KIPAC Blog

Artist's representation of a young star with a planet formation disk. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.)
by Ian Czekala As an astronomer, I think I live in a spectacularly exciting time to be studying the process of planet formation. Little needs to be said about how dramatically the Kepler  satellite telescope and other exoplanet surveys have revolutionized our understanding of the exoplanet population, as these kinds of discoveries pop up in the news on a seemingly... Read More
S8 vs. Omega_m plot, courtesy of the DES collaboration.
By: Mandeep S.S. Gill and Michael Baumer Editors: Rachel Wolf, Ross Cawthon, Kathy Romer, Anthony Kremin For decades, cosmologists have been attempting to piece together the history and composition of the Universe. Since we now know that ~95% of the Universe’s mass-energy content takes the form of invisible dark matter and dark energy, this is a very difficult task... Read More
August 21, 2017 solar eclipse at totality. (Credit: Josh Meyers.)
Now, to bring it a little closer to home from our general astronomical discussion of eclipses, let's check in with some KIPAC folk who actually were in the Totality Zone, and see what their reactions were to the actual event. M. Gill wrote: I was with a large group of cousins and their kids in a campground just north of Madras, Oregon. To say it up front: my... Read More
Totality of August 21, 2017 solar eclipse. (Credit: Josh Meyer.)
By M.S.S. Gill The Great American Eclipse of 2017 The Great American Eclipse of 2017 occurred on August 21 in a slightly less than 100-mile-wide strip. It entered the US off the northern Oregon coast and exited off the coast of South Carolina about two hours later (see, for example, here for a clickable path map)—and several KIPAC members made sure to station... Read More
LZ Collaboration logo. (Credit: LZ Collaboration.)
Based on a press release from the SLAC Office of Communications Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, including several KIPAC scientists, are on a quest to solve one of physics’ biggest mysteries: What exactly is dark matter – the invisible substance that accounts for 85 percent of all the matter in the universe but can’t be... Read More
Blanco Telescope and Milky Way. (Reidar Hahn/Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.)
Astrophysicists have a fairly accurate understanding of how the Universe ages: That’s the conclusion of new results from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), a large international science collaboration, including researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, that put models of cosmic structure formation and evolution to the most precise... Read More
Artist's impression of a galaxy with strong galactic winds and an active nucleus.
An international team of researchers, most of whom have ties to KIPAC, has shown that the hot diffuse gas that fills the space between the galaxies has the same concentration of iron in all galaxy clusters that were studied in sufficient detail by the Japanese Suzaku satellite. These results confirm the team's earlier findings regarding the Perseus Cluster,... Read More
Dear KIPACers,   With this Newsletter, we review a series of exciting events and workshops that KIPAC has hosted in 2017, and welcome a new cohort of graduate students and postdocs.  We also bid adieu to those who are moving on to the next stage in their careers. See below for details. We’ve also included some dates for upcoming events, and courses of possible... Read More
Artist's impression of an AGN according to the unified model. (Credit: ESA/NASA, the AVO project and Paolo Padovani.)
by Dan Wilkins Supermassive black holes power some of the most luminous objects we see in the Universe. When material spirals into a supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy that is in excess of a million Solar masses, it gives rise to an active galactic nucleus, or AGN (also discussed in two previous KIPAC blogposts: this one focused on observations of... Read More
Salt shaker. (Image is in the public domain.)
By Lori  Ann White At first glance, the Blind Analysis workshop hosted by KIPAC last month was only one of many gatherings during a very busy March (which actually started the last few days of February). On the SLAC campus, the Institute hosted the Cosmology with CMB-S4 workshop, and then, immediately began preparing to assist with the New Horizons in Inflationary... Read More

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