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.
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.
Violent storms with speeds of up to 1450 kilometers per hour rage in the middle atmosphere above Jupiter's poles. This is the result of observations to which researchers from MPS contributed. The winds could indicate giant vortices over Jupiter's poles. To measure the air motions in the planet’s middle atmosphere for the first time, the team traced the chemical remnants of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which collided with Jupiter in 1994.
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.