NRAO: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Enables cutting edge research focused on solving the mysteries of the invisible universe and furthers scientific research on an international scale for the entire scientific community.

AUI is proud to have played a fundamental role in establishing the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) over 60 years ago, working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and responding to the expressed needs of the US research community. Ever since, we have successfully managed NRAO for NSF, maintaining NRAO as the world’s leading radio astronomy observatory. Radio astronomy has profoundly broadened our understanding of our universe, enabling new discoveries, opening new celestial windows, revealing an otherwise invisible universe.

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.

Astronomical observations at radio wavelengths allow scientists to address fundamental questions about our Universe such as:

  • When and how did galaxies form in the early Universe?
  • How do supermassive black holes form at the hearts of most galaxies?
  • How are stars and planets born?

Related News

VIDEO: Multi-wavelength Observations Reveal Impact of Black Hole on M87 Galaxy

In 2019, a worldwide collaboration of scientists used a global collection of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) to make the first-ever image of a black hole — the supermassive black hole at the core of the galaxy M87, some 55 million light-years from Earth.

New Images Reveal Magnetic Structures Near Supermassive Black Hole

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — the worldwide collaboration that produced the first image of a black hole in 2019 — has produced a new image showing details of the magnetic fields in the region closest to the supermassive black hole at the core of the galaxy M87. The new work is providing astronomers with important clues about how powerful jets of material can be produced in that region.

VLA Helps Astronomers Make New Discoveries About Star-Shredding Events

New studies using the VLA and other telescopes have added to our knowledge of what happens when a black hole shreds a star, but also have raised new questions that astronomers must tackle.

Radio Telescope is So Powerful it Can See the Surface of Other Worlds

Get ready for close-up surface images of distant planets in our solar system.

Next Generation VLA Endorsed by Canadian Panel

The Canadian Astronomy Long Range Plan 2020-2030, a report on priorities and recommendations for Canadian astronomy over the next decade, has recommended that Canada support the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s (NRAO) proposed Next Generation Very Large Array (ngVLA), saying the new facility will enable transformational science across many areas of astrophysics.

This Insane Picture of The Moon Was Actually Taken From Earth

A test of a powerful new space imaging instrument has given us a gloriously detailed new perspective of the Apollo 15 Moon landing site.

Successful Test Paves Way for New Planetary Radar

The National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Observatory (GBO) and National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and Raytheon Intelligence & Space conducted a test in