Supernova Factory announces 34 supernovae in one year

The Nearby Supernova Factory (SNfactory), an international collaboration based at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, today announced that it had discovered 34 supernovae during the first year of the prototype system’s operation — all but two of them in the last four months alone. The announcement was made at the 201st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle. “This is the best performance ever for a ‘rookie’ supernova search,” said Greg Aldering of Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division, principal investigator of the SNfactory. “We have shown we can discover supernovae at the rate of nine a month, a rate other searches have reached only after years of trying.”

Pair says ‘dark energy’ dominates the universe

A Dartmouth researcher is building a case for a “dark energy”-dominated universe. Dark energy, the mysterious energy with unusual anti-gravitational properties, has been the subject of great debate among cosmologists. Brian Chaboyer, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth, with his collaborator Lawrence Krauss, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Case Western Reserve University, have reported their finding in the January 3, 2003, issue of Science. Combining their calculations of the ages of the oldest stars with measurements of the expansion rate and geometry of the universe lead them to conclude that dark energy dominates the energy density of the universe.

S. Pole Telescope Produces Most Detailed Images of the Early Universe

Using a powerful new instrument at the South Pole, a team of cosmologists has produced the most detailed images of the early Universe ever recorded. The research team, which was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), has made public their measurements of subtle temperature differences in the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation. The CMB is the remnant radiation that escaped from the rapidly cooling Universe about 400,000 years after the Big Bang. Images of the CMB provide researchers with a snapshot of the Universe in its infancy, and can be used to place strong constraints on its constituents and structure. The new results provide additional evidence to support the currently favored model of the Universe in which 30 percent of all energy is a strange form of dark matter that doesn’t interact with light and 65 percent is in an even stranger form of dark energy that appears to be causing the expansion of the Universe to accelerate. Only the remaining five percent of the energy in the Universe takes the form of familiar matter like that which makes up planets and stars.