National Radio Astronomy Observatory
October 2009 eNews Volume 2, Issue 10

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host an astronomy event on the South Lawn of the White House, October 7, 2009. Participants include: Dr. John Holdren, Office of Science and Technology Policy; Caroline Moore, the youngest person to discover a supernova; and Lucas Bolyard, who recently discovered an anomalous pulsar with the GBT. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

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Upcoming NRAO Events

  • Oct. 24-25: International Year of Astronomy Celebration
  • Oct. 27 & Jan. 15: Jansky Lecture
  • Oct. 29-31: SKA 2009 Science and Engineering Meeting
  • Nov. 2: Jansky Fellowship Application Deadline
  • Jan. 5: NRAO Town Hall at the American Astronomical Society Meeting
  • Jan. 15: New Mexico Symposium


ALMA Project Status: On 23 September, the first antenna delivered to the ALMA Assembly Integration and Verification (AIV) continued a long voyage that had begun in Osaka, Japan, traveling on the transporter to become the first antenna to reach the 5050m Array Operations Site (AOS). Within a little over a week, its pointing had been confirmed and observations of astronomical sources had begun with its sensitive receivers... Read more... ALMA Project Status
The NAASC Extragalactic Conference on Star Formation and Galaxy Assembly: The 4th North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC) conference "Assembly, Gas Content and Star Formation History of Galaxies" was held at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia on September 21 - 24, 2009, under the sponsorship of NRAO, NAASC, the University of the Virginia, AUI, and the NSF... Read more... The NAASC Extragalactic Conference on Star Formation and Galaxy Assembly
Student Observing Support Awards: The NRAO Student Observing Support Committee met in April and August 2009 to discuss the proposals submitted during the previous trimesters. The committee (composed of five faculty members from U.S. universities) discussed the science case and student support application for each proposal... Read more...  
New GBT Dynamic Scheduling System: The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) spans a larger range of frequencies than comparable centimeter/millimeter single-dish telescopes, and is located in a continental, mid-latitude region where weather is dominated by water vapor and small-scale effects... Read more... New GBT Dynamic Scheduling System
New High-frequency GBT Operating Benchmark: September 2009 holography maps of the latest surface model for the Green Bank Telescope’s (GBT) active surface show that the surface accuracy of the central 60 meters of the 100-meter primary dish is now about 200 microns rms... Read more... New High-frequency GBT Operating Benchmark
Student's GBT Discovery Earns White House Trip: A West Virginia high-school student analyzing data from the GBT has discovered a new rotating radio transient, a pulsar-like neutron star, and the feat won him a trip to the White House. Lucas Bolyard, a sophomore at South Harrison High School in Clarksburg, WV, made the discovery while participating in the Pulsar Search Collaboratory (PSC), a joint project of the NRAO and West Virginia University, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation... Read more... Student's GBT Discovery Earns White House Trip
2009 Mountain State Award: The West Virginia Division of Tourism presents its Stars of the Industry Awards each year in recognition of excellence in the state's tourism industry, including the Mountain State Award, which recognizes excellence in tourism programming and impact on the state's economy or image... Read more... 2009 Mountain State Award

Career Opportunities

  • Jansky Fellowships
  • NRAO Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Research Associates (Postdoctoral Scholars)
  • Science Writer
  • Scientists (NAASC)
  • Software Engineer II
  • Systems Engineer


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