Pasadena, CA— Type Ia supernovae are violent stellar explosions that shine as some of the brightest objects in the universe. But there are still many mysteries surrounding their origin—what kind of star system they originate in and how the explosions begin. New work from the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory team of astronomers, including Carnegie’s Mansi Kasliwal, provides strong evidence pointing toward one origin theory, called the single degenerate channel. This work is published May 21 by Nature.

Pasadena, CAJohn Mulchaey has been appointed the new Crawford H. Greenewalt Director of the Carnegie Observatories. He is the eleventh director of the historic department, which was founded in 1904. He follows in the footsteps of such astronomical giants as George Ellery Hale and Horace Babcock. Mulchaey was appointed acting director in 2014.