Latest NRAO Stories

Jansky Very Large Array Achieves First Light
2012-07-22 07:59:27

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Researchers with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in New Mexico announced Friday that they had successfully achieved "first light" at low frequencies using the Jansky Very Large Array (JVLA) radio astronomy telescope. Using five of the JVLA's 27 230-ton, 25-meter diameter very high-frequency (VHF) dish antennas, NRAO astronomer Dr. Frazer Owen was able to map the radio...

2011-05-25 10:47:53

Early results from dramatically upgraded telescope show breadth of scientific impact A new and uniquely powerful tool for cutting-edge science is emerging on the crisp, high desert of western New Mexico. Outwardly, it looks much the same as the famed Very Large Array (VLA), a radio telescope that has spent more than three decades on the frontiers of astronomical research. The 27 white, 230-ton dish antennas still peer skyward, the 72 miles of railroad track still wait to transport the...

2010-11-04 09:15:12

Black holes could produce the enormous energies of a burst, but not neutron stars A gamma-ray burst is an immensely powerful blast of high-energy light thought to be generated by a collapsing star in a distant galaxy, but what this collapse leaves behind has been a matter of debate. A new analysis of four extremely bright bursts observed by NASA's Fermi satellite suggests that the remnant from a long-duration gamma-ray burst is most likely a black hole "“ not a rapidly spinning, highly...

2010-09-13 08:30:00

Green Bank Telescope's staff typically spend their days helping scientists carry out their research, but on one dramatic day in February 2010, they helped rescue soldiers from a crashed helicopter The National Radio Astronomy Observatory's (NRAO) Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope  (GBT) is the world's largest fully steerable telescope, an incredibly sensitive instrument that can detect complex molecules such as sugar (glycoaldehyde) in space, measure minuscule fluctuations in...

Word of the Day
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'