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Opening for Principal Engineer, Electrical - Closed

The MMTO has an opening for a Principal Engineer, Electrical (posting #A20612). Details and an online application can be found here.

CfA Optical/Infrared Science Archive

The CfA Optical/Infrared Telescope Data Center is pleased to announce a new public archive of processed spectra obtained from CfA's ground-based telescopes. The initial release contains 200,000 spectra from the optical Hectospec spectrograph on the 6.5-m MMT; more spectra and more instruments will be added in the future. The web interface is user-friendly. The archive is virtual-observatory compliant and can also be accessed by pointing TopCat, Aladin, or other VO tools to the "CfA Hectospec" SSAP service.

MMTO at the Tucson Festival of Books!

Stop by and visit us at the Tucson Festival of Books on Sat & Sun, March 12 & 13! We will have a booth in Science City located on the east portion of the UA mall. Take a virtual tour of the MMTO using an oculus. We hope to see you there!

MMTO aids in new discovery

Astronomers at the University of Arizona and the University of Wyoming have discovered a pair of quasars at high redshift using, in part, spectra obtained at the MMTO. The quasars are surprisingly bright and close together - an unusual find that may eventually lead to a better understanding of the early growth of the most massive black holes in the universe. Whether the discovery was a chance find or whether there are many more pairs of quasars at similar distances will have to wait for a more comprehensive search. In the meantime, you can read more details here.

 

Wednesday, February 10 - Smithsonian Lecture Series on Astronomy

The speaker for the final lecture of this series will be Dr. Emilio Falco of the F.L. Whipple Observatory. His talk is entitled "The Newest Droll Star." It will be at 9:00am at the Green Valley Recreation Center and is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there for this final lecture!

Bridge renovations nearly complete

The renovations at the Elephant Head Road bridge are nearly finished and the bridge is mostly open. Traffic might still be directed to use the bypass bridge located next to the main bridge if some work is taking place.

Opening for Staff Technician - Closed

The MMTO has an opening for a Staff Technician, Extended Temporary (posting #S20862). Details and an online application can be found here.

January - April 2016 Observing Schedule

The January-April 2016 observing schedule has been posted, along with program titles.

Ongoing Improvements at the MMTO

Some improvements funded by the Smithsonian Institution are currently taking place at the MMTO. Improvements to the summit road, a new roof and snow melt system for the MMT enclosure, upgrades to the HVAC system, and an upgraded dock lift are all in the works. The new roof will be completed in November and safety ties will be added in the spring. The HVAC upgrades are expected to be finished in November. Work will begin in December on the lift project. Completion of the summit road project is expected in spring 2016.

A "First" Discovered in the Andromeda Galaxy

Using data from the MMTO's Hectospec, astronomers have identified a rare specimen of massive star known as a Wolf-Rayet WN/C. Located in an area of active star formation in the nearby Andromeda Galaxy, the star is believed to be in a short-lived transitional state between two longer phases of its stellar life and, therefore, difficult to catch. While some stars of this type have been found in our own Milky Way, this is the first to have been discovered in Andromeda. Read more about this serendipitous finding here.