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Using the hectospec instrument at the MMTO, astronomers are studying the mass distribution in galaxy clusters. The basic techniques were developed by M. J. Geller (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory) and her collaborators some time ago. The data are now good enough to get excellent results for a large sample of clusters. Read more.
For followup details on the recent exciting observation noted here previously of an optical afterglow of a distant gamma ray burst, observed in part with the MMT's Blue Channel Spectrograph, click here.
A new MMTPol image of IRC+10420, a yellow hypergiant star located in the constellation of Aquila, reveals the unusual nature of this object, one of the most luminous stars known. The imaging polarimeter, originally commissioned at the MMT at the end of 2011 and fed by the MMT's adaptive optics secondary mirror, shows that IRC+10420 is likely enshrouded in a narrow cone of dust. Read more.
For a behind-the-scenes visit to the MMT Observatory, take a look at a video appearing in Astronomy magazine's blog at Astronomy.com. The video was created by Jason Davis, a science journalism graduate student at the U of A.
On June 7, R. Lunnan and collaborators from Harvard/CfA detected the optical afterglow of a distant gamma ray burst with the MMT's Blue Channel Spectrograph only seven hours after the alert went out from the Burst Alert Telescope. More information about the detection can be found here.
A recently commissioned (Nov. 2012) capability at the MMT includes filtered imaging with MMTCam. A new publication by D. Milisavljevic (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) and colleagues on the slowly-evolving supernova 2012au, includes the first published results from MMTCam. Data from MMT Blue Channel Spectrograph was also included in the paper.
The MMTO has an opening for an Operations Manager/Chief Engineer (job #52207). Details and an online application can be found here.
You can now follow us on twitter! The MMTO has an account at http://twitter.com/mmtobservatory. Get daily updates on instrument changes, science results, road conditions, weather and much more.
Read a science journalism student's insight into a night of observing with U of A Professor Ed Olszewski! Click here.