Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

Research publications

You can find more research publications messages on the website of the Institute:

Research publications 2018

A deep look into the hearts of stars

January 02, 2018

Researchers measure the inner structure of distant suns from their pulsations [more]

Research publications 2017

Recipe for a comet

December 01, 2017

Rearchers analyse which chemical elements make up comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko [more]


Comet probe reveals dust cloud

October 26, 2017

Five instruments from the Rosetta spacecraft recorded the eruption of jets of dust on 67P/Chruyumov-Gerasimenko [more]


The double asteroid

September 20, 2017

An object with the name 288P is the only known active asteroid comprising two components [more]


Unleashed magnetic power

August 22, 2017

The spots on the surface of our Sun bear witness to the activity in its interior [more]


Variable sunshine

August 21, 2017

Max Planck researchers explain why our Sun's brightness fluctuates [more]


Full braking at Alpha Centauri

February 01, 2017

Space travel visionaries solve the problem of interstellar slowdown at our stellar neighbour [more]

Research publications 2016

Ceres: Water ice in eternal polar night

December 15, 2016

The cameras of the Dawn space probe discover water ice in Ceres’ polar region. It can survive for aeons in the extreme cold traps, even though there is no atmosphere. [more]


A well-rounded star

November 16, 2016

Scientists measure the shape of Kepler 11145123 with unprecedented precision [more]


“Actually, we would like to carry on!”

September 30, 2016

An interview with Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research on the end of the Rosetta mission [more]


A comet turns into the Rosetta stone

September 27, 2016

The European space probe’s successful mission ended on the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko [more]


Eavesdropping on aliens

March 01, 2016

A small band in the sky has been identified in which extraterrestrial astronomers have good chances of discovering Earth [more]


The habitability of other worlds

January 14, 2016

New methods allow precise measurements of the gravity of stars and the size of exoplanets [more]

Research publications 2015

Water vapor on dwarf planet Ceres

December 09, 2015

The Occator crater on the surface is active - data from NASA’s Dawn mission indicate frozen water sublimating from its center [more]


Dust particles from outer space

October 21, 2015

Researchers have analyzed the Ulysses interstellar dust measurements [more]


Ceres close up

August 27, 2015

Just arrived in a new orbit: from an altitude of only 1470 kilometres, the Dawn space probe is now gazing at the dwarf planet Ceres. [more]


Rosetta’s Comet: News from the surface

July 31, 2015

The measurements made by the Philae lander on Churyumov-Gerasimenko provide initial results [more]


Active pits on Rosetta’s comet

July 03, 2015

Some of the dust jets emitted from Rosetta’s comet can be traced back to active pits on its surface. They could be the remnants of collapsed cavities [more]


Rosetta and Philae at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

June 19, 2015

Yearbook research report 2015 - Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research [more]


Hot lava flows on Venus

June 19, 2015

Using a camera onboard of the space probe Venus Express,  scientists discover strong evidence for active volcanism [more]


Philae sends signs of life

June 15, 2015

The lander of the Rosetta mission is awake and sending back data from the surface of the comet 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko [more]


In the realm of eternal ice

April 22, 2015

In the realm of eternal ice Celestial bodies made up of frozen water orbit not only at the outer limits of our solar system but also further inside [more]


Pluto – a dwarf in the darkness

April 22, 2015

The celestial body seems to be Ceres’ big brother and will soon receive a visit from a space probe [more]


Ceres – A world full of mysteries

April 20, 2015

After an intermission of five weeks, the Dawn space probe is once again sending images of the dwarf planet back to Earth [more]


Vesta – Ceres’ little sister

April 20, 2015

The asteroid is rockier and mineralogically more varied than the current destination of the Dawn mission [more]


A new look at the Sun’s magnetic field

March 26, 2015

Max Planck researchers discover how the strength of a forthcoming activity cycle can be predicted [more]


Partial solar eclipse over Germany

March 20, 2015

In the morning of March 20th it was possible to view this impressive natural phenomenon using special eye protection [more]


When the dragon swallows the sun

March 18, 2015

Eclipses have fascinated mankind throughout the ages – and even changed the way we view the world [more]


