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:
- PAIRITEL IR Robotic follow-up of GRB localizations (PI) (Swift Guest Investigator Program AO 1,2,3,4). Check out a cool movie of GRB 061126 from PAIRITEL (H-band for 30 minutes after the GRB).
- dotastro.org: Time Domain Astronomy Warehouse: One-stop Shop for Data and Science.
- Transients Classification
- Rapid Gemini and Keck
spectroscopy of GRB Targets-of-Opportunity
- Gamma-ray Bursts Afterglows As Probes (GRAASP) collaboration for DLA
and high-redshift spectroscopy (Swift Guest Investigator Program;
Cycle 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Spectroscopy and Imaging of GRB Hosts with Keck (continuing)
- Real-time Virtual Observatory (VOEventNet).
An NSF-funded project to create the first real-time distributed network
for astronomical transients based upon the international standard for
information transfer of astronomical transients. Bloom created the first prototype of VOTransients (now called VOEvent) and RTVO (now called VOEventNet) in the summer of 2004.
Visit us on the web at voevent.net or voeventnet.org. VOEventNet Meeting (May 3 - 5; Berkeley). Transients Virtual Posters (from a workshop that I helped organize in 2006). Organizer: 2nd Zwicky Informal Workshop (Transients in the Era of Next-Generation Surveys) (25 May 2005).
- Other Significant affiliations and Service
- PI, SASIR (Synoptic All-Sky IR Imaging) Survey. See our website sasir.org
- Key Project Leader (Tidal Distruption Events), Palomar Transients Factory (PTF)
- (previous) Scientific Advisory Committee, Las Cumbres Global Telescope. For more information, see LCOGT.net.
- (previous) Chair, GRB Science Working Group for EXIST (selected by NASA for an Advanced Mission Concept Study)
- Member for several other new NASA Mission Concepts: JANUS (Penn State), PolOSat (Berkeley), ARGOS-X (MIT)
- (previous) Chair of the Keck Observatory Time-Domain Working Group (TDAWG). You can see our report at this link (PDF).
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)