Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
Our immediate cosmological surroundings are the research focus of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research: the solar system with its planets and moons, its comets and asteroids, and of course the Sun. The aim of the scientists is not only to theoretically model the workings of the solar system and simulate them on the computer, however. In close cooperation with their engineer colleagues, they also develop and build scientific instruments that investigate these celestial bodies. To do this, the institute collaborates with international space agencies such as NASA and ESA on numerous missions, such as Rosetta, Dawn, InSight, BepiColombo, JUICE, Solar Dynamics Observatory, STEREO, Solar Orbiter and PLATO.
It is organised in three departments:
- Department Planets and Comets
This department investigates the deep interior, the surfaces, atmospheres, ionospheres, and magnetospheres of planets and their moons, as well as comets and asteroids.
- Department Solar and Stellar Interiors
Methods of helioseismology are used in this department to explore the interior mechanisms of our star.
- Department 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.
Collaborate Research Center
- Collaborative Research Center 963: Astrophysical flow instability and turbulence
GAUG, MPI DS, DLR, GWDG
Research Training Group
Graduate Study Program
The MPS also hosts the following graduate study program:
- Laboratory space comprising of 1600 square meters of cleanrooms,
- 19 thermal-vacuum-chambers,
- electronic laboratories,
- an experimental hall for large instruments,
- a vibrational test stand,
- a mechanical design department,
- and a mechanical workshop.
Work Life Resources
- The International Office helps visiting scientists and employees from abroad take their first steps in their new surroundings. This includes help with visa matters, looking for an apartment and health insurance.
- 8 guest apartments within the building + 12 additional guest apartments in the Philipp-Reis-Straße
- Day Care Facility for 15 children (ages: 0 – 6)
- 2 parent-child-offices
- Buddy-service for PhD-students
Unleashed magnetic power
The spots on the surface of our Sun bear witness to the activity in its interior
Max Planck researchers explain why our Sun's brightness fluctuates.
Otto Hahn Medal for Jan Langfellner
The Sun’s rotation leads to plasma flows that resemble gigantic hurricanes
Finding new Earths: PLATO spacecraft to be built
ESA’s planet-hunting mission PLATO has been adopted for implementation; the launch is planned for 2026