Institute

Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics

Max­Planck­Research Magazine

Issue 2017

1/2017

Frantic Finish
Supernovae portend cosmic catastrophes. When a massive star slides into an energy crisis at the end of its life, or a sun that has already died is overfed with matter, the end is an explosion of unimaginable proportions. What exactly happens here? Hans-Thomas Janka from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching wants to get down to the nuts and bolts. He simulates supernovae on the computer and makes them explode in the virtual world – meanwhile even in three dimensions.
Issue 2016

1/2016

The Search for the Gentle Tremble
Gravitational waves are some of the most spectacular predictions of the 1915 general theory of relativity. However, it wasn’t until half a century later that physicist Joseph Weber attempted to track them down. In the early 1970s, Max Planck scientists also began working in this research field, and developed second-generation detectors. The groundwork laid by these pioneers meant the waves in space-time ceased to be just figments of the imagination: in September 2015 they were finally detected.
Issue 2015

1/2015

Stars with Great Attraction
They are some of the most exotic objects in space: neutron stars. Incredibly dense and only 20 kilometers across, they rotate about their axes at breakneck speed, emitting cones of radiation out into space in the process. Some of these cosmic beacons have particularly strong magnetic fields. Michael Gabler from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching studies these magnetars – and so learns a thing or two about their nature.
Issue 2012

MPR 4/2012

In the Labyrinth of Petaflops
It is a superlative brain, and has a somewhat boastful name to reflect this: SuperMuc. “Muc” refers to Munich, which isn’t entirely correct, with the more than 100-ton computer being located outside the city limits of the Bavarian capital – in a 500-square-meter hall of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre on the campus in Garching.
Issue 2011

MPR 1 /2011

The Warped Ways of Cosmic Light
Albert Einstein predicted them, modern giant telescopes detected them: gravitational lenses. Today, researchers simulate them on the computer.
Issue 2009

MPR 2 /2009

Black Holes: The Shapers of the Galaxies
Black holes were long considered to be cosmic curiosities. But at the centers of galaxies, they play an important role.
Issue 2008
Issue 2007

MPR 3 /2007

Only the Big Bang Was More Powerful
Gamma-ray bursts bear witness to the most powerful explosions in our universe. At a congress in Schloss Ringberg, astrophysicists discussed just what might be behind these intense eruptions.
Go to Editor View