Video podcasts

During the International Year of Astronomy 2009, a series of video podcasts ("vodcasts") was produced that introduce not only some of our research areas and selected results, but also the scientists of the two institutes MPA and MPE, in order to give science a human face. The viewer gets to know the two institutes from within, meets key figures of astrophysics, and learns how they build instruments and use them, analyse data, simulate processes and develop new theories. The films, which are also distributed via YouTube, capture the mood at both institutes and tell of the scientific goals and ideals of their staff.

Please note that all vodcasts are available only in German!


A 6-minute vodcast introduces Planck, the contribution of the MPA to this mission and the Planck team at the institute. The viewer learns about the main objectives of Planck and the scientific and personal ideals of MPA scientists involved in the project. He gets an impression of the 10-year work of the software developers at MPA, which had to be put into this project in order to make Planck ready for launch.

The galactic centre

In this vodcast, Stefan Gillessen, Frank Eisenhauer and Mona Clerico (MPE), and presenter Sabrina Bachmann (Video München), put the black hole in the centre of our galaxy in perspective.


This Vodcast introduces the Herschel Space Observatory, the Herschel instrument PACS (Photodetector Array Camera and Sprectrometer), developed and built at MPE, and the PACS team. The viewer gains insight into the operations of technicians and scientists in the MPE cleanroom, laboratory and control centre, which were necessary to make Herschel/PACS ready to study the evolution of stars. The vodcast captures the mood before launch and gives an impression of the hopes that MPE scientists connect with the largest space telescope ever built.

Black Holes

This vodcast deals with exciting findings about black holes. The viewer learns what is meant by tidal disruption, why two black holes merge and how it is possible for black holes to leave their parent galaxies. NASA and MPE computer animations visualise these events.

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