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Welcome to the MPS

Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

Our immediate cosmological surroundings are the research focus of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research: the solar system with its planets and moons, its comets and asteroids, and of course the Sun. The aim of the scientists is not only to theoretically model the workings of the solar system and simulate them on the computer, however. In close cooperation with their engineer colleagues, they also develop and build scientific instruments that investigate these celestial bodies. To do this, the institute collaborates with international space agencies such as NASA and ESA on numerous missions.

This department investigates the deep interior, the surfaces, atmospheres, ionospheres, and magnetospheres of planets and their moons, as well as comets and asteroids. The department contributes to important space missions such as the ESA mission Rosetta, which investigates the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko; the NASA mission Dawn, which investigates the dwarf planet Ceres; and the NASA mission InSight, which is planned to investigate the deep interior of Mars.

Department Planets and Comets

This department investigates the deep interior, the surfaces, atmospheres, ionospheres, and magnetospheres of planets and their moons, as well as comets and asteroids. The department contributes to important space missions such as the ESA mission Rosetta, which investigates the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko; the NASA mission Dawn, which investigates the dwarf planet Ceres; and the NASA mission InSight, which is planned to investigate the deep interior of Mars.
<p>The focus of this department is the solar interior, the solar atmosphere, the solar magnetic field, the heliosphere, and the interplanetary medium, as well as solar radiation and solar energetic particles. The balloon-mission Sunrise, a balloon-borne solar observatory, is managed by this department. The mission investigates our central star from a height of about 35 km above sea level. In addition to several other participations in space missions, the department significantly contributes to the ESA mission Solar Orbiter, which is scheduled for launch in 2017.</p>

Department Sun and Heliosphere

The focus of this department is the solar interior, the solar atmosphere, the solar magnetic field, the heliosphere, and the interplanetary medium, as well as solar radiation and solar energetic particles. The balloon-mission Sunrise, a balloon-borne solar observatory, is managed by this department. The mission investigates our central star from a height of about 35 km above sea level. In addition to several other participations in space missions, the department significantly contributes to the ESA mission Solar Orbiter, which is scheduled for launch in 2017.

<p>Methods of helioseismology are used in this department to explore the interior mechanisms of our star. The key to this are the turbulent convection flows in the solar interior, which cause the Sun to vibrate in millions of different ways. Similar methods are used for investigating the magnetic fields of solar-like stars. The department hosts the German Data Center for SDO, the only German data center of the NASA mission Solar Dynamics Observatory.</p>

Department Solar and Stellar Interiors

Methods of helioseismology are used in this department to explore the interior mechanisms of our star. The key to this are the turbulent convection flows in the solar interior, which cause the Sun to vibrate in millions of different ways. Similar methods are used for investigating the magnetic fields of solar-like stars. The department hosts the German Data Center for SDO, the only German data center of the NASA mission Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Comets are frozen relics from a time we cannot directly observe. The Kuiper belt and Oort cloud store vast numbers of comets at very cold temperatures. In those reservoirs, comets retain ices and particles that were present in the solar system when the planets were forming, and that are released in spectacular fashion when approaching the sun. We are interested in studying comets at all stages of their evolution to learn about the formation of planetary systems.

Max Planck Research Group in Cometary Science

Comets are frozen relics from a time we cannot directly observe. The Kuiper belt and Oort cloud store vast numbers of comets at very cold temperatures. In those reservoirs, comets retain ices and particles that were present in the solar system when the planets were forming, and that are released in spectacular fashion when approaching the sun. We are interested in studying comets at all stages of their evolution to learn about the formation of planetary systems. [more]
Radiation from the Sun makes Earth a habitable planet. Fluctuations in the solar radiative output are therefore likely to affect the climate on Earth, but establishing both how the output of the Sun varies and how such variations influence Earth's climate have proved tricky.&nbsp; Increased amounts of data from the Sun and about the climate on Earth over recent years means that rapid progress is being made.&nbsp; This work is aimed at understanding solar variability and the Sun's influence on the Earths' climate.

Minerva-Group: Solar Variability and Climate

Radiation from the Sun makes Earth a habitable planet. Fluctuations in the solar radiative output are therefore likely to affect the climate on Earth, but establishing both how the output of the Sun varies and how such variations influence Earth's climate have proved tricky.  Increased amounts of data from the Sun and about the climate on Earth over recent years means that rapid progress is being made.  This work is aimed at understanding solar variability and the Sun's influence on the Earths' climate.
Age is a fundamental property of stars. It is an essential tool to understand phenomena such as the evolution of stars, planetary systems, and the Galaxy. However, age is the most poorly known property of a star. Asteroseismology, the study of the internal structure of stars through stellar oscillations, offers the opportunity to estimate the ages of stars with much higher accuracy than before. Combining space observations with ground-based spectroscopy, the group determines the ages of thousands of stars with unprecedented precision. <br /><br />

ERC Starting Grant: Accurate Ages of Stars

Age is a fundamental property of stars. It is an essential tool to understand phenomena such as the evolution of stars, planetary systems, and the Galaxy. However, age is the most poorly known property of a star. Asteroseismology, the study of the internal structure of stars through stellar oscillations, offers the opportunity to estimate the ages of stars with much higher accuracy than before. Combining space observations with ground-based spectroscopy, the group determines the ages of thousands of stars with unprecedented precision.

 
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