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Posts Tagged ‘Green Bank Telescope’

Astronomers Discover Surprising Clutch Of Hydrogen Clouds Lurking Among Our Galactic Neighbors


In a dark, starless patch of intergalactic space, astronomers have discovered a never-before-seen cluster of hydrogen clouds strewn between two nearby galaxies, Andromeda (M31) and Triangulum (M33). The researchers speculate that these rarefied blobs of gas — each about as massive as a dwarf galaxy — condensed out of a vast and as-yet undetected reservoir of hot, ionized gas, which could have accompanied an otherwise invisible band of dark matter.

The astronomers detected these objects using the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Green Bank, W.Va. The results were published in the journal Nature.

“We have known for some time that many seemingly empty stretches of the Universe contain vast but diffuse patches of hot, ionized hydrogen,” said Spencer Wolfe of West Virginia University in Morgantown. “Earlier observations of the area between M31 and M33 suggested the presence of colder, neutral hydrogen, but we couldn’t see any details to determine if it had a definitive structure or represented a new type of cosmic feature. Now, with high-resolution images from the GBT, we were able to detect discrete concentrations of neutral hydrogen emerging out of what was thought to be a mainly featureless field of gas.”

Full Story: http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2013/gbtclouds/

Inital Public Statement From AUI And NRAO On The Report Of The NSF’s Astronomy Portfolio Review Committee

August 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Associated Universities Inc. (AUI) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) have made a preliminary examination of the report released today from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Astronomy Portfolio Review Committee (PRC). Among the recommendations of that report are that the NSF’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) be fully divested from the NSF Astronomy Division’s portfolio of research facilities in the next five years, with no further funding from the Astronomy Division.

AUI and NRAO recognize and acknowledge the need to retire obsolete facilities to make way for the state-of-the-art. However, both the GBT and the VLBA are the state-of-the-art, and have crucial capabilities that cannot be provided by other facilities. Separately the two telescopes provide unparalleled scientific access to the universe. When their information is combined, the instruments provide the highest sensitivity and resolution available for any astronomical instrument in the world.

Full Story: http://www.aui.edu/pr.php?id=20081194

Astronomers Get Rare Peek at Early Stage of Star Formation

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Image Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Image Credit: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF

Using radio and infrared telescopes, astronomers have obtained a first tantalizing look at a crucial early stage in star formation. The new observations promise to help scientists understand the early stages of a sequence of events through which a giant cloud of gas and dust collapses into dense cores that, in turn, form new stars.

The scientists studied a giant cloud about 770 light-years from Earth in the constellation Perseus. They used the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory and the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to make detailed observations of a clump, containing nearly 100 times the mass of the Sun, within that cloud.

Full Story: http://www.nrao.edu/pr/2012/clumpcores/