Latest from KIPAC

May 22, 2024 – News

The largest camera ever built for astrophysics has completed the journey to Cerro Pachón in Chile, where it will soon help unlock the universe’s mysteries.

May 2, 2024 – Research Highlight
Three flights and about 26 hours from Stanford’s campus, on a cold, dry, and remote mountain high in the Atacama Desert, sits the Simons Observatory, a cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiment which will soon begin to map this ancient light with exquisite precision. Since it is the furthest light source in our Universe, however, studying the CMB is particularly difficult. Ground-based telescopes such as the Simons Observatory must be constructed in some of the most remote corners of the globe. Water vapor in our atmosphere perturbs astronomical measurements, so scientists build telescopes in the dry, thin air of high-altitude deserts. The Atacama Desert in Chile is one such location, where some areas among the Andes Mountains are nearly 50 times drier than California’s Death Valley.
Apr 15, 2024 – News

Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s stunningly detailed images will illuminate distant stellar streams and their past encounters with dark matter.

Apr 9, 2024 – News

Researchers have used the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument to make the largest 3D map of our universe and world-leading measurements of dark energy, the mysterious force behind its accelerating expansion.

Apr 3, 2024 – News

Once set in place atop a telescope in Chile, the 3,200-megapixel LSST Camera will help researchers better understand dark matter, dark energy and other mysteries of our universe.

Mar 21, 2024 – Research Highlight
Have you ever looked through a wine glass and noticed objects farther away appear distorted? This effect, caused by the bending of light as it passes through the curved surface, is somewhat similar to strong gravitational lensing; like the wine glass warping light from distant objects, a foreground galaxy warps the appearance of a galaxy behind it by magnifying it, distorting it into arcs, and/or creating multiple images of it [Figure 2]. In my research, I use machine learning and data from the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) to look for a specific type of gravitational lens: a quasar lensing a background galaxy. But I want to learn about the lens itself, not the galaxy behind it.
Feb 21, 2024 – News
The fellowship “recognizes and rewards outstanding early-career faculty who have the potential to revolutionize their fields of study.”
Feb 7, 2024 – News

Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s detailed, big-picture view of our Solar System and ability to quickly detect and track moving objects will provide a gold mine of data to benefit space mission planning and preparation.

Jan 12, 2024 – News

The latest results put the strongest constraints on the expansion of the universe ever obtained with DES supernova data.

Jan 9, 2024 – News

When she’s in Chile, Margaux Lopez starts most days nine thousand feet below her place of work. At 6:30 a.m. she boards a bus to begin the steep climb from La Serena, Chile’s second-oldest city, to the top of Cerro Pachón, a mountain in the Chilean Andes. Why does she do this? Lopez is one of a team of engineers hard at work preparing for the arrival of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) camera, the largest digital camera ever built for astrophysics and part of Vera C. Rubin Observatory.