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MMIRS Data Reduction Pipeline

The MMT and Magellan Infrared Spectrograph (MMIRS) will be returning to the MMTO from Magellan this June. Observers interested in proposing for its spectroscopic capabilities may find this new paper of interest, which lists suggested observing guidelines and describes the publicly available data reduction pipeline.


MinMs Survey

Arizona State Univ. astronomers have recently completed MinMs (M-dwarfs in Multiples) - a new survey of 245 late-K to mid-M dwarfs within 15 parsecs. The survey uses, in part, the MMT adaptive optics system and ARIES to search for binary star and brown dwarf companions at close separations from the host star. They found a total of 65 co-moving stellar companions, of which four are newly resolved in this study. MinMs provides a benchmark data set for understanding how often these low mass stars form with companions. Read more here.

Final Lecture in Smithsonian Series on Astronomy - Wed., March 25

The final lecture in this series will be held Wed., March 25. Dr. Emilio Falco of the F.L. Whipple Observatory will give a talk entitled "Galaxies Almost Everywhere." Please join us at the Green Valley Recreation Center at 9:00am-10:30am. The talk is free and open to the public.

Wed., March 18 - Smithsonian Lecture Series on Astronomy

This series continues with Professor Edward Olszewski, University of Arizona, who will give a talk on "Modern, Changing Views of the Magellanic Clouds." Prof. Olszewski is also a frequent observer at the MMTO. The series is held at the Green Valley Recreation Center from 9:00am-10:30am and is free and open to the public. Please join us there!

MMT Data used in Discovery of Unprecedented Supermassive Black Hole

Astronomers from Peking University in China and the University of Arizona have discovered the most luminous quasar known at a redshift of greater than 6. The ultra-luminous quasar has a black hole that clocks in with a mass of about 12 billion times the mass of the Sun. This incredible object was discovered and characterized in part with the Red Channel Spectrograph at the MMT. Its existence is a challenge for current theories of black hole formation and growth and may support claims that supermassive black holes grew much more quickly in the early universe in comparison to their host galaxies. Read more here.

Coldest Variable Brown Dwarf Discovered

A recent paper by reserachers at Arizona State University shows the discovery of the coldest variable brown dwarf published to-date. The astronomers used the SWIRC instrument to monitor four brown dwarfs over multiple epochs. One of those showed significant variability. These ultracool dwarfs are important evolutionary links between giant planets and the lowest mass stars, and their atmospheres will continue to be investigated further with larger surveys. Read more here.

Astronomy collaborations with Mexico

The MMTO is part of a developing collaboration between the University of Arizona and Mexico regarding astronomy, along with other science-related interests. To read more, click here.

Wed., Feb. 11 - Smithsonian Lecture Series on Astronomy

Dr. Karin Sandstrom, University of Arizona, will give a talk on "Our Dusty Universe." This series is held at the Green Valley Recreation Center from 9:00am-10:30am. All lectures are free and open to the public. Click here for the dates and the list of speakers and topics.

Observing Schedule

The observing schedule for January - April 2015 is posted along with Program Titles.

Week of Dec. 8 - Work on Mt. Hopkins Rd. - Revised

Due to continued roadwork, restrictions will be in place on Dec. 8-9 with road openings at 8:00-8:30am, noon-12:30, and after 4:00pm. On Dec. 10 & 11, the road will close at 8:30am and reopen at 4:00pm each day while work is done around km 9. A walk-through will be in place with vehicles available on either side. On Dec. 12, there will again be restrictions with the road open at 8:00-8:30am, noon-12:30, and after 4:00pm. Call 520-879-4422 for recorded updates.