Research Highlights

Jun 19, 2016 | Deciphering the Universe on a Budget: New Worlds, New Horizons, Five Years Later

Last fall, KIPAC professor Bruce Macintosh managed to make time in his busy schedule of teaching and sleuthing for extrasolar planets orbiting around distant stars to help put together a progress report for a mid-decadal review of what is arguably the most important exercise in his entire field:  The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. For the past 60 years, once each decade the astronomy and astrophysics community in the US takes a good, long look in the mirror. During this comprehensive self-assessment, scientists from across the country and around the world come together to hash out issues of scientific priorities and resource allocations, enabling the field as a whole to face the future together.  "This is a good thing," Macintosh says—the democratic process results in a community that is more supportive of the resulting priorities

Jun 6, 2016 | The Dark Energy Camera: a powerfully capable instrument for the modern era of massive cosmological surveys

The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) is a 570-megapixel camera installed on the 4-meter Victor Blanco telescope atop Cerro Tololo, a mountain in the Chilean Andes. The science mission for the Dark Energy Survey, of which I’m a member, is nothing less than to use this camera to understand what Dark Energy is. Which is a tall challenge, since the phrase “Dark Energy” itself is, as some cosmologists say, simply words we use to describe our profound ignorance about the current-day accelerating expansion of the universe.

May 2, 2016 | Where are they now? -- An Interview with KIPAC alum Peter den Hartog

By Lori Ann White

In the series, "Where are they now?" we check in with KIPAC alumni: where they are now, how they've fared since their days exploring particle astrophysics and cosmology at the Institute, and how their KIPAC experiences have shaped their journeys.

Apr 18, 2016 | First Baby Photos of an Infant Planet

For the first time we've managed to take a baby picture of a planet still in the process of growing.  Our team was able to image this so-called “proto"-planet with the Magellan telescope in Chile, taking advantage of the high-speed adaptive optics of the telescope to correct for blurring by the Earth's atmosphere.  This allowed us to take a super high-resolution image of the system and, after subtracting the light from the central star, isolate light coming directly from the protoplanet. More specifically, we isolated light emitted by ultra-hot hydrogen gas falling onto the protoplanet, which is named (systematically, if not super-creatively) LkCa 15 b after its star, LkCa 15 A.

Apr 13, 2016 | Where are they now? -- Yvonne Edmonds

In the series, "Where are they now?" we check in with KIPAC alumni: where they are now, how they've fared since their days exploring particle astrophysics and cosmology at the Institute, and how their KIPAC experiences have shaped their journeys. Next up is Yvonne Edmonds, who spent her time at KIPAC searching for signs of dark matter in the data gathered by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (FGST).

Apr 13, 2016 | Directly Imaging Exoplanets or: Seeing Alien Worlds

By Mandeep S.S. Gill

 

Apr 3, 2016 | Not Your Typical Winter Break: Antarctic Working "Holiday" Awaits KIPAC Undergrad

By Lori Ann White


Above: Albert sporting a shirt that contains all the particles of the current Standard Model of particle physics (which is now known to be incomplete because it misses dark matter, for one.) (Photo courtesy Albert Wandui.)

Apr 3, 2016 | Up above the Earth so high: Astrophysics at 44,000 feet!

By Rebecca Canning and Norbert Werner

Nov 27, 2015 | CMB Telescope Terms

As I continue to talk about the details of deconstructing and rebuilding a telescope, there’s some science that has to be understood.

Nov 27, 2015 | Exploring South Pole Station

I spent the first weekend mostly acclimating. Adjusting to these conditions (literally the highest, driest, and coldest place on Earth) takes some time and the opposite of effort. Sitting down, taking it easy, and feeling like a freeloader.

Nov 24, 2015 | The Journey to the Bottom of the World

By Val Monticue

Nov 22, 2015 | Where are they now? -- An Interview with KIPAC alumna Jodi Cooley

By Lori Ann White

In the series, "Where are they now?" we check in with KIPAC alumni: where they are now, how they've fared since their days exploring particle astrophysics and cosmology at the Institute, and how their KIPAC experiences have shaped their journeys.