Organization Release: 5 Nov. 2021 — noirlab2128
NOIRLab Response to Astro2020 Decadal Survey
NSF’s NOIRLab fully supports the scientific vision of Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s and stands ready, along with our managing organization, AURA, to join our community in advocating for and contributing to the implementation of the survey’s recommendations. NOIRLab along with its partners are honored that the community has ranked the US Extremely Large Telescope Program as the highest ground-based priority in Pathways to Discovery.
Science Release: 2 Nov. 2021 — noirlab2127
Rocky Exoplanets Are Even Stranger Than We Thought
An astronomer from NSF’s NOIRLab has teamed up with a geologist from California State University, Fresno, to make the first estimates of rock types that exist on planets orbiting nearby stars. After studying the chemical composition of “polluted” white dwarfs, they have concluded that most rocky planets orbiting nearby stars are more diverse and exotic than previously thought, with types of rocks not found anywhere in our Solar System.
Photo Release: 23 Sept. 2021 — noirlab2126
Plunging into the Furnace
The denizens of the Fornax galaxy cluster populate this image from the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope, located in Chile at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. The irregular galaxy lurking in the bottom left corner of this Dark Energy Survey image is NGC 1427A, and its headlong plunge into the heart of the Fornax Cluster over millions of years will eventually result in the galaxy’s disruption.
Photo Release: 31 Aug. 2021 — noirlab2125
Spectacular Portrait of Centaurus A
A spectacular portrait of the galaxy Centaurus A has been captured by astronomers using the Dark Energy Camera mounted on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. This galaxy’s peculiar appearance — cloaked in dark tendrils of dust — stems from a past interaction with another galaxy, and its size and proximity to Earth make it one of the best-studied giant galaxies in the night sky.
Organization Release: 25 Aug. 2021 — noirlab2124
New Initiative to Help Unravel Cosmic Mysteries with Big Data
An expansive, multi-year collaboration will create new software to analyze the datasets from the upcoming Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time. The effort, led by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Washington, will enable large-scale science fueled by the new data. The Community Science and Data Center at NSF's NOIRLab will collaborate with the team to make the software freely available to the entire astrophysics community.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Measures at NOIRLab
We are not planning to host public visitors to the summit or base facilities until the earliest 1 February 2022, though the timeline may be different for each site.
NOIRLab Staff Celebrate AstroDay in Kona!
NOIRLab, in conjunction with the University of Hawai‘i’s Institute for Astronomy (IfA) and the Maunakea Observatories (MKOs), shared the Universe with learners of all ages at Astroday Kona on Sunday 14 November 2021. The free, open-air event, organized...
Rubin Camera Chills Out
The SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory team that’s developing the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Camera for Vera C. Rubin Observatory celebrated a very cold day during the last week of October — not because of the weather, but because both of...
US-ELTP Director and Former NOAO Director Sidney Wolff Retires
The Project Director of the US Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP), Sidney Wolff, has announced her retirement, leaving behind a legacy of nearly fifty years leading the United States’s top ground-based observatories.
Stepping up as the new P...
Rubin Digest 16 November 2021
Project & Science News
Rubin Observatory will host an exhibit booth at the American Astronomical Society Winter Meeting (AAS239), to be held January 9-13, 2022, in Salt Lake City, UT. There is also a Rubin Observatory Open House scheduled during t...
NOIRLab’s Janice Lee Receives 2021 HPCwire Readers’ Choice Award
Janice Lee, a member of the international PHANGS collaboration, has been recognized by the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards, presented at the 2021 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analy...
NOIRLab and Chilean Embassy Advocate for Dark and Quiet Skies in Singapore
NSF’s NOIRLab is presenting about the importance of clear and dark skies at a virtual event named “Chilean Astronomy: A window to the Universe”, organized by the Chilean Embassy in Singapore in partnership with the Science Centre Singapore.
Join Viaje al Universo this week!
Monday 8 November to Friday 12 November 2021 sees the tenth version of Viaje al Universo, one of the education programs that NSF’s NOIRLab organizes in Chile to bring the wonders of the Universe to students, teachers and families.
