By turning their gaze to small satellite galaxies where the total mass is most dominated by dark matter, astrophysicists using data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have achieved the tightest constraints on the properties of dark matter particles to date.
May 5, 2015 | Life In the Dark Matter Fast Lane
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.
Among the many opportunities in the LSST project, it necessitates a new understanding of our own atmosphere. LSST science depends on photometric redshift determination, which in turn depends on accurate measurements of the flux from celestial objects. At wavelengths where our atmosphere glows, this presents a novel challenge.
The LSST filter bands, showing total system throughput
May 5, 2015 | Knowing The Telescope Before It Is Built
By the end of the decade, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will begin gazing at the sky and revolutionizing the study of dark energy and astronomy. Today, however, scientists are already hard at work learning how to analyze LSST's unprecedented amount and complexity of data with the Image Simulator.
May 5, 2015 | Cosmic Archaeology With the Leader of a Group
A team of astronomers, including two from KIPAC, have created a map of X-ray emission from around the central galaxy of a galaxy group. Along with data from other wavelengths, it dramatically shows the effects of outbursts from the central active galactic nucleus that occurred millions of years ago.
May 5, 2015 | Probing Dark Energy Using Clusters of Galaxies
Of the four established ways to study dark matter astronomically, looking at the evolving properties of galaxy clusters is the most reliant on non-optical observations of our Universe. A KIPAC faculty member has proposed satellite observations for a new era of cluster constraints on dark energy.
May 5, 2015 | Understanding Dark Energy Through CMB Observations
A KIPAC astrophysicist has published some of the first constraints on dark energy and other cosmological parameters using the measured signal from "shadows" of galaxy clusters in the CMB.
The Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT), located in the Atacama desert in Chile.
May 5, 2015 | The Crab Nebula Is Not So Steady
The Crab Nebula is a system with a pulsar and a surrounding ball of material that emits light all across the electromagnetic spectrum. For many years it was thought to be a constant steady source and was used as a calibration reference for telescopes. Now, KIPAC scientists using the Fermi Space telescope have shown that the emission from the Crab in gamma rays varies with time.
May 5, 2015 | Through the Looking Galaxy
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 in the left panel.
May 5, 2015 | A Flare in the Jet of Pictor A
Long (up to Megaparsec scale), highly collimated jets of magnetized plasma emanating from the active nuclei of galaxies pose many astrophysical puzzles - including the mechanism by which those outflows are accelerated to relativistic velocities, and the structure of the jet magnetic field. Recent high resolution X-ray imaging of the jet in famous radio galaxy Pictor A shows some surprising and unexpected variability.
May 5, 2015 | Fermi Shines (High Energy) Light On Supersymmetry
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.
May 5, 2015 | Movies Of The Universe Produced In Kavliwood
In the KIPAC Visualization Lab - and in major planetariums - visitors can watch three dimensional movie renderings of processes from the history of the Universe. KIPAC scientists use novel computer graphics techniques to produce and display the animations, which are based on the results from computational simulations.