KIPAC Blog

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
By realistically simulating a population of gamma-ray bursts, KIPAC scientists have demonstrated the extent to which these explosions can be mischaracterized when they are far away. The observed duration of a GRB pulse as a function of distance (redshift) for both an ideal (Without Noise) and a realistic (With Noise) observing instrument. The actual observed... Read More
Scientists from KIPAC and the SLAC theory department have demonstrated that astrophysical observations from the Fermi Gamma-ray space telescope can probe the validity of a class of famous particle physics theories known as supersymmetry. Example of SUSY models allowed given current Fermi-LAT observations, in the plane of lightest supersymmetric particle mass (X-... Read More
The discovery of gamma-ray flares in the Crab Nebula was rated by Astronomy Magazine as the number two space story of 2011. Now KIPAC scientists report on another, larger, flaring episode, and are beginning to crack the mystery of why this source can be so variable. Gamma-ray flux from the Crab Nebula as measured by the Fermi-LAT for 14 days in April, 2011. The... Read More
Newly detailed computer simulations show how magnetic fields grew in the first stars, and may change our view of the Universe's original shiny objects. Magnetic energy map of a forming star in the simulations. Columns from left to right show increasing resolution of simulation. Rows from top to bottom show the view zooming in from far away. It is well established... Read More
Much public attention has focused on the recent discoveries of many hundreds of planets around other stars. A group of KIPAC scientists has now estimated that there may be up to ten thousand times as many planet-sized objects flying freely through our Galaxy as there are planets orbiting stars. They explore the implications for future sky surveys such as LSST, as... Read More
Simulations of accretion flows around black holes, involving General Relativity and relativistic plasma physics, have led to a new model of how extreme particle acceleration is achieved in the hearts of galaxies, gamma-ray bursts, and elsewhere. Visualization of a simulation for a black hole accretion flow. Shown, in a vertical slice through the accretion disk,... Read More
Simulations suggest that our Milky Way galaxy has many dark-matter-dominated satellites swarming around it, but without large numbers of stars they are too dim to be seen as satellite galaxies. However, KIPAC astrophysicists using data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope can learn about dark matter by fishing for these dark satellites with gamma rays.... Read More
KIPAC scientists have amassed detailed optical light spectra for 165 FSRQ-type blazars seen by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. The observations can be used to learn about their violent central regions where a supermassive black hole holds sway. Examples of optical spectra of Fermi FSRQ-type blazars as measured and presented by Shaw, Romani, and colleagues. In... Read More
An intriguing new model of the emission surrounding the Vela Pulsar may explain a famous mystery in high energy astrophysics. The left panel shows a VLA radio map of the Vela pulsar extended radio region with Fermi-LAT gamma-ray contours overlaid. The right panel shows the ROSAT satellite X-ray map with H.E.S.S. TeV gamma ray contours overlaid. The Vela pulsar is... Read More

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