Although all the act...
US Extremely Large Telescope Program Supports Vision of Decadal Survey
The decadal survey for astronomy and astrophysics is a powerful study that our community uses to drive strategy and vision for the next decade of federally funded transformative science. The 2020 report, Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophys...
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 Nov. 4, 2021...
Pathways to Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics for the 2020s — NOIRLab Statement
For more than sixty years the Decadal Surveys have embodied a consensus vision for our field. As the US national organization for open-access nighttime optical astronomy, NOIRLab stands ready, along with our managing organization the Association of Uni...
Rubin Digest 02 November 2021
Project & Science News
The Second SCOC-Science Collaborations Workshop will be held virtually on Nov 16-18. The main goal of this workshop is to discuss draft recommendation for the initial survey strategy formulated by the Survey Cadence Optimiza...
DESI Team Receives Project Management Excellence Award from Department of Energy
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded its 2020 Project Management Excellence Award to the project team for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), which recently embarked on a five-year mission to create the largest 3D map of the sky....
SATCON2 Working Group Reports Released
The SATCON2 workshop addressed a watershed moment in the transformation of space. In 2018, a few thousand operational satellites orbited the Earth. By 2030, there may be more than 100,000. A massive cloud of satellites presents significant to existenti...
IRAF Team Receives Prize for Astronomical Software
Members of the team that developed the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) software system are this year’s recipients of the Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems (ADASS) Prize for an Outstanding Contribution to Astronomical Software...
Rubin Observatory Receives Two Guinness World Records for Its Camera and Lenses
Vera C. Rubin Observatory, which is under construction at Cerro Pachón in the Coquimbo Region of Chile, has broken two Guinness World Records. One record goes to the project's digital camera for having the highest resolution in the world, and the other...
Final Filters Delivered for Rubin Observatory Camera
After nearly a decade of work, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has delivered the last of the six filters built for use with Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time Camera (LSSTCam). The filters have now all arrived at ...
Rubin Digest 19 October 2021
Project & Science News
Rubin Observatory leadership showcased recent accomplishments and discussed upcoming plans at this year’s National Science Foundation (NSF)/Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Status Review, which was held virtually October 4-7...
Conclusions from Satellite Constellations 2 Released
The Satellite Constellations 2 (SATCON2) workshop, held 12–16 July 2021, brought together more than 350 astronomers, satellite operators, dark-sky advocates, policy experts, and other stakeholders from 40 countries to discuss how to implement the strat...
The Rubin Observatory Telescope Mount Awakens
In an exciting milestone at Cerro Pachón in Chile, Vera C. Rubin Observatory's telescope mount assembly was manually rotated in azimuth and elevation for the first time since testing at the Asturfeito factory in Spain. This test of the hydrostatic bear...
Michelle Edwards Joins NOIRLab as Associate Director of Kitt Peak National Observatory
The Mid-Scale Observatories (MSO) program of NSF's NOIRLab is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Edwards as Associate Director of Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO).
Edwards completed her undergraduate studies with a BS in Physics and...
24 Nov. 2021 — iotw2147
Ribbons of Light
17 Nov. 2021 — iotw2146
10 Nov. 2021 — iotw2145
Seeing Red at Kitt Peak
3 Nov. 2021 — iotw2144
A Sky Aglow
27 Oct. 2021 — iotw2143
20 Oct. 2021 — iotw2142
Telescope Silhouettes at Cerro Pachón
13 Oct. 2021 — iotw2141
Colors of Kitt Peak
6 Oct. 2021 — iotw2140
A Galaxy Adrift
29 Sept. 2021 — iotw2139
Telescopes Standing Sentry
22 Sept. 2021 — iotw2138
Gemini North’s Back Yard
17 Nov. 2021
The legacy of Sidney Wolff
2 Nov. 2021
A glimpse into the Solar System’s future
20 Oct. 2021
John Blakeslee: A passion for telescopes
5 Oct. 2021
FITS Liberator 4: How NOIRLab’s pretty pictures are made
21 Sept. 2021
“We believe we are seeing the ‘genetic information’ of the first generation of stars”
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.
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.