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.


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.

On its way to Mercury, the European-Japanese space probe BepiColombo will change course again on Thursday, 15 October. Following the Earth flyby in April this year, the first of two Venus flybys is now imminent. It will take the spacecraft, which was launched into space two years ago, past our neighboring planet at a distance of 10720 kilometers. Some of the scientific instruments on board, to which MPS contributed, will have the opportunity to collect data in the vicinity of Venus.

BepiColombo flys past Venus

On its way to Mercury, the European-Japanese space probe BepiColombo will change course again on Thursday, 15 October. Following the Earth flyby in April this year, the first of two Venus flybys is now imminent. It will take the spacecraft, which was launched into space two years ago, past our neighboring planet at a distance of 10720 kilometers. Some of the scientific instruments on board, to which MPS contributed, will have the opportunity to collect data in the vicinity of Venus.


The trans-Neptunian object Arrokoth, also known as Ultima Thule, which NASA’s space probe New Horizons passed on New Year's Day 2019, may have changed its shape significantly in the first 100 million years since its formation. In today's issue of the journal Nature Astronomy, researchers led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and MPS suggest that the current shape of Arrokoth, which resembles a flattened snowman, could be of evolutionary origin due to volatile outgassing.

Arrokoth: Flattening of a Snowman

The trans-Neptunian object Arrokoth, also known as Ultima Thule, which NASA’s space probe New Horizons passed on New Year's Day 2019, may have changed its shape significantly in the first 100 million years since its formation. In today's issue of the journal Nature Astronomy, researchers led by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and MPS suggest that the current shape of Arrokoth, which resembles a flattened snowman, could be of evolutionary origin due to volatile outgassing.

In cosmic comparison, the Sun is a bore. While the brightness of some other stars with similar characteristics fluctuates strongly, the Sun’s variations are much more moderate. Scientists from MPS have now investigated how exactly sun- and starspots affect this behavior. In addition to the number and size of the spots, their distribution plays a crucial role. If groups of sunspots were to appear more frequently clumped together in so-called nests, the Sun’s brightness variations could well keep up with those of its cosmic peers.

Starspots: Revving up the Variability of Solar-like Stars

In cosmic comparison, the Sun is a bore. While the brightness of some other stars with similar characteristics fluctuates strongly, the Sun’s variations are much more moderate. Scientists from MPS have now investigated how exactly sun- and starspots affect this behavior. In addition to the number and size of the spots, their distribution plays a crucial role. If groups of sunspots were to appear more frequently clumped together in so-called nests, the Sun’s brightness variations could well keep up with those of its cosmic peers.

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: Correlation method for depth estimates in the solar photosphere (Amanda Romero Avila)

Nov 11, 2020 14:00 - 14:30
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

S3 Seminar: TBD (Paula Wulff)

Nov 11, 2020 14:30 - 15:00
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

S3 Seminar: TBD (Yuto Bekki)

Dec 2, 2020 14:30 - 15:00
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

S3 Seminar: Learned infinite elements (Janosch Preuß)

Dec 9, 2020 14:30 - 15:00
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

S3 Seminar: TBD (Simon Cloutier)

Dec 9, 2020 15:00 - 15:30
BigBlueButton, Room: "BigBlueButton"

News

BepiColombo flys by Venus

October 14, 2020

On its way to Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, the European-Japanese space probe BepiColombo will change course again on Thursday, 15 October. Following the Earth flyby in April this year, the first of two Venus flybys is now imminent. It will ...

Flattening of a snowman

October 05, 2020

The trans-Neptunian object Arrokoth, also known as Ultima Thule, which NASA’s space probe New Horizons passed on New Year's Day 2019, may have changed its shape significantly in the first 100 million years since its formation. In today's issue of the ...

Starspots: Revving up the Variability of Solar-like Stars

September 22, 2020

In cosmic comparison, the Sun is a bore. While the brightness of some other stars with similar characteristics fluctuates strongly, the Sun’s variations are much more moderate. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) ...

Solar cycle 25 has begun

September 15, 2020

In the past one and a half years, the Sun has been rather dull: hardly a sunspot covered its surface, hardly a solar flare hurled radiation and particles into space. As observational data now show, for the last nine months solar activity has been ...

Job Offers

Please also have a look at the job offers at the web pages in German.

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