Gravitational lens SPD.81
by Warren Morningstar By modeling the warped images of a gravitational lens observed with one of the most powerful telescopes in the world, KIPAC scientists have made the dramatic discovery that there is a clump of dark matter with no currently visible normal-matter counterpart in a far-away galaxy. Such unaccompanied clumps are incredibly difficult to detect and... Read More
Gravity waves from black hole collision
  By Nicola Omodei and Giacomo Vianello The first direct detection in 2015 of a gravitational wave event (GW) by the recently upgraded Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, known as Advanced LIGO, ushered in with a mighty bang a completely new era in astronomy. The first science run (‘O1’) with the Advanced LIGO detector started in September 2015,... Read More
    By  Yajie Yuan The Crab Nebula, our old friend, has continued giving us big surprises in the past few years, as we recently saw in this KIPAC blogpost (from April 2015, by Jeff Scargle and Roger Blandford). We have been gaining glimpses into these surprises thanks to the excellent performance of the orbiting gamma-ray telescopes, Fermi and AGILE, which have... Read More
By Mandeep S.S. Gill By now most of you who are “astro-enthusiasts” have already heard the news originally announced in February 2016 of the gravitational wave event observed by Advanced LIGO in September 2015, and perhaps also heard a bit about how excited astrophysicists were about it. LIGO Livingston site, showing the two 4km arms joined at a right angle. (... Read More
By  Maria G. Dainotti Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are some of the most energetic events known in astrophysics. In just a few seconds, a typical burst can release as much energy as our sun will emit over its entire 10 billion-year lifetime so it is not surprising that GRBs have been detected billions of light years away. If the intrinsic brightness of GRBs were known,... Read More
By Lori Ann White Last fall, KIPAC professor Bruce Macintosh managed to make time in his busy schedule of teaching and sleuthing for extrasolar planets orbiting around distant stars to help put together a progress report for a mid-decadal review of what is arguably the most important exercise in his entire field:  The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey.... Read More
Star Trails
By Kevin Reil The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) is a 570-megapixel camera installed on the 4-meter Victor Blanco telescope atop Cerro Tololo, a mountain in the Chilean Andes. The science mission for the Dark Energy Survey, of which I’m a member, is nothing less than to use this camera to understand what Dark Energy is. Which is a tall challenge, since the phrase “... Read More
By Lori Ann White In the series, "Where are they now?" we check in with KIPAC alumni: where they are now, how they've fared since their days exploring particle astrophysics and cosmology at the Institute, and how their KIPAC experiences have shaped their journeys. Next up is Peter den Hartog, a postdoctoral researcher from 2009 until the end of 2014 who later went... Read More
Dear KIPAC,             Welcome to our latest Newsletter. Often when we in the management team sit down to think about whether we have any news items to share, we start thinking it couldn’t be much given we just recently had one. But every time we start making a list of topics we realize that once again an enormous amount of exciting things have and are happening.... Read More
By Kate B. Follette For the first time we've managed to take a baby picture of a planet still in the process of growing.  Our team was able to image this so-called “proto"-planet with the Magellan telescope in Chile, taking advantage of the high-speed adaptive optics of the telescope to correct for blurring by the Earth's atmosphere.  This allowed us to take a... Read More