Our research is focused on observational astrophysics:

* Cosmic transients and explosions: Studying the catastrophic deaths of stars, utilizing the most advanced robotic wide-field sky surveys, world-wide ground and space-based facilities. Huge amounts of energy are released within hours in events so bright they are seen from the edge of the Universe. The resulting extreme physical conditions involve huge densities, pressures and temperatures, strong magnetic fields, nuclear and high energy particle reactions, and strong relativistic effects (special and general). These topics are at the forefront of research in high energy particle astrophysics and gravity theories, with diverse implications from the sources of life to cosmology.
* Instrumentation: Design and construction of astronomical instruments and instrumental concepts. Among our instrumental projects: The Weizmann Fast Astronomical Survey Telescope (W-FAST) Schmidt telescopes designed to search for and characterize small bodies in the Kuiper belt and Oort cloud; the The Large Array Survey Telescope (LAST) for conducting a fast cadence optical survey of the sky; high throughput spectrographs for large facilities; imaging multiplexer prototypes and a wide-field (>200 squared degrees) UV space explorer, the Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT).
* Astronomical algorithms: Development of efficient and optimal algorithms for research. Examples include: the fast de-dispersion measure transform, streak detection using the fast Radon transform, image coaddition and subtraction.


Avishay Gal-Yam, PI
Working on cosmic explosions, their origins, physics, and how they shape our Universe, from elements to form planets, to the geometry and final fate of the cosmos.
Contact | Website
Eran Ofek, PI
Working on the origin and physics of cosmic explosions, the cometary resevoirs of the solar system and gravitational lensing.
Contact | Website
Sagi Ben-Ami, PI
Instrumentation, Exoplanets, White Dwarfs, Habitability.
If you build it, they will come...!
Contact | Website
Barak Zackay, PI
Working on statistical and algorithmic methods for gravitational wave, pulsar and exoplanetary astrophysics.
Contact
Ofer Yaron, Staff Scientist
Studying various types of core-collapse SNe, with emphasis on 'Infant SNe' and 'Flash-spectroscopy' events. Developing and managing the TNS and WISeREP.
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Yossi Shvartzvald, Staff Scientist
Project scientist of ULTRASAT, a wide-field UV space telescope that will study the hot transient universe.
In addition, I study the cold exploanet demographics, planet host activity, planets around white dwarfs and stellar-mass Galactic black-holes.
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David Polishook, Scientific Director of the WIS Observatories
Managing the construction and operation of Weizmann's new astronomical endeavors: LAST, and W-FAST. Expert in observational research of asteroids (photometry and spectroscopy). Leading ULTRASAT's Solar System WG, and observational campaigns to study near-Earth asteroid Apophis. Teaches "astronomy for all" course. Involved with outreach activity and media appearance.
Contact | Website
Ofir Hershko, Instrumentation Engineer
Whatever you need, I'll design and build.
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Ilan Manulis, Observatory Director
Director of the Kraar Observatory, works on robotosizing and automating astronomical observations. Maintaining and populating WISeREP and the TNS.
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Nora Linn Strotjohann, Post-Doc
Working on stellar outbursts in the years before massive stars explode as SNe and on designing the guider camera system for the LAST-spec telescope.
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Na'ama Hallakoun, Post-Doc
Studying white dwarfs and their immediate surroundings: stellar, substellar, and stellar-remnant companions, planets, and planetary debris. Motivated by related questions, such as the type-Ia supernova progenitor problem, and the potential existence of habitable planets around white dwarfs.
Contact | Website
Guy Nir, Post-Doc
Working on software for observatory control, data acquisition and analysis for the W-FAST telescope. Interested in Solar System occultation surveys, variable stars and fast transients.
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Maayane Soumagnac, Post-Doc
Working on Baryon Acoustic Oscillations and star/galaxy separation in large galaxy surveys (such as the Dark Energy Survey). Investigating the potential of studying exoplanetary systems with the ULTRASAT mission.
Contact | Website
Rachel Bruch, PhD student
Studying light curve structures of infant Type II SNe and their early spectra, looking for Flash Ionization features. Working on the optical assembly of SoXs, the next spectrograph of the NTT in Chile.
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Ido Irani, PhD student
Working on Core-Collapse Supernovae (CCSN) in non-star-forming and remote environments (such as SN 2016hil), early time UV light curves modeling of CCSN, and involved in the design and characterization of the LAST-spec fiber feed.
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Noam Segev, PhD student
We have beautiful graphs, and some bugs...
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Baptiste Callendret, PhD student
Zemax is love, Zemax is life.
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Noam Ganot, PhD student
Studying the UV emission of supernovae.
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Samantha Goldwasser, MSc student
Working on SuPyFit - a new implementation of superfit (template matching SN classifications) in python.
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Erez Zimmerman, MSc student
20ablygyy is my middle name.
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Shani Nachshon, MSc student
Working on a site survey for the (LAST) observatory in southern Israel: conducting and analyzing long-term measurements of astronomical seeing, brightness, and meteorological conditions at the site.
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Ofek Bengiat, MSc student
Quantitative classification of the spectral-temporal energy distributions of supernovae.
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Oryna Ivashtenko, MSc student
Working on detection of new Earth-like exoplanets in Kepler mission data.
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Dotan Gazith, MSc student
Working on an algorithmic approach to sub-seeing high contrast imaging.
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Avner Sass, Web Programmer
Developing the TNS and WISeREP.
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Nikola Knezevic, Scientific Programmer
Working on the TNS, WISeREP and various scientific programming tasks.
Contact



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News

  • We encourage outstanding students who are interested in observational astrophysics and in participating in cutting edge projects and international collaborations to contact us and apply for graduate studies.

    Post-docs interested in joining our group are clearly most welcome to contact as well.

    Contact: Avishay Gal-Yam; Eran Ofek; Sagi Ben-Ami; Barak Zackay;

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Posters

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Publication Highlights


Links


Webpage maintained by: Ofer Yaron (questions/feedbacks most unwelcomed.)