Cooperations and Special Facilities
The experiments of the institute normally demand major technical and financial resources. They are therefore carried out as cooperative projects together with research institutes and universities within and outside Germany.
In this context one has to mention the close interaction and communication with the main European and US space agencies ESA and NASA, as well as the organizations of other countries, such as the Space Research Institute of Russia and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) from France. The efficient cooperation with productive companies, mainly from the space and opto-electronic branches, often leads to technology transfer to industry. In addition to the institutional support by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft the research work of the institute is supported considerably by government institutions such as the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) and DLR (in former times DARA) and by the Deutsche Forschungs-Gemeinschaft (DFG).
UCB-MPG Center for International Exchange in Astrophysics and Space Sciences
The UCB-MPG Center for International Exchange in Astrophysics and Space Sciences (UCB-MPG Center) has been established in a close collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley (UCB, Berkeley, USA) at Berkeley. Its goal is cooperation in all fields of astrophysics, astronomy and space sciences. Exchange of scientists, visits and conferences are supplemented by joint projects like SOFIA and the detector development for the far-infrared. MPE is coordinating this project of seven Max-Planck institutes. In 2001, there were approximately thirty visits of Max Planck staff to UCB and vice versa under the auspices of the program.
International Max-Planck Research School on Astrophysics (IMPRS)
In a collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA), the Observatory of the Ludwig Maximilians University (USM), and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) MPE offers excellent research opportunities in theoretical and observational astrophysics for the IMPRS students, covering all wavelengths from radio waves to gamma rays. Students conduct their graduate studies in a very stimulating environment and have the opportunity to develop a broad background in astrophysics beyond their own dedicated research project. The MPE is one of the world leaders in infrared, X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy and is participating in satellite projects and the construction of instrumentation for large ground-based observatories. At the MPA internationally renowned theory groups work on nuclear and stellar astrophysics, on galaxy formation and cosmology. The research groups at USM enjoy reputation for their observational and theoretical work on stellar atmospheres, high-energy astrophysics, galaxy structure and formation. The European Southern Observatory is operating the Very Large Telescope in Chile, comprising four eight-meter telescopes and being the largest ground-based observatory of the southern hemisphere. Graduate students will receive comprehensive training in theoretical and observational astronomy covering the whole spectrum of research activities present in the participating institutes.
Excellence Cluster Universe
Where did our Universe come from? What is it made of? What drives its evolution? How did its fundamental building blocks, galaxies, stars and planets form? Which processes generated the elements out of which we are made? These fundamental questions will be addressed by this cluster of excellence, entitled: "Origin and Structure of the Universe"
MPE Testing Facility PANTER
For the characterization and calibration of X-ray telescopes and detectors MPE operates the test facility PANTER in München-Neuried. This instrument was originally built between 1977 and 1980 for the characterization of ROSAT and extended due to the experimental requirements in the following years. Nevertheless,during the last decades nearly all astronomical X-ray experiments or parts of them have been tested at this facility.