Photo Release: 28 April 2021 — noirlab2115
An Astronomer’s Menagerie
This image of the dwarf galaxy Sextans B, taken with the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, contains a menagerie of astronomical objects, from bright stars in the foreground to distant galaxies hiding in the background. The galaxy itself contains both the cradles and the graves of stars, hosting star-forming regions as well as stellar death shrouds.
Science Release: 7 April 2021 — noirlab2114
Caught Speeding: Clocking the Fastest-Spinning Brown Dwarfs
Astronomers at Western University have discovered the most rapidly rotating brown dwarfs known. They found three brown dwarfs that each complete a full rotation roughly once every hour. That rate is so extreme that if these “failed stars” rotated any faster, they could come close to tearing themselves apart. Identified by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, the brown dwarfs were then studied by ground-based telescopes including Gemini North, which confirmed their surprisingly speedy rotation.
Science Release: 6 April 2021 — noirlab2113
Black Hole Pairs Found in Distant Merging Galaxies
Astronomers have found two close pairs of quasars in the distant Universe. Follow-up observations with Gemini North spectroscopically resolved one of the distant quasar pairs, after their discovery with the Hubble Space Telescope and Gaia spacecraft. These quasars are closer together than any pair of quasars found so far away, providing strong evidence for the existence of supermassive black hole pairs as well as crucial insight into galaxy mergers in the early Universe.
Photo Release: 16 March 2021 — noirlab2112
Unrivaled View of Galaxy Messier 106
This spectacular image highlights the majestic spiral galaxy Messier 106 and its diminutive neighbors, as well as a dense field of background galaxies and foreground stars. This may be the best view yet of Messier 106 in its entirety, showing both the warped central disk and the tenuous outer reaches of the galaxy.
Organization Release: 15 March 2021 — noirlab2111
Explore the Universe during AstroDay–Chile
AstroDay–Chile’s annual astronomy education festival will take place entirely online in Spanish for the first time in 2021, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2007, AstroDay has provided unique opportunities for the public to engage with the scientists and staff who work at the most important observatories in Chile. This year’s event takes place from 17 to 19 March 2021 and all activities are free to engage with online.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Measures at NOIRLab
As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, NOIRLab is actively responding to the situation and taking measures to ensure the safety of its staff and the public. Read more.
Satellite Constellations 2 Workshop Announced
We are pleased to announce that the Satellite Constellations 2 (SATCON2) workshop will be held virtually 12–16 July 2021 to discuss how to implement the mitigation strategies (determined in SATCON1) to minimize the impact of satellite constellations on...
NOIRLab Shares Cosmic Activities for AstroDay 2021
NSF’s NOIRLab will share free astronomy-themed activities during AstroDay, an annual event on Hawai‘i Island, which has been extended for a full weekend this year. From Friday 30 April through Sunday 2 May 2021, anyone in the Hilo area of Hawai‘i can p...
Rubin Digest 27 April 2021
PROJECT & SCIENCE NEWS
Save the date, August 9-13, for the 2021 Rubin Project and Community Workshop (PCW), which will be virtual again this year. We look forward to engaging with our colleagues during the event, and we will provide more details a...
Rubin Digest 13 April 2021
PROJECT & SCIENCE NEWS
Rubin Construction Project leadership has announced an update to the project schedule: Based on currently available information, it’s expected that regular survey operations for Rubin Observatory will not begin before Octobe...
NOIRLab Astronomer Arjun Dey Awarded John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship
Arjun Dey, an astronomer at NSF’s NOIRLab, has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in astronomy & astrophysics for 2021. Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of past achievement and exceptional promise for future accomplishment...
ACEAP Alumna Selected as Astronaut for SpaceX
Sian Procter, a participant in the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program (ACEAP) in 2016, has been selected as an astronaut by SpaceX. The Inspiration4 mission, scheduled to launch sometime after 15 September 2021, will orbit Earth for three ...
Take a Walk Through the Solar System at Waimea, Hawaiʻi
The annual Waimea Solar System Walk is taking place this year from 15 March to 15 April 2021 as an in-person/virtual hybrid event in the town of Waimea on Hawai‘i Island, with some adjustments to accommodate COVID-19 safety measures.
