Observational High Energy Astrophysics

Physics and astronomy are disciplines primarily driven by experiments and observations. The main research topics of our group is about observational studies of the fundamental physics involved in accreting black holes (BHs) and neutron stars (NSs) as well as in explosive or powerful transient events, making use of astronomical facilities in space and on the ground.

The group is led by Prof./Dr. Wenfei Yu, who worked as a postdoc in the world-leading Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy of the University of Amsterdam and in the Center for Theoretical Astrophysics in the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after he obtained his Ph.D in particle physics in 1998 from the Institute of High Energy Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Even before, he obtained his MSc in theoretical astrophysics on black hole accretion theory. His group therefore has obtained unique research experience covering many aspects of high energy astrophysics and mutl-wavelength astronomy, i.e., observations, theory and instrumentation. While the group have access to a wide range of space or ground facilities through either competition or collaboration, the group are currently active members in the Scientific Working Groups (SWGs) of several planned international missions or proposed facilities, such as eXTP (China-EU joint X-ray timing mission), Sino-French GRB mission (SVOM), and the International Square Kilometer Array (SKA). Dr. Wenfei Yu was also holding a FAST Fellowship in 2017.

News or events

2019 September 18:

Our first paper on Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) "A search for short-term hard X-ray bursts in the direction of the repeating FRB 121102" has been accepted for publication in ApJ (Sun, Yu et al. 2019), available as arXiv:1909.07626. The study made use of the BAT on board the multi-wavelength space mission Swift.

2019 September 16:

The first NICER ToO observations (on the X-ray transient MAXI J1807+132) proposed from our group: congratulations to Stefano !

2019 September 8-13:

Multi-wavelength campaign on the X-ray transient MAXI J1807+132 in the ThunderKAT collaboration started. The X-ray transient MAXI J1807+132 was found in 2017 and now it undergoes its second outburst in history.

2019 August 26:

A heavyweight paper on relativistic astrophysics in tidal disruption events has just been accepted for the publication in ApJ

2019 July 16:

GRID is a student CubSats project led by Tsinghua Univ. to monitor the transient gamma-ray sky in the multi-messenger astronomy era. The first collaborative paper has just been accepted to publish in Experimental Astronomy.

2019 June 25:

Our collaboration with the Prague Relativistic Astrophysics group on the eXTP science on general relativistic effects is awarded grants from both countries - 中国-捷克科技合作委员会第43届例会人员交流项目获批(全国总共17个跨学科项目)。

2019 June 21:

Graduation ! Dr. Jie Lin is going for a postdoc in Tsinghua Univ., and MSc Miss Yuanming Wang is going to take a Ph.D fellowship to continue in the University of Sydney.

2019 June 18:

Progress of the China-EU Space eXTP mission: Science News 新闻

2019 June 18:

Insight-HXMT (慧眼卫星) has just released the HXMT AO-2 Guest Observer Program. Five proposals on black hole and neutron stars are accepted from our group ! Congratulations !

2019 June 1st:

MWA is one of the precursors of the SKA in Australia. It is a multi-million dollar international low-frequency telescope in Australia's Midwest. We just set up a research project on microquasars in the MWA collaboration.

Scientific Objectives

We focus more on the physics might be learned from signals from the very vicinities of black holes and neutron stars:

Research Highlights in 2017-2019

Research Projects

Multi-wavelength monitoring, X-ray timing and spectral analysis, and space or ground Target-of-Opportunity observations are widely used in our daily research. Here below are some of our primary research projects:

Current Funded Projects

Our research projects are supported by the following major PI grants:

Current Group Members

Visiting scientists and students:

Previous postdocs:

Contact address

Dr. Wenfei Yu

Shanghai Astronomical Observatory

80 Nandan Road

Shanghai 200030, China

E-mail: wenfei @shao.ac.cn

[ version updated: 2019.6.1 wenfei @shao.ac.cn ]