“Flying Apple Space Technologies” succeeds in the video capture from its balloon space flight

Dec 16, 2011

One of our recent Ph.D. graduate, Dr. Amanda Maxham, who is currently teaching AST104 as a visiting faculty, also operates the “Flying Apple Space Technologies”.  They have succeeded in capturing the video from their recent space balloon launch at Nipton, NV.  See the youtube video here.   Very cool, Amanda!!

Prof. Matthew Baring (Rice Univ.) visit our group and give colloquium speech

Dec 9, 2011

“The Quiescent and Flaring Emission of Magnetars”


Magnetars are the most powerful compact objects in the stellar mass range observed in the Milky Way.  The initial spikes of giant flares seen in three soft gamma repeaters (SGRs) dwarf the fluxes of the brightest cosmological gamma-ray bursts.

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Dr. Jun Luo (Huazhong University of Science & Technology) visit our group and give colloquium speech

Dec 2, 2011

“Progress on Laboratory Gravitational Experiments in HUST Group”

Many theoretical physicists are trying to find a universal unified theory to cover the four fundamental interactions, but up to now they can not answer the question why gravitation is so weak compared with the other forces. Therefore, experimental research on the essential nature of gravitation is still relevant to some of the most profound questions in fundamental physics.

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Dr. Kohta Murase visit our group and give colloquium speech

Nov 18, 2011

“Multi-Messenger Signatures of Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Rays”

The origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs), has been one of the biggest mysteries in physics and astronomy.  The multi-messenger approach, using neutrinos and gamma rays as well as cosmic rays, is necessary in order to reveal the sources.  Recently a Gton neutrino detector, IceCube, was completed, and several Cherenkov gamma-ray telescopes as well as the gamma-ray satellite Fermi are now operating, so that the era of the multi-messenger observations is coming. 

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Dr. Ding-Xiong Wang (Huazhong University of Science & Technology) visit our group and give colloquium speech

Nov 15, 2011

“Magnetic Extraction of Energy from Black Hole Systems”

Magnetic extraction of energy from black hole (BH) systems is presented, in which three main energy mechanisms, i.e., the Blandford-Payne process, Blandford-Znajek process, and magnetic coupling process, are introduced based on BH accretion. Application of these energy mechanisms to high-energy astrophysics such as GRBs, AGNs and BHXB is briefly discussed.

Dr. Weidong Li (UC Berkeley) visit our group and give colloquium speech

Oct 21, 2011

“The Lick Observatory Supernova Search (LOSS) and SN 2011fe in M101”


The Lick Observatory Supernova Search (LOSS), using the robotic 30-inch Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT), has discovered over 800 SNe in the past decade, and is one of the most successful nearby SN searches. There are two parts in this talk. (I) a brief summary of LOSS and its  scientific results. 

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Dr. Ken-ichi Nishikawa (Univ. of Alabama, Huntsville) visit our group and give colloquium speech

Sep 30, 2011

Radiation from accelerated particles in shocks and reconnections”

Plasma instabilities are responsible not only for the onset and mediation of collisionless shocks but also for the associated acceleration of particles. We have investigated particle acceleration and shock structure associated with an unmagnetized relativistic electron-positron jet propagating into an unmagnetized electron-positron plasma.

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Prof. Edo Berger (Harvard Univ.) visit our group and give colloquium speech

Sep 23, 2011

“Short GRBs:  Environments, Afterglows, and Prospects for Gravitational Wave Detections”

The bimodality of GRB durations points to distinct progenitor classes.  While the progenitors of long GRBs are now known to be massive stars, the progenitors of short GRBs remain unidentified.  In this talk I will discuss the discovery of short GRB afterglow and host galaxies, detailed studies of their environments from parsec to galactic scales, and initial studies of their afterglows. 

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UNLV professor gets to observe rare astronomical event —– News from Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sep. 3, 2011

Sep 5, 2011

Astrophysicist Bing Zhang, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor, was part of an international team of scientists who discovered evidence of a supermassive black hole swallowing a star. The results of the discovery were published last week in the science journal Nature.


UNLV astrophysicist key in NASA discovery

University professor part of research team that observed  black-hole engulfing star

Sep 2 ,2011

A UNLV astrophysicist was part of a team of scientists that recently discovered the first evidence of a super-massive black hole swallowing a star.

Professor Bing Zhang was one of 58 authors involved in detailing the observations in the Aug. 25 edition of the journal, Nature.

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