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The NOAO Newsletter is published semi-annually (quarterly through 2009). Back issues are available starting with June 1992.

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NOAO Currents

Currents is a sparkplug for communication between NOAO and our community. It provides updates and solicits community input on NOAO observing opportunities and NOAO programs and policies on a more rapid timescale than is possible with the quarterly NOAO Newsletter.

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Veil Nebula NGC 2467

August 14, 2019

Automated Observing Network Inaugurated at SOAR Telescope: New telescope network to rapidly follow up on the changing night sky

Credit: SOAR/Bruno Quint

While the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will soon discover millions of time varying sources—such as supernovae and erupting young stars—quick follow up observations are needed to understand these events. To meet the challenge of developing a network of telescopes that can be accessed with a touch of a button, four observatories have joined forces to create the Astronomical Event Observatory Network (AEON). The SOAR telescope at CTIO has just completed the first observing night for the network.

Read more in NOAO Press Release 19-08.


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July 24, 2019

Fastest Eclipsing Binary: A valuable target for gravitational wave studies

Credit: P. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF; Inset animation: Robert Hurt

Observations made with KPED, a new instrument developed for use at the Kitt Peak 2.1-meter telescope, have led to the discovery of the fastest eclipsing white dwarf binary yet known. Clocking in with an orbital period of only 6.91 minutes, the rapidly orbiting stars are expected to be one of the strongest sources of gravitational waves detectable with LISA, the future space-based gravitational wave detector.

Read more in NOAO press release 19-07.


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May 29, 2019

Commemorating 100 years of General Relativity

Credit: T. Abbott & NOAO/AURA/NSF; Inset, right: S. Pompea & NOAO/AURA/NSF

On May 29, 1919, Arthur Eddington performed an experiment during a total solar eclipse that confirmed Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, expanding our understanding of space, time, and mass. On July 2, another solar eclipse will pass over the telescopes at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. A team of students from the University of La Serena, along with Juan Seguel (CTIO) and Rob Sparks (NOAO), will perform a commemorative experiment and attempt to replicate Eddington’s results.

Read more in NOAO press release 19-06.


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Last updated or reviewed February 21, 2011.