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Annual Archives


CITA congratulates the 2017 Physics Nobel Prize laureates

Gravitational waves

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Rainer Weiss, Barry C. Barish, and Kip S. Thorne for “decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.” In 2015, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration detected the gravitational waves emitted by the collision of two massive black holes over a billion light years away. This monumental discovery was the first…

A three-detector observation of a binary black hole coalescence

Blackholes with known mass

This afternoon, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration announced the fourth significant detection of gravitational waves. This event, dubbed GW170814, originated from the inspiral and collision of two black holes, located more than a billion light years away. The two black holes had estimated masses of 31 and 25 solar masses, with roughly 3 solar masses’ worth of energy…

New TRAPPIST-1 Web App Launched

TRAPPIST-1 is the most musical system ever discovered and now you can conduct its planetary symphony by simply pressing buttons and moving sliders in a new interactive web application:

Hear the original sonification of TRAPPIST-1 and learn about what makes this system so special at

This was…

Observation of a 50-Solar-Mass Binary Black Hole Coalescence

This morning, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) announced its third detection of gravitational waves emitted by two colliding black holes. The detection, named GW170104, was observed by LIGO on January 4, 2017 at 10:11:58 UTC with the two black holes having estimated masses of 31 and 19 solar masses. The final black hole’s mass is estimated to be around 50 solar…

How fine-tuned harmonies saves TRAPPIST-1 from destruction

Author: Dan Tamayo

In February of this year, a European-led team of astronomers announced that TRAPPIST-1, one of the 300 nearest stars to us, hosts seven Earth-like planets. Several of these could have the right temperatures to host liquid water, and are thus prime candidates in the search for life outside our solar system.

But a puzzle in the original paper was that when they tried to…

The TRAPPIST-1 Treasure Trove (Classroom Visit)

The TRAPPIST-1 Treasure Trove (Classroom Visit)

In February of 2017, astronomers announced an exciting development in our exploration of worlds beyond the solar system: not only do 7 Earth-sized planets orbit a nearby star known as TRAPPIST-1, but 3 of them may be able to support liquid water! To celebrate this discovery, the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics and Discover t…

CITA research featured on CBC News

Research on gravitational waves by CITA Professor Harald Pfeiffer has been featured on CBC news.

Read the artic…

CITA Research Featured on AAS Nova

Research on structures in the interstellar medium by CITA professor Peter Martin and former CITA postdoc fellow Kevin Blagrave has been featured on AAS Nova, a website highlighting the most interesting recent results published in AAS journals.

AAS Nova page here

Read the original study…

CITA Professor Peter Martin named Officer of the Order of Canada

CITA Professor Peter Martin has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada. The formal citation was “For his innovative research on interstellar matter and for establishing two world-renowned institutes of astronomy and astrophysics.”
Established in 1967 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada is the cornerstone of the Canadian Honours System, and recognizes outstanding…

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