Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jan 27 Recap

This week's journal club was led by Prof. Pat Hall. Some highlights are

1. Gamma-ray telescopes show origins of cosmic rays. Fermi's first year observation shows evidence of the connection between SNe remnants and the acceleration of CR hadrons. Read the article here.

2. HARPS search for extra-solar planets around dwarf star GJ876, the radial velocity measurements indicate an Earth-mass size planet or smaller. Read the paper here.

3. Gravitational-wave detection via radio-pulsar timing. Astronomers worldwide are constructing pulsar timing arrays (PTAs). By monitoring millisecond pulsars spread over the entire sky, gravitational waves are expected to be detected within a decade. Read about details here.

4. A paradox resolved using observations of doppler boosting in Kepler lightcurves. Two interesting objects from Kepler's initial discoveries are proved to be low-mass white dwarfs. Read the detail and how this system might be formed here. And another paper studying the same system, Kepler Observations of Transiting Hot Compact Objects, here.

5. The "Wild Youth" of Massive Galaxies. Using the Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrometer, astronomers confirm that the structure of red massive galaxies in the young universe differs considerably from the red elliptical galaxies of similar mass in the nearby universe. Read their paper in Nature and in ApJ.

6. Seven-year wilkinson microwave anisotropy probe (WMAP) observations: cosmological interpretation. Read the article here.

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