel announcement. more

On 14 October, German Federal Minister of Research Anja Karliczek and Bavaria's Minister of Science Bernd Sibler personally congratulated MPE Director Reinhard Genzel on receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics. more

ALMA shows rings around the still-growing proto-star IRS 63 more

Astronomers using the GRAVITY instrument at the VLT telescopes in Chile have now obtained the first direct confirmation of an exoplanet discovered by radial-velocity. As the planet “β Pictoris c” is in a close orbit around its parent star, this is the first time that the faint glint of the exoplanet next to the glare of the star has been directly observed. With these observations, astronomers can obtain both the flux and dynamical masses of exoplanets, allowing them to put closer constrains on formation models for exoplanets. more

At the General Meeting of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 9 September 2020, Linda Tacconi from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics was elected foreign member of the class for astronomy and space science. This honour recognises her exceptional research in millimetre astronomy and her efforts to promote European astronomy. more

This autumn, Silvia Spezzano will start her new Max Planck Research Group (MPRG) at MPE. Over the next five years, she will study the chemical link in-between different stages of star and planetary system formation, and provide crucial constraints to our astrochemical origins. MPRGs are a key part of support of junior scientists in the Max Planck Society, offering internationally competitive packages for personnel, start-up money, and yearly operating costs. more

MPE is happy to announce that Prof. John Kormendy, External Member of MPE and a long-time collaborator of MPE scientists in the field of galaxies and black holes, has been elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences. more

A team of astronomers have observed for the first time the columns of matter that build newborn stars. This detailed look inside the young stellar system, using the GRAVITY instrument built at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) and operated at the ESO Very Large Telescopes, revealed that the material is guided by magnetic fields and comes from the disks surrounding these stars, the same disks that eventually give rise to planets. In fact, our Solar System would have gone through this process 5 billion years ago when it formed. more

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 the German Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) and the French Institut de Radioastonomie Millimétrique (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 streamer delivers a large amount of gas with chemicals recently produced in the mother cloud surrounding the star-forming region directly to the young protostars at the center of the core.  These results are striking evidence that the large-scale environment around forming stars has an important influence on small-scale disk formation and evolution. more

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. more

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. more

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