Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching
D-85741 Garching, Germany
Prof. Dr. Eiichiro Komatsu
Scientific Members, Kollegium, Directors
Prof. Dr. Guinevere Kauffmann
Prof. Dr. Eiichiro Komatsu
Prof. Dr. Rashid Sunyaev
Prof. Dr. Simon D.M. White
External Scientific Members
Prof. Dr. Martin Asplund
Prof. Dr. Riccardo Giacconi
Prof. Dr. Rolf-Peter Kudritzki
Prof. Dr. Werner Tscharnuter
Head of the administration
Press and Public Relations
Dr. Hannelore Haemmerle
Phone: 089 30000-3980
Phone: 089 30000-2201
Dr. Hans-Thomas Janka
Phone: 089 30000-2228
Current research at MPA
One potential candidate for dark matter is a theoretical particle known as the “sterile neutrino”. In 2014, an unknown X-ray emission line was detecte around an energy of 3.5 keV in stacked X-ray spectra of galaxy clusters. Should this emission line arise from the decay of sterile neutrino dark matter, all massive objects in the Universe should exhibit this spectral feature. Scientists at MPA however found no evidence for the line in their stacked galaxy spectra. This strongly suggests that the mysterious 3.5 keV emission line does not originate from decaying dark matter.
An international team of experts from Europe and China has performed the first simulations of globular clusters with a million stars. These – up to now - largest and most realistic simulations can not only reproduce observed properties of stars in globular clusters at unprecedented detail but also shed light into the dark world of black holes.
If a white dwarf comes to accrete material from some stellar companion, it can become an incredibly luminous source of extreme UV and soft X-ray emission, a “supersoft X-ray source” or SSS. We would expect emission line nebulae to be found accompanying such sources; however, only one SSS has been observed to have such a nebula. Now, scientists at MPA and the Monash Centre for Astrophysics have pieced together the puzzle.
The stellar halos of galaxies are diffuse and faint components which provide scientists with a window into the assembling history of galaxies. A research team at MPA has investigated the properties of stellar halos in large disk galaxies; they find a great diversity in the halo properties for galaxies that are – otherwise – alike in terms of morphology, mass, and luminosity.
With complex hydrodynamical simulations scientists at MPA investigate the detailed impact of supernova explosions on the chemical composition and the thermodynamic properties of the interstellar medium and galactic outflows.
In simulated galaxies of the hydrodynamical cosmological “EAGLE” simulation the distribution of atomic hydrogen agrees with observations in unprecedented detail. This success means that EAGLE can aid astrophysicists to better understand the processes shaping real galaxies, such as the origin of their atomic hydrogen.
Booming observations of galaxy clusters provide great opportunities for exploring Dark Energy. The "hydrostatic mass bias" problem, which leads to a systematic error, is one big limitation for precision cosmology with galaxy clusters. Now researchers at MPA have developed a method to correct for it.
New data from the Planck satellite and the South Pole Telescope on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) combined with a new component separation algorithm developed at MPA give much tighter limits on two parameters measuring the deviation of the CMB from a blackbody radiation.
NEWS at MPA
February 15, 2016
Since the beginning of the year, MPA has a new Max Planck Junior Research Group leader: Sherry Suyu has started to work at the institute and will build up her small group over the next couple of years. Using strong gravitational lensing, she will try to shed light on the dark universe.
February 04, 2016
Professor Rashid Sunyaev, Director of the Max-Planck-Institute for astrophysics has been awarded the 2015 Oskar Klein medal by the Stockholm University and the Nobel Committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The Memorial lecture on "Unavoidable distortions in the spectrum of CMB and the Blackbody Photosphere of our Universe" took place on 4 February 2016 in the Oskar Klein Auditorium at the AlbaNova University Centre in Stockholm.
December 22, 2015
At its biennial Membership Election Meeting in November 2015, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) elected MPA director, Simon White, as a Foreign Member in recognition of his scientific achievements and his contributions to promoting the development of science and technology in China.