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Latest W. M. Keck Observatory Stories

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2011-03-23 10:00:00

Observations with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, along with two other telescopes, have shown that there is a new candidate for the coldest known star: a brown dwarf in a double system with about the same temperature as a freshly made cup of tea "” hot in human terms, but extraordinarily cold for the surface of a star. This object is cool enough to begin crossing the blurred line dividing small cold stars from big hot planets. Brown dwarfs are essentially...

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2011-01-12 13:44:18

Astronomers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), and University of Hawaii (UH) have discovered 16 close-knit pairs of supermassive black holes in merging galaxies. The discovery, based on observations done at the W. M. Keck Observatory on Hawaii's Mauna Kea, is being presented in Seattle on January 12 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society, and has been submitted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. These...

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2011-01-12 13:37:10

Astronomers have uncovered a burgeoning galactic metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe. This ancient collection of galaxies presumably grew into a modern galaxy cluster similar to the massive ones seen today. The developing cluster, named COSMOS-AzTEC3, was discovered and characterized by multi-wavelength telescopes, including NASA's Spitzer, Chandra and Hubble space telescopes, and the ground-based W.M. Keck Observatory and Japan's Subaru Telescope. "This exciting...

2011-01-12 12:00:00

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Astronomers have uncovered a burgeoning galactic metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe. This ancient collection of galaxies presumably grew into a modern galaxy cluster similar to the massive ones seen today. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) The developing cluster, named COSMOS-AzTEC3, was discovered and characterized by multi-wavelength telescopes, including NASA's Spitzer, Chandra and...

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2010-12-08 14:30:00

NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics releases image of fourth planet orbiting bright star HR 8799 An international team of astronomers has discovered a fourth giant planet, HR 8799e, outside our solar system. The new planet joins the three planets that were the subjects of the first-ever images of a planetary family orbiting a star other than our Sun. The planets orbit the star HR 8799, which lies about 129 light years from Earth and is faintly visible to the naked eye. The international...

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2010-12-07 08:52:54

Written by: Josh Rodgriguez, NASA/JPL The Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer has taken its first images of the star Beta Peg in the constellation Pictor -- an encouraging start for an instrument designed to probe the cosmic neighborhoods where Earth-like planets could exist. Eight years in development, the NASA-funded instrument combines beams of light from twin 8.4-meter (28-foot) mirrors mounted atop the Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham, Ariz. "By combining the light of the...

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2010-12-01 13:43:35

The biggest galaxies in the universe are elliptical galaxies. The largest of these hold over one trillion stars according to astronomical census takers, compared to 400 billion in our Milky Way. However, new research shows that elliptical galaxies actually hold five to ten times as many stars as previously believed. This means that the total number of stars in the universe is likely three times bigger than realized. The hidden stars are known as red dwarfs for their color and small size....

2010-11-29 14:04:16

Among the latest winners of the Kavli Prize are three scientists who have received NSF funding over the past several years Among the latest winners of the Kavli Prize are three scientists who have received NSF funding over the past several years. The Kavli Prize is awarded each year by the Kavli Foundation to scientists "whose discoveries have dramatically expanded human understanding in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience;" prizes are presented to researchers in each of...

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2010-11-24 14:30:57

New NASA images support findings that one of Jupiter's stripes that "disappeared" last spring is now showing signs of a comeback. These new observations will help scientists better understand the interaction between Jupiter's winds and cloud chemistry. Earlier this year, amateur astronomers noticed that a longstanding dark-brown stripe, known as the South Equatorial Belt, just south of Jupiter's equator, had turned white. In early November, amateur astronomer Christopher Go of Cebu City,...

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2010-11-05 06:20:00

It turns out the Herschel Space Observatory has a trick up its sleeve. The telescope, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA contributions, has proven to be excellent at finding magnified, faraway galaxies. Like little kids probing patches of dirt for insects, astronomers can use these new cosmic magnifying lenses to study galaxies that are hidden in dust. "I was surprised to learn that Herschel is so good at finding these cosmic lenses," said Asantha Cooray of the University of...


Latest W. M. Keck Observatory Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:43

Interferometry -- Interferometry is the applied science of combining two or more input points of a data type, such as optical, and combine these data to form a greater picture based on the combination of the two sources. This technique is the basis for proposed radio telescope arrays, which spread out upon a wide area of hundreds of miles, can together produce a picture with resolution similar or equivalent to a single telescope with the diameter of the combined spread of telescopes. The...

2_e4e4cd750274dbb7a2c72df5f79ced8c2
2004-10-19 04:45:40

Keck Observatory -- From a remote outpost on the summit of Hawaii's dormant Mauna Kea volcano, astronomers at the W.M. Keck Observatory probe the deepest regions of the Universe with unprecedented power and precision. Their instruments are the twin Keck Telescopes, the world's largest optical and and infrared telescopes. Each stands eight stories tall and weighs 300 tons, yet operates with nanometer precision. At the heart of each Keck Telescope is a revolutionary primary mirror. Ten...

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2004-10-19 04:45:40

Mauna Kea Observatories -- Hawaii is Earth's connecting point to the rest of the Universe. The summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii hosts the world's largest astronomical observatory, with telescopes operated by astronomers from eleven countries. The combined light-gathering power of the telescopes on Mauna Kea is fifteen times greater than that of the Palomar telescope in California -- for many years the world's largest -- and sixty times greater than that of the Hubble Space...

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