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Cooray Group

Jaycob Jalomo

Physics Undergraduate Student

A Cryogenic Space Telescope for Far-Infrared Astrophysics: Many of the transformative processes in the Universe have taken place in regions obscured by dust, and are best studied with far-IR spectroscopy.

We present the Cryogenic-Aperture Large Infrared-Submillimeter Telescope Observatory (CALISTO), a 5-meter class, space-borne telescope actively cooled to 4 K, emphasizing moderate-resolution spectroscopy in the crucial 35 to 600 micron band. CALISTO will enable NASA and the world to study the rise of heavy elements in the Universe's first billion years, chart star formation and black hole growth in dust-obscured galaxies through cosmic time, and conduct a census of forming planetary systems in our region of the Galaxy.

CALISTO will capitalize on rapid progress in both format and sensitivity of far-IR detectors. Arrays with a total count of a few 100,000 detector pixels will form the heart of a suite of imaging spectrometers in which each detector reaches the photon background limit. This document contains a large overview paper on CALISTO. Learn More

SPHEREx is a proposed earth-orbiting spectrophotometer satellite designed to address all three science goals of NASA's Astrophysics Division. The SPHEREx instrument implements a simple design that remarkably requires no permanent moving parts.

Importantly, the technologies utilized on SPHEREx have been successfully demonstrated on several previous missions, including the James Webb Space Telescope, LEISA on New Horizons, Planck, Spitzer, and WISE. To achieve its science goals, SPHEREx will generate two sets of sky surveys over the course of its mission: 4 all-sky surveys (one generated every 6 months), and 2 deep-sky surveys naturally accumulated about the North and South celestial poles.

SPHEREx will constrain the physics of inflation by studying its imprints in the three-dimensional large-scale distribution of matter. It will measure galaxy redshifts over a large cosmological volume at low redshift, complementing high-redshift dark matter surveys.

SPHEREx will map large scale structure (LSS) using a deep-sky survey. The technique will measure total light produced by all galaxy populations to trace history of galactic light production.

SPHEREx will investigate water and biogenic molecule in all phases of planetary system formation.  Learn More

The Herschel Space Observatory's mission has been designed to unveil a face of the early Universe that has remained hidden until now. Thanks to its ability to detect radiation at far infrared and sub-millimetre wavelengths, Herschel will be able to observe dust obscured and cold objects that are invisible to other telescopes.

Herschel's major objective will be discovering how the first galaxies formed and how they evolved to give rise to present day galaxies like our own. Additional targets for Herschel will include clouds of gas and dust where new stars are being born, disks out of which planets may form and cometary atmospheres packed with complex organic molecules.  

The Herschel Space Observatory is a space-based telescope that will study the Universe by the light of the far-infrared and submillimeter portions of the spectrum.  Learn More

Our group is a founding member of the ZEBRA instrument.An instrument for astrophysical measurements related to diffuse backgrounds from 5 to 10 AU was proposed in the Astro2010 White Paper by Cooray etc.

The ZEBRA science team brings together experts from astrophysical disciplines as diverse as reionization, the star formation history of the Universe, exo-planet detection and characterization, Zodiacal dust nad outer solar system bodies, and astronomical instrumentation.

Scattered sunlight from dust in the inner solar system is bright, presenting the dominant foreground for measurements of the extragalactic background light and obscuring our view of the structure of dust in the outer solar system.

The Zodiacal sky brightness at Jupiter (5 AU) and Saturn (10 AU) is 100 - 1000 times fainter than at Earth (AU) [light blue curves]. This large reduction in the dominant foreground allows definitive measurements of the Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) [red curve].  Learn More

CANDELS is the largest project in the history of Hubble, with 902 assigned orbits of observing time. This is the equivalent of four months of Hubble time if executed consecutively, but in practice CANDELS will take three years to complete (2010-2013).

The core of CANDELS is the revolutionary near-infrared WFC3 camera, installed on Hubble in May 2009. WFC3 is sensitive to longer, redder wavelengths, which permits it to follow the stretching of lightwaves caused by the expanding Universe. This enables CANDELS to detect and measure objects much farther out in space and nearer to the Big Bang than before. CANDELS also uses the visible-light ACS camera, and together the two cameras give unprecedented panchromatic coverage of galaxies from optical wavelengths to the near-IR.

