Astronomy

Surface of a fictitious planet. It consists of hills of rock. In the background is a lake. The sky has some clouds. Near the horizon a sun shines and bathes the picture in a reddish colour.

Astronomers find rare Earth-mass rocky planet suitable for the search for signs of life more

The airborne observatory SOFIA during its last southern deployment at Christchurch/New Zealand in summer 2022. The 18O observations were performed with the GREAT receiver, built by MPIfR and Cologne University, onboard SOFIA.

First detection of the heavy 18O isotope both in the upper and lower atmosphere of Earth more

Against the black background of space a gray, irregularly shaped asteroid is shown, covered with craters.

A computer simulation describes the building blocks of our solar system at a time when it was still being formed more

View of the sun: This image is a superimposition of two images, taken using the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array in the x-ray range (NuSTAR, green and blue) and the Solar Dynamics Observatory in the ultraviolet range (SDO, reddish). Here, gas is visible with temperatures between 1 and 3 million degrees. In the spectrally fragmented x-rays, the emission lines 3C and 3D of Fe XVII are dominant, as are B and C of Fe XVI.

In future it will be possible to incorporate data from deep space telescopes into the underlying atomic models with a high degree of reliability more

Deepest look yet into the heart of a quasar

International team observes innermost structure of quasar 3C 273 more

In the background: a black surface with isolated bright small dots representing stars.
In the foreground: the left half of the image consists of a grey sphere with various shades and stripes, illuminated from a distance by a yellow light source.

Scientists find the youngest super-Jovian exoplanet yet for which they measure both mass and size more

Catching the dynamic Coronal Web

Researchers discover an important clue as to what mechanism drives the solar wind more

A bright round disc in the background illuminates part of a sphere in the foreground. It has stripes that suggest clouds.

The observatory shows atmosphere properties in more detail than ever before more

Composition of several individual images. Background: many bright stars and dark clouds; foreground image 1: section with bright star in the centre and other less bright stars around it; foreground image 2: a thin, white ellipse against a black background and a bright dot is on the ellipse; foreground image 3: a dark, almost circular object surrounded by a distorted bright ring.

The finding promises numerous similar discoveries more

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Surface of a fictitious planet. It consists of hills of rock. In the background is a lake. The sky has some clouds. Near the horizon a sun shines and bathes the picture in a reddish colour.

Astronomers find rare Earth-mass rocky planet suitable for the search for signs of life more

View of the sun: This image is a superimposition of two images, taken using the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array in the x-ray range (NuSTAR, green and blue) and the Solar Dynamics Observatory in the ultraviolet range (SDO, reddish). Here, gas is visible with temperatures between 1 and 3 million degrees. In the spectrally fragmented x-rays, the emission lines 3C and 3D of Fe XVII are dominant, as are B and C of Fe XVI.

In future it will be possible to incorporate data from deep space telescopes into the underlying atomic models with a high degree of reliability more

Deepest look yet into the heart of a quasar

International team observes innermost structure of quasar 3C 273 more

Catching the dynamic Coronal Web

Researchers discover an important clue as to what mechanism drives the solar wind more

Composition of several individual images. Background: many bright stars and dark clouds; foreground image 1: section with bright star in the centre and other less bright stars around it; foreground image 2: a thin, white ellipse against a black background and a bright dot is on the ellipse; foreground image 3: a dark, almost circular object surrounded by a distorted bright ring.

The finding promises numerous similar discoveries more

A traveler from the edge of the Solar System

Iron isotopes in samples from asteroid Ryugu suggest its origin to lie beyond the orbits of Jupiter and Saturn more

A radio telescope opens up new horizons

The European observatory NOEMA reaches full capacity with twelve antennas more

A still image of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, as seen by the Event Horizon Collaboration (EHT), with an artist’s illustration indicating where the modelling of the ALMA data predicts the hot spot to be and its orbit around the black hole.

Researchers discover a hot spot near the black hole Sagittarius A* with the radio telescope ALMA more

A bright round disc in the background illuminates part of a sphere in the foreground. It has stripes that suggest clouds.

The James-Webb-Telescope provides insights into the composition and formation of planets outside our solar system. more

Preparing for the world’s biggest radio telescope

Astronomers simulate physical processes in the interstellar medium of galaxies at “Cosmic Noon” for future SKAO observations more

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“A wonderful confirmation of our observations”

Reinhard Genzel of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics on the first image of the galactic centre more

The nebula with the dark band

The active galaxy Centaurus A has made history in radio astronomy more

Scientific highlights 2020

Many publications by Max Planck scientists in 2020 were of great social relevance or met with a great media response. We have selected 13 articles to present you with an overview of some noteworthy research of the year more

"Astronomy became big here"

Both partners, Germany and South Africa, benefit from the MeerKAT collaboration more

“The telescope offers enormous potential”

Peter Predehl from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics on the eRosita mission more

Moon dust is not to be sneezed at

50 years ago, Max Planck Scientists were among the first to analyze lunar rock samples more

A solar eclipse sheds light on physics

Observations of the cosmic shadow dance on 29 May 1919 substantiated a new scientific view of the world more

The mystery of the dark bodies

The idea that black holes exist dates back to the 18th century more

The backbone of the night

Like a huge spiral, the Milky Way floats in space more

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