Latest National Optical Astronomy Observatory Stories

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...

2010-01-05 08:19:18

University of Notre Dame astronomer Peter Garnavich and a team of collaborators have discovered a distant star that exploded when its center became so hot that matter and anti-matter particle pairs were created. The star, dubbed Y-155, began its life around 200 times the mass of the sun but probably became "pair-unstable" and triggered a runaway thermonuclear reaction that made it visible nearly halfway across the universe. Garnavich and his collaborators discovered the exploding star during...

2009-09-15 14:19:11

Less than two months after they inaugurated the world's largest telescope, University of Florida astronomers have used one of the world's most advanced telescopic instruments to gather images of the heavens. A team led by astronomy professor Stephen Eikenberry late last week captured the first images of the cosmos ever made with a UF-designed and built camera/spectrometer affixed to the Gemini South telescope in Chile. The handful of "first light" images include a yellow and blue orb-like...

2009-08-07 09:30:00

Several ways have been proposed to examine dark energy, in hopes of finding out just what it is. One of them, "supernovae" for short, certainly works: it's how dark energy was discovered in the first place. Other independent techniques, such as weak gravitational lensing and baryon acoustic oscillation, also promise great power but are as yet unproven.These three techniques all have a share of the proposed Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM), a satellite design managed by NASA with the...

2009-03-05 06:50:00

Two enormous black holes appear to be orbiting one another at the center of a faraway galaxy, formed by the collision of two separate galaxies, astronomers from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson reported Wednesday. The two supermassive black holes are locked in orbit about 5 billion light years away from Earth, the scientists said.  One light year is the distance light travels in a year, approximately 6 trillion miles. Data from Apache Point Observatory in New...

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...

2008-03-13 15:35:00

Researchers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered large amounts of simple organic gases and water vapor in a possible planet-forming region around an infant star, along with evidence that these molecules were created there. They've also found water in the same zone around two other young stars. By pushing the telescope's capabilities to a new level, astronomers now have a better view of the earliest stages of planetary formation, which may help shed light on the origins of our...

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...

2007-10-25 13:10:00

PASADENA, Calif. - Astronomers have unmasked hundreds of black holes hiding deep inside dusty galaxies billions of light-years away. The massive, growing black holes, discovered by NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes, represent a large fraction of a long-sought missing population. Their discovery implies there were hundreds of millions of additional black holes growing in our young universe, more than doubling the total amount known at that distance. "Active, supermassive black...

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...

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...

More Articles (2 articles) »
Word of the Day
  • A goblin in English folklore, often appearing in the shape of a large dog and believed to portend imminent death or misfortune.
  • A ghost, wraith, hobgoblin, elf, or spirit.
The origin of 'barghest' is not known, but it may be from perhaps burh-ghest, town-ghost, or German Berg-geist (mountain spirit) or Bär-geist (bear-spirit).