KIPAC Blog

Centaurus A (Cen A) is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky: it is a giant elliptical Galaxy about 10 million light years away, making it the closest active galaxy we know. A remarkable feature of the radio image of this galaxy is that the bright central source is accompanied by a pair of giant radio "lobes," thought to be fuelled by relativistic jets... Read More
Among the many opportunities in the LSST project, it necessitates a new understanding of our own atmosphere. LSST science depends on photometric redshift determination, which in turn depends on accurate measurements of the flux from celestial objects. At wavelengths where our atmosphere glows, this presents a novel challenge. The LSST filter bands, showing total... Read More
Cosmic inflation may have imprinted a distinctive pattern, associated with so-called B-Modes, on the polarization pattern of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation on degree angular scales. A team including several KIPAC researchers will be attempting to detect this key signal using the BICEP2 telescope over the next two years, following its "first light"... Read More
Core-collapse supernovae are some of the biggest explosions in the universe - but exactly how the immense amount of energy released is converted into a form we can observe has puzzled astrophysicists for many decades. The Computational Astrophysics Consortium, which includes KIPAC, studies these systems via state-of-the-art hydrodynamic (HD) and magneto-hydrodynamic... Read More
The extent to which the cool, dense gas at the centers of massive galaxy clusters can be disrupted remains an outstanding question in astrophysics. Although physical processes such as mergers and central galaxy activity have been shown to suppress cooling and therefore star formation in the central gas, the cool core has almost always been observed to remain more or... Read More
Using powerful computer simulations, a KIPAC scientist explores the possible mechanisms behind the gamma-ray emission in the super explosions known as gamma-ray bursts. Artist's conception of a GRB. We see the burst of gamma rays if the jets are oriented so that one points toward us. (Image courtesy of NASA) Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most energetic events... Read More
Among the successes of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is its discovery of the gamma-ray emission from many pulsars, the fascinating beacons in space. Additionally, KIPAC scientists have also used what Fermi has not seen from some pulsars to learn more about them. Locations of a selection of pulsars seen in gamma rays by Fermi, on top of a map of the diffuse... Read More
By turning their gaze to small satellite galaxies where the total mass is most dominated by dark matter, astrophysicists using data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have achieved the tightest constraints on the properties of dark matter particles to date. Optical image of the Fornax satellite galaxy, one of the dwarf galaxies used in the Fermi-LAT analysis... Read More
Ever resourceful, physicists, including several KIPAC scientists, have been using the specialized processors in computer graphics display cards to speed up some of the calculations that arise in data analysis. In the coming era of large astronomical surveys for weak lensing constraints on dark energy, such speed will be essential. Example of the mass distribution... Read More
Both instruments on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have seen a gamma-ray burst also detected by other observatories, giving scientists a unique opportunity to learn more about these enigmatic blasts. Photograph of the Fermi GBM before launch. The detectors consist of scintillator materials in which incoming gamma rays make a track of glowing light. Gamma-ray... Read More

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