The sun – a mercurial star

March 17, 2015

The Sun is the Earth’s principal source of energy and climate driver. Yet sometimes it sends more light to the Earth than other times. Astronomers  at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research take these fluctuations in solar radiation into account in their models to find out whether they contribute to global warming or counteract it. [more]


Dawn reaches Ceres

March 09, 2015

Dawn space probe captured by the dwarf planet’s gravitational field [more]


Mars – the blue and red planet

March 09, 2015

At least 20 percent of Mars was once covered with water [more]


24/7 monitoring of Ceres kicks off

March 04, 2015

On 6 March, NASA’s Dawn space probe will be captured by the gravitational field of the dwarf planet [more]


Rosetta’s profile of a comet

January 28, 2015

Measurement results from ESA’s space probe provide a comprehensive picture of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko [more]


Kepler-444 has ancient planetary system

January 27, 2015

Space telescope discovers five exoplanets orbiting a star in the constellation of Cygnus



Dawn has dwarf planet Ceres in its sight

January 21, 2015

Images of the approach of NASA's spacecraft Dawn to the celestial body images suggest features such as large craters on the body's surface


Research publications 2014

First glance at a new world

December 08, 2014

NASA's Dawn spacecraft sends image of dwarf planet Ceres, to Earth [more]


The dark fingers of the solar atmosphere

December 05, 2014

Max Planck researchers explain structures in solar eruptions which have been a mystery until now [more]


Philae's drifting journey across the comet

November 16, 2014

After the Philae lander was separated from Rosetta on 12 November, it remained in view of its mother space probe [more]


Philae lander goes to sleep

November 15, 2014

First signals acquired from Philae at 12.07 CET [more]


Rosetta: The dark side of the comet

November 07, 2014

Light scattered from dust particles allows a first glance at the side of comet 67P that has been trapped in the darkness of polar night for the last months. [more]


A comet spews dust

October 23, 2014

OSIRIS images of Rosetta’s comet show spectacular streams of dust emitted into space [more]


Hot explosions on the cool sun

October 17, 2014

Data from the space telescope IRIS show that the temperature distribution within the Sun’s outer layers can occasionally turns topsy turvy [more]


Rendezvous at the red planet

October 08, 2014

The Mars space probes prepare for the fly-by of the Siding Spring comet [more]


Rendezvous with a chunk of primeval rock

September 20, 2014

Although the comparison with the manned Moon landing may appear somewhat exaggerated, Rosetta is undoubtedly one of space travel’s most daring enterprises. [more]


Descent onto "head" of a comet

September 16, 2014

Philae, the lander of ESA’s Rosetta space probe, will descend onto landing site J on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko mid-November [more]


A map of Rosetta's comet

September 10, 2014

The surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko can be divided into several morphologically different regions



Looking for a landing site

August 25, 2014

Researchers select five areas on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet where Philae could touch down. [more]


Two dynamos drive Jupiter’s magnetic field

August 20, 2014

Max Planck researchers use computer simulations to penetrate deep into the interior of the giant planet [more]


67P shows signs of activity

August 01, 2014

A distinct coma surrounds comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as seen from Rosetta. [more]


Comet with a collar

July 24, 2014

OSIRIS images of Rosetta’s comet resolve structures at 100 metres pixel scale [more]


The twofold comet

July 17, 2014

67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, destination of ESA’s Rosetta mission, seems to consist of two parts [more]


Last hours of a comet

July 16, 2014

Before comet ISON raced past the Sun, it stopped producing dust and gas, as data from the SUMER spectrograph on SOHO show [more]


Vesta’s rocky history

July 04, 2014

The dark material found on the protoplanet Vesta contains the mineral serpentine − and must therefore be of exogenic origin. [more]


Rosetta's target comet is becoming active

May 15, 2014

The scientific imaging system OSIRIS on board ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft witnesses the awakening of the mission’s target comet [more]


Osiris has its target in sight

April 01, 2014

The scientific imaging system on board ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta gets its first glimpse of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko [more]


The ringed asteroid

March 27, 2014

Two thin rings made of ice surround the asteroid Chariklo [more]


The dusty heart of an active galaxy

March 13, 2014

Astronomers observe a dense disk and a bright funnel at the centre of the Circinus galaxy [more]


The glory of Venus

March 11, 2014

A rainbow-like light phenomenon observed on Venus cloud tops helps to identify the components of the planet’s acidic cloud cover [more]