CANDELS will exploit this new lookback power to construct a "cosmic movie" of galaxy evolution that follows the life histories of galaxies from infancy to the present time. This work will cap Hubble's revolutionary series of discoveries on cosmic evolution and bequeath a legacy of precious data to future generations of astronomers.

CANDELS will also test the reality of cosmic dark energy by measuring the brightness of a special class of exploding supernovae called Type Ia. By spotting these objects out to farther distances, CANDELS will establish whether these objects are in fact precision "standard candles" for probing the geometry of spacetime.  Learn More

CIBER (The Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment) is a sounding rocket payload designed to characterize the near infrared (IR) background light. CIBER is built by an international collaboration of Universities and Government Laboratories which has flown twice and, having acquired a data set which is not possible from other platforms, will soon shed new light on the nature of the Cosmos.

What is the Infrared Background?

The Extragalactic Infrared Background (EBL) is the integrated light from all of the infrared sources in the Universe. In the near IR, these photons are produced by stars are a by-product of nucleosynthesis. Measurement of the near IR EBL therefore a constrains the stellar content of the Universe.  Learn More

Ongoing Project & Research





Recent Publications and News

Conditional Luminosity Function Model of the Cosmic Far-Infrared Background Anisotropy Power Spectrum (June 2012)

Francesco de Bernardis, Asantha Cooray

HerMES: Candidate Gravitationally Lensed Galaxies and Lensing Statistics at Submillimeter Wavelengths (May 2012)

Julie L Wardlow, Asantha Cooray, et al.

The Near-IR Background Intensity and Anisotropies During The Epoch of Reionization (May 2012)

Asantha Cooray, Yan Gong, Joseph Smidt, Mario G. Santos

Lensed galaxies in CANDELS (Oct. 2011)

Asantha Cooray, Hai Fu, et al.

The LABOCA survey of the Extended Chandra Deep Field-South: a photometric redshift survey of submillimetre galaxies (Aug. 2011)

J.L. Wardlow, Ian Smail, et al.

Future weak lensing constraints in a dark coupled universe (June 2011)

Francesco de Bernardi, Matteo Martinello, et al.

A Constraint on the Integrated Mass Power Spectrum Out to z = 1100 from Lensing of the Cosmic Microwave Background (Feb. 2011)

Joseph Smidt, Asantha Cooray, et al.

Measuring dark energy spatial inhomogeneity with supernova data (Nov. 2011)

Asantha Cooray, Daniel E. Holz, Robert Caldwell

Constraints on primordial non-Gaussianity from WMAP7 and luminous red galaxies power spectrum and forecast for future surveys (Oct. 2010)

Francesco de Bernardis, Paolo Serra, Asantha Cooray, Alessandro Melchiorri

A New Approach to Probing Minkowski Functionals. (Nov. 2010)

Dipak Munshi, Joseph Smidt, Asantha Cooray

Herschel-ATLAS: Statistical Properties of Galactic Cirrus in the GAMA-9 Hour Science Demonstration Phase Field. (Nov. 2010)

Andrea Bracco, Asantha Cooray, et al.

CMB Neutrino Mass Bounds and Reionization (Oct. 2010)

Maria Archidiacono, Asantha Cooray, Alessandro Melchiorri, Stefania Pandolfi

Our Team

Asantha R. Cooray

Professor of Physics  Department of Physics & Astronomy University of California, Irvine

CV | Cosmology

Dr. Caitlin Casey

Astronomer at the University of California, Irvine

Research | CV | Publications

Chang Feng

Postdoctoral Researcher


Hooshang Nayyeri

Postdoctoral Researcher

Research Area: Astrophysics & Cosmology

Research | CV

Ketron Mitchell - Wynne

Ph.D  in Physics 2016

Research | CV

Nicholas Timmons

Physics Graduate Student

Jeff Wingo

Physics Graduate Student

Matthew Keele

Physics Undergraduate Student

Mailani Neal

Physics Undergraduate Student

Morgane KÖnig

Physics Graduate Student



Donald Trinh

Physics Undergraduate Student

Nathan Jayyang

Computer Science Undergraduate Student