Reinhard Genzel

We are honored to inform you that Reinhard Genzel, together with Andrea Ghez and Roger Penrose, receive the Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 for their research on black holes.

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In the first all-sky survey by the eROSITA X-ray telescope onboard SRG, astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have identified a previously unknown supernova remnant, dubbed “Hoinga”. The finding was confirmed in archival radio data and marks the first discovery of a joint Australian-eROSITA partnership established to explore our Galaxy using multiple wavelengths.

Hoinga: The largest supernova remnant ever discovered with X-rays

In the first all-sky survey by the eROSITA X-ray telescope onboard SRG, astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have identified a previously unknown supernova remnant, dubbed “Hoinga”. The finding was confirmed in archival radio data and marks the first discovery of a joint Australian-eROSITA partnership established to explore our Galaxy using multiple wavelengths.

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

Reinhard Genzel receives the Nobel Prize for Physics 2020

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

Gigantic hot gas structures above and below the Galactic disc are probably due to shock waves generated by past energetic activity in the centre of our Galaxy.

eROSITA finds large-scale bubbles in the halo of the Milky Way

Gigantic hot gas structures above and below the Galactic disc are probably due to shock waves generated by past energetic activity in the centre of our Galaxy.

Stellar systems like our own form inside interstellar clouds of gas and dust that collapse producing young stars surrounded by protoplanetary disks. Planets form within these protoplanetary disks, leaving clear gaps. ALMA has now revealed an evolved protoplanetary disk with a large gap still being fed by the surrounding cloud via large accretion filaments. This shows that accretion of material onto the protoplanetary disk is continuing for times longer than previously thought, affecting the evolution of the future planetary system.

A planet-forming disk still fed by the mother cloud

Stellar systems like our own form inside interstellar clouds of gas and dust that collapse producing young stars surrounded by protoplanetary disks. Planets form within these protoplanetary disks, leaving clear gaps. ALMA has now revealed an evolved protoplanetary disk with a large gap still being fed by the surrounding cloud via large accretion filaments. This shows that accretion of material onto the protoplanetary disk is continuing for times longer than previously thought, affecting the evolution of the future planetary system.

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

Stars and Planets Grow Up Together as Siblings

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

Astronomers using the GRAVITY instrument 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.

First direct observation of exoplanet β Pictoris c

Astronomers using the GRAVITY instrument 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.

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.

GRAVITY observes young star feeding from its surrounding disk

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.

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.

People and Project News


Frank Eisenhauer receives Tycho Brahe Medal

March 02, 2021
The European Astronomical Society (EAS) awards the 2021 Tycho Brahe Medal to Dr Frank Eisenhauer for his leadership of the SINFONI and GRAVITY instruments on the ESO VLT.

Reinhard Genzel receives “Maximiliansorden”

February 26, 2021
On 26 February 2021, Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder conferred the “Maximiliansorden” for Art and Science to Prof. Reinhard Genzel, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics and Nobel Laureate in Physics 2020. The award is Bavaria's highest tribute to excellence in the fields of science and art.

Jules Janssen Prize awarded to Ewine van Dishoeck

January 14, 2021
On 8 January 2021, the société astronomique de France (the French Astronomical Society – SAF) awarded the Jules Janssen Prize to Dr. Ewine F. van Dishoeck, External Scientific Member of the MPE, for her outstanding scientific achievements.

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