Mansi M. Kasliwal

Assistant Professor of Astronomy, California Institute of Technology


I am an Assistant 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.

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.



SPIRITS is a five-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.

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Palomar Gattini-IR

Palomar Gattini-IR is a newly commissioned 25 square degree infrared camera on a 30cm telescope. Every night, 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 Turbo Gattini-IR projects.

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Zwicky Transient Facility

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 three nights to a depth of 20.4 mag. Our goal is to undertake a complete census of optical transients in the local universe.


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

Jacob Jencson, Thesis on luminous infrared transients including enshrouded supernovae, massive star mergers, massive star eruptions; Project Scientist for SPIRITS

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


Scott Adams: Birth of stellar black holes; Roboticizing Palomar Gattini-IR

Igor Andreoni: Electromagnetic Counterparts to Gravitational Waves

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

Christoffer Fremling: Stripped Envelope Supernovae, Redshift Completeness Factor

Matt Hankins: Infrared Stellar Variability

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 a Marie Curie Fellow in Sweden

Undergraduates students

Lindsey Whitesides, co-mentor Ragnhild Lunnan, Paper on a luminous, rapid and high-velocity supernova

Stephanie Kwan , co-mentor Ryan Lau, Paper on Supergiant Fast X-ray Transient, now a PhD student at Princeton

Viraj Karambelkar, co-mentor Scott Adams, Paper on luminous, long-period infrared variables





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


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