Welcome to the press center of the Excellence Cluster ORIGINS. Here you will find current press articles, as well as photographs of our research facility.
On request, we will provide you with further information on the Cluster and its fields of research as soon as possible. We will also gladly organize an interview for you with one of our scientists.
03/15/2023 Liquid water is one of the most important ingredients for the emergence of life as we know it on Earth. Researchers of the ORIGINS Cluster from the fields of astrophysics, astrochemistry and biochemistry have now determined in a novel, interdisciplinary collaboration the necessary properties that allow moons around free-floating planets to retain liquid water for a sufficiently long time and thus enable life.more
12/12/2022 How are galaxies born, and what holds them together? Astronomers assume that dark matter plays an essential role. However, as yet it has not been possible to prove directly that dark matter exists. A research team including Technical University of Munich (TUM) scientists has now measured for the first time the survival rate of antihelium nuclei from the depths of the galaxy – a necessary prerequisite for the indirect search for Dark Matter.more
11/03/2022 For over ten years the IceCube Observatory in the Antarctic has been monitoring the light traces of extragalactic neutrinos. While evaluating the observatory's data, an international research team led by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) discovered a high-energy neutrino radiation source in the active galaxy NGC 1068, also known as Messier 77.more
08/24/2022 The German Astronomical Society announced that ORIGINS Scientist Hans-Thomas Janka from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) will receive the Karl Schwarzschild Medal, the most prestigious prize in Germany in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. The medal honours his research on the core-collapse supernova mechanism, explosive nucleosynthesis, and supernova neutrino physicsmore
06/22/2022 After 60 years of unsuccessful searches, an international research team has discovered a neutral nucleus for the first time - the tetra-neutron. The collaboration succeeded in creating an isolated four-neutron system with low relative kinetic energy in a volume equivalent to an atomic nucleus. The researchers overcame the experimental challenge by using a new method: a radioactive neutron-rich ⁸He beam and a fast high-energy reaction with a proton.more
06/15/2022 Our Sun counts more than 400 stars and an ever-growing number of exoplanets among its immediate neighbours within ten parsecs (or 33 light-years). Now, two new Super-Earths are added to the list that are just at the edge of the solar neighbourhood and in the fourth closest stellar system. They were recently discovered by an international team of researchers, including Dr. Karan Molaverdikhani from ORIGINS PI Prof. Barbara Ercolano's research group. Life is unlikely on these two exoplanets, but they are among the best candidates for the observations by the James Webb Space…more
05/17/2022 This year, Frank Eisenhauer, ORIGINS scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, will be awarded the Gruber Cosmology Prize for his revolutionary development of instruments that have gathered irrefutable evidence for the existence of a black hole at the center of our galaxy. The award recognizes the "unprecedented and exquisite" precision of his instruments.more
05/11/2022 The bubbling surface of massive giant stars causes their observable positions on the sky to wobble. An international team lead by astrophysicists at the ORIGINS Excellence Cluster has now performed detailed simulations of the gas motions in the atmospheric layers of these stars and compared these with high-quality data of the Perseus stellar cluster. They find that the surface structures could indeed account for a large part of the measurement uncertainty in the observations.more
02/14/2022 The international KArlsruhe TRItium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN), located at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), has broken an important "barrier" in neutrino physics which is relevant for both particle physics and cosmology. Based on data published in the prestigious journal Nature Physics, a new upper limit of 0.8 electronvolt (eV) for the mass of the neutrino has been obtained. This first push into the sub-eV mass scale of neutrinos by a model-independent laboratory method allows KATRIN to constrain the mass of these "lightweights of the universe" with unprecedented…more
01/03/2022 In April 2017 the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) observed the super-massive black hole M87* and provided a first image of its shadow that went around the world. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics have now reconstructed a video of the immediate surroundings of a black hole from the same underlying data. This not only confirms previous findings, it also hints at new structures and dynamics in the gas disk around the black hole.more