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Latest National Radio Astronomy Observatory Stories

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2008-02-16 14:19:32

In the thin, dry air of northern Chile's Atacama Desert, at an altitude of 16,500 feet, an amazing new telescope system is taking shape, on schedule to provide the world's astronomers with unprecedented views of the origins of stars, galaxies, and planets. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will open an entirely new "window" on the Universe, allowing scientists to unravel longstanding and important astronomical mysteries. "Most of the photons in the Universe are in the...

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2007-08-23 20:45:00

WASHINGTON -- Astronomers have stumbled upon a tremendous hole in the universe. That's got them scratching their heads about what's just not there. The cosmic blank spot has no stray stars, no galaxies, no sucking black holes, not even mysterious dark matter. It is 1 billion light years across of nothing. That's an expanse of nearly 6 billion trillion miles of emptiness, a University of Minnesota team announced Thursday. Astronomers have known for many years that there are patches in the...

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2007-07-31 05:45:00

First ALMA Transporter Ready to Go The first of two spectacular vehicles for the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) Observatory rolled out of its hangar and passed successfully a series of tests. This vehicle, the ALMA antenna transporter, is a rather exceptional 'lorry' driving on 28 tyres. It is 10m wide, 20m long and 6m high, weighs 130 tons and has as much power as two Formula 1 engines. This colossus will be able to transport a 115-ton antenna and set it down on a...

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2007-04-04 09:38:29

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) astronomical project will not only enlarge our knowledge of the vast Universe beyond the imaginable. It will also help scientists learn more about the human body. Located 5000m above sea level, in the Chilean Atacama desert, ALMA is the highest site for ground-based astronomy. This property will be put to good use for academic institutions in Chile and in Europe in order to study the human response to extreme altitude conditions....

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2007-03-08 09:55:44

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international telescope project, reached a major milestone on 2 March, when two 12-m ALMA prototype antennas were first linked together as an integrated system to observe an astronomical object. "This achievement results from the integration of many state-of-the-art components from Europe and North America and bodes well for the success of ALMA in Chile", said Catherine Cesarsky, ESO's Director General. The milestone achievement,...

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2006-08-30 16:30:00

A cosmic explosion seen last February may have been the "tip of an iceberg," showing that powerful, distant gamma ray bursts are outnumbered ten-to-one by less-energetic cousins, according to an international team of astronomers. A study of the explosion with X-ray and radio telescopes showed that it is "100 times less energetic than gamma ray bursts seen in the distant universe. We were able to see it because it's relatively nearby," said Alicia Soderberg, of Caltech, leader of the research...

2006-02-15 19:00:00

Cornell -- The Milky Way's fastest observed pulsar is speeding out of the galaxy at more than 670 miles a second, propelled largely by a kick it received at its birth 2.5 million years ago. Using the Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), 10 radio telescopes spanning 5,000 miles from Hawaii to the U.S. Virgin Islands, James Cordes, professor of astronomy at Cornell University, his former student Shami Chatterjee, now of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and colleagues studied the...

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2006-02-14 07:40:00

NASA -- Call it the biggest beltway ever seen. Astronomers have discovered a newly forming solar system with the inner part orbiting in one direction and the outer part orbiting the other way. Our solar system is a one-way boulevard. All the planets --- from Mercury out to Pluto and even the newly discovered objects beyond --- revolve around the Sun in the same direction. This is because the Sun and planets formed from the same massive, rotating cloud of dust and gas. The motion of that...

2006-01-17 07:29:41

NRAO -- Astronomers have found a relatively tiny galaxy whose black-hole-powered "central engine" is pouring out energy at a rate equal to that of much larger galaxies, and they're wondering how it manages to do so. The astronomers used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope and optical telescopes at the Apache Point Observatory to study a galaxy dubbed J170902+641728, more than a billion light-years from Earth. "This thing looks like a quasar in VLA images,...

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2006-01-17 07:25:45

NRAO -- Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) have discovered a huge "superbubble" of hydrogen gas rising nearly 10,000 light-years above the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. They believe the gas may be driven by supernova explosions and the intense stellar winds from an unseen cluster of young stars in one of our Galaxy's spiral arms. "This giant gas bubble contains about a million times more mass than the Sun and the energy powering its...


Latest National Radio Astronomy Observatory Reference Libraries

7_5c3cbc17d768b0b0835d504928bc384a2
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...

2_fdc8483d4fd59119dc55a9626bf2e40a2
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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Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.