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Subaru Telescope Detects Rare Form of Nitrogen in Comet ISON

Subaru Telescope Detects Rare Form of Nitrogen in Comet ISON

Feburary 19, 2014

A team of astronomers used the Subaru Telescope's High Dispersion Spectrograph to detect two forms of nitrogen in Comet ISON in November 2013. This is the first time that astronomers have reported a clear detection of the relatively rare isotope 15NH2 in a single comet and also measured the relative abundance of two different forms of nitrogen of cometary ammonia (NH3) The results indicate that there may have been two distinct reservoirs of nitrogen in the massive, dense cloud from which our Solar System possibly evolved...

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Active Supermassive Black Holes Revealed in Merging Galaxies

Active Supermassive Black Holes Revealed in Merging Galaxies

January 27, 2014

A team of astronomers has conducted infrared observations of luminous, gas-rich, merging galaxies with the Subaru Telescope to study active, mass-accreting supermassive black holes (SMBHs). They found that at least one SMBH almost always becomes active and luminous by accreting a large amount of material. However, only a small fraction of the observed merging galaxies show multiple, active SMBHs. These results suggest that local physical conditions near SMBHs rather than general properties of galaxies primarily determine the activation of SMBHs...

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October 25, 2013

Since the coolant leak onto the primary mirror in July, 2011, Subaru Telescope has taken a series of diligent steps to assure its full recovery. Recovery work has included meticulous inspection and cleaning of the affected areas. Follow-up efforts concluded during the summer of 2013, when the primary mirror was thoroughly cleaned, realuminized, and inspected. Given the significant impact of the leak, the telescope engineering and science operation divisions remain vigilant in ensuring the effective operation of the telescope and its instruments. Subaru Telescope continues to give special attention to the careful design, installation, and monitoring of its equipment.

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