From The University of Chicago Physical Sciences, Feb. 8, 2021: Fermilab scientist Richard Kron is retiring from the University of Chicago. He co-founded the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which created the most detailed 3-D maps of the universe and recorded the spectra for more than 3 million astronomical objects. His approach influenced the Dark Energy Survey, which created one of the most accurate dark matter maps of the universe and which Kron will continue to direct.
From NOIRLab, Feb. 8, 2021: The Dark Energy Camera, originally used to complete the Dark Energy Survey, has taken the most detailed photo of Messier 83, also known as the Southern Pinwheel galaxy. (In DECam’s second act, scientists can apply for time to use it to collect data that is then made publicly available.) In all, 163 DECam exposures went into creating this image.
From CNN, Feb. 4, 2021: Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln contextualizes a recent signal that some think may be a sign of extraterrestrial intelligence, explaining the hubbub around the recent a transmission originating from Proxima Centauri. With hope for hearing such a signal one day and pride for humanity’s legacy of looking skyward, Lincoln cautions against reading too much into this transmission, which hasn’t yet been vetted with scientific review.
From Universe Today, Feb. 3, 2021: Recent published results from the Dark Energy Survey point to intracluster light — feeble light from rogue stars that don’t belong to a galaxy — as a potential pathway to measure dark matter. Fermilab scientist Yuanyuan Zhang contextualizes the findings.
From Super Interessante, Jan. 31, 2021: A team of researchers from Fermilab and the National Observatory in Brazil used the light of solitary stars to calculate the mass of some of the largest structures in the cosmos — galaxy clusters. In addition to taking the most detailed measurement ever published of intracluster light, the team’s new method of measurement can help further investigate dark matter.
From New Scientist, Jan. 25, 2021: The Big Bang left us the universe — and a major set of mysteries around antimatter, dark matter, dark energy, and cosmic inflation. While the Large Hadron Collider looks at what the laws of physics were like a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, Dan Hooper, head of theoretical astrophysics at Fermilab, thinks the answers to these puzzles may depend on better understanding that first fraction of a second — even closer to the universe’s beginning.
Faint light from rogue stars not bound to galaxies has been something of a mystery to scientists. The dimness of this intracluster light makes it difficult to measure, and no one knows how much there is. Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey, led by Fermilab, have made the most radially extended measurement of this light ever and have found new evidence that its distribution might point to the distribution of dark matter.
From Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Jan. 26, 2021: The COHERENT particle physics experiment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has firmly established the existence of a new kind of neutrino interaction. To observe this interaction, scientists used CENNS-10, a liquid argon detector built at and on loan from Fermilab.
From Forbes, Jan. 22, 2021: Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes recent findings of scientists studying an unexplained excess of hard X-rays emanating from neutron stars. The explanation for the excess could lie in a hypothesized dark matter candidate called the axion.
From Forbes, Jan. 19, 2021: Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln contextualizes the discovery of the most distant (and therefore oldest) supermassive black hole found thus far, which is 10 trillion times brighter than our sun.