KIPAC Blog

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
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 team of KIPAC astrophysicists has applied a rigorous statistical analysis to observations of quasars resulting in an interesting perspective. An example of a bias arising from data truncation. In this plot of radio luminosity versus redshift (distance) for quasars detected by a survey, inherently faint objects can only be seen if they are close (low redshift).... Read More
KIPAC astrophysicists have used a technique that processes information in a way analogous to the human brain in order to determine whether galaxy shapes can help determine their place in the Universe. The effect of adding multiple parameters representing galaxy shape information on the photo-z accuracy, as determined by Singal et al. with their neural network... 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
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
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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