Credit: National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory/AURA/NSF/P. Marenfeld

NOAO Unites with Gemini and LSST

As of 1 October 2019, NOAO has joined with Gemini Observatory and LSST operations to create a new organization, NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NSF’s OIR Lab). As the preeminent US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, the new organization brings together diverse pathways for astronomical exploration, serves as a focal point for community coordination and collaboration, and enables the discoveries of the future. The integration is part of a long-term evolutionary trend and is reminiscent of the origin of NOAO itself.

Read more in this Currents article and in the NSF’s OIR Lab press release.

  • Dynamical footprints of two ancient migration events have been uncovered in our galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, using the KPNO Mayall and Gemini North telescopes.

  • Astronomers have discovered the most distant protocluster of galaxies detected to date, 13 billion light years away. NOAO astronomer Chien-Hsiu Lee is a member of the discovery team.

  • The Event Horizon Telescope team that made the first image of a supermassive black hole has been awarded the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. NOAO Astronomer Tod Lauer is a team member.

  • Pandia, Ersa, Eirene, Philophrosyne and Eupheme — these are the new names of five of the moons of Jupiter that were discovered last year with the Dark Energy Camera on the Blanco 4-m telescope at CTIO.

  • The SOAR telescope at CTIO has just completed the first observing night for AEON, a new network of telescopes designed to enable rapid follow up of the changing night sky.

  • The Kitt Peak Mayall’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument project, which will conduct the most ambitious cosmic cartography experiment ever, is featured in this Nature news article.

  • A Whirlpool Warhol: It all depends on how you look at it—galaxies appear different in visible light (top left image, taken with the KPNO 2.1m) than at longer wavelengths, in the infrared.

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