The primary research goals in the department of
planet and star formation, are a better understanding of the various processes involved in star and planet formation over the broadest possible range of masses and different environmental and initial conditions. The scientific approach to these problems will be focused on high-resolution techniques provided by adaptive optics-assisted observations and interferometry as well as sensitive infrared observations from the ground and space.
Examples of the instrument development at the MPIA for space-based Infrared Observatories are the PACS camera for HERSCHEL and the MIR camera MIRI for the Next Generation Space Telescope (JWST). For ground-based observations, a number of instruments and telescopes have been developed at the MPIA, in particular for the Calar Alto Observatory, ESO VLT, or the LBT.