Asteroid with two faces

February 06, 2014

Astronomers discover that the small planet Itokawa experienced an earlier collision [more]


Comet under attack

January 28, 2014

Space probes have studied the nuclei of comets from up close, gathered material, and even fired a projectile [more]


Expedition to primeval matter

January 20, 2014

The researchers are hoping that the landing on the comet’s nucleus will provide them with unique insights into the early history of the planetary system [more]


Rosetta’s final sprint to the comet

January 20, 2014

The space probe was woken punctually, a rendezvous with its target comet can now go ahead [more]


Expedition to primeval matter

January 20, 2014

Researchers are hoping that the landing on the comet’s nucleus will provide them with unique insights into the early history of the planetary system [more]


Rosetta’s final sprint to the comet

January 08, 2014

After a ten-year journey and a long, deep sleep the Rosetta space probe will be woken up on 20 January, 2014. [more]


Rosetta’s eyes

January 05, 2014

The development and construction of the OSIRIS onboard camera system was supervised Max Planck researchers [more]

Research publications 2013

Hitchhiker's guide to Vesta's hidden attractions

December 18, 2013

Varied geological formations and a unique landscape: new evaluations show the beauty spots of protoplanet Vesta [more]


The heat pump in Europa's ocean

December 10, 2013

Researchers model currents beneath the frozen surface of Jupiter’s moon [more]


ISON stops producing dust

November 30, 2013

On current images, the comet is gradually getting dimmer [more]


Cosmic oddball

November 12, 2013

P/2013 P5 is an atypical asteroid which rotates so rapidly that it loses mass and thus forms several tails [more]


Comet ISON at dawn

November 11, 2013

If comet ISON survives its close shave with the Sun on 28 November, it should appear as a bright object in the morning sky [more]


Cultural history of comets

November 08, 2013

Comets play a role in the history of civilisation, but their true nature has been unravelled only at a very late stage [more]


Fossil from the depths of the solar system

November 08, 2013

While amateur astronomers are waiting excitedly for the solar fly-by of comet ISON, researchers are already revealing the first properties of the stranger [more]


A unique view into the Sun’s atmosphere

September 24, 2013

Data of the Sunrise observatory provide first detailed images of the chromosphere in ultraviolet light [more]


Interior rotation of a distant star revealed

July 30, 2013

With the help of asteroseismic data obtained by the CoRoT space telescope, scientists were able to determine the interior rotation of a Sun-like star – and characterise an exoplanet [more]


A journey to the active Sun

June 12, 2013

Four years after its first mission, the balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise has begun its second flight [more]


…and now for the weather on Mars

May 08, 2013

In the north of the red planet, snowfalls occur with great regularity and can be predicted quite accurately [more]


The tail of Venus

January 29, 2013

When the solar wind nearly breaks off, our neighbour's ionosphere expands into space [more]


Carbon in Vesta's craters

January 03, 2013

Large impacts of asteroids may have transferred carbonaceous material to the protoplanet and inner solar system [more]

Research publications 2012

Shadows on the Martian sand

August 08, 2012

Mars rover Curiosity beams back first snaps from Mars [more]


Curiosity gets to the bottom of Mars

August 03, 2012

Max Planck researchers use the rolling laboratory to search for water and organic compounds [more]


Journey through hell to a geologist's paradise

August 03, 2012

The Curiosity rover will revolutionise our view of Mars [more]


Unexpectedly slow motions below the Sun’s surface

July 19, 2012

New observations of seismic oscillations on the Sun’s surface from NASA’s SDO mission challenge our understanding of interior solar dynamics [more]


Vesta seen in colors

May 10, 2012

New results prove that Dawn’s target asteroid is a relict from an early phase of planetary evolution [more]


The Sun’s crowning glory

May 10, 2012

Max Planck scientists use sophisticated monitoring methods and computer simulations to examine the sun’s corona [more]


Zooming in on the sun

May 09, 2012

The new, Tenerife-based GREGOR telescope is designed to observe the sun with an unprecedented precision [more]

Research publications 2011

Mercury’s magnetic field – nipped in the bud

December 22, 2011

A new computer model takes account of the solar wind [more]


Primal rock in space

October 27, 2011

The Lutetia asteroid could be a remnant from the early phase of the solar system [more]


Did comets bring water to Earth?

October 05, 2011

Observations of Hartley 2 have revealed the first comet with water similar to that on our home planet [more]


The observatory above the clouds

September 19, 2011

Airborne observatory Sofia provides astronomers with a new window into space [more]


Eyes in the sky

August 01, 2011

For 25 years, space cameras developed and built by researchers and engineers at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Katlenburg-Lindau/Lower Saxony have been providing scientists with a glimpse into the often alien worlds of the universe. [more]


Gentle nudges towards Vesta

August 01, 2011

The Dawn space probe followed a winding path on its journey into the planetoid belt. [more]


Venture to the last protoplanet

July 22, 2011

After travelling for almost four years, the Dawn space probe arrived at the Vesta planetoid last weekend. [more]


High Flying Astronomy with German Instrument

April 14, 2011

Infrared Spectrometer on board the Sofia observatory successfully completes maiden flight [more]


A look into Vesta's interior

January 06, 2011

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research discover a cosmic chunk in space that originated from deep inside the third largest asteroid [more]

Research publications 2010

SUNRISE reveals sun's magnetic building blocks

November 11, 2010

The first results of the mission led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research have now been published [more]


Asteroid collision forensics

October 14, 2010

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research use the unique perspective from the Rosetta spacecraft to put a date on impact [more]


Cometary impact on Neptune

July 16, 2010

Measurements performed by the space observatory Herschel point to a collision about two centuries ago [more]


Fascinating images from a new world

July 14, 2010

A camera from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research delivers close-ups of the asteroid Lutetia [more]


Where comets emit dust

April 26, 2010

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research identify the active regions on the surface of comets [more]


Are winters in Europe becoming colder?

April 20, 2010

The low solar activity could influence the regional climate in Great Britain and Central Europe [more]


Diamond in space

January 26, 2010

Researchers use the OSIRIS camera aboard the Rosetta space probe to reveal the shape of the Steins planetoid [more]

Research publications 2009

A bubbling ball of gas

November 11, 2009

SUNRISE telescope delivers spectacular pictures of the Sun's surface [more]


Taking a peek into the hidden universe

May 08, 2009

Instruments developed at Max Planck Institutes at work on Herschel, the largest space telescope ever built [more]

Research publications 2008

Max Planck flies to the Moon

October 20, 2008

The Indian space probe Chandrayaan-1 carries an infrared-spectrometer from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research on board [more]

Research publications 2007

Light gives asteroids spin

March 09, 2007

Researcher detect the YORP Effect on the near-Earth asteroid 2000 PH5 [more]

Research publications 2006

A New Dimension in Solar Research

November 08, 2006

The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research is participating in experiments on the NASA space probe STEREO [more]


Peeking Behind Venus' Veil

May 02, 2006

Venus Monitoring Camera takes the first pictures of Venus' south pole [more]


A Little Moon of Saturn Makes its Presence Known

March 10, 2006

Max Planck researchers detect sub-surface material from the moon Enceladus in the magnetosphere around Saturn [more]


Electrons Flying "Backwards" in Saturn’s Sky

March 06, 2006

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research discover unusual particle rays in Saturn’s polar region [more]

Research publications 2005

"Huygens" Finds a Hostile World on Titan

December 08, 2005

International research team reports on the Earth-like surface of Saturn's moon Titan [more]


Organised Wind Chaos on Jupiter

November 09, 2005

An international team of researchers, using new computer simulations, explains the existence of banded wind structures on Jupiter [more]


Are comets more like "Icy Dust Balls" or"Dirty Snowballs"?

October 17, 2005

Max Planck Researchers from Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany use OSIRIS cameras to look inside the comet Tempel 1 [more]


Solar Wind Originates in Coronal Funnels

April 22, 2005

The ESA/NASA SOHO spacecraft determines the origin of the fast solar wind in the magnetized atmosphere of the Sun [more]

Research publications 2004

The Sun is more active now than over the last 8000 years

October 28, 2004

An international team of scientists has reconstructed the Sun's activity over the last 11 millennia and forecasts decreased activity within a few decades [more]


How strongly does the Sun influence the global climate?

August 02, 2004

Studies at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research reveal: solar activity affects the climate but plays only a minor role in the current global warming [more]

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