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On Tuesday, December 10, at 7:11pm, a sonic boom hit Tucson as a large meteor passed overhead. MMT's all sky camera captured its bright flash in a single image. The frame shows the moon (center) and the meteor (upper).
Work began in October on the installation of a new comprehensive fire alarm system at all of the facilities on Mount Hopkins. Work remaining at the MMT is expected to be completed by mid-December. Work continues at the other mountain facilities and at the Administrative Complex at the basecamp area.
Construction improvements at the Common Building began in November and are expected to be finished in December. The work includes sealing leaks, repairing interior drywall in the basement, and touching up exterior paint.
MMT Strategic Plan Committee Charge
Using publicly available data from the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES), conducted at the MMTO with the hectospec instrument, researchers have discovered seven new candidates for dual supermassive black hole systems in the centers of galaxies. Based on the new findings, they suggest that the number of galaxies containing dual supermassive black holes decreases over time, likely because more galaxies merged together in the past. AGES is a joint Arizona/CfA collaboration.
"Like" the MMTO on Facebook! You can expect to see announcements, updates, and pictures of historical and current observatory activities along with some stunning mountain scenery.
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.