Michael Shelley Named Director of Center for Computational Biology

Simons Foundation, April 2019

The Simons Foundation is delighted to announce Michael Shelley as the new director of the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Biology (CCB). Shelley, a distinguished applied mathematician, will lead the center in its mission of better understanding complex biological processes through the development and application of computational tools and theory.

How Black Holes Power Plasma Jets

Simons Foundation, January 2019

Black holes consume everything that falls within their reach, yet astronomers have spotted jets of particles fleeing from black holes at nearly the speed of light. New computer simulations have revealed what gives these particles such speed: cosmic robbery.

Enormous ‘Ghost’ Galaxy Spotted on Outskirts of Milky Way

Simons Foundation, November 2018

Astronomers have discovered a ghostlike galaxy that looms large on the fringes of the Milky Way. The newly discovered dwarf galaxy, dubbed Antlia 2, stretches roughly 19,000 light-years across. That makes it the vastest satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. Despite its enormous extent, though, Antlia 2 is incredibly faint and barren: It is by far the sparsest galaxy ever seen in the universe, its discoverers report in a paper posted November 13 at arXiv.org.

Flatiron Institute Hosts National Science Foundation Workshop on the Plasma Physics of Neutron Star Mergers

Simons Foundation, October 2018

On August 17, 2017, scientists witnessed one of the most dramatic collisions in the universe. Two dense neutron stars had combined in a galaxy 130 million light-years away, generating ripples through space-time and emitting bursts of light. The observations of the event sparked scientific breakthroughs across many areas of cosmology, but many questions linger.

Gaia Data Releases Spark Open-Access Success

Simons Foundation, September 2018

The dome of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City burst into a confetti-like field of colorful puffs of light. Below, an audience of scientists and non-scientists alike oohed and aahed at the multicolored light show. “It looks like cotton candy falling down,” observed astrophysicist Jackie Faherty, a senior scientist and education manager at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. “It’s pretty, right? But it’s also science.”