NOAO < NOAO Home Page Image Archive

NOAO Home Page Image Archive

The last 5 images that have appeared on the NOAO Home Page.

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


Pete Marenfeld/NOAO/AURA/NSF

March 2014
NOAO Newsletter

The March 2014 NOAO Newsletter is online and ready to download. This issue includes information pertaining to the 2014B Call for Proposals, which are due March 31, 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.


February 19, 2014

Click images above to fade between images taken at different telescopes.

Astronomers at the National Observatory Continue to Watch Sn 2014J

The astronomical community was very excited by the appearance of a supernova in a relatively nearby galaxy in late January 2014. Observations of this supernova, located in the galaxy M 82, and referred to as SN2014J revealed that it is a type Ia. These occur in a binary star system composed of a dense white dwarf star and a companion star, either another white dwarf or a bloated red giant star. These supernovae are especially interesting because they provide one of the best ways to measure distances to faint galaxies, and therefore calibrate the expansion of the universe. At Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), two different teams have been observing SN2014J.

Read more in NOAO Press Release 14-01.


Link to all previous images [276].