Featured Science

KIAA scientists unveil the radiation mechanism of gamma-ray bursts

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most violent explosions in the Universe since the Big Bang. Despite many years of observations and theoretical modeling, the exact mechanism that produces intense gamma-rays from these events is not identified. In a paper published in Nature Physics this week (06 April 2014), a KIAA postdoc, Z. Lucas Uhm and his collaborator Professor Bing Zhang made a theoretical breakthrough in understanding GRB emission.

New Patterns in Planet Distributions

Subo Dong (东苏勃) joined the faculty of KIAA in Fall 2013 through the 1000 Talents Program for young researchers (青年千人计划). One of his research interests is to robustly derive the distributions of extrasolar planets in order to find clues on how planet systems form and evolve. In a paper recently published in the Astrophysical Journal (http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.4853), he and Zhaohuan Zhu (Princeton University) determined the distributions of planets down to Earth size and in orbits closer than Venus.

Wind Braking of AXP/SGRs

Anomalous X-ray pulsars (AXPs) and soft gamma-ray repeaters (SGRs) are believed to be magnetars: peculiar neutron stars powered by their super strong magnetic field. Unfortunately, none of the predictions of traditional magnetar models successfully explain their properties. In a recent paper, the group of Prof. Renxin Xu (PKU Department of Astronomy, with joint appointment at the KIAA), in collaboration with Dr. Hao Tong of the Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, show that a wind braking mechanism in magnetars, where the energy release generates a strong wind, provides a natural understanding of the multiwavelength observational behavior of AXPs and SGRs.

Latest News

New Associate Director of KIAA

Professor Wu Xue-Bing, former Chairman of the Department of Astronomy at PKU and an expert on quasars and active galaxies, officially has been appointed as the new Associate Director of KIAA.
Xuebing Wu

KIAA to host "Quarks and Compact Stars" Workshop

KIAA will host a workshop on Quarks and Compact Stars, October 22-24, 2014. This workshop will focus on understanding the nature of the strong interaction at low energy scales.

New Science Advisory Committee

A group of eminent international experts forms the KIAA Science Advisory Committee (SAC), which is charged with advising the Director on matters pertaining to the scientific mission of the institute.

Three Astronomy Department Faculty Join KIAA

Three members from the Department of Astronomy have received joint appointments at KIAA. Professor Fukun Liu works on supermassive black hole binaries, accretion disks and active galactic nuclei. Professor Zuhui Fan works on cosmology, gravitational lensing and galactic dynamics. Professor Renxin Xu is an expert on particle astrophysics, including the study of pulsars, quark stars and other compact objects.