The research focus of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research is our cosmic neighborhood: the solar system with its planets and moons, comets and asteroids as well as the sun. The aim of the scientists is to describe the processes in the solar system in models and to simulate them on the computer. In addition, instruments are being developed and built to study these bodies from space. The Institute is involved in numerous space missions. More info.

Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

The research focus of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research is our cosmic neighborhood: the solar system with its planets and moons, comets and asteroids as well as the sun. The aim of the scientists is to describe the processes in the solar system in models and to simulate them on the computer. In addition, instruments are being developed and built to study these bodies from space. The Institute is involved in numerous space missions. More info.


Prof. Dr. Ulrich Christensen, director emeritus at MPS, has been elected an international member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The association thus recognizes Christensen's significant contributions to the understanding of dynamical processes inside the Earth and other planets. Membership in the NAS is considered one of the highest honors for scientists. From 2002 until 2020, Christensen led the MPS department “Planets and Comets” as director.

High Distinction for Prof. Dr. Ulrich Christensen

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Christensen, director emeritus at MPS, has been elected an international member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The association thus recognizes Christensen's significant contributions to the understanding of dynamical processes inside the Earth and other planets. Membership in the NAS is considered one of the highest honors for scientists. From 2002 until 2020, Christensen led the MPS department “Planets and Comets” as director.

On 10 February of this year, ESA’s Solar Orbiter flew behind the Sun during a close perihelion pass. Since the spacecraft is still on the way to its final science orbits, several of its instruments were turned on only for commissioning. Nevertheless, the instruments EUI, Metis, and SoloHI all caught a glimpse of two spectacular coronal mass ejections which have now been compiled in one movie. Scientists and engineers from MPS contributed to both the Metis and the EUI instruments and are currently continuing to analyse the data.

Solar Orbiter images first coronal mass ejections

On 10 February of this year, ESA’s Solar Orbiter flew behind the Sun during a close perihelion pass. Since the spacecraft is still on the way to its final science orbits, several of its instruments were turned on only for commissioning. Nevertheless, the instruments EUI, Metis, and SoloHI all caught a glimpse of two spectacular coronal mass ejections which have now been compiled in one movie. Scientists and engineers from MPS contributed to both the Metis and the EUI instruments and are currently continuing to analyse the data.

In the clean rooms at MPS, the balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise III is gradually taking shape. Launch is planned for the summer of 2022. Sunrise III will look at the Sun from the stratosphere with the help of a 1-meter telescope and three scientific instruments.

Picture Gallery:
Preparing for the 3rd Flight of Sunrise

In the clean rooms at MPS, the balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise III is gradually taking shape. Launch is planned for the summer of 2022. Sunrise III will look at the Sun from the stratosphere with the help of a 1-meter telescope and three scientific instruments.

The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research takes the current risk situation due to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 very seriously. It is the Institute's primary objective to minimize the risk of infection for its staff and to contribute in general to minimizing the spread of the virus. Read more about current measures and restrictions here.

The MPS in times of corona: Current status

The Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research takes the current risk situation due to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 very seriously. It is the Institute's primary objective to minimize the risk of infection for its staff and to contribute in general to minimizing the spread of the virus.
Read more about current measures and restrictions here.

Research Departments

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. In addition to several other participations in space missions, the department significantly contributes to the ESA's Solar Orbiter.

Planets and Comets

This department investigates the interior, the surfaces, atmospheres, ionospheres, and magnetospheres of planets and their moons, as well as comets and asteroids. The department currently contributes or has contributed to important space missions such as the ESA's missions JUICE to the Jovian system, BepiColombo to Mercury and Rosetta to comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko as well as NASA's missions InSight to Mars and Dawn to the asteroid belt.

Solar and Stellar Interiors

Helioseismology and asteroseismology are tools that use the oscillations of the Sun and stars to probe their interior structure and dynamics. This allows us to test and refine the theory of stellar structure and evolution, thereby bringing us closer to understanding solar and stellar magnetism. The department hosts the German Data Center for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, and is preparing to host the data center of ESA's exoplanet hunting mission, PLATO.

At a Glance

International Office

On the pages of the International Office, new employees and guests will find information for their stay in Göttingen and at the institute.

IMPRS

PhD programme: International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen.

Staff at the MPS

Staff directory

Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Canteen at the MPS
Mon - Fri 9 - 13
This week's menu

News

Seminars

S3 Seminar: In-flight radiometric calibration of Metis using stars (Yara De Leo)

Jun 30, 2021 14:00 - 14:30
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

S3 Seminar: Particle Dynamics at Comet 67P (Marius Pfeifer)

Jul 7, 2021 14:00 - 14:30
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

S3 Seminar: The formation of small, icy planetesimals (Jesper Tjoa)

Jul 7, 2021 14:30 - 15:00
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

S3 Seminar: Full disc coronal magnetic field extrapolation (Argiris Koumtzis)

Jul 14, 2021 14:00 - 14:30
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

News

High Distinction for Prof. Dr. Ulrich Christensen

June 11, 2021

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Christensen, director emeritus at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, has been elected an international member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The association thus recognizes ...

Time Lapse Movie of Partial Solar Eclipse

June 10, 2021

As part of today's virtual public event "A Bite from the Sun" of the Institute of Astrophysics of the University of Göttingen and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), the live telescopic images of the partial solar eclipse (taken ...

Solar Orbiter images first coronal mass ejections

May 17, 2021

On 10 February of this year, ESA’s Solar Orbiter passed behind the Sun during a close perihelion pass taking the spacecraft to half the distance between Earth and Sun. Since the spacecraft is still on the way to its final science orbits, several of ...

Solar corona: A close look at the smallest flares

April 27, 2021

Among the most exciting discoveries made by ESA's Solar Orbiter spacecraft are small, bright regions in the hot solar corona that had previously eluded other spacecraft. The tiny flares are found in measurement data from the Extreme-Ultraviolet ...

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