Featured Science

Merging Galaxies Have Enshrouded Black Holes

An international team of astronomers from China and Chile use NASA's NuSTAR telescope to observe the penetrating high-energy X-ray emission from 52 galaxies. They find that in the late stages of galaxy mergers, so much gas and dust falls toward a black hole that the extremely bright AGN is enshrouded. This study helps confirm the longstanding idea that an AGN's black hole does most of its eating while enshrouded during the late stages of a merger.

New Discoveries Fill the Gap of Quasar Color Selection

A team at KIAA carried out the first systematic z ~ 5.5 quasar survey. It has been very challenging to select quasars at redshift z ~ 5.5 using conventional color selections, due to their similar optical colors to late-type stars, especially M dwarfs, resulting in a glaring quasar redshift gap around z~ 5.5. Their survey based on a new selection pipeline using optical, near-infrared and mid-infrared colors is effectively filling the redshift gap with 18 newly discovered quasars at z~5.5.

The Influence of Environment on the Chemical Evolution of Low-mass Galaxies

Astronomers from KIAA at PKU have found a mass dependent star formation timescale of early-type galaxies (ETGs) across a wide mass range. The low mass ETGs depart from this standard relation in extreme environments, suggesting earlier quenching in very dense environments and more extended star formation histories in low-density environments.

Revealing the Orbital Shape Distributions of Exoplanets with China’s LAMOST Telescope

Using data from China’s LAMOST telescope, a team of astronomers have derived how the orbital shapes distribute for extrasolar planets. The work is recently published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America” (PNAS). The lead authors are Prof. Jiwei Xie from Nanjing University and KIAA faculty member Prof. Subo Dong.

Constraining f(R) Gravity Theory Using CFHTLenS Weak Lensing Peak Statistics

With CFHTLenS Weak Lensing observations, a team from Peking University, Durham University (UK), National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Shanghai Normal University, carried out detailed WL peak analyses and derived stringent constraints on the Hu-Sawicki f(R) gravity theory, for the first time, from WL high peak abundance.