Science Release: 27 Oct. 2020 — noirlab2027
Astronomers are Bulging with Data
For the first time, over 250 million stars in our galaxy’s bulge have been surveyed in near-ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared light, opening the door for astronomers to reexamine key questions about the Milky Way’s formation and history. Using ultraviolet data, and with 450,000 individual images, the team was able to measure the chemical composition of tens of thousands of stars spanning a large area of the bulge. The vast dataset can be explored in spectacular detail in this image.
Organization Release: 12 Oct. 2020 — noirlab2026
Restart of Limited NOIRLab Operations at Kitt Peak, Cerro Pachón and Cerro Tololo
NOIRLab is pleased to announce that limited science operations are being re-established at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Gemini South, and SOAR facilities in Chile after suspension on 18 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo Release: 5 Oct. 2020 — noirlab2025
Looking Sharp: Most Detailed Image Yet of Famous Stellar Nursery
Astronomers using the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, have captured the western wall of the Carina Nebula in unprecedented detail in a compelling image released today. The image reveals a number of unusual structures in the nebula. The exquisite detail revealed in the image is in part due to a technology known as adaptive optics, which resulted in a ten-fold improvement in the sharpness of the research team’s observations.
Organization Release: 22 Sept. 2020 — noirlab2024
Big Astronomy Planetarium Program and Online Activities Go Live!
Big Astronomy or Astronomia a Gran Escala is a bilingual planetarium show that extends beyond the dome using web-based and hands-on resources. In Big Astronomy, discover Chile’s grand observatories and meet the people who push the limits of technology and expand what we know about the Universe using world-class telescopes.
Science Release: 15 Sept. 2020 — noirlab2023
A White Dwarf’s Surprise Planetary Companion
For the first time, an intact, giant exoplanet has been discovered orbiting close to a white dwarf star. This discovery shows that it is possible for Jupiter-sized planets to survive their star’s demise and settle into close orbits around the remaining stellar ember, near the habitable zone. This foretells one possible future for our own Solar System when the Sun ages into a white dwarf.
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.
Rubin Digest 21 October 2020
Project & Science News Last week, at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, the LSST Camera team conducted a successful test verifying the clearance between the filters and the shutter as the filter moves from its storage position to its online pos...
Congratulations to the Physics Nobel Prize Recipients
NSF’s NOIRLab and AURA would like to extend their congratulations to the 2020 Physics Nobel Prize Laureates Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghez. In the wake of Penrose's theoretical work that showed black holes must exist, Genzel and Ghez c...
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 Oct. 12, 202...
NOIRLab Sites to Remain Closed for Public Visits Until 1 February 2021
We are continuously monitoring and actively responding to the COVID-19 situation, including taking measures to ensure the safety of our staff, their families and our communities. Our top operational priority at all sites has been the restart and conti...
Rubin Digest 06 October 2020
Project & Science News A productive meeting of the AURA Management Council for Rubin Observatory (AMCR), AURA’s oversight and advocacy committee for Rubin, took place virtually on September 23-24. The report from the committee was submitted to the...
Rubin Digest 23 September 2020
Project & Science News The first images taken by the LSST Camera at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory received lots of attention from the media and the public after a press release announcing the milestone was issued by SLAC on September 8th. A...
Rubin Sensors Capture First Image in the Lab
The Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Camera team at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) has released the first 3200-megapixel digital photo taken using the array of imaging sensors that will be integrated into th...
Rubin Digest 08 September 2020
Project & Science News The LSST Camera team at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has released the first 3200-megapixel digital images taken using the Camera’s full array of imaging sensors. These are the largest images ever captured in single s...
New Website for NSF’s NOIRLab
After receiving its new short name, NSF’s NOIRLab, earlier in 2020, a targeted effort was started to move NOIRlab’s public Internet presence from the interim website at nationalastro.org to a new domain at noirlab.edu. This public site has now been lau...
Media advisory: Press Conference to Unveil Conclusions from Satellite Constellations 1 (SATCON1) Workshop
On Tuesday 25 August, astronomers will release the final report from the Satellite Constellations 1 workshop during a virtual press conference hosted by the National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab and the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The briefin...
Rubin Digest 18 August 2020
Project & Science News Rubin Observatory's very first virtual Project and Community Workshop (PCW) took place August 10-14, 2020, and it was a resounding success. The all-online format allowed more people to participate in this year’s workshop tha...
Joint Statement Regarding the Submission of the “Planning and Design for a US Extremely Large Telescope Program” Proposals to the National Science Foundation
In collaboration with its US-ELTP partners, NSF’s NOIRLab has successfully submitted a Planning and Design Proposal to the NSF, see joint statement below. The US Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) is a joint endeavor of NOIRLab and the organ...
Rubin Digest 28 July 2020
Project & Science News The Rubin 2020 Project and Community Workshop (PCW) is right around the corner, (August 10-14), and there are currently 350 people registered—a new record! If you haven’t registered yet please do so as soon as possible on th...
Rubin Digest 14 July 2020
Project & Science News The schedule for this year’s Rubin Observatory Project and Community Workshop (Rubin 2020), to be held virtually August 10-14, is now available at this link. This year we’ll have “Rubin flash talks” in place of posters. If y...
Rubin Digest 30 June 2020
Project & Science News Registration is now open for this year’s Project and Community Workshop (Rubin 2020), to be held virtually on August 10-14. More than 200 people have already registered for the event, and the agenda is close to being finaliz...
The NOIRLab Mirror Launched
The inaugural edition of The NOIRLab Mirror is now available. Our new, twice-yearly newsletter with information focusing on NOIRLab’s user communities showcases the science, technology, and program developments across the five NOIRLab Programs: Communi...
NOIRLab Update on COVID-19 Implications
Following is an update on the impact of the COVID-19 virus on NSF’s NOIRLab. Since the night of Tuesday, 19 May 2020, the Gemini North telescope has been conducting observations from Maunakea. Operations continue at the Gemini North Base facility with...
Rubin Digest 09 June 2020
Project & Science News The Rubin Observatory Project leadership team released a statement on June 3rd in response to the ongoing protests against racial injustice. Rubin Observatory condemns discrimination and racism, and is committed to supportin...
NOIRLab response to #ShutDownSTEM
#ShutDownSTEM, Wednesday 10 June 2020, is a day of international protest of systemic racism in research and academia. STEM and research professionals are asked to stop their normal activities of research, teaching and meetings for one day, in the wake ...
28 Oct. 2020 — iotw2044
A Snowball SOARs
21 Oct. 2020 — iotw2043
Heart of the Crab
14 Oct. 2020 — iotw2042
The Sun Gazer
7 Oct. 2020 — iotw2041
Above the Clouds
30 Sept. 2020 — iotw2040
23 Sept. 2020 — iotw2039
Fireball over KPNO
16 Sept. 2020 — iotw2038
Sky Aglow at CTIO
9 Sept. 2020 — iotw2037
2 Sept. 2020 — iotw2036
Follow the Yellow Lit Road
26 Aug. 2020 — iotw2035
A Lonely Spiral in a Tapestry of Galaxies
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.