NOAO

When Is a Star Not a Star?

by Jason Major December 13, 2013

When it’s a brown dwarf — but where do we draw the line? Often called “failed stars,” brown dwarfs are curious cosmic creatures. They’re kind of like swollen, super-dense Jupiters, containing huge amounts of matter yet not quite enough to begin fusing hydrogen in their cores. Still, there has to be some sort of specific […]

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A Cosmic Rose for Your Spacey Valentine

by Nancy Atkinson February 12, 2013

We space-nerds like to express our amorous feelings, just like the rest of the population (although admittedly some of need more help/prodding in this area than others). And so just in time for Valentine’s Day comes this new image of a planetary nebula, which looks like a rose — or even a tulip – to […]

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One of the Largest Astronomical Images Ever Made

by Jason Major December 18, 2012

The northern portion of the Cygnus Loop, as seen in an enormous new panorama from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and WIYN partners Looking for a stunning new desktop image to wrap up the year? Try this: it’s an amazing panorama of the Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant located 1,500 light-years away in the constellation […]

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First Images in a New Hunt for Dark Energy

by Jason Major September 17, 2012

Zoomed-in image from the Dark Energy Camera of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365, about 60 million light-years from Earth. (Dark Energy Survey Collaboration) The ongoing search for dark energy now has a new set of eyes: the Dark Energy Camera, mounted on the 4-meter Victor M. Blanco telescope at the National Science Foundation’s Cerro […]

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With Proposed Cuts, Can the US Continue to be a Leader in Astronomy? Q & A with NOAO Director David Silva

by Nancy Atkinson August 23, 2012

The Kitt Peak Observatory Last week, a report issued by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Astronomical Sciences suggested de-funding several ground-based observatories along with other money-saving strategies to help offset budget shortfalls in US astronomy which have been projected to be as much as 50%. The report recommended the closure of iconic facilities such […]

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