KIPAC Blog

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In a nice marriage of theory and experiment, KIPAC scientists have investigated the effects of small layers of contamination on optical surfaces, which is important in building the super telescope that will probe dark energy. The stars are the measured light change through a glass disk with a ~13 micron layer of condensed water on it. The colored curves are the... Read More
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, famous for probing the Galaxy and distant reaches of the Universe, has now seen its first flare from our own Sun. Ultraviolet light image of a solar flare, seen as a bright patch by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) satellite. One of the three main instruments on SDO was built at Stanford. Since gamma rays are the... Read More

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