Chemical Elements as Tracers of the Evolution of the Cosmos

High-Energy Astrophysics Group at MPE, Garching, Germany

The core research topics in the High-Energy Astrophysics Group at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) are Compact Objects and Extreme Astrophysics, Supermassive Black Hole Evolution, and Large Scale Structure.

In the high energy domain of the electromagnetic spectrum (X-rays and gamma-rays), the High Energy Astrophysics Group at MPE observes emission from cosmic sources arising from processes at high temperatures (greater than about 1 million degrees), or highly energetic non-thermal phenomena.

Because X-ray and gamma ray emission cannot be seen from the ground, the instrumentation to observe these high-energy phenomena must be launched into space. The program of the High Energy Astrophysics Group at MPE incorporates one of the largest groups in the world working on instrumentation for X-ray astronomy, including X-ray optics.

The group has made major contributions to a large number of past and current high energy astrophysics projects, including

  • Chandra,
  • Fermi,
  • ROSAT,
  • Swift, and
  • XMM-Newton.
  • The eROSITA X-ray telescope was constructed at MPE for launch on the Russian/German Spektr-RG satellite in July 2019.
  • The group will also play a major role in the Advanced Telescope for High-Energy Astrophysics (ATHENA), ESA's next large X-ray observatory with launch in 2028, by leading the development and construction of one of the two scientific instruments, the Wide Field Imager.

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ChETEC contact person: Roland Diehl (rod[at]