Organization Release: 4 Dec. 2023 — noirlab2333
Rubin Observatory Will Unlock Fossil Record of Galaxy Cluster Evolution
Intracluster light, the collective glow of innumerable stars stripped from their home galaxies and left to wander vast intergalactic space, is incredibly faint and difficult to detect. Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s upcoming Legacy Survey of Space and Time will be the first astronomical survey to provide scientists with the data they need to detect intracluster light in thousands of galaxy clusters, unlocking clues to the evolutionary history of the Universe on large scales.
Organization Release: 27 Nov. 2023 — noirlab2332
NSF’s NOIRLab On Track to Reduce Carbon Emissions by Half
Through its Environmental Sustainability Program, NSF's NOIRLab will reduce its entire annual carbon footprint by 50% by the end of 2027. This will be achieved through allocations of supplemental funding from the National Science Foundation towards installing solar panels and batteries at Gemini South and Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile as well as other upgrades at both NOIRLab’s Base and Summit facilities.
Organization Release: 13 Nov. 2023 — noirlab2331
Gemini North Peers Deeper Into the Dust with New Instrument
Gemini North, one half of the International Gemini Observatory operated by NSF’s NOIRLab, is now peering deeper into the dusty dwellings of young stars with its new IGRINS-2 instrument. This next-generation spectrograph is an upgraded version of the high-demand visiting instrument IGRINS on Gemini South that will expand our understanding of cosmic objects shrouded by dust and gas.
Science Release: 8 Nov. 2023 — noirlab2330
Gemini North Reveals the Formation of Dense Dwarf Galaxy ‘Fossils’
Astronomers using the Gemini North telescope, one half of the International Gemini Observatory operated by NSF’s NOIRLab, have captured the eroding remains of more than 100 dwarf galaxies as they transition into ultra-compact dwarf galaxies, objects with masses much greater than star clusters yet much smaller than dwarf galaxies. These findings confirm that many ultra-compact dwarf galaxies are likely the fossil remains of normal dwarf galaxies that have been stripped of their outer layers.
Photo Release: 25 Oct. 2023 — noirlab2329
Gemini South Captures Cosmic ‘Cotton Candy’
Gemini South, one half of the International Gemini Observatory operated by NSF’s NOIRLab, captures the billion-year-old aftermath of a spiral galaxy collision. At the heart of this chaotic interaction, entwined and caught in the midst of the chaos, is a pair of supermassive black holes — the nearest pair to Earth ever recorded.
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International Gemini Observatory Teams Up With Consortium on Gemini North Adaptive Optics Project
The International Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, and AURA are pleased to announce that Macquarie University's Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) team has been selected, on behalf of the National Science Foundation, to continue the deve…
Rubin Observatory Digest for 5 December 2023
Project and Science News
The third Rubin science release, “Rubin Observatory Will Unlock Fossil Record of Galaxy Cluster Evolution,” is now available onrubinobservatory.org. Please share this story with your networks to help generate excitement about Ru…
Winners of Light Pollution Art Competition in Chile Announced
Student winners of the 2023 The Dark Side of Light art competition featuring light pollution motifs have been awarded their prizes at a special ceremony at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF’s NORLab. The competition was org…
Students in Chile and Hawai‘i United by the Stars
On 31 October NOIRLab and AURA held an hour and a half virtual cultural exchange between students in Vicuña (Chile) and in Hilo (Hawai‘i, US), the nearest towns to the twin telescopes of the International Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab.…
Rubin Observatory Digest for 14 November 2023
Project and Science News
November is Native American Heritage Month, and LGBTQ + STEM day is coming up on November 18th. Rubin celebrates the contributions of all our diverse staff and community members! Contact our Workplace Culture Advocate team if yo…
Rubin Observatory Digest for 31 October 2023
Project and Science News
October 31st is Dark Matter Day, a globally recognized day to celebrate dark matter research and discovery. In case you missed it, Rubin recently published this science release about Rubin’s forthcoming contribution to the study…
New Lighting Standard in Chile Will Preserve the Night Skies Across the Entire Country
On 18 October 2023 Chile issued a new lighting standard to protect the country’s clear, dark skies, which are valued by a large selection of the world’s astronomical infrastructure, including NSF's NOIRLab. Established by the Chilean Ministry of the Envi…
Viaje al Universo 2023 Brings Students to the Forefront of Astronomy in Chile
More than 2,500 students and 115 teachers participated in the activities of Viaje al Universo 2023, which took place from October 16 and 20 in La Serena and Coquimbo in Chile. Viaje is one of NSF's NOIRLab’s core educational programs, whose main goal is …
NSF’s NOIRLab Seeks Reclassification of Astronomical Lasers due to Satellite Constellation Proliferation
Following a workshop organized by NSF’s NOIRLab at Vandenberg Space Force Base, a new report has been released describing the complex relationship between astronomical observatories, constellation satellite operators, NASA, the US Space Command and the U…
NOIRLab and Gemini Welcomed Visitors to AstroDay 2023 in Kona
Together with the other Maunakea Observatories (MKOs), the International Gemini Observatory, operated by NSF's NOIRLab, celebrated AstroDay Kona with families and friends of all ages on Saturday 7 October 2023. A free event held outdoors at the Kona Comm…
Rubin Observatory Digest for 17 October 2023
Project and Science News
Rubin Construction management staff gathered for a workshop on October 4th to discuss the schedule impact of recent challenges concerning the Camera and the integration of components on the summit. A detailed announcement from P…
President of Chile Gabriel Boric Visits Cerro Tololo
Yesterday 5 October 2023 the President of Chile Gabriel Boric visited the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) to meet with management and to reaffirm Chile's commitment to astronomy, and the protection of dark skies.
