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- About JILA
JILA astrophysicists want to understand our origins and place in the scheme of things. That's why they investigate topics ranging from the dynamics of our Sun to the fundamental properties that give rise to the Universe itself. Their quest is aided by vast amounts of new data gathered by ground- and space-based instruments such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, the Apache Point 3.5 m telescope in New Mexico, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), the Far UV Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the X-ray Multimirror Mission (XMM-Newton), the Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), the Kepler satellite, the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) recently installed on the HST.
Researchers use astronomical data to test and refine theoretical simulations of processes that occur in our solar system and throughout the universe. JILA scientists study the black holes and galaxies, cosmology, planet formation, structure and evolution of stars, the interstellar medium, and ultralow power electronics for tomorrow’s space observatories. As part of their mission to understand the Universe, JILA's astrophysicists are looking for answers to such questions as:
What is the internal structure of the Sun and other stars like it?
What exists between stars and galaxies?
How do stars and galaxies form and evolve?
What caused the formation of supermassive black holes found in the center of galaxies?
What happens inside a black hole?
How do black holes affect the space around them?
What is the origin and evolution of the chemical elements?
How do planets form and migrate around stars?
What is the interplay of the dark and luminous universe?
Whether scientists investigate our solar system or look far out into time and space, there always seem to be new questions to ask about the Universe. To answer them, JILA's astrophysicists collaborate with members of the University of Colorado's Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences (APS), Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA), and Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP); with atomic physicists and precision measurement specialists at JILA; and with astronomers throughout the country and around the world.