NOAO Home Page Image Archive
The last 5 images that have appeared on the NOAO Home Page.
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.
February 14, 2014
D. Caminha & SOAR/NOAO/AURA/NSF
SAM images gravitational arcs in the Abel 370 cluster of galaxies
Nearly every "star" in this image is actually a galaxy. The SOAR Adaptive Module (SAM), built by CTIO/NOAO-S, is mounted on the SOAR 4.1 meter telescope: it creates an artificial laser guide star which enables the exquisite resolution seen here. The dark shadow on the left ( as seen in the full image) is produced by the SAM guide probe. Data were taken in September 2013 for the SAM science verification proposal by D. Caminha et al.
February 06, 2014
D. Harbeck/WIYN M82 Team/WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF
Supernova in M82
The recent supernova explosion (named SN2014J) in the galaxy M82 is particularly exciting because this galaxy is relatively close ("only" about 12 million light years distant). This enables astronomers to independently measure the distance of this type Ia supernova, and thus calibrate the distance to other type Ia supernovae.
The image shows SN2014J (arrow) in M82 as it was observed by the WIYN 3.5m telescope on January 28, a few days before reaching maximum brightness. The observation used WIYN’s newest camera, the One Degree Imager. The WIYN aperture and spatial resolution will be essential as the team follows the fading supernova during the months ahead.
January 07, 2014
P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF
Visit the NOAO Booth (space 520) at the AAS Meeting this week to see Tales of the Modern Astronomer: ANTARES RISING on the booth's backdrop, or, if you can't make it to the meeting, you can view it online.
December 09, 2013
P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF
Where do stars end and brown dwarfs begin?
Stars come in a tremendous size range, from many tens of times bigger than the Sun to a tiny fraction of its size. But the answer to just how small an astronomical body can be, and still be a star, has never been known. What is known is that objects below this limit are unable to ignite and sustain hydrogen fusion in their cores: these objects are referred to as brown dwarfs.
Using observations from the SOAR 4.1-m telescope and the SMARTS 0.9-m telescope at CTIO in Chile, the RECONS group from Georgia State University has found clear observational evidence for the theoretically predicted break between very low mass stars and brown dwarfs. More in NOAO Press Release 13-11.
Link to all previous images .