Scientific Departments

Planet and Star Formation

We study the formation of stars on all scales and the birth of planetary systems and their evolution. The Department established observational programs to search for extrasolar planets and to characterize their properties. We investigate the chemical and physical state of the interstellar medium, including dedicated laboratory experiments where we study the formation of complex organic molecules and cpsmic dust analogues. more

Galaxies and Cosmology

Directly after the Big Bang, the universe was very simple and almost without structure. In the present universe, we see galaxies of various shapes and forms, aligned on an intricate weave of dark matter filaments. How did the universe become interesting? Those are the key questions guiding research in the Galaxies and Cosmology (GC) department at MPIA, headed by Hans-Walter Rix. more

Atmospheric Physics of Exoplanets (APEx)

We are in the midst of a revolution in the study of extrasolar planets. Thousands of recent discoveries have revealed that planets are common — most stars host at least one — and they show much greater diversity in size and orbital architecture than is present in the Solar System more

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