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Latest National Radio Astronomy Observatory Stories

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2010-01-06 08:05:00

Teamwork between gamma-ray and radio astronomers has produced a breakthrough in finding natural cosmic tools needed to make the first direct detections of the long-elusive gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein nearly a century ago. An orbiting gamma-ray telescope has pointed radio astronomers to specific locations in the sky where they can discover new millisecond pulsars. Millisecond pulsars, rapidly-spinning superdense neutron stars, can serve as extremely precise and stable...

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2010-01-04 09:22:16

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has passed a key milestone crucial for the high quality images that will be the trademark of this revolutionary new tool for astronomy. Astronomers and engineers have, for the first time, successfully linked three of the observatory's antennas at the 5000-meter elevation observing site in northern Chile. Having three antennas observing in unison paves the way for precise images of the cool Universe at unprecedented resolution, by...

2009-11-20 10:30:00

NEWTON, N.C., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The first of 25 North American antennas to be manufactured by General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies for the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) astronomical observatory was recently installed at the ALMA Operations Site located high in the Chilean Andes. Traveling on a custom-built transporter from the ALMA Operations Support Facility at 9,500 feet above sea level, the 12-meter, 100-ton antenna made a 22-mile trek to the Array...

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2009-11-17 08:30:48

A team of astronomers and engineers at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have made the first interferometric measurements of radio signals "” so-called "fringes" "” of an astronomical source from the observatory's 5000-meter "high site" of Chajnantor. This is an important technical step for ALMA, as it used a full suite of the production equipment, including two of the 12-meter diameter antennas, and sophisticated electronic systems for receiving and...

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2009-10-29 07:53:16

VLA sees most distant object in universe, gets key physics data Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope have gained tantalizing insights into the nature of the most distant object ever observed in the Universe -- a gigantic stellar explosion known as a Gamma Ray Burst (GRB). The explosion was detected on April 23 by NASA's Swift satellite, and scientists soon realized that it was more than 13 billion light-years from Earth. It represents an...

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2009-09-24 06:30:00

The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) astronomical observatory took another step forward and upward, as one of its state-of-the-art antennas was carried for the first time to Chile's 16,500-foot-high plateau of Chajnantor on the back of a giant, custom-built transporter. The 40-foot-diameter antenna, weighing about 100 tons, was moved to ALMA's high-altitude Array Operations Site, where the extremely dry and rarefied air is ideal for observing the Universe. The conditions at...

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2009-08-18 15:15:00

Scientists from NRL's Space Science and Remote Sensing Divisions, in collaboration with researchers from the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) located in Socorro, N.M., have generated the first scientific results from the Long Wavelength Demonstrator Array (LWDA). The measurements were obtained during field tests and calibration of two prototype antennas for the much larger Long Wavelength Array (LWA), which will eventually consist of nearly...

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2009-06-08 12:40:00

Radio astronomers have directly measured the distance to a faraway galaxy, providing a valuable "yardstick" for calibrating large astronomical distances and demonstrating a vital method that could help determine the elusive nature of the mysterious Dark Energy that pervades the Universe."We measured a direct, geometric distance to the galaxy, independent of the complications and assumptions inherent in other techniques. The measurement highlights a valuable method that can be used to...

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2009-05-27 14:40:00

New radio surveys could turn up many supernovas hidden within gas and dust The chance discovery last month of a rare radio supernova - an exploding star seen only at radio wavelengths and undetected by optical or X-ray telescopes - underscores the promise of new, more sensitive radio surveys to find supernovas hidden by gas and dust. "This supernova is the nearest supernova in five years, yet is completely obscured in optical, ultraviolet and X-rays due to the dense medium of the galaxy,"...

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2009-05-21 14:01:09

Unique double-star system changes identities Astronomers have discovered a unique double-star system that represents a "missing link" stage in what they believe is the birth process of the most rapidly-spinning stars in the Universe -- millisecond pulsars. "We've thought for some time that we knew how these pulsars get 'spun up' to rotate so swiftly, and this system looks like it's showing us the process in action," said Anne Archibald, of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Pulsars are...


Latest National Radio Astronomy Observatory Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:43

Very Large Array -- The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter. The VLA is an...

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2004-10-19 04:45:40

National Radio Astronomy Observatory -- The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a research facility of the U.S. National Science Foundation. They provide state-of-the-art radio telescope facilities for use by the scientific community. They conceive, design, build, operate and maintain radio telescopes used by scientists from around the world. Scientists use their facilities to study virtually all types of astronomical objects known, from planets and comets in our own Solar...

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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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