- O/IR System
Image Credit: T. Lauer and NASA/JPL.
Pluto’s terrain shows a “washboard” pattern of fine ridges just north of its great frozen nitrogen sea, Sputnik Planitia. A recent study by the New Horizons team argues that the ridges are deposits of water ice left behind as an ancient frozen nitrogen glacier that once covered the area sublimed away. Water-ice is buoyant in nitrogen ice and is expected to collect in pits formed on the surface of the glacier as the nitrogen sublimes. NOAO Astronomer Tod Lauer is a coauthor on the study.
Read more from the Seti Institute.
Cosmic Dance of Tiny Galaxies. Astronomers have discovered that the tiny Sextans dwarf galaxy, 100,000 times less massive than the Milky Way, is merging with an even smaller companion galaxy.
New extreme dwarf planet discovered, in part with DECam at CTIO, during search for Planet X. Patrolling the outer Solar System on a highly elongated orbit, it travels between 65 and 1000 AU from the Sun.
Ultra-short Period Planet Found by TESS and Confirmed with CHIRON. This “hot Earth” is in orbit around a star 45 light years away, with a period of just 11 hours. Read more in the paper posted on arXiv.
The Dark Energy Survey (DES) has released data products used in its Year-One (YI) science programs, including object catalogs, survey characterization maps, and cosmological likelihoods.
A new $4.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the development of the Windows on the Universe Center for Astronomy Outreach in the iconic McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope Facility on Kitt Peak.
Read about the Legacy Surveys DR7 in the latest issue of NOAO Currents, including articles on exoplanet observing on CHIRON, news from SOAR & Blanco, research opportunities for time domain astronomy, & more.
Using DECam on the NSF’s CTIO Blanco telescope, a research team has discovered that supernovae generated by red supergiants are often preceded by a bright flash.