A holiday message from the Rubin Construction and Rubin Operations leadership teams: It has been a challenging and productive year for the Rubin Observatory team. We are thankful for having the opportunity to work on s...
Photo Release: 1 March 2023 — noirlab2307
Supernova From the Year 185: A Rare View of the Entirety of This Supernova Remnant
The tattered shell of the first-ever historically recorded supernova was captured by the US Department of Energy-fabricated Dark Energy Camera, which is mounted on the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab. RCW 86’s ring of debris is all that remains of a white-dwarf star that exploded more than 1800 years ago, when it was recorded by Chinese stargazers as a ‘guest star’.
Organization Release: 23 Feb. 2023 — noirlab2306
Over One Billion Galaxies Blaze Bright in Colossal Map of the Sky
The largest two-dimensional map of the sky ever made has grown even larger with the tenth data release from the DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys — a monumental six-year survey covering nearly half the sky. This new data release adds increased sky and wavelength coverage to the already completed surveys made with data from NSF’s NOIRLab telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.
Organization Release: 16 Feb. 2023 — noirlab2305
Journey Through the Universe Returns to Hilo Classes
Journey Through the Universe — a partnership among NSF’s NOIRLab/Gemini, the Hawaiʻi Department of Education Hilo-Waiākea Complex Area, and the TMT International Observatory — returns to its in-person format to share with Hawai‘i students the wonders of the Universe and awareness of careers in science and technology. This year’s exciting program includes classroom presentations, career panels, a teacher workshop and more!
Science Release: 8 Feb. 2023 — noirlab2304
Footprints of Galactic Immigration Uncovered in Andromeda Galaxy
A team of researchers led by astronomers at NSF’s NOIRLab has uncovered striking new evidence for a mass migration of stars into the Andromeda Galaxy. Intricate patterns in the motions of stars reveal an immigration history very similar to that of the Milky Way. The new results were obtained with the DOE’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument on the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab.
Science Release: 1 Feb. 2023 — noirlab2303
First Kilonova Progenitor System Identified
Astronomers using data from the SMARTS 1.5-meter Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, have made the first confirmed detection of a star system that will one day form a kilonova — the ultra-powerful, gold-producing explosion created by merging neutron stars. These systems are so phenomenally rare that only about 10 such systems are thought to exist in the entire Milky Way.
Gemini North Primary Mirror Status
For updates on the status of the Gemini North primary mirror, please visit this page.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Measures at NOIRLab
We are currently only hosting public visitors at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. Given the continuously evolving nature of the pandemic, we currently do not have a reopening date for our other summit sites or base facilities. When these dates are available we will share them on our website and social media. The timeline may be different for each site.
AstroDay Chile Returns in 2023 with Exciting In-Person Activities
After two consecutive years of virtual activities, AstroDay Chile, organized by NSF’s NOIRLab, returns as an in-person celebration on Friday 24 March, the National Day of Astronomy in Chile, with fun activities for the whole family at the Colegio Semin...
Rubin Digest 14 March 2023
Project & Science News
This year’s Rubin Project and Community Workshop (PCW), the first PCW facilitated by the Rubin Operations team, will take place the week of August 7-11, 2023, at the Marriott University Park in Tucson, AZ. We hope to make so...
Globe at Night Launches New Website for 2023
Globe at Night is an international, online, citizen-science campaign run by NSF’s NOIRLab to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure night-sky brightness and submit their observations. Thanks to...
Rubin Observatory Digest for 22 February 2023
Project & Science News
Remember to mark your calendars for the Rubin Observatory Project and Community Workshop, scheduled for August 7-11, 2023 in Tucson, AZ. More information will be available soon.
On February 17th, Rubin Construction and NO...
New DESI Planetarium Show Available for Download
A stunning new documentary film featuring recent discoveries from the Department of Energy’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) at Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) has been released and is free to download for planetariums worldwide. 5000...
IAU and Astronomy Groups Petition the UN to Address the Impact of Satellites on Dark and Quiet Skies
The proliferation of satellites launched into orbit around the Earth has improved our ability to communicate globally instantaneously; however, there are concerns about the impact these technologies have on astronomical observations and the preservatio...
NOIRLab’s Dara Norman President-Elect of the American Astronomical Society
Dara Norman, NOIRLab’s Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) Deputy Director, has been elected President of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). She will serve as President-Elect for the next year and will begin her two-year term as President in...
Rubin Digest 07 February 2023
Project & Science News
Save the date for the Rubin Observatory Project and Community Workshop! Rubin 2023 (also known as the PCW), is scheduled for August 7-11, 2023 in Tucson, AZ. We’ll share more information when it’s available.
