Latest National Optical Astronomy Observatory Stories
Known as Destiny, the Dark Energy Space Telescope, the small spacecraft would detect and observe more than 3,000 supernovae over its two-year primary mission to measure the expansion history of the Universe.
In a feat resembling an intergalactic autopsy, astronomers have used the Gemini South telescope in Chile to obtain a detailed spectrum of an echo of light from an ancient supernova that enables them to identify the original starâ€™s cause of death.
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.
New Spitzer Space Telescope observations of an unusual class of interacting binary stars detected excess amounts of infrared radiation, suggesting that these odd objects are surrounded by large disks of cool dust.
Strong darkening observed around the equator of Vega suggests that the fifth brightest star in Earthâ€™s sky has a huge temperature difference of 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit from its cool equatorial region to its hot poles.
The glowing gas of the interstellar medium (ISM) is the breeding ground for the formation of new stars, and the cemetery where the ashes of dead stars ultimately return.
A team of astronomers has found faint visible echoes of three ancient supernovae by detecting their centuries-old light as it is reflected by clouds of interstellar gas hundreds of light-years removed from the original explosions.
The Gemini Observatory released a pair of images today that capture the dynamics of two very different interactions in space. One is a cold, dark dust cloud that resembles an ethereal-looking Chinese dragon. The other shows a distant duo of galaxies locked in a knot-like embrace that could portend the long-term future of our own Milky Way galaxy.
The National Science Foundation agreed to halt construction of a $13 million mountainside telescope complex after an American Indian tribe filed a federal lawsuit claiming the site is sacred.
Dr. Mattias (Matt) Mountain has been appointed director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, the science operations center for NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the planned James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). He will succeed Dr. Steven V. W. Beckwith, who will end his term Sept. 1.
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...
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...