KIPAC Blog

By the end of the decade, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will begin gazing at the sky and revolutionizing the study of dark energy and astronomy. Today, however, scientists are already hard at work learning how to analyze LSST's unprecedented amount and complexity of data with the Image Simulator. Simulated image of a galaxy as seen by LSST, including... Read More
In the KIPAC Visualization Lab - and in major planetariums - visitors can watch three dimensional movie renderings of processes from the history of the Universe. KIPAC scientists use novel computer graphics techniques to produce and display the animations, which are based on the results from computational simulations. Image from a movie showing a simulation of the... Read More
The origin of the extragalactic gamma-ray background remains a cosmic and high energy physics enigma as KIPAC scientists have estimated the contribution to it from blazars in two different ways. Estimate of the total cumulative flux from blazars above a given flux value. The level of the gamma-ray background is shown by the dashed line. In distant active galactic... 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
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
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
Simulating the evolution of the early Universe on computers is the starting point for cosmologists' understanding of structure formation in the cosmos. With techniques to pursue both a large volume of simulated universe and high spatial resolution, KIPAC researchers are leading the charge against one of the foremost computational challenges in astrophysics. Multi-... Read More
Some of the highest energy physical processes in the Universe emit powerful gamma-rays that can be detected when they hit our atmosphere with a flash. A group of KIPAC scientists have developed a new electronics chip that can sample 16 different signals at a billion or more times per second, in order to follow the extreme show. Prototype camera module for the... 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
Data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has revealed a new gamma-ray binary, a rare class of object in which a gamma ray source is in orbit around a star. Artist's conception of an X-ray binary in which a star and a black hole are in orbit around each other. The black hole pulls mass off the star, which interacts in the extreme conditions surrounding the... Read More

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