Latest National Optical Astronomy Observatory Stories

Ancient Starlight Recorded By Dark Energy Camera
2012-09-18 04:19:18

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Approximately 8 billion years ago, the light from distant galaxies began streaming towards Earth. Now, at a mountaintop observatory in Chile, the newly constructed Dark Energy Camera (DECam), the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, has captured that ancient starlight and recorded it for the first time. Early on September 12, 2012, the DECam, mounted atop the Victor Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American...

Dr. Malcolm Smith Receives IDA David Crawford Lifetime Achievement Award
2012-09-04 07:31:29

On August 29th, the lights went off and the stars turned on during a special event at Beijing Planetarium. As part of the meeting of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), Dr. Malcolm Smith, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) was honored for his long and substantial contributions to light pollution abatement on behalf of astronomical observatories and the community at large. Dr. David Silva (NOAO Director) and Bob Parks (International Dark-Sky Association Executive Director)...

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Advanced By National Science Foundation
2012-07-19 11:47:37

With approval from the National Science Board, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director will advance the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) to the final design stage. This action permits the NSF Director to include funds for LSST construction in a future budget request. To be located in Chile, the LSST is a proposed 8-meter wide-field survey telescope that will survey the entire sky approximately twice per week, delivering a large and comprehensive data set that will transform...

2012-06-22 10:10:35

Two high school students from Texas and Louisiana are the winners of the 2012 Priscilla and Bart Bok Awards for their astronomy projects presented at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May. The awards were presented on May 18 by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) in partnership with the American Astronomical Society (AAS), supported by funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The first prize of $1,000 went to Piper Michelle Reid of...

3.4 Billion Pixel Telescope Plans Move One Step Further
2012-04-26 13:11:13

Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com The U.S. Department of Energy has given the go ahead for a proposed 3.4 billion pixel Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) to move on to the next step of development. Now that the project has received approval from the department, it will begin the engineering design, scheduling, and budgeting portion of the project. The telescope received a "Critical Decision 1" approval, making a big step toward being one of the widest, fastest and deepest view...

Mountaintop Blasting Paves The Way For The Giant Magellan Telescope
2012-03-24 03:27:17

Astronomers have begun to blast 3 million cubic feet of rock from a mountaintop in the Chilean Andes to make room for what will be the world's largest telescope when completed near the end of the decade. The telescope will be located at the Carnegie Institution's Las Campanas Observatory–one of the world's premier astronomical sites, known for its pristine conditions and clear, dark skies. Over the next few months, more than 70 controlled blasts will break up the rock while leaving a...

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...

2011-10-12 22:59:30

New Laureates include NSF-affiliated researchers in Physics and Economics With the last of the 2011 Nobel Laureates announced yesterday, it is noteworthy that five of these recipients have conducted research supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF)--Saul Perlmutter, Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess received the Nobel Prize in Physics; and Thomas J. Sargent and Christopher A. Sims received the Nobel Prize in Economics. "The international community of scientists once again...

2010-08-15 09:39:31

A new report by the National Research Council identifies the highest- priority research activities for astronomy and astrophysics in the next decade that will "set the nation firmly on the path to answering profound questions about the cosmos." The decadal survey -- the Research Council's sixth -- prioritizes activities based on their ability to advance science in key areas, and for the first time also takes into account factors such as risks in technical readiness, schedule, and cost. The...

2010-05-31 07:40:00

"Future Science: The Frontiers of 21st Century Astronomy" will address grand challenge topics Eyes on the Sky tells the story of NSF's role in supporting ground-based astronomy and together with NSF's science communicators' conference, "Future Science: The Frontiers of 21st Century Astronomy," will help prime reporters on grand challenge topics in astronomy today. The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites science communicators to visit www.nsf.gov/eyesonthesky and to attend Future...

Latest National Optical Astronomy Observatory Reference Libraries

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...

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
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'