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 chromosphere, a 2000 kilometer thick layer of plasma with temperatures of a few thousand degrees, is located between the Sun‘s surface and its outer atmosphere. Long, finger-like plasma flows, so-called spicules, are omnipresent in this layer. These structures are created by interactions in the Sun‘s complex magnetic field, as a group of scientists including the MPS now reports in the journal Science. In addition, the spicules supply the outer solar atmosphere, the corona, with energy and thus contribute to its gigantic temperatures of several million degrees.

The Sun's long fingers

The chromosphere, a 2000 kilometer thick layer of plasma with temperatures of a few thousand degrees, is located between the Sun‘s surface and its outer atmosphere. Long, finger-like plasma flows, so-called spicules, are omnipresent in this layer. These structures are created by interactions in the Sun‘s complex magnetic field, as a group of scientists including the MPS now reports in the journal Science. In addition, the spicules supply the outer solar atmosphere, the corona, with energy and thus contribute to its gigantic temperatures of several million degrees.
The balloon mission Sunrise, which aims a high-resolution telescope at the Sun from a flight altitude of more than 35 kilometers, is preparing for its next flight. The observatory is scheduled to embark on its third expedition in the summer of 2021. Preparatory work on the main mirror measuring one meter in diameter has already begun. At the Calar Alto Observatory in southern Spain, the mirror has now been coated with a new layer of aluminum. Scientists and engineers from MPS in Germany, which leads the mission, accompanied the work on site.

New Shine for
Sunrise’s Telescope

The balloon mission Sunrise, which aims a high-resolution telescope at the Sun from a flight altitude of more than 35 kilometers, is preparing for its next flight. The observatory is scheduled to embark on its third expedition in the summer of 2021. Preparatory work on the main mirror measuring one meter in diameter has already begun. At the Calar Alto Observatory in southern Spain, the mirror has now been coated with a new layer of aluminum. Scientists and engineers from MPS in Germany, which leads the mission, accompanied the work on site.

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.

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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.

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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.

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IMPRS

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

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Staff at the MPS

Staff directory and information for staff members and new employees at the institute.

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Restaurant at the End of the Universe

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

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News


Press Releases

The Sun‘s long fingers

November 14, 2019

The chromosphere, a 2000 kilometer thick layer of plasma with temperatures of a few thousand degrees, is located between the Sun‘s visible surface and its hot outer atmosphere. During solar eclipses, this layer is visible as a thin red ring around ...

Solar Orbiter passes endurance tests

October 18, 2019

A few months before its launch, the final preparatory phase for the ESA space probe Solar Orbiter has begun. In the past few months, in the IABG laboratories in Ottobrunn, it has been shown that the probe can withstand the rigours of a multi-year ...

New Shine for Sunrise’s Telescope

October 07, 2019

The balloon mission Sunrise, which aims a high-resolution telescope at the Sun from a flight altitude of more than 35 kilometers, is preparing for its next flight. The observatory is scheduled to embark on its third expedition in the summer of 2021 ...

"The Moon is one of the most important archives"

July 16, 2019

Twelve people have landed on the Moon, exploring its surface. However, there was just one scientist among the astronauts – the geologist Harrison Schmitt. He visited the Earth’s satellite in December 1972, on board the Apollo 17, the last mission of ...

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