NOAO Currents

August 2017  •  Issue 47

 

Currents

Currents is a sparkplug for communication between NOAO and our community. It provides updates—and solicits community input—on NOAO observing opportunities and NOAO programs and policies on a more rapid timescale than is possible with the NOAO Newsletter.

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Figure 1. Footprints of the DR3 (orange) and DR4 (red) data releases over the full sky.

Legacy Surveys Issues 4th Data Release: The Legacy Surveys project is imaging nearly a third of the sky in three color filters in preparation for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument survey. While previous releases have featured the equatorial sky, DR4 extends the survey footprint northward to declinations between 30 and 80 degrees and covers an area of 3600 square degrees. The data release includes images and catalogs. Read more…

2020 Decadal Survey Community Input Invited, Deadline Extended: NOAO welcomes your input into our planning for the coming decade. Please visit our Decadal Survey Planning website to upload your white paper or to contribute a science-based comment on areas in which NOAO can provide critical resources and/or areas that will strengthen the US ground-based OIR system in the coming decade. An updated “Dear Colleague” letter describes the request and our planning process. The deadline for input and comments is 30 September 2017 . The follow-on community workshop is tentatively scheduled for 20-21 February 2018 in Tucson, AZ. Read more…

TMT Science Forum: This year’s gathering of the international Thirty Meter Telescope community, “TMT: Beyond First Light,” will be held in Mysore, India 7-9 November 2017. The registration deadline is 18 September 2017 . Limited travel support is available for US astronomers. To be considered for support, write to tmt@noao.edu. Read more…

Big Questions, Big Surveys, Big Data: Nighttime Astronomy & Cosmology in the 2020s: A community workshop, to be held 11-16 March 2018, will examine the planning and resources needed to address major questions in survey-scale and data-intensive astronomy and cosmology. The results will provide input into the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Read More…

DECam in the News:

70-26-4 Cosmic Mix Confirmed: New results from the Dark Energy Survey (DES) confirm that the Universe is mostly made of dark energy (70%) and dark matter (26%), with normal baryonic matter comprising just a smidge (4%). The results of the survey, carried out with DECam on the CTIO Blanco telescope, were derived from high precision maps of gravitational lensing and large scale structure. The complete set of papers describing the DES Year 1 cosmology results is now available.

Superluminous Supernova Proclaims the Death of a Star at Cosmic High Noon: The supernova, one of the most distant ever discovered & confirmed, was detected with DECam.

Distant Galaxies ‘Lift the Veil’ on the End of the Cosmic Dark Ages: Small star-forming galaxies were abundant 800 million years after the Big Bang, suggesting that the earliest galaxies, which illuminated and ionized the Universe, formed at even earlier times. To detect Lyman alpha emission at z~7, the investigators installed a custom narrowband filter on DECam.

A New Jovian Mini-Moon, discovered with DECam, is only a mile across and takes 2 years to complete an orbit around Jupiter.

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Contact Us

Did something interesting, inspiring, or surprising happen on a recent observing run? Please tell us about it! Is there a topic that you would like to see covered in a future Currents? If you are planning a regional astronomy meeting or department internal symposium, would you like someone from NOAO to give a presentation on our new program? Please contact us at currents@noao.edu. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Currents is a sparkplug for communication between NOAO and our community. It provides updates—and solicits community input—on NOAO observing opportunities and NOAO programs and policies on a more rapid timescale than is possible with the NOAO Newsletter.

NOAO is the national center for ground-based nighttime astronomy in the United States and is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

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