News Center

Supernova Hunting with Supercomputers

Berkeley researchers provide “roadmap” and tools for finding and studying Type Ia supernovae in their natural habitat

A Hot Start to the Origin of Life?

Researchers from Berkeley Lab and the University of Hawaii at Manoa have shown for the first time that cosmic hot spots, such as those near stars, could be excellent environments for the creation of molecular precursors to DNA.

Is Interstellar’s Science So Stellar?

Interstellar features astronauts who take a wormhole ride to another galaxy to explore planets around a massive black hole. In a conversation last week, Berkeley Lab’s David Schlegel discussed the science in the movie and what Hollywood could learn from scientists about fantastic settings in outer space.

Berkeley Lab Scientists Recipients of 2015 Breakthrough Prizes

Berkeley Lab astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter and biochemist Jennifer Doudna were among the featured recipients of the 2015 Breakthrough Prizes in Fundamental Physics and Life Sciences.

Dark Energy Survey Opens Second Season with Catalog of Stunning Deep-Space Images

The Dark Energy Survey has just kicked off its second season of snapping shots of deep space with its 570-megapixel camera mounted on the Victor M. Blanco Telescope in Chile.

Mysteries of Space Dust Revealed

The first analysis of space dust collected by a special collector onboard NASA’s Stardust mission and sent back to Earth for study in 2006 suggests the tiny specks, which likely originated from beyond our solar system, are more complex in composition and structure than previously imagined.

Not Much Force: Berkeley Researchers Detect Smallest Force Ever Measured

Berkeley Lab researchers have detected the smallest force ever measured – approximately 42 yoctonewtons – using a unique optical trapping system that provides ultracold atoms. A yoctonewton is one septillionth of a newton.

Surprisingly Strong Magnetic Fields Challenge Black Holes’ Pull

A new study of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies has found magnetic fields play an impressive role in the systems’ dynamics. In fact, in dozens of black holes surveyed, the magnetic field strength matched the force produced by the black holes’ powerful gravitational pull, says a team of scientists from Berkeley Lab and Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany.

Confirmed: Stellar Behemoth Self-Destructs in a Type IIb Supernova

Wolf-Rayet stars, more than 20 times as massive as the Sun and at least five times as hot, are relatively rare and often obscured. Scientists don’t know much about how they form, live and die.

BOSS Quasars Track the Expanding Universe – the Most Precise Measurement Yet

The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) pioneered the use of quasars to chart the universe’s expansion and investigate the properties of dark energy through studies of large-scale structure. New techniques of analysis led by Berkeley Lab scientists, combined with other new BOSS quasar measures of the young universe’s structure, have produced the most precise measurement of expansion since galaxies formed.