KIPAC Blog

It has long been suspected that the processes at the center of active galaxies prevent the gas from forming stars. Now, for the first time, a KIPAC team has seen that happening before our eyes. One of the seeming paradoxes of astrophysics is that stars form because something got colder.  Only cold gas can sink into a gravitational potential and coalesce to form a... Read More
Long (up to Megaparsec scale), highly collimated jets of magnetized plasma emanating from the active nuclei of galaxies pose many astrophysical puzzles - including the mechanism by which those outflows are accelerated to relativistic velocities, and the structure of the jet magnetic field. Recent high resolution X-ray imaging of the jet in famous radio galaxy Pictor... Read More
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
KIPAC scientists have used Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope observations to detect a flare in a distant active galaxy, with it becoming temporarily the brightest gamma-ray source in the entire sky, and indicating the most luminous object, aside from gamma-ray bursts, discovered in the Universe to date. Artist's conception of an AGN. When the distant galaxy is... 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
Gamma-ray observations of the Universe by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have enabled another astrophysical constraint on the properties of particle dark matter. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope continues to bridge astronomy and particle physics. Many observations in astrophysics make it clear that the matter content of the Universe is dominated by dark... Read More
Active galactic nuclei reveal the presence of enormous amounts of matter interacting with a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy. Because galaxies merge over the history of the Universe, we should see the signatures of supermassive black holes merging in some places. An analysis of X-ray observations may have shown just that. X-ray image of SDSS... Read More

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