National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO)

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212 - National Science Foundation

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The National Optical Astronomy Observatory serves as the U.S. national center for ground-based optical/infrared astronomy. NOAO provides open access to worldclass telescope/instrument systems, data sets, and tools for astronomical research.

Some new developments at NOAO include:
DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, will make a full 3D map pinpointing galaxies' locations across the universe, allowing scientists to test theories of dark energy. DESI will be delivered by a team managed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab).

DECam, the Dark Energy Camera mounted on the CTIO Blanco 4-meter, is a 570 megapixel imaging camera. It's core mission is to measure how the expansion rate of the universe and the distribution of dark matter change with time in order to probe the interplay of gravity and dark energy in cosmic evolution. DECam is also being used to find small Near-Earth Objects, dwarf planets in the Oort cloud, and stars ripped out of the Magellanic Clouds. DECam was delivered by a team managed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Lab.

NOAO Data Lab will enable efficient exploration and analysis of the large data sets now being generated by instruments on NOAO's widefield telescopes. The Data Lab will focus on catalog science, data exploration, and collaborative research.