Helium-burning white dwarf discovered
A team led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics has 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.
Life on distant moons
Liquid water is one of the most important ingredients for the emergence of life as we know it on Earth. Researchers of the ORIGINS Cluster and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics from the fields of astrophysics, astrochemistry and biochemistry have now determined the necessary properties that allow moons around free-floating planets to retain liquid water for a sufficiently long time and thus enable life.
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
Chameleon I hides a wealth of frozen molecules
James Webb Space Telescope unveils the dark side of pre-stellar ice chemistry
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.
Hot spots around infant binary stars
High-resolution ALMA observations of the system IRAS 16293-2422 have revealed localized hot spots in the dusty material of the young stellar system. The study led by the Max Planck Institute of Extraterrestrial Physics indicates that these are most likely due to local shocks caused by fast gas motions rather than illumination from the protostars.
Sharper infrared eyes for the VLT: ERIS sees first light
The Enhanced Resolution Imager and Spectrograph (ERIS), a science instrument which was built by a consortium under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, has successfully completed its first test observations. One of them exposed the heart of the galaxy NGC 1097 in mesmerising detail.
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