Gravitational waves and visible light from a neutron star collision: an incredible day for science

Wow. After two months of excitement and feverish work, we finally revealed yesterday what many in the astronomical community had been speculating about: the simultaneous discovery of gravitational and electromagnetic radiation (light) from the same source. But what maybe no one expected was just how much light. This event, the violent collision of two neutron … More Gravitational waves and visible light from a neutron star collision: an incredible day for science

A full literature study of superluminous supernovae with our new code, MOSFiT!

Alternative title: Markov Chain Monte Carlo Multi-Colour Magnetar Calculations with the MOSFiT Code (MCMCMCMCMC). Earlier this summer (it’s been so busy!) we published the first results from our new multi-purpose light curve code. The Modular Open Source Fitter for Transients (MOSFiT) was written by James Guillochon and myself (with help from many others) so that … More A full literature study of superluminous supernovae with our new code, MOSFiT!

Fast radio bursts and superluminous supernovae: a surprising connection?

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) are one of the hottest topics in astrophysics right now. FRBs are millisecond pulses of extraterrestrial radio emission that had us all baffled for most of the last decade. In the past year however, astronomers have discovered the first “repeater” (an FRB source emitting multiple bursts over 4 years and counting), … More Fast radio bursts and superluminous supernovae: a surprising connection?

A star is ripped apart by an already-active black hole

My collaborator Peter Blanchard, a PhD student here at Harvard, has just published the exciting discovery of the┬átidal disruption of a star in an active galactic nucleus. What does this mean? A tidal disruption event (TDE) occurs when a star passes too close to a supermassive black hole, within the tidal radius where the pull … More A star is ripped apart by an already-active black hole