Posted by: Buzznaut | July 31, 2012

50 Years of NOAO

PLD & Buzz Compare Notes Between Talks

PLD & Buzz Compare Notes Between Talks

We usually only see Dr. Kelsey as our teacher, but she is also a very famous Astronomer. In March 2010 PLD and I got to see firsthand how instrumental Dr. Kelsey has been in her field. Dr. Kelsey studies “super star clusters,” compact regions where many many stars form all at once. Since there are no regions like this in our own galaxy, instead Dr. Kelsey studies galaxies that are very far away, millions of light years away. These regions of star formation are so extreme, that they are perfect regions to test what scientists know about how stars form. Dr. Kelsey is a leader of this field of research.

Listening to Dr. Kelsey

Listening to Dr. Kelsey Talk about Super StarClusters

BUT Dr. Kelsey’s talk was only a small part of the conference organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). The NOAO focuses on telescopes and instruments that work in optical light. This is the type of light that we see with our eyes. The NOAO has telescopes in Chile (South America), Hawaii and in Arizona. Ms. Rachael, who took us to the conference, has observed at each of the three locations. She is totally convinced that these are some of the best facilities in the world. Dr. Kelsey met Sophia’s Dad while a student at the NOAO and so its a very important facility for her. During the conference many many people talked about the memories that they have had while observing or studying at the NOAO. It has truly been an influential aspect of many peoples lives and careers.

Buzznaut with the One Degree Imager (ODI) Chip

Buzznaut with the One Degree Imager (ODI) Chip — this is the part of the camera that takes the picture. Its as big as Buzznaut! That’s a HUGE camera.

The conference also talked about the new projects the NOAO is working on and this is where it got exciting! The NOAO is developing a new camera that has a part of its detector that is AS BIG AS MY YELLOW AND BLACK STRIPED THORAX! Holy bumble bee that is big. The detectors for cameras like Ms. Rachael hauls around are barely bigger than my antennae! This camera is one of the most technologically advanced ever built.

The LSST Booth

I read about the new exciting projects that will be done on the LSST while Pluto just looks bored. I guess if its not being launched into space, he’s not really excited about it.


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