KIPAC Blog

An analysis of X-ray observations has provided the clearest picture to date of the size, mass, and matter content of a giant cluster of galaxies. The study also provides the first direct evidence that the multi-million-degree gas in the cluster's outskirts is clumped into enormous clouds. X-ray images of the Perseus cluster on top of an optical one. The colors... Read More
A new prediction of the density and velocity distribution of dark matter particles at our position in the Galaxy has provided a revised estimate of the likely detection rates for dark matter in particle physics experiments. Typical conception of the halo of dark matter surrounding the Galaxy. Looking at all of the bright stars in the sky, it is easy to forget... Read More
Unifying the astronomically near and far, the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has seen its first signature of cosmic rays interacting with the light from our Sun. The left panel shows the LAT gamma rays per pixel from near the Sun and the right panel shows the same for another patch of sky. There is a clear large flux from the solar disk and a less dense but... Read More
A KIPAC researcher uses images of very distant galaxies to learn about somewhat nearer galaxies, through the phenomenon of gravitational lensing. The right panel shows a background galaxy with the image of the lens galaxy (in the center) removed. A proper model of the mass distribution of the lens galaxy results in the reconstructed shape for the background galaxy... 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
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

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