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Institute of Astronomy
The University of Tokyo


November 28, 2022 Press Release
Toward unveiling the cosmic mystery of Fast Radio Bursts
Since 2007, astronomers have been observing fleeting bursts of bright, energetic radio waves lasting milliseconds to microseconds in space. They call them Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). But what produces these high-energy bursts baffles astronomers. To understand the origins of FRBs, a team of scientists led by Bunyo Hatsukade, an Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo, probed the molecular gas of their host galaxies.
August 9, 2022 Press Release
Very Fast Optical Flashes from Red Dwarfs Revealed by Video Observations
Video observations by Tomo-e Gozen have discovered 22 very fast and powerful optical flares from red dwarfs, which have been difficult to be detected. Such very fast and powerful flares are likely to be produced by instantaneous energy release of strong magnetic fields, potentially giving an impact on planetary habitability around red dwarfs.
July 13, 2022 Press Release
Fast rotations of near-Earth asteroids revealed by video observations
Tomo-e Gozen carried out video observations of 60 tiny (diameter less than 100 m) near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and successfully derived rotational periods and axial ratios of 32 NEAs. The distribution of the tiny NEAs in a diameter and rotational period (D-P) diagram is truncated around a period of 10 s. The dependence of the tangential YORP effect on the rotational period potentially explains the observed pattern in the D-P diagram.
May 18, 2022 Press Release
Detection of Highly Correlated Optical and X-ray Time Variations in SS Cygni
Tomo-e Gozen and the X-ray telescope NICER on the International Space Station carried out simultaneous high-speed observations of the dwarf nova SS Cyg. Highly correlated optical and X-ray variations and optical lags ranging from 0.3 to 3.1 s were successfully detected.
Dec 9, 2021 Press Release
Researchers capture the fastest optical flash emitted from a newborn supernova
A team of astronomers consisting of researchers from the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Hiroshima University, and other institutions has discovered the fastest optical flash of a Type Ia supernova with the Tomo-e Gozen camera on the Kiso Schmidt telescope, reports a study in the Astrophysical Journal Letters published on December 8.
Jun 11, 2021 Press Release
ALMA Discovers Earliest Gigantic Black Hole Storm
Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) discovered a titanic galactic wind driven by a supermassive black hole 13.1 billion years ago. This is the earliest-yet-observed example of such a wind to date and is a telltale sign that huge black holes have a profound effect on the growth of galaxies from the very early history of the Universe.
Apr 22, 2021 Press Release
ALMA Discovers Rotating Infant Galaxy with Help of Natural Cosmic Telescope
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers found a rotating baby galaxy 1/100th the size of the Milky Way at a time when the Universe was only seven percent of its present age. Thanks to assistance by the gravitational lens effect, the team was able to explore for the first time the nature of small and dark "normal galaxies" in the early Universe, representative of the main population of the first galaxies, which greatly advances our understanding of the initial phase of galaxy evolution.
Dec 2, 2020 Press Release
Astronomical instrument hunts for ancient metal
A new study looks at quasars to explore the origin of the iron in your blood
Hiroaki Sameshima (The University of Tokyo) and his research group have observed quasars using WINERED, a spectrograph jointly developed by The University of Tokyo and Kyoto Sangyo University, and succeeded in quantitatively estimating how much iron and magnesium were present in the universe about 10 billion years ago.
Nov 11, 2020 Press Release
Weighing space dust with radar
Researchers give radar new abilities using optical data about meteors
The research team lead by Ryou Ohsawa (the University of Tokyo) successfully observed 228 faint meteors by radar and in optical simultaneously with Tomo-e Gozen, a wide-field CMOS camera, and the MU radar, one of the largest atmosphere radars. The team first presented a statistically-reliable relationship between the radar cross section and the optical brightness and a method to estimate the meteoroid mass from radar observations. The team estimated that the amount of interplanetary dust falling onto the Earth as faint meteors is about 1,000 kg a day.
Mar 27, 2020 Press Release
ALMA Resolves Gas Impacted by Young Jets from Supermassive Black Hole
Astronomers obtained the first resolved image of disturbed gaseous clouds in a galaxy 11 billion light-years away by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The team led by Kaiki Inoue (Kindai University) and Takeo Minezaki (the University of Tokyo) found that the disruption is caused by young powerful jets ejected from a supermassive black hole residing at the center of the host galaxy.