Welcome to the NOIRLab's Press Room, brought to you by NOIRLab’s Communication, Education & Engagement division. Here you will find information about press releases, the image gallery, video libraries, mailing lists, media visits, and more.
We encourage journalists and educators to reproduce NOIRLab images and videos in their articles and educational materials, so long as NOIRLab is clearly credited as the source of the material. All NOIRLab’s images and videos are released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License which allows free use as long as the materials are credited.
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NOIRLab press releases describe important scientific, technical and organizational developments and achievements, including results obtained by external and internal scientists using NOIRLab facilities. The end-goal of these press releases is to share exciting discoveries and the beauty of the Universe with the wider public.
Press release types
NOIRLab publishes three different types of press releases:
- Science Release: A science release describes scientific results usually appearing in a peer-reviewed journal that involve data from NOIRLab observatories or CSDC archives. These press releases explain the significance of the findings and provide contact information for the scientists announcing their results.
- Organization Release: Organization releases cover a range of themes related to NOIRLab operations, including news on current and future observatories, new astronomical instruments, and announcements of exhibitions. Among other topics, Organization releases also cover topics such as the appointment of new observatory Directors and observatory milestones such as major construction milestones.
- Photo Release: The science of astronomy yields beautiful, awe-inspiring images of the cosmos. NOIRLab selects the best of these images and presents them to the public in periodic photo releases. These photo releases provide a detailed description of the object in the image and explain the science behind such cosmic wonders. A photo release may be issued when an important scientific milestone from a NOIRLab observatory does not have an associated peer-reviewed journal article, or if the image tells the story.
NOIRLab also publishes Announcements and Images of the Week on its website.
Announcements are shorter than press releases (typically below 200 words) and highlight stories and events which are of interest to the community. This includes announcing dates and locations of upcoming events, presenting new products and highlighting interesting scientific results which are not covered in Science Releases. Announcements also cover observatory milestones such as the commissioning of a new instrument.
Images of the Week show beautiful or interesting photos from NOIRLab telescopes, and can highlight recent events or archival photos. They are accompanied by a short explanatory text. They are released every Wednesday.
Press release archive
View all NOIRLab, NOAO, Gemini and Rubin Observatory press releases dating back to 1994.
All press releases and most web pages are translated to Spanish.
Procedures and principles behind NOIRLab press releases
- To the best of its abilities, NOIRLab endeavors to ensure that its press releases are factually correct representations of the underlying scientific work and are written in a way that avoids misinterpretations and exaggerations. In order to ensure that the public can consider NOIRLab press releases as reliable sources of information, NOIRLab has adopted the following procedures and principles.
NOIRLab science press releases are not themselves scientific papers, but report on science claims made in bonafide scientific papers. Accordingly, NOIRLab science press releases are usually based on formal papers that follow a standard peer-review procedure and have been accepted for publication in a scientific journal.
- In exceptional cases, a NOIRLab science press release may be based on a paper that has been submitted to a journal but has not yet been formally accepted. In such cases, the press release will clearly state that the scientific paper is "only" a submission.
- In addition to the standard peer-review system, which is conducted independently of NOIRLab, a NOIRLab science press release is subject to an internal review involving a senior scientist of the organization. Their task is to verify the high quality and solid basis of the scientific claims put forward in the original scientific paper, and to verify that statements in the press release correctly reflect those claims. The senior scientists' assessment of the scientific importance of the paper is compared with an independent assessment of the public appeal of a story prepared by the public information officer (PIO), and a decision is made in a plenary discussion in NewsTeam led by the PIO.
- Should in the course of time a scientific claim reported in a science, organization, or photo release be proven false, NOIRLab will insert a proper note of retraction in the original press release, which is retained on the NOIRLab website.
NOIRLab News is a newsletter is addressed to members of the public who wish to stay in touch with the latest NOIRLab science news, photo releases, announcements, Images of the Week and more. You can subscribe here or visit the NOIRLab news archive.
Include our RSS feeds in your RSS Reader and stay informed about the latest news!
- All press releases: News about NOIRLab science and operations.
- Images of the Week: A stunning new photo every week! Click here to see all.
- Announcements: Keep up on NOIRLab Organization announcements for both the public and the scientific community.
- NOIRLab images
- NOIRLab Videos
- Data2Dome images feed
- Data2Dome videos feed
NOIRLab welcomes journalists, science writers and producers interested in visits to the observatory sites for the production of news stories, documentaries and other projects. Please read the media visit guidelines.
NOIRLab images and motion pictures may be reproduced on a non-exclusive basis without fee so long as NOIRLab is clearly credited as the source of the image material. Read more here.