- O/IR System
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/NOAO
New Horizon’s departing view of Ultima Thule, caught as the spacecraft raced away at 31,000 mph, shows that the Kuiper Belt Object’s shape is actually quite odd. Rather than the “snowman” shape initially reported, it more closely resembles a giant pancake (Ultima) stuck to a dented walnut (Thule). The revelation came from “tracing out" the unlit side of Ultima Thule as it blocked the view to background stars (see animation). NOAO Astronomer Tod Lauer played a critical role in the investigation.
Read more in the New Horizons press release.
Astro2020 Science White Paper Coordination Hub: advertise your Decadal Survey science ideas, comment on science white paper topics, & find others with common interests.
WIYN Observations of P/2017 S5, carried out by a team that includes NOAO astronomers Jayadev Rajagopal, Susan Ridgway, and Wilson Liu, identify it as a water-bearing active asteroid.
After a sluggish first few billion years, the Magellanic Clouds have upped their game and are now forming stars at a fast clip. This insight into Magellanic history comes from a study led by NOAO’s David Nidever.
An unusual supernova studied by multiple telescopes, including SOAR & telescopes at CTIO & KPNO, is thought to herald the birth of a new neutron star or black hole, caught at the moment of its creation.
A Survey Machine and a Data Trove: Dark Energy Survey’s Rich Legacy: the six year survey has now ended, but the Dark Energy Camera and DES survey data will continue to yield new discoveries.
Images from the New Horizons team, which includes NOAO Astronomer Tod Lauer, of the most distant object ever explored reveal the Kuiper Belt Object Ultima Thule to be a “contact binary”.
In preparation for its new mission as the home of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), the Kitt Peak Mayall telescope recently received its new top end.