NOAO < NOAO Home Page News Archive

NOAO Home Page News Archive

The last 5 news items that have appeared on the NOAO Home Page.

August 09, 2016

Image Credit: R. Lafever, J. Moustakas/DESI Collaboration, P. Marenfeld/NOAO/AURA/NSF & E. Acosta/LSST/AURA/NSF

Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument Enters Construction Phase

The 3-D spectroscopic sky-mapping project, DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument), has received formal approval from the US Department of Energy to begin construction. Installation at the Kitt Peak Mayall telescope will begin in 2017. Designed to measure the role of dark energy in the expansion history of the Universe, DESI will measure the redshifts of more than 30 million galaxies and quasars and create a map of the Universe out to a distance of 10 billion light years.

Read more in the LBL Press Release.

July 20, 2016

Image Credit: Karen Teramura/IfA, Miloslav Druckmüller, NASA

Trove of Planets Discovered with Kepler and Earth-based Observatories

Once thought to be damaged beyond repair, NASA’s Kepler telescope survives and thrives, discovering new worlds beyond the solar system. A team of astronomers has reported over 100 new planets found in recent Kepler data. Extensive ground-based observations were carried out to sift the real planets from false positives. The team, which includes NOAO’s own Mark Everett, used a suite of facilities, including Gemini North and Keck Observatory, in the study.

Read more:

July 07, 2016

Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI) & S. Sheppard, et. al.

Beyond the
Kuiper Belt Edge

Two new Kuiper Belt objects, 2014 FZ71 and 2015 FJ345, are among the most distant bodies in the Solar System. They are always further than 50AU from the Sun, and only Sedna and 2012 VP113 have larger perihelia. The discovery was made using data from DECam on the Blanco 4-m telescope at CTIO.

Read more…

June 20, 2016

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Young Super-Neptune Offers Clues to the Origin of Close-In Exoplanets

A team of astronomers has confirmed the existence of a young planet, only 11 million years old, that orbits very close to its star (at 0.05 AU), with an orbital period of 5.4 days. Approximately 5 times the size of the Earth, the new planet is a “super-Neptune” and the youngest such planet known. Observations with ARCoIRIS, the new infrared spectrograph on the 4-m Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), played a critical role in measuring the size of the planet. NOAO astronomer David James is a coauthor on the study.

Read more in NOAO Press Release 16-02

June 16, 2016

Image Credit: Alvin Wu

Milky Way Like a Dolphin

The rising arc of the Milky Way is captured on Mauna Kea observatory, Hawaii, showing the Gemini North telescope in the foreground. This image is the Photo Composite winner in the Light Category of the 7th International Earth and Sky Photo Contest, co-hosted by NOAO and the founding institution “The World at Night”. This annual contest was created to highlight the natural beauty of the night sky and its growing battle with light pollution. The 10 winners of the 2016 contest, selected from more than 1000 entries taken in 57 countries, are shown in the contest video. The panel of judges included NOAO astronomer Connie Walker.

Link to all previous news items [321].