NOAO Home Page News Archive
The last 5 news items that have appeared on the NOAO Home Page.
August 30, 2017
Image Credits: left – T. Abbott & NOAO/AURA/NSF; right – A. Alishevskikh
House-Sized Near Earth Objects Rarer Than We Thought
In 2013 a house-sized meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk. How many similar-sized rocks have orbits that bring them close to the Earth? A new study answers that question using the Dark Energy Camera on the CTIO Blanco telescope. The result — by a research team that includes NOAO astronomers Lori Allen, Frank Valdes, David Herrera, and Jayadev Rajagopal — lends new insights into the nature and origin of small meteors.
August 03, 2017
Background Image: R. Hahn; Inset: C. Chang, Kavli Institute, and the DES collaboration.
70-26-4: The Cosmic Mix Confirmed
New results from the Dark Energy Survey confirm that the Universe is mostly made of dark energy (70%) and dark matter (26%), with normal baryonic matter comprising just a smidge (4%). In other words, the Universe is mostly made of stuff we don’t understand! The results of the survey, which is being carried out with DECam on the CTIO Blanco telescope, were derived from high precision maps of gravitational lensing and large scale structure.
July 21, 2017
Observers: D. Gerdes and S. Jouvel; Inset Image Credit: T. Abbott and NOAO/AURA/NSF
Superluminous supernova proclaims the death of a star at cosmic high noon
Ten billion years ago, a massive star ended its life in a brilliant explosion three times as bright as all of the stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way, combined. News of its death, which recently reached Earth, was detected in the Dark Energy Survey being carried out with DECam at the CTIO Blanco telescope (pictured, above right). The supernova is one of the most distant ever discovered and confirmed.
July 11, 2017
Image Credit: Zhen-Ya Zheng (SHAO) & Junxian Wang (USTC)
Distant Galaxies ‘Lift the Veil’ on the End of the Cosmic Dark Ages
A study of the distant Universe finds that small star-forming galaxies were abundant when the Universe was only only 800 million years old, a few percent of its present age. The results suggest that the earliest galaxies, which illuminated and ionized the Universe, formed at even earlier times. The study was carried out by an international team, including NOAO astronomer Alistair Walker, using the Dark Energy Camera on the CTIO Blanco telescope.
June 19, 2017
Image Credit: M. A. Newhouse & NOAO/AURA/NSF; inset: S. Sheppard, Carnegie Institution for Science
A New Jovian Mini-Moon
Discovered with DECam on the CTIO Blanco telescope, the diminutive moon S/2017 J1, only a mile across, takes 2 years to complete an orbit around Jupiter. Its retrograde orbit — in the direction opposite to Jupiter’s spin — tells us that the moon originated elsewhere and was captured by Jupiter. The inset shows the discovery images taken by astronomers Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo. The discovery brings to 69 the total number of Jovian moons known.