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National Radio Astronomy Observatory

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

Founded in 1956, the NRAO provides state-of-the-art radio telescope facilities for use by the international scientific community. NRAO telescopes are open to all astronomers regardless of institutional or national affiliation. Observing time on NRAO telescopes is available on a competitive basis to qualified scientists after evaluation of research proposals on the basis of scientific merit, the capability of the instruments to do the work, and the availability of the telescope during the requested time. NRAO also provides both formal and informal programs in education and public outreach for teachers, students, the general public and the media.


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The star system V883 Orionis contains a rare star surrounded by a disk of gas, ice and dust. A. Angelich (NRAO/AUI/NSF)/ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

Water in space – a ‘Goldilocks’ star reveals previously hidden step in how water gets to planets like Earth

Astronomers have long known where water is first formed in the universe and how it ends up on planets, asteroids and comets. A recent discovery has finally answered what happens in between.
Radio observatories like the Green Bank Telescope are in radio quiet zones that protect them from interference. NRAO/AUI/NSF

Radio interference from satellites is threatening astronomy – a proposed zone for testing new technologies could head off the problem

Many telescopes use the radio spectrum to learn about the cosmos. Just as human development leads to more light pollution, increasing numbers of satellites are leading to more radio interference.


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