Research at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

How much raw material for making new stars is there in the Whirlpool galaxy? Zoom Image
How much raw material for making new stars is there in the Whirlpool galaxy?

How did our home planet form? Are planets like our Earth exceptionally rare or quite common?

What information can we glean from the more than thousand planets around other stars astronomers have found in the past decades?

How can we detect earth-like planets around distant stars? And how might we find out whether or not they harbor life?

How do stars form, and what is needed to make a star? How do the cradles of the stars - the molecular clouds - form out of the more diffuse interstellar medium?

On a larger scale, what about our wider cosmic environment - how did our home galaxy, the Milky Way, come into existence?

More generally, how do all the different types of galaxies form? And what makes some galaxies produce more stars than others?

These fundamental questions about our origins, the evolution of our cosmic environment and, more generally, our place in the cosmos are what drives research at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy.

In our quest for answers, we use, and help build some of the most advanced observational tools available - ground-based as well as space telescopes. We also simulate the formation and evolution of stars, planets, and galaxies and conduct laboratory experiments on the foundations of astrophysical processes.

Additional information about our research can be found on the following pages:

Finding and studying other worlds - some of which might even host life

Hunting for planets

Finding and studying other worlds - some of which might even host life [more]
From interstellar gas and dust to dark clouds to protostars to Suns and planets

How do planets and stars form?

From interstellar gas and dust to dark clouds to protostars to Suns and planets [more]
Up-scaled science: cooperative projects and collaborations

Scientific Initiatives

Up-scaled science: cooperative projects and collaborations [more]
Building star systems from homogeneous beginnings

From the big bang to today's galaxies

Building star systems from homogeneous beginnings [more]
On the trail of the main cosmic ingredients: Dark Matter and Dark Energy

The Dark Universe

On the trail of the main cosmic ingredients: Dark Matter and Dark Energy [more]
Custom-made high-tech for cutting-edge research

Telescopes, instruments & new technologies

Custom-made high-tech for cutting-edge research [more]
 
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