The self-guided ...
Coronavirus COVID-19 Measures at NOIRLab
As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, NOIRLab is actively responding to the situation and taking measures to ensure the safety of its staff and the public. We are currently not hosting visitors to the summit or base facilities.
Update Mar. 31, 202...
More than 2000 Participants in NOIRLab’s Virtual Astronomy Day Events in Chile
More than 2000 people participated in the online activities that formed part of NSF’s NOIRLab’s AstroDay–Chile 2021 event last week, contributing to an annual astronomical fair known as Astronomy Day that brings together the most important scientific a...
AURA First Observatory in Chile to Receive Certification for Preventive Management of COVID-19
On 18 March 2021 AURA, which operates NSF’s NOIRLab and its Programs in Chile, the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and the international Gemini Observatory, became the first observatory in Chile to obtain the “COVID-19 Seal” from the Chi...
Rubin Digest 23 March 2021
Project & Science News
The first completed filter for the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera has arrived at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The r-band filter was delivered to SLAC on March 12th, marking an exciting milestone for the LSST Camera ...
First LSST Camera Filter Arrives at SLAC
The first completed filter for the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera has arrived at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory! The r-band filter was delivered to SLAC on 12 March 2021, marking an exciting milestone for the LSST Camera team.
The r-band filter...
Upgrading Our Views of the Universe
Astronomy is predominantly a visual science. However, an important tool is needed to produce breathtaking color images from the observations made with telescopes such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, or the tele...
Globe at Night for Astronomy Day in Chile
The Ministers of Science and Environment in Chile recently invited citizens to participate in NSF’s NOIRLab’s Globe at Night program to identify how the light of cities affects astronomical observations. This activity was a prelude to Astronomy Day hel...
Rubin Digest 09 March 2021
Project & Science News
The Top-End Assembly (TEA) for the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) was lifted by crane into the observatory dome and installed on the TMA on March 2nd. The task was completed successfully and was a highly celebrated milestone...
Celebrating 17 Years in Hawaiʻi Island Classrooms
This year’s virtual Journey Through the Universe program, running from 1 to 5 March 2021, is nearing completion with stunning results. Owing to the pandemic, the event took place entirely online for the first time to limit the risk to educators and par...
Interact with NOIRLab’s Astronomical Images with New App
The astronomical image archive from NSF’s NOIRLab has become interactive thanks to a new web application developed to explore the sky. Harnessing the power of the Aladin Interactive Sky Atlas, the app allows users to learn more about the images in a vi...
Virtual Card Game Allows Anyone to ‘Observe’ with Gemini
The international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, is constantly making new astronomical observations that provide deeper insights into the nature of our Universe. But how do those observations actually happen? What is required to turn a...
5 May 2021 — iotw2118
Gemini and its Laser Beam
28 April 2021 — iotw2117
Sun Beams Over Kitt Peak
21 April 2021 — iotw2116
Some Assembly Required
14 April 2021 — iotw2115
A Vista of NGC 2626 with the SMARTS 0.9-meter Telescope
7 April 2021 — iotw2114
Star Trails and the Lone Twin
31 March 2021 — iotw2113
Not a Planet
24 March 2021 — iotw2112
Moonrise Over Gemini North
17 March 2021 — iotw2111
10 March 2021 — iotw2110
A Sky Full of Galaxies
3 March 2021 — iotw2109
Heavy Lifting at Vera C. Rubin Observatory
From the first observations in 1965, Cerro Tololo, located in Chile, has served as the principal platform for U.S. astronomical investigation of the southern skies.
Community Science & Data Center
Programs within the Community Science and Data Center support and enable a broad range of astronomical community science activities across the US ground-based optical and infrared system.
Founded in 1958, Kitt Peak National Observatory is home to one of the largest arrays of optical and radio telescopes in the world.
The Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8.1-meter diameter optical/infrared telescopes located on two of the best observing sites on the planet.
Vera C. Rubin Observatory, currently under construction on Cerro Pachón in Chile, is an 8-meter-class telescope coupled to a 3.2-gigapixel camera – the world’s largest digital camera ever fabricated for optical astronomy.