The department offers diploma/master and PhD theses in all fields of planet and star formation.
Observational projects, numerical simulations as well as theoretical investigations can be carried out. Experimental/instrumental topics in the fields of adaptive optics, interferometry, and infra-red space astronomy are also available. Open staff/postdoc positions are listed centrally on the Job Board of the MPIA.
Further information on career opportunities in the department can be found under Study & Career in the section Studying at MPIA:
Undergraduate students interested in writing a Masters or PhD thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy at a later date are encouraged to apply for a mini research project at the institute.
The supply of massive stellar embryos with food from their surrounding disk of gas and dust has long been a mystery. An international research team, in which the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy is participating, has now discovered a spiral structure in such a disk, in the centre of which a growing star of about 12 solar masses has experienced a dramatic increase in brightness.
Astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) and the University of Jena have obtained a clearer view of nature's tiny deep-space laboratories: tiny dust grains covered with ice. Instead of regular shapes covered thickly in ice, such grains appear to be fluffy networks of dust, with thin ice layers. In particular, that means the…
The Director of the Planet and Star Formation Department at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning, has received the Gay Lussac Humboldt Prize of the French Academy of Sciences.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity and Newton’s theory of gravitation make slightly different predictions when it comes to objects orbiting a central mass. Now a consortium of researchers, led by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) and including astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), has for the…
Detailed observations of the quasar 3C 273 with the GRAVITY instrument have revealled the structure of rapidly moving gas around the central super-massive black hole. Studying these black holes and determining their masses is an essential ingredient to understanding galaxy evolution in general.
Video with Thomas Henning and Markus Feldt produced by Klaus Jäger about the remarkable instrument SPHERE (Spectro - Polarimetric High- contrast Exo -planet REsearch) at the ESO Very Large Telescope in Chile. (Movie in German, an English version will follow)
Capturing direct images of exoplanets is one of the biggest challenges in observational…
Planet formation takes place in the accretion disks around young stars. These disks display a large variety of spatial structures, which are thought to be caused by gas-dust dynamics, chemical processes, and the interaction between planets and the disk.