Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics

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Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Category: research Institute
Carrier: Max Planck Society
Legal form of the carrier: Registered association
Seat of the wearer: Munich
Facility location: Garching near Munich
Type of research: Basic research
Subjects: Natural sciences
Areas of expertise: astrophysics
Basic funding: Federal government (50%), states (50%)
Management: Volker Springel (Managing Director)
Employee: approx. 120

The Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (often abbreviated as MPA ) is a non-university research institution sponsored by the Max Planck Society and is based in Garching near Munich . The institute primarily conducts basic research in the field of natural sciences in the field of astrophysics .


The Institute for Astrophysics emerged from the department of the same name at the Göttingen MPI for Physics . With the move to Munich in 1958, this was expanded to become the MPI for Physics and Astrophysics with Werner Heisenberg and Ludwig Biermann as directors. The work on theoretical astrophysics provided fundamental insights into solar physics, plasma physics and star structure. In 1963, the Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics was founded as a new sub-institute . In 1991 it was split into three independent Max Planck Institutes, the MPI for Physics, the MPI for Astrophysics and the MPI for Extraterrestrial Physics.


The institute deals with the following topics: Sun and interplanetary space, supernovae , nucleosynthesis , binary stars , galaxies , gravitational lenses ; physical cosmology ; Quantum Mechanics and Astrochemistry and related areas.

The research is primarily dedicated to theoretical astrophysics. Due to the close interaction of the various sub-areas and the cross-disciplinary nature of the research, there is no strict delimitation of the individual research areas at the institute.

International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS)

The MPI is involved in the International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics , which is located in Garching. Other partners are the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics , the LMU Munich observatory and the European Southern Observatory . An IMPRS is an English-language doctoral program that allows a structured doctorate. The spokesperson for the IMPRS is Paola Caselli.


The institute is currently headed by three directors: Guinevere Kauffmann , Eiichiro Komatsu and Volker Springel .

At the end of 2006 a total of 120 people were employed at the institute, including 46 scientists and 34 young scientists; In addition, there were nine third-party funded employees and 61 visiting researchers in the reporting year.


  • Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics) in: Eckart Henning , Marion Kazemi : Handbook on the history of the institute of the Kaiser Wilhelm / Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science 1911–2011 - data and sources , Berlin 2016 , 2 volumes, volume 1: Institutes and research centers A – L ( online, PDF, 75 MB ), pages 126–134 (chronology of the institute)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. see homepage The International Max Planck Research School on Astrophysics at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich

Coordinates: 48 ° 15 ′ 40 ″  N , 11 ° 40 ′ 18 ″  E