February is Bl...
Globe at Night Encourages Public to ‘Love the Stars’ in February 2023
Globe at Night is an international, online, citizen-science campaign, run by NSF’s NOIRLab to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure and submit their night-sky brightness observations.
NOIRLab’s Catharine Garmany Named 2022 AAAS Fellow
Catharine Garmany, Scientist Emerita at NSF’s NOIRLab, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as an AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.
Garmany was elected as ...
New Project Director for NOIRLab US-ELT Program Appointed
NOIRLab is pleased to announce the appointment of Lucas Macri as the new Project Director of NOIRLab’s part of the US Extremely Large Telescope Program (US-ELTP). The US-ELTP is a joint initiative of NSF’s NOIRLab and the organizations building the Gia...
Rubin Digest 25 January 2023
Project & Science News
Rubin Observatory was highly visible at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS241) in Seattle WA on January 8-12. In addition to numerous presentations and posters highlighting Rubin/LSST science, Rubin...
NSF and SpaceX Sign Agreement to Mitigate Impact of Starlink Satellites on Ground-Based Astronomy
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and SpaceX have finalized a coordination agreement to mitigate the impact of the company’s Starlink satellites on ground-based radio-, optical-, and infrared-astronomy facilities. The NSF’s public statement is here...
January Issue of the NOIRLab Mirror Newsletter Published
The fourth (January 2023) edition of The NOIRLab Mirror newsletter is now available. This biannual publication focuses on news for the NOIRLab community and showcases the science, technology, and developments across the five NOIRLab Programs: the Commu...
International Gemini Observatory Launches New Logo
The International Gemini Observatory has unveiled a new logo that celebrates the combined legacy of the twin Gemini telescopes and their new capabilities and instrumentation.
The redesigned logo retains the classic gold-color concept from its predece...
New Publications Highlight the Unparalleled Capabilities of NSF’s NOIRLab
The more we learn about the Universe, the more questions we uncover. To help astronomers continue this journal of discovery, NOIRLab provides some of the most advanced tools, facilities, and instruments to the international research community. These re...
Public Visits Restarting at NSF’s NOIRLab Cerro Tololo in Chile
NSF’s NOIRLab is proud to announce the planned restart of public visits at its Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile.
Visits to our scientific facilities are only one of many ways NOIRLab helps share the wonders of discovery and the ...
IAU, NOIRLab, and SKAO Statement on BlueWalker 3
The International Astronomical Union, NSF’s NOIRLab, and the SKA Observatory unite to express their concern about the recently launched prototype BlueWalker 3 satellite’s impact on astronomy. New measurements reveal that this low Earth orbiting satelli...
Rubin Digest 22 November 2022
Project & Science News
On Cerro Pachón, the Commissioning team recently took preliminary data with the Star Tracker, which was installed on the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) in early November. During this engineering campaign, they achieved focus...
Images of the Week
15 March 2023 — iotw2311
A legendary nebula
8 March 2023 — iotw2310
Maunakea by Moonlight
1 March 2023 — iotw2309
The Isolation of Gemini South
22 Feb. 2023 — iotw2308
Kitt Peak at Dusk
15 Feb. 2023 — iotw2307
Under the Dome
8 Feb. 2023 — iotw2306
Recently Discovered Dwarf Galaxy Donatiello II
1 Feb. 2023 — iotw2305
A Sky for Discovery
25 Jan. 2023 — iotw2304
High, Dry and Covered in Snow
18 Jan. 2023 — iotw2303
A Breeze of Color
11 Jan. 2023 — iotw2302
An Expansive Universe
16 March 2023
Dark Sky Protection: We Are Losing the Universe
10 March 2023
Tracing Dark Matter Across the Spectrum and Across the Cosmos
16 Feb. 2023
Unveiling Networks of Stellar Nurseries in Nearby Galaxies
10 Feb. 2023
Getting to Know our Galactic Neighborhood
26 Jan. 2023
Photographing the World at Night: First of NOIRLab’s Ambassadors Program
From the first observations in 1965, Cerro Tololo, located in Chile, has served as the principal platform for U.S. astronomical investigation of the southern skies.
Programs within the Community Science and Data Center support and enable a broad range of astronomical community science activities across the US ground-based optical and infrared system.
Founded in 1958, Kitt Peak National Observatory is home to one of the largest arrays of optical and radio telescopes in the world.
The Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8.1-meter diameter optical/infrared telescopes located on two of the best observing sites on the planet.
Vera C. Rubin Observatory, currently under construction on Cerro Pachón in Chile, is an 8-meter-class telescope coupled to a 3.2-gigapixel camera – the world’s largest digital camera ever fabricated for optical astronomy.