The President was accompa…
US Extremely Large Telescope Program Receives $15.3 Million from the National Science Foundation
The United States Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP) today announced it has received $15.3 million from the National Science Foundation to support further design and development of advanced optical technologies and user services. The funding con…
Further Understanding BlueWalker 3’s Impact on Astronomy
Scientists, including astronomers from the International Astronomical Union Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference (IAU CPS), have published a paper in Nature assessing the detailed impact of the Blu…
Telescope Operations Restored After Cybersecurity Incident at NSF’s NOIRLab
Gemini North and Gemini South telescopes (the twin telescopes forming the International Gemini Observatory) are now back on sky following the 1 August cybersecurity incident at NSF’s NOIRLab, and are currently collecting science data. Restoration of remo…
Rubin Observatory Digest for 26 September 2023
Project and Science News
September has been a busy month for VIP visits to the summit. Rubin Construction and Operations leadership hosted a group from the National Science Foundation (NSF) on September 13-14 (photo here). The previous week, the Mayor o…
Rubin Observatory Digest for 06 September 2023
Project and Science News
This year’s NSF/DOE Joint Status Review (JSR) for Rubin Construction took place August 22-25 in Tucson, AZ. Rubin leadership and team leads gave presentations summarizing current and remaining work on various aspects of Rubin, a…
Cybersecurity incident at NSF’s NOIRLab
Update as of 29 September 2023
Gemini North and Gemini South telescopes are now back on sky and are currently collecting science data. Restoration of remote access for external astronomers is ongoing, and we anticipate that it will be restored over the …
The IAU CPS launches SatCons 101
SatCons 101, a new educational curriculum for learning about the design of large satellite constellations and their impact on astronomy, has been launched by the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Centre for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky…
August Issue of the NOIRLab Mirror Newsletter Highlights News and Milestones for the NOIRLab Community
The fifth (August 2023) edition of The NOIRLab Mirror newsletter is now available. This biannual publication focuses on news for the NOIRLab community and showcases the science, technology, and developments across the five NOIRLab Programs: the Community…
6 Dec. 2023 — iotw2349
Happy Holidays 2023
29 Nov. 2023 — iotw2348
The Cosmic Road from Cerro Tololo
22 Nov. 2023 — iotw2347
A Grand Design of Imperfections
15 Nov. 2023 — iotw2346
8 Nov. 2023 — iotw2345
Kitt Peak National Observatory at the Cutting Edge
1 Nov. 2023 — iotw2344
Blooming of the Spare Tyre Nebula
25 Oct. 2023 — iotw2343
Galactic ‘Art’ above Cerro-Tololo
18 Oct. 2023 — iotw2342
Gemini North’s New 3D Vision
11 Oct. 2023 — iotw2341
Rainbow on Maunakea
4 Oct. 2023 — iotw2340
Kitt Peak in Recovery
19 Sept. 2023
Peering Back to the Early Universe: A Story of Confirmation and Refutation
Last year astronomers using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope peered back to the very distant, very early Universe and found what appeared to be some of the earliest galaxies ever observed, thought to have formed when the Universe was less than 500 million years old. Using follow-up spectroscopy, two NOIRLab astronomers confirmed the ages of two of these early galaxies, but they also revealed how a third galaxy had astronomers fooled.
24 Aug. 2023
Accretion Disks: How Big Are They Really?
Using the Gemini North telescope, one half of the International Gemini Observatory, operated by NSF’s NOIRLab, astronomers have detected for the first time evidence of the presence of an accretion disk within the active galactic nucleus of galaxy III Zw 002. Using two rare and peculiar near-infrared emission lines, these observations place firm limits on the size of the galaxy’s accretion disk and shed new light on its geometry and behavior.
3 Aug. 2023
An Enigmatic Cosmic Crime Scene
During a dive through archival data, astronomers unearth an unusual tidal disruption event that occurred in a nearby star-forming galaxy. Obscured by the interstellar medium, this incredibly close and luminous event went unnoticed for seven years. The SOAR telescope’s integral role in pinpointing its uncommon location illustrates how future searches for tidal disruption events will be conducted.
20 July 2023
Newly Launched Backyard Worlds: Cool Neighbors Project Assembles Team of Citizen Scientists to Hunt for Brown Dwarfs in Our Cosmic Backyard
Calling all citizen scientists! NSF’s NOIRLab has launched Backyard Worlds: Cool Neighbors, a hunt through our cosmic backyard in search of brown dwarfs. Expanding on the successful Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 project, Cool Neighbors combines the power of machine learning with crowdsourced data analysis to uncover elusive neighbors of our Sun.
5 July 2023
The Dark Energy Survey: Uncovering the Invisible
The Dark Energy Survey was a six-year observing program designed to survey the skies in order to better understand dark energy — a complex concept that developed when scientists realized that the Universe seemed to be breaking its own supposedly immutable laws of physics. But how do you observe something that cannot be seen? And why are scientists so convinced that there is really something to search for?
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.