NOAO Home Page Image Archive
The last 5 images that have appeared on the NOAO Home Page.
June 23, 2014
SOAR Image Credit: M. Urzúa Zuñiga/Gemini Observatory
SOAR observations confirm a white dwarf so cool that its carbon has probably crystallized to a giant diamond
This image (left), taken in visible light at the SOAR telescope (right), shows the field of the pulsar/white dwarf pair. There is no evidence for the white dwarf at the position of the pulsar in this deep image, indicating that the white dwarf is much fainter, and therefore cooler, than any such known object. The two large white circles mask bright, overexposed stars. These results are presented in a recently published paper led by Dr. David Kaplan (UW-Milwaukee)
May 06, 2014
T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage)
The Sky as Imaged by Travis Rector
This new image of NGC 896, a region of energetic star formation in a cloud of gas and dust, represents one of the many beautiful images that Dr. Travis Rector has produced using NOAO telescope data over the years. Rector has now released a total of 150 images; more than 100 of these can be found in the NOAO image gallery.
If all of Rector’s images were combined into a single image, it would contain more than five billion pixels – or 5 Gigapixels. Remarkably, this still covers only about 0.1% of the entire sky!
April 16, 2014
M. Newhouse & NOAO/AURA/NSF
A Sharp Eye on Southern Binary Stars
Animation demonstrating the orbit of the close binary pair Ba, Bb in the HIP 83716 Triple System. The orbit has been calculated from five observations (blue circles) taken between 2009, when the close binary was discovered by CTIO Astronomer Dr. Andrei Tokovinin and his associates from the USNO while using speckle imaging at SOAR, and 2014, the date of the most recent observation.
Read more in NOAO Press Release 14-03.
April 02, 2014
Stephen Mack & NOAO/AURA/NSF
Sakurai’s Object: Stellar Evolution in Real Time
Stellar lifetimes are measured in billions of years, so changes in their appearance rarely take place on a human timescale. Thus an opportunity to observe a star passing from one stage of life to another on a timescale of months to years is very exciting, as there are only a very few examples known. One such star is Sakurai’s Object (V4334 Sgr). First reported by a Japanese amateur astronomer in 1996 as a “nova-like object,” Sakurai’s Object had been only a few years before the faint central star of a planetary nebula.
Using the Altair adaptive optics (AO) system with the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawai’i to compensate for distortions to starlight caused by the Earth’s atmosphere, two NOAO astronomers, Dr. Kenneth Hinkle & Dr. Richard Joyce, were able to observe the shell of escaping material around the star. Read more in NOAO Press Release 14-02.
February 26, 2014
On the Cover
NOAO is embarking on a path to better serve the community in the use and analysis of big data. The cover image is the beginning panel of "Tales of the Modern Astronomer: ANTARES Rising," which tells the story of one young researcher in the near future benefiting from such development to exploit "open access to data and real-time astronomy tools" in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Era (read the full story about ANTARES in the Science Highlights section of this Newsletter). Development is starting now to establish this expertise at NOAO on behalf of the community.
Link to all previous images .