Avishay Gal-Yam

Senior Scientist, Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics

Weizmann Institute of Science

I head the experimental astrophysics group at the department of particle physics and astrophysics at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Our research projects are presented in more detail below. Additional related activity takes place at the Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics.

At this time, we are looking for graduate students and postdocs.

If you are interested, please contact me at avishay.gal-yam _ at _ weizmann.ac.il, call my office on 972-8-9342063, or drop by (if you're around) - my office is 277 Weismann (Physics).


First science results from the PTF:
Core-collapse Supernovae from the Palomar Transient Factory: Indications for a Different Population in Dwarf Galaxies

A faint type of supernova from a white dwarf with a helium-rich companion (Nature paper)
Supernova 2007bi as a pair-instability explosion (Nature paper)
A massive hypergiant star as the progenitor of the supernova SN 2005gl (Nature paper)


Outside of the Box:
New Types of SNe from the
Palomar Transient Factory (PTF)
Direct Detection of Core-Collapse SN Progenitors:
The Explosive Deaths of the Most Massive Stars
UV spectroscopy of SNe:
A View into the Cosmic Metal Meltingpot
Supernovae in Galaxy Clusters:
Foundations for Dark Energy Research
The Caltech Core-Collapse Project (CCCP):
Studying the properties of core-collapse SNe as a population
Unveiling the progenitors of SNe Ia
Radio Transient Surveys

Older projects:

  • December 14-12, 2008: the first Fireworks meeting at the Weizmann Institute


  • Astronomical tools and software

  • Hybrid GRB 060614: A Long Gamma-Ray Burst Without a Supernova

  • Prompt photometric identification of young SNe using the robotic Palomar 60" telescope

  • Detailed optical light curves of GRB 030329

  • The First Informal Zwicky SN Workshop, Pasadena 2004

  • Some even older SN projects


  • ADS
  • astro-ph


  • PS
  • PDF


  • Krill Prize for Excellence in Scientific Research
  • IPS Young Physicist Prize (Shared with E. Nakar)
  • ARCHES Prize
  • Levinson Physics Prize
  • Gruber Young Scientists Award
  • Cefalu Prize
  • Hubble Fellowship
  • Colton Fellowship

    Competitive Telescope Time Allocation:

  • HST (PI)

  • GALEX (PI; latest)

  • Gemini (PI; latest) Gemini (PI) Gemini (co-I)

  • Keck (PI)

  • ESO (all)


  • A massive hypergiant star as the progenitor of the supernova SN 2005gl (Nature paper): WIS PR; STScI; Scientific American; more; more
  • SN 2006X - Clues about the origins of type Ia supernovae: Caltech PR; The Jerusalem Post
  • GRB 060614 - A novel explosive process required for Gamma-Ray Bursts: Caltech PR; NASA PR


  • Co-chair of the Supernova Working Group (WG) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)


  • Observational techniques 2011


    My activity is supported by grants from the Israeli Science Foundation, the EU via a Marie Curie IRG grant, the US-Israeli Binational Science Foundation (BSF), the German-Israeli Foundation (GIF), and the Benoziyo Center for Astrophysics, Minerva-Weizmann Program, a research grant from Peter and Patricia Gruber Awards And the Yeda-Sela Center at Weizmann.

    Constructed: October 2008, by: Avishay Gal-Yam , E-Mail: email