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National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Frequently Asked Questions About NOAO

  1. When was NOAO founded?
  2. Who is the Director of NOAO?
  3. How are you funded?
  4. Where are your headquarters?
  5. How is observing time allocated?

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1. When was NOAO founded?

NOAO was founded in 1982. The book "AURA and Its US National Observatories", by Frank Edmonson, 1997, gives additional details:

A special meeting of the Board of Directors of AURA, Inc., took place in Chicago November 3-4, 1982 when the Board voted to "approve consolidation of all AURA-managed ground-based observatories (Kitt Peak National Observatory, Cerro Toloto Inter-American Observatory, and the National Solar Observatory with facilities at Sacramento Peak, New Mexico and Kitt Peak, Arizona) under a single Director".

More information about AURA can be found at: http://www.aura-astronomy.org/
For general information about NOAO visit: http://www.noao.edu/noao/intro.html
and about Kitt Peak specifically: http://www.noao.edu/kpno/40th

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2. Who is the Director of NOAO?

Dr. David Silva is the Director of NOAO.

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3. How are you funded?

NOAO is funded by the National Science Foundation and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.

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4. Where are your headquarters?

NOAO is headquartered in Tucson, AZ. Our address is:
950 N. Cherry Ave.
Tucson, AZ 85726

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5. How is observing time allocated?

Time on the telescopes is rare and competition for that time is stiff. Twice a year scientists submit one page proposals outlining their projectss and what they hope to accomplish. For every 10 proposals submitted, about four are accepted. Once the deadline for submissions has passed a Telescope Allocations Committe meets to judge the proposals and allocate time on the telescopes.

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NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. Last updated 29 November, 2000.

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