Built to look for gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space itself that were predicted by Einstein in 1916, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) is the most ambitious project ever funded by the National Science Foundation. We talk to two Caltech researchers to learn about how LIGO came to be.
Leaders of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project announced on Tuesday that the government of India has signed on as a full partner in the construction of what will be the world's largest ground-based telescope.
Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers at Caltech and their colleagues have detected a diffuse cosmic glow that appears to represent more light than that produced by known galaxies in the universe.
"I study the smallest galaxies we know about...These galaxies are interesting because they are part of our cosmic story. The first galaxies to form were small ones, and over time they got smashed together to build up bigger ones."
A new camera is being built at Caltech's Palomar Observatory that will be able to survey the entire Northern Hemisphere sky in a single night, searching for supernovas, black holes, near-Earth asteroids, and other objects.
Results from NASA's Kepler planet-hunting mission have indicated that the most common planets in the galaxy are super-Earths—those that are bigger than Earth but smaller than Neptune. Heather Knutson and her colleagues are using space telescopes to try to find out more about these worlds.
Jamie Bock, professor of physics at Caltech and a senior research scientist at JPL, and Caltech Professor of Physics Christopher Martin were among those receiving NASA Honor Awards in a ceremony on Tuesday, September 16.
Astronomers working with NuSTAR have found a pulsating dead star beaming with the energy of about 10 million suns. The object, previously thought to be a black hole because it is so powerful, is in fact a pulsar—the incredibly dense rotating remains of a star.