National Optical Astronomy Observatory

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) is the United States national observatory for ground based nighttime ultraviolet-optical-infrared (OUVIR) astronomy. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds NOAO to provide forefront astronomical research facilities for US astronomers. However, professional astronomers from any country in the world may apply to use the telescopes operated by NOAO under the NSF's "open skies" policy. Astronomers submit proposals for peer review to gain access to the telescopes which are scheduled every night of the year for observations (with the exception of Christmas and New Year's Eve). The combination of truly open access and the merit based science proposal process makes NOAO unique in the world. The NOAO headquarters are located in Tucson, Arizona and are co-located with the headquarters of the National Solar Observatory. The NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), under a cooperative agreement with the NSF. NOAO operates world class research telescopes in both the northern and southern hemispheres. These telescopes are located at Kitt Peak and Cerro Tololo in the US and Chile, respectively.

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A sharp eye on Southern binary stars

Unlike our sun, with its retinue of orbiting planets, many stars in the sky orbit around a second star. These binary stars, with orbital periods ranging from days to centuries, have long been the primary ...

Apr 17, 2014
3.4 / 5 (5) 0

Sakurai's Object: Stellar evolution in real time

(Phys.org) —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 ...

Apr 02, 2014
4.7 / 5 (18) 0

Drawing the line between stars and brown dwarfs

(Phys.org) —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 ...

Dec 10, 2013
4.5 / 5 (10) 0 | with audio podcast

NGC 6334: A mini starburst region?

(Phys.org) —Stars are known to form in dense clouds of gas and dust, but why do some regions show prodigious rates of star formation, while others barely produce any young stars at all? Many of the richest ...

Jun 05, 2013
5 / 5 (1) 3 | with audio podcast