UC Santa Cruz Transient Astrophysics

Prof. Ryan Foley

The expansion history of the Universe and constraining the nature of dark energy.

Combining gravity and light to understand the Universe.

Understanding how white dwarfs explode.

Extreme explosions and rare phenomena.

This image from a computer simulation shows the rapid formation of an accretion disk during the disruption of a star by a supermassive black hole. (Image credit: Jamie Law-Smith and Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz)

Latest News

08/26/2020: New Observations of Black Hole Devouring a Star Reveal Rapid Disk Formation

New tidal disruption event observations led by astronomers at UC Santa Cruz now provide clear evidence that debris from the star forms a rotating disk, called an accretion disk, around the black hole. Theorists have been debating whether an accretion disk can form efficiently during a tidal disruption event, and the new findings should help resolve that question, said first author Tiara Hung, a postdoctoral researcher on the UC Santa Cruz Transients Team.

OUR Team

Our young and diverse team produces ground-breaking science using the largest telescopes in the world. Through hands-on experience and innovative techniques, our enthusiastic team is continually making scientific discoveries and training the next generation of scientists.