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Latest Kitt Peak National Observatory Stories

Birth Of A Star In Cepheus
2013-04-02 13:51:41

National Optical Astronomy Observatory Watching starbirth isn´t easy: tens of millions of years are needed to form a star like our Sun. Much like archeologists who reconstruct ancient cities from shards of debris strewn over time, astronomers must reconstruct the birth process of stars indirectly, by observing stars in different stages of the process and inferring the changes that take place. Studies show that half of the common stars, including our Sun, formed in massive clusters,...

2013-02-18 14:17:56

On February 15, asteroid 2012 DA14 passed extraordinarily close to the earth. Unlike the unexpected asteroid collision over Russia that day, this encounter never presented any danger but astronomers were eager to observe the event. An international team led by Nicholas Moskovitz (MIT) observed the asteroid with a number of telescopes, including the 2.1m telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory: the accompanying video shows the asteroid as it was leaving the vicinity of the earth. As Dr....

Astronomers Find New Planet 352 Light-Years Away
2011-12-02 08:53:23

A team of more than 65 astronomers, including those working at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and NASA, discovered a new planet nearly the size of Earth, NOAO announced on Wednesday. The planet, Kepler-21b, was found circling a star about 352 light years away. “By astronomical standards, that´s right next door,” Katy Garmany, the Deputy Press Officer at the NOAO, told Huffington Post. The research team, led by Steve Howell of NASA Ames Research...

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2008-10-07 11:49:00

Astronomers studying new images of a nearby galaxy cluster have found evidence that high-speed collisions between large elliptical galaxies may prevent new stars from forming, according to a paper to be published in a November 2008 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. Led by Jeffrey Kenney, professor and chair of astronomy at Yale, the team saw a spectacular complex of warm gas filaments 400,000 light-years-long connecting the elliptical galaxy M86 and the spiral galaxy NGC 4438 in the...

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2008-05-20 12:40:00

Using new charge coupled device (CCD) instrumentation, Case Western Reserve University astronomers can now view the night sky wider and deeper than before.While the vast reaches of intergalactic space may appear dark and empty, a new camera installed on the university's Burrell Schmidt telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, Ariz., will bring into clear view the faint sea of orphan stars strewn throughout the nearby Virgo cluster of galaxies.The design and installation of the...

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2008-03-26 17:10:00

Judi Provencal is star-struck, but not so much by the glitz and glam of Hollywood.You have to look heavenward through a telescope to see the object of her fascination--to pale stars called white dwarfs, their brilliance faded because all of their nuclear fuel has been burned up.A white dwarf is a star that is "dying," cooling down in the twilight of its life. It's what the sun will become in about 4 billion years, according to Provencal.Starting Wednesday, March 26, Provencal--who is an...

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2008-01-10 08:15:56

Observations of the interacting binary star using telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggest that the disks of hot gas that accumulate around a wide variety of astronomical objects"”from degenerate stars in energetic binary systems to supermassive black holes at the hearts of active galaxies"”are likely to be much larger than previously believed. The target of this specific investigation, named WZ Sagittae (WZ Sge), is an interacting...

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2007-07-09 06:20:00

A wildfire that spread to more than 3,500 acres Sunday was inching closer to Kitt Peak National Observatory and churning across a mountain range the Tohono O'odham consider to be sacred. As of Sunday night, Kitt Peak's 23 telescopes were safe. But flames cut across the Baboquivari Mountains, about 50 miles southwest of Tucson, leaving disparate patches of hot spots as they consumed trees and brush. It was unclear how close the blaze was to Baboquivari Peak, which tribal members view as the...

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2007-02-22 14:07:57

A beautiful new image of spiral galaxy IC 342 that takes advantage of the dark night sky at Kitt Peak National Observatory is being released today in Washington, DC, at the opening of "The Night: Why Dark Hours Are So Important," a two-day symposium hosted at the Carnegie Institution. IC 342 is located in the constellation Camelopardalis, "the giraffe." From our perspective on Earth, this galaxy is viewed through much of the stars and interstellar dust and gas within our own galaxy, the Milky...

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2006-01-12 00:20:00

NASA -- Astronomers have discovered a planet orbiting a very young star nearly 100 light years away using a relatively small, publicly accessible telescope turbocharged with a new planet-finding instrument. The feat suggests that astronomers have found a way to dramatically accelerate the pace of the hunt for planets outside our solar system. "In the last two decades, astronomers have searched about 3,000 stars for new planets," said Jian Ge, a professor of astronomy at the University of...


Latest Kitt Peak National Observatory Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:40

National Solar Observatory -- The National Solar Observatory (NSO) has its primary headquarters in Tucson. NSO telescopes on Kitt Peak include the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope Facility containing the world's three largest solar telescopes (1.6-meter main and two 0.9-meter auxiliaries), along with the Vacuum Telescope and the Razdow small solar patrol telescope. The National Solar Observatory also operates telescopes at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico, that include the Vacuum Tower...

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2004-10-19 04:45:40

Cerro Tololo Observatory -- astronomical observatory located on Cerro Tololo peak, Chile, with offices in La Serena, about 40 mi (64 km) to the west. Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), it is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), which also operates such other major national observatories as the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. The principal instrument is a 158-in. (4-m) reflecting telescope, the largest in the...

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2004-10-19 04:45:40

Kitt Peak Observatory -- astronomical observatory located southwest of Tucson, Ariz.; it was founded in 1958 under contract with the National Science Foundation and is administered by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy. Its principal instrument is the Mayall 158-in. (4-m) reflector. The observatory's equipment also includes 84-in. (2.1 m), 50-in. (1.3-m), 36-in. (0.9-m), and 16-in. (0.4-m) reflecting telescopes as well as a planned 3.5-m telescope. Used for wide...

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Word of the Day
maffling
  • To stammer.
  • Present participle of maffle, to stammer.
  • A simpleton.
The word 'maffle' may come from a Dutch word meaning 'to move the jaws' or a French word meaning 'having large cheeks'.