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Joshua Bloom
Astronomy Department
joshbloom (at) berkeley dot edu
B-20 Hearst Field Annex #3411
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA 94720
Publication Summary at Google Scholar
Spring 2014
  • AY254/PH254C: High-Energy Astrophysics (Wheeler 204 TTh, 11-12:30pm: Graduate course. Course Piazza Link
Research Highlights!



Dec 2013: Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS). I'm a Co-PI on the newly announced $37.8M grant from the Moore and Sloan Foundations, which helped us kick off this new institute at Berkeley. We expect to open the doors in Spring 2014.

Dec 2011: One paper a week published and/or submitted in 2011! All of high quality of course...

June 2011: A Possible Relativistic Jetted Outburst from a Massive Black Hole Fed by a Tidally Disrupted Star. See press (Science) | press release (UC Berkeley) | BBC Newshour interview (MP3 Audio) | New York Times Article | NPR/Science Friday Discussion | Ars Technica explanation | Article Abstract | Article Reprint

Nov 2010: My book on Gamma-Ray Bursts has been announced by Princeton University Press. Check it out...
Oct 2009: Astronomers Detect Most Distant Object Ever Seen: Our group was part of the Tanvir et al. team that observed the most distant discrete event in the universe...Read More....

Jan 2009: We found the first unambigious evidence for molecules in the line-of-sight of a GRB. This gives a new window on distant star formation in the distant universe and reveals new spectral lines never before seen in the laboratory or space. The results were announced at the January AAS meeting in Long Beach, CA.

Sept 2008: GRB 080319B was the brightest source recorded by humanity! See our submitted paper "Observations of the Naked-Eye GRB 080319B: Implications of Nature's Brightest Explosion". You might also also check out the Wikipedia article on GRB 080319b for updates and links. Here's the Berkeley press release

Feb 2008: Tracking Space Transients (ScienceMatters@Berkeley). "To watch the most powerful explosions in the universe, it helps to be quick on the draw..." Read more

Sept 2007: Google Sky to feature astronomical transients (like gamma-ray bursts) using VOEvent feeds from our VOEventNet collaboration. See a screenshot here. Berkeley graduate student Dan Perley has written the GRB explanation for the feed. Click here (.kmz file) to add these events to your Google Sky.


Bloom's primary interest is in gamma-ray bursts, extraordinary and rare explosions that occasionally swamp the night's sky in gamma- and X-rays. In the summer of 2005, Bloom's group was at the forefront of discoveries into the nature of short-duration hard-spectrum GRBs ("short GRBs"): in a series of papers (1, 2) we helped established that short bursts are of cosmological origin and that the progenitors are very likely related to old stars. The year 2005 indeed saw the "short burst revolution" and is to be highlighted as one of the top 10 breakthroughs of 2005 in Science magazine. In recent years, we had learned a great deal about the physics of the long-duration GRBs and the processes that produce long-lived afterglow emission. Now we're starting to turn our attention to using GRBs as probes to study the universe, gaining unique insights into everything from the details of winds around massive stars to the nature of mysterious damped-lyman α systems to the redshift of reionization. With the Swift satellite, localizing GRBs at a rate more an order of magnitude than before, the future looks extraordinarily bright for the field. Bloom's current collaborations and observing projects:

-RATIR Reionization and Transients Infrared Experiment (2010)
-PAIRITEL: main site | publications
-Multicolor CMOS Camera Prototype (2007) Now called the 3-color CMOS Prototype #0 Camera (C3P0Cam), you can find the public site here.
-10 micron all sky camera In 2005, Bloom's instrumentation projects involved further automation tasks for PAIRITEL and supervising student Onsi Fakhouri on the construction of the Berkeley Cloud Locating Camera (CLIC), a 10 micron cloud monitor for robotic systems integration. He is also building a prototype camera for a new transient telescope system.

Josh's CV (PDF or DOC) | Publication List (PDF...last updated: March 07)
All Published Academic Works | All Published Refereed Works | Almost All Non-refereed Works
By Year (including submitted papers): 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1995 - 1998 | Google Scholar Results
Josh's paper on the Supernova-GRB connection was noted as part of the
Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 1999 by Science Magazine
Astronomy Pictures of the Day related to my work | GRB SN 2006gy | GRB 011121 | GRB 011211 | GRB 990123 |
Links to Press Releases related to my work
Short Bursts: 050509b | PAIRITEL | GRB 980326 | GRB 970228 | GRB 011121 | GRB 990123 | GRB Offsets

Current: Adam Morgan (2nd year), Chris Klein (2nd year), Adam Miller (3nd year), Daniel Perley (fifth yr); Maxime Rischard (4rd year undergrad); Allison Merritt (2nd year undergrad); Michelle Kislak (2nd year undergrad); Justin Higgins (3rd year undergrad)
Past: Josh Shiode (3nd year), Yvonne Kemper (Junior);Katey Alatalo (second yr); Onsi Fakhouri (third yr; summer 2005), Callum Lamb (senior @ Caltech; summer 2005), Cullen Blake (forth yr; Harvard), Andy Friedman (forth yr; Harvard), Peter Williams (now: 1st year at Berkeley); Megan Reiter (Junior); David Liu (1st year undergrad); James McBride (2nd year undergrad);Jason Chu (4nd year undergrad)

© Created by Josh Bloom, 1998
Last modified: Sun Jan 19 11:47:22 PST 2014