NOAO Home Page News Archive
The last 5 news items that have appeared on the NOAO Home Page.
September 29, 2016
Image Credit: LCOGT
NSF Funds Open Access to Las Cumbres Observatory
Beginning in 2017, open access time on the LCO global telescope network will be available to the US community through the NOAO TAC. The LCO network includes nine 1m and two 2m optical telescopes that are optimized for time-domain studies. A call for proposals will be issued by NOAO early next year. Read More...
September 19, 2016
Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
Pluto Spray Paints its Moon Red
The red color near the north pole of Charon, Pluto’s largest moon, originates on Pluto. Once a mystery, it now appears that the red color of “Mordor Macula” arises as methane gas escapes from Pluto’s atmosphere and freezes onto the icy surface of Charon’s north pole. UV light from the Sun then transforms the methane into reddish organic materials. The New Horizons team that reported this result includes NOAO astronomer Tod Lauer.
Read more in the NASA Press Release.
September 12, 2016
Image Credit: K. Vivas & CTIO/NOAO/AURA/NSF
Ultra-faint stellar systems discovered toward the Sagittarius stream
Astronomers have discovered ultra-faint stellar systems in the direction of the Sagittarius stream, the stream of stars that is being pulled out of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy as it orbits our own Milky Way galaxy. Similar in size to globular clusters but much fainter, the new stellar systems straddle the fuzzy boundary between dwarf galaxies and stellar clusters. The discovery was made by a team of astronomers using data from the Dark Energy Survey being carried out at CTIO. Team members include NOAO astronomers Kathy Vivas, Tim Abbott, David James, Chris Smith, and Alistair Walker. Read More...
September 02, 2016
Image Credit: L. Huang, P. Marenfeld, and K. Olsen/NOAO/AURA/NSF.
The September 2016 NOAO Newsletter is online and ready to download. It contains sections on Science Highlights, System Science Capabilities, System Observing: Telescopes and Instruments, and NOAO Operations & Staff.
On the Cover
This map, created using the NOAO Data Lab Data Discovery Tool, shows the total exposure in science frames taken with any of the DECam, or KPNO and CTIO Mosaic imagers. The sky has been rotated to center on the Dark Energy Survey “footprint.”
August 29, 2016
Image Credit: Pieter van Dokkum, Roberto Abraham, Gemini Observatory/AURA.
More Than Meets the Eye: A Massive Galaxy That’s Nearly All Dark Matter
The ultra-diffuse galaxy Dragonfly 44, located in the Coma Cluster of galaxies, has the mass and size of the Milky Way galaxy, but very few stars. The other 99.99% of the mass is a form of dark matter. Observations made with the Gemini and Keck Observatories were used to infer the mass of the galaxy from the motions of its stars and to take a census of its globular cluster population.
Read more in the Gemini Press Release.