Institute

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

Max­Planck­Research Magazine

Issue 2016

2/2016

A Dark World of Ice

A space probe has journeyed to Ceres for the first time. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen are using its two onboard cameras to explore the dark surface of the dwarf planet. They have already discovered signs of frozen water – but is there also an ocean slumbering deep below the craters?

Issue 2015

1/2015

Protective Shields in the Solar System
Snow formed from iron or metallic hydrogen – both of these phenomena can drive magnetic fields. Measuring them provides researchers with insights into the processes that change the internal mechanisms of the planets. Ulrich Christensen, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen, investigates the broad diversity of these magnetic fields.
Issue 2014

4/2014

Rendezvous with a Primordial Rock
Although the comparison with the manned moon landing may appear somewhat exaggerated, Rosetta is undoubtedly one of space travel’s most daring enterprises: For the first time in history, a probe is accompanying a comet on its orbit around the Sun – and in mid-November, it set down the Philae lander on its surface. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen have front row seats for the evaluation of the images and data from the comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

4/2014

The Sun – A Mercurial Star
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 working with Natalie Krivova at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen take these fluctuations in solar radiation into account in their models to find out whether they contribute to global warming or counteract it.

3/2014

The Night of the Comet
It was a historic event for researchers and a spectacle for the media: On the eve of March 14, 1986, the Giotto space probe hurtled past Halley’s Comet at a distance of 600 kilometers and sent back measurement data and close-ups of the nucleus. More than 220 European scientists were involved in the project, including 22 from Max Planck institutes.
Issue 2012

MPR 1/2012

The Sun’s Crowning Glory
Those who experience a total solar eclipse are overwhelmed as they look at the circle of light that surrounds our Sun. Laypeople may find it enchanting, but researchers have been racking their brains over it for decades. Why, they wonder, does this gaseous layer – the corona – have a temperature of several million degrees?
Issue 2009

MPR 3 /2009

Reaching for the Sun …
The Sunrise solar observatory successfully completed its first balloon flight.
Issue 2008
Issue 2007

MPR 3 /2007

Ulrich Christensen
Ulrich Christensen goes way below planetary surfaces. He simulates their interiors and investigates their makeup in the search to clarify how their magnetic fields come about.