Frank Eisenhauer


            Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE)

            Giessenbachstr., 85748 Garching, Germany, +49 89 300003563


Kohlroeschenstr. 53, 80995 Munich, Germany


9 June 1968 in Augsburg

married, three children


Professional Accomplishments


Leading the development and science exploration of large astronomical instruments and experiments, two of them are part of the instrument suite employed in the discovery and characterization of the Galactic Center Black Hole, for which Prof. Dr. Reinhard Genzel and Prof. Dr. Andrea Ghez have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics


            Principal Investigator of GRAVITYPlus to upgrade the ESO                       since 2020
            VLT Interferometer with wide-field fringe tracking and laser guide star
            adaptive optics to open up the extragalactic sky for milli-arcsec resolution
            imaging and to precisely measure exoplanet spectra and orbits


Leading or co-leading discoveries with the GRAVITY instrument,              since 2017

including the detection of the gravitational redshift in the orbit of a star

around the Galactic Center black hole and the orbital motion of

matter close to the last stable orbit around this black hole


Principal Investigator of GRAVITY – the infrared interferometer for           since 2005

exploring physics close to the Galactic Center black hole. GRAVITY

is a multi-national project led by MPE with more than a hundred

scientists and engineers from all over Europe contributing to its



Principal Investigator of SPIFFI/SINFONI – the world’s first                       since 2003

adaptive optics integral field spectrometer on a 10m class telescope.

The instrument was key to measure the mass and distance of the

Galactic Center black hole, thereby demonstrating its extreme nature


Major contributions to other MPE near infrared and high angular resolution instruments for ground and space based observatories, e.g. the European Southern Observatory, Large Binocular Telescope and European Space Agency


Awards and Honors


Gruber Cosmology Prize for designing instruments that collected                     2022

evidence for a black hole at the center of our galaxy


Ellected as Foreign Associate to the Academie des Sciences                             2022

- Institut de France 


Jackson-Gwilt Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society                                  2022

for the development of astronomical instrumentation


Stern-Gerlach Medal of the German Physical Society                                        2022

for the pioneering work in high-resolution infrared astronomy


Tycho Brahe Medal of the European Astronomical Society                               2021

for the leadership of the SINFONI and  GRAVITY instruments 





Adjunct Teaching Professor (Privatdozent) at Technical University               since 2011

of Munich (regular lectures on “Introduction to Astrophysics” and

“High Angular Resolution Astronomy”, supervision of bachelor

and master theses)


Supervisor at the International Max Planck Research School on         

Astrophysics (supervision of PhD theses)


Participation in European Research Council and National Excellence Initiative Funded Programs


Member of the ERC Synergy Grant “Black Hole Cam”                                  since 2014


Member of the MPG, TUM and LMU “Universe Excellence Cluster”           since 2007




Senior Staff Scientist at the Max Planck Institute                                            since 2003

for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE)


Postdoc / Research Associate at MPE                                                              1998 – 2003 


PhD Student at MPE                                                                                        1995 – 1998




Technical University of Munich, Habilitation in Experimental Physics           2011

 “The Galactic Center at High Angular Resolution –

Techniques and Observations”


            Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Doctorate in Physics                      1998

           „Bau einer Nahinfrarot-Kamera fuer adaptive Optik und

 Beobachtungen der Sternentstehungsregion NGC 3603“


Technical University of Munich, Diploma in Physics                                       1995


            Justus-von-Liebig Gymnasium Neusaess,                                                         1987

            General Qualification for University Entrance


Military Service


             Gebirgsfernmeldebatallion 8 in Murnau                                                          1987 – 1988




393 scientific publications with more than 18.972 citations (h-index of 69), in particular 48 publications with more than 100 citations each, and more than a dozen of them as first or co-leading author, for example


            Gravity Collaboration et al. 2020: "Detection of the Schwarzschild precession in the orbit of the star S2 near the Galactic centre massive black hole", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 636, L5 (180 citations)

            Gravity Collaboration et al. 2018: "Detection of orbital motions near the last stable circular orbit of the massive black hole SgrA*", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 618, L10 (191 citations)


            Gravity Collaboration et al. 2018: "Detection of the gravitational redshift in the orbit of the star S2 near the Galactic centre massive black hole", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 615, L15 (470 citations)

            Eisenhauer, F., Genzel, R., et al. 2005: "SINFONI in the Galactic Center: Young Stars and Infrared Flares in the Central Light-Month", ApJ, 628, 246 (571 citations)

            Genzel, R., Eisenhauer, F., & Gillessen, S. 2010: "The Galactic Center massive black hole and nuclear star cluster", Reviews of Modern Physics, 82, 3121 (780 citations)

            Gillessen, S., Eisenhauer, F., et al. 2009: "Monitoring Stellar Orbits Around the Massive Black Hole in the Galactic Center", ApJ, 692, 1075 (1208 citations)


Press Releases and Press Conferences


More than a dozen press releases, for example


            Star dancing around supermassive black hole confirms Einstein                            2020


            First Detailed Observations of Material Orbiting close to a Black Hole                 2018


            First Successful Test of Einstein’s General Relativity Near Supermassive             2018

            Black Hole” (key speaker at press conference)


Invited Talks and Colloquia


Numerous invited talks and colloquia, for example


            A New Era of Interferometry with GRAVITY", SPIE Astronomical                      2020

            Telescopes + Instrumentation Plenary Talk, Los Angles, USA


            The Galactic Center Black Hole with GRAVITY: Orbital Motion Close                2019
            to the Last Stable Orbit during a Flare, and General Relativistic Effects

            in the Orbit of Stars, Harvard and Smithsonian CfA Colloquium, USA

            The S2 peri-passage - general relativistic effects in stellar orbits around the          2018
            Galactic Center black hole”, Munich Joint Astronomical Colloquium, Germany


Imprint and Data protection information, last update: 2022-05-18, editor of this page: Frank Eisenhauer