1961 Foundation of working group Lüst
1963 Foundation as a sub-institute within the MPI für Physik und Astrophysik; director R. Lüst.
Institute moves to Garching (barrack X1)
1964 Partial move from barrack (X1) to MPE building (X2) in February
1965 Official inauguration of the MPE main building (X2) on February 15, 1965
1966 Klaus Pinkau becomes scientific member (cosmic rays, gamma-astronomy)
1969 Klaus Pinkau becomes director at the institute;
Gerhard Haerendel becomes scientific member (plasma physics)
1972 Gerhard Haerendel becomes director at the institute;
Reimar Lüst is elected president of the MPG (on leave from the institute);
Klaus Pinkau becomes acting director
1975 Joachim Trümper becomes director and scientific member at the institute (X-ray astronomy)
1981 Founded by J. Trümper, the MPE X-ray test facility "Panter" located in Neuried starts operation
1981 Klaus Pinkau on leave and becomes director at the IPP;
Gamma-astronomy is carried on by Volker Schönfelder
1985 Gregor Morfill becomes director and scientific member at the institute (theory)
1986 Reinhard Genzel becomes director and scientific member at the institute (infrared astronomy)
1991 Transformation of the MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics into an autonomous institute
1990 Joachim Trümper together with the MPI for Physics (MPP) founds the semiconductor laboratory as a joint project between the MPE and the MPP (since 2012 operated by the MPG)
1998 September: Start of construction work for the expansion building X5
2000 R. Genzel together with the University of California Berkeley founds the
"UCB-MPG Center for International Exchange in Astrophysics and Space Science"
2000 G. Morfill together with the IPP founds the "Center for Interdisciplinary Plasma Science" (CIPS) (until 2004)
2000 December: official opening of the expansion building X5
2001 The "International Max-Planck- Research School on Astrophysics" (IMPRS) is opened by MPE, MPA, ESO, MPP and the universities of Munich
2001 Joachim Trümper retires;
Gerhard Haerendel retires and joins the International University Bremen as vice president;
Günther Hasinger becomes scientific member and director at the institute (X-ray astronomy)
2002 Ralf Bender becomes scientific member and director at the institute (optical and interpretative astronomy)
2008 Günther Hasinger leaves MPE and becomes scientific director at the IPP.
The former independent X-ray and Gamma-ray departments are merged into the new high-energy astrophysics department.
2010 Kirpal Nandra becomes scientific member and director at the institute (high-energy astrophysics)
2013 Gregor Morfill retires, part of his plasma crystal group moves to DLR
2014 Paola Caselli becomes scientific member and director at the institute (Center for Astrochemical Studies)
2020 Physics Nobel Prize 2020 für Reinhard Genzel for his research on black holes.
2023 Frank Eisenhauer becomes scientific member and director at the institute (infrared astronomy)