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.


A team of solar physicists led by Laurent Gizon MPS and the University of Göttingen has reported the discovery of global oscillations of the Sun with very long periods, comparable to the 27-day solar rotation period. The oscillations manifest themselves at the solar surface as swirling motions with speeds on the order of 5 kilometers per hour. These motions were measured by analyzing 10 years of observations from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

Long-period oscillations of the Sun discovered

A team of solar physicists led by Laurent Gizon MPS and the University of Göttingen has reported the discovery of global oscillations of the Sun with very long periods, comparable to the 27-day solar rotation period. The oscillations manifest themselves at the solar surface as swirling motions with speeds on the order of 5 kilometers per hour. These motions were measured by analyzing 10 years of observations from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).

Measurement data published a year ago, contain no evidence of the trace gas phosphine in the clouds of Venus. This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers including a MPS scientist, who have now carefully examined the measurement data. Their analysis is a contribution to the scientific discussion about the discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus, which was reported by British researchers in 2020. The toxic trace gas phosphine is known on Earth as a metabolic product of bacteria.

No Phosphine in Venus Clouds

Measurement data published a year ago, contain no evidence of the trace gas phosphine in the clouds of Venus. This is the conclusion of an international team of researchers including a MPS scientist, who have now carefully examined the measurement data. Their analysis is a contribution to the scientific discussion about the discovery of phosphine in the atmosphere of Venus, which was reported by British researchers in 2020. The toxic trace gas phosphine is known on Earth as a metabolic product of bacteria.

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.

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News

Long-period oscillations of the Sun discovered

July 20, 2021

A team of solar physicists led by Laurent Gizon of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) and the University of Göttingen in Germany has reported the discovery of global oscillations of the Sun with very long periods, comparable to ...

No Phosphine in Venus Clouds

July 16, 2021

Measurement data from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and the ALMA radio telescope in Chile, published a year ago, contain no evidence of the trace gas phosphine in the clouds of Venus. This is the conclusion of an international team of ...

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 ...

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