Mansi M. Kasliwal

Professor of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology


I am a Professor of Astronomy at Caltech. The Kasliwal research group discovers and characterizes cosmic fireworks i.e. brilliant flashes of light that tell us about the lifecycle of stars and where elements are synthesized. Our primary discovery engines are two robotic, wide-field infrared and optical cameras at Palomar Observatory. We collaborate with astronomers worldwide to panchromatically characterize the discoveries across the electromagnetic spectrum. We enthusiastically pursue a multi-messenger quest to identify electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave events.

2021-Present, Professor of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology

2015-2021, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology

2011-2015, Hubble Fellow and Carnegie-Princeton Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Institution for Science

2006-2011, Ph.D. Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology

2005-2006, M.S. Astrophysics, California Institute of Technology

2002-2004, B.S. Engineering Physics, Cornell University


Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH)

GROWTH is a worldwide network of astronomers and telescopes committed to characterizing fast-evolving transients or fast-moving asteroids. GROWTH is a Caltech-led NSF PIRE project comprising 16 partner institutions, over 130 astronomers and 18 telescopes.

Read more at the GROWTH ADS library

SPitzer InfraRed Intensive Transients Survey (SPIRITS)

SPIRITS is a six year large program on the warm Spitzer space telescope that repeatedly images 200 nearby galaxies to look for mid-infrared transients. To date, SPIRITS has found 131 transients and 2536 variables.

Read more at the SPIRITS ADS library

Palomar Gattini-IR (PGIR)

Palomar Gattini-IR is a newly commissioned 25 square degree infrared camera on a 30cm telescope. Every two nights, we robotically survey the accessible Northern sky every night to a J-band depth of 16 mag. Our goal is to systematically chart the dynamic infrared sky. This project is a pathfinder for the WINTER, DREAMS and Cryoscope projects.

Read more at the PGIR ADS library

Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF)

ZTF is a 47 sq deg optical camera on the Samuel Oschin Palomar 48-inch telescope. Various surveys in gri-bands cover the accessible Northern Sky at least every two nights to a depth of 20.4 mag. Our goal is to undertake a complete census of optical transients in the local universe.

Read more at the ZTF ADS library

My Group

I have the immense pleasure and privilege of mentoring a vibrant group of students and postdocs. I relish sharing the joy of discovery with my team.

Graduate students

Viraj Karambelkar, Thesis on white dwarf mergers, neutron star mergers and stellar mergers

Shreya Anand, Thesis on r-process nucleosynthesis in neutron star mergers and Type Ic BL supernovae

Kishalay De, Thesis on compact object mergers including white dwarf neutron star mergers, He-shell detonations on white dwarfs, ultra-stripped supernovae; Data Reduction Lead for Palomar Gattini-IR

Samaporn Tinyanont, Thesis on infrared polarization of core-collapse supernovae; Built WIRC+POL and co-advised by Dimitri Mawet ; now a Postdoc at University of California Santa Cruz

Jacob Jencson, Thesis on luminous infrared transients including enshrouded supernovae, massive star mergers, massive star eruptions; Project Scientist for SPIRITS; now a Postdoc at University of Arizona


Christoffer Fremling: Stripped Envelope Supernovae, Redshift Completeness Factor

Igor Andreoni: Electromagnetic Counterparts to Gravitational Waves

Matt Hankins: Infrared Stellar Variability; now faculty at Arkansas Tech

Scott Adams: Birth of stellar black holes; Roboticizing Palomar Gattini-IR; now at Aerospace Corp

Nadia Blagorodnova: Tidal Disruption Flares and Stellar Mergers, now a Veni Fellow in the Netherlands

Dave Cook: Census of the Local Universe, now a Staff Scientist at IPAC

Ryan Lau: Ultra Luminous X-ray sources and X-ray binaries, now an International Top Young Fellow in Japan

Ragnhild Lunnan: Superluminous Supernovae and Calcium-rich gap transients, now faculty at Stockholm University, Sweden

Postbac students

Milan Roberson, Andy Tzanidakis, Ashot Bagdasaryan, Chris Cannella

Undergraduates students

Gokul Srinivasaragavan, Thomas Waters, Conor Larison, Manasi Sharma, Tegan Loveridge, Viraj Karambelkar, Sharne Sun, Bethany Suter, Sammy Piascik, Stephanie Kwon, Lindsey Whitesides Kwok





mansi [at] astro [dot] caltech [dot] edu


Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics 1216 E California Blvd. Pasadena CA 91125