The Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) is the largest German research institute for ground- and space-based astrophysical research.
- Development and construction of instruments and satellites
- Execution of observation programs
- Analysis, interpretation, and theoretical explanation of observations at infrared, optical, x-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths.
- Scientific analyses of the extensive data from these ground-based and satellite programs (e.g. ROSAT)
- Software development for users (guest observers)
- Space flight missions: XMM-Newton (ESA), INTEGRAL (ESA), HERSCHEL (ESA), and Dark Universe Observatory (NASA)
- Sky survey OmegaCAM for the ESO-VST with a data rate of several terabyte/day.
- Co-initiator of the German Astrophysical Virtual Observatory GAVO
- Combining very disparate data sets
- coordinate the publication of astronomical archives as well as software for the distribution and analysis of data
- take advantage of the physical proximity to several consortion partners, among others the Computing Center Garching (RZG)
- develop analysis programs for various data sets
- carry out a comparison between large numerical simulations and observations
- convert numerical simulations into simulated observations
- make available observational data sets that have been processed in the same way as the simulations (above all for x-ray observations)