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Sackler Lecture: The Fourth Paradigm – How Big Data is Changing Science

Sackler Speaker: Alexander Szalay (Johns Hopkins University)

Abstract: The talk will describe how science is changing as a result of the vast amounts of data we are collecting from gene sequencers to telescopes and supercomputers. This “Fourth Paradigm of Science”, predicted by Jim Gray, is moving at full speed, and is transforming one scientific area after…

SXS Simulation Video Featured on BBC Earth

BBC Earth recently featured a video that simulates the collision of two black holes, produced by the Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes (SXS) collaboration.

Black holes are formed by the collapse of massive stars; their gravitational pull is so strong that not even light can escape. If they occur in pairs, they emit intense gravitational energy, causing them to spiral inwards and eventually…

CITA Jamboree 2015

The annual CITA Jamboree not only provides a compact overview of the exciting happenings at CITA to our incoming students and postdocs, but also gives CITAzens a chance to share their research with U of T’s astronomy/astrophysics/physics community.

This year, the Jamboree took place on Wed, Oct 7, 2015. We had a great turnout of students, postdocs, and faculty from various fields who listened…

A new part of the time-domain radio sky

By: Liam Connor and Robert Main

(Image Credit: Andre Recnik; Click to enlarge) The first VLBI image of a pulsar’s scattering screen revealed a linear structure in the sky. This is believed to possibly due to refraction at grazing incidence of current sheets in the ISM, where ripples in the sheets cause an enhanced bending of the light from the pulsar. Analogously, a star’s light along t…

Cristobal Petrovich is the Recipient of the 2015 Gruber Foundation Fellowship

The 2015 Gruber Foundation Fellowship recipient is Cristobal Petrovich from Chile, who will spend the fellowship period at CITA (Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics) and the Center for Planetary Science at the University of Toronto, where the study of exoplanets is a very active research field. He plans to extend some of the theories of planet migration by taking into account t…

Sponsored by CITA: The West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers

The West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers (WAISSYA) is a week-long introductory course in astronomy for undergraduate science students from around West Africa (and beyond). This is the second time we are holding the school; the first time was in October 2013. Most of our 50 students will be from Nigeria, along with several students from Ghana, the Gambia, Senegal, Egypt,…

Debut on the BBC and Science Channel! the bicep-planck story

Headlines around the world accompanied the announcement in March 2014 by the BICEP2 team that a specific swirly pattern of cosmic microwave background polarization called the B-mode was discovered on large angular scales. After evaluating and rejecting various systematic effects and Milky Way foreground emissions as the cause, the team, including Professor Barth Netterfield and graduate student…

Planck: Gravitational Waves Remain Elusive

Despite earlier reports of a possible detection, a joint analysis of data from ESA’s Planck satellite and the ground-based BICEP2 and Keck Array experiments has found no conclusive evidence of primordial gravitational waves.  CITA scientists Dick Bond and Peter Martin are co-authors on this new study.

Read more…

Download the BICEP-2/Keck/Planck cross-correlation…

Professor Norm Murray broadcasting live on PRI

Today the Director of CITA,  Norm Murray,  will go live on the airwaves with Public Radio International to discuss the  Spinning  Theories on Planet Rotation. This will be broadcasted from Glen Gould studio downtown Toronto.

 

You can listen here at Scienc…

How long is a day on an exoplanet when the atmosphere forces an entire planet to spin faster

Even before exoplanets were discovered, astronomers thought that most planets with orbital periods less than a year would be spinning “synchronously”, meaning that, like the Moon around the Earth, they would always show the same side to their star. In our Solar System, Venus escaped this state, but it was believed that this peculiarity was due to the unusually massive atmosphere of that…

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