Cover News

The not so quiet night sky

Tsinghua University "New World - New Horizon" nineteenth astronomy public series lecture, "A not so quiet night sky", was hold in the evening of November 10, 2017 in the auditorium.


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THCA AST3-2 telescope observes GW170817's optical counterpart

On August 17, 2017, the now famous LIGO gravitational wave detector and VIRGO, the italo-french detector simultaneously observed a gravitational wave signal (GW170817). The joint detection allowed a more precise positioning of the event, located at about 130 million light years in a 31 square degrees area. This precision, which was not possible with LIGO-only observations allowed more than 70 observatories and telescopes in the world to point to the position in a most exciting and beautifully orchestrated series of multi-band follow-up observations of the electromagnetic signals associated to a gravitational event. This is the first ever observed neutron star collision, and it is in both gravitational waves and its electromagnetic counterparts (from high energy gamma-rays, X-rays, optical, and radio wavelengths) and will be certainly remembered as the start of gravitational waves astronomy.

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THCA members participate in Insight-HXMT obs of GW170817

On Oct. 16th 2017 Beijing Time, the National Science Foundation of the United States (NSF) announced at a news conference the discovery of a binary neutron star coalescence event (designated GW170817) through gravitational waves detected by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) together with the Advanced Virgo interferometer. This historic event triggered a rare, global joint observational campaign with dozens of astronomical equipment at all wavelengths in search of the elusive electromagnetic counterparts. Insight-HXMT, the first X-ray Satellite of China launched on Jun. 15th 2017, which is still under test, observed GW170817.


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Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt talks at Tsinghua

In the morning of October 13, 2017, the Australian National University Vice-Chancellor and Nobel laureate in Physics (2011), Prof. Brian Schmidt visited Tsinghua University, President Yong Qiu met with Prof. Schmidt in the main building. After the meeting, Professor Schmidt delivered a lecture on "the State of the Universe", hosted by Professor Shude Mao, Director of Tsinghua center for Astrophysics. In his talk, Professor Schmidt told the audience how we learned the evolution of the universe through the efforts of and struggles generations of astronomers.

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THCA Welcomes New Faculty Member Prof. Xuening Bai

Prof. Bai comes to Tsinghua from Harvard University, where he was a research associate and a lecturer at Institute for Theory and Computation, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. He was an undergraduate student at Tsinghua in the academic talent program (基础科学班) from 2003 to 2007, when he was a student member of THCA. He received his PhD in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University in 2012, where he was awarded the Charlotte E. Proctor Honorific Fellowship in 2011, an honor conferred on only the most distinguished PhD students at Princeton. He won the prestigious Hubble fellowship for which he chose the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics as the host.


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THCA Professor publishes a review paper in ARA&A

On August 18, 2017, a review paper entitled Ultraluminous X-ray Sources was published in this year’s Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, written by THCA Professor Hua Feng (second author), in collaboration with Philip Kaaret (first author), and Tim Roberts. The paper reviews the observational facts of a special kind of X-ray sources in the sky, so-called ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs), and how theoretical models and numerical simulations can explain the data. The link between the studies of ULXs, the early universe, and the detection of gravitational waves is also discussed. Prof. Feng’s major interests are 1) to understand the physics around compact objects, including ULXs and 2) to develop novel instrumentation for future X-ray astronomy.

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2017 Summer School for Astrophysics at Tsinghua

On July 10-14, 2017, the summer school for excellent college students of astrophysics at Tsinghua University was held in the west lecture classroom of Tsinghua University. It was participated by more than 70 students from seventeen schools such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, University of Science & Technology of China, Zhejiang University and Sichuan University, etc.

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Tsinghua-SRON MOU on X-ray Astronomy

Tsinghua Unversity and SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on collaboration in space science and technology, specifically on developing advanced X-ray imaging spectrometer, mainly for astronomical applications but the technology is expected to find broad applications in many areas including material science and medicine. SRON is a world leader in space technology, having played key roles in ESA (as well as other international) space missions. SRON is actively engaged in the discussion of the Hot Universe Baryon Surveyor (HUBS) mission concept developed in China, and in helping advance the concept internationally. The primary scientific objectives of the HUBS mission are to find the “missing matter” in the universe and to study its physical and chemical properties. The MoU stipulates that Tsinghua and SRON supports the exchange of research personnel, collaboration on detector R&D, and joint effort on advancing the HUBS concept.

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The First HUBS Collaboration Meeting at Tsinghua

The first HUBS collaboration meeting was held in Tsinghua on June 28, 2017. The Hot Universe Baryon Surveyor (HUBS) X-ray satellite concept, submitted by Prof. Wei Cui of the Tsinghua Center for Astrophysics, was selected in the preliminary round of decisions by the National Space Science Center (NSSC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in April, and is being further developed for the next round of selections.


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Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope Launched Successfully

On June 15th, 2017, the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), China's first X-ray astronomical satellite, was launched successfully on the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

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THCA Students Won Top Prize of Challenge Cup

On the afternoon of April 9th, 2017, the final review of the 35th Tsinghua Challenge Cup Competition was conducted in the Fifth Teaching Building. The student project 'Spatially Distributed Detection Network for the Electromagnetic Counterparts of Gravitational Wave Bursts', aka GRID (Gamma-Ray Integrated Detectors), won the top prize. THCA students play a key role in leading and developing the project.


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To Explore the Dark Matter with DAMPE

On March 4th 2017, the 17th session of the "New Worlds, New Horizons" Public Lecture series was held in the Auditorium of Tsinghua University. Dr. Chang Jin, Deputy Director of the Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and PI of the DAMPE project, presented the audience the breathtaking view of the satellite, its history and its missions. The lecture attracted approximately 500 on-site audiences and over 8900 on-line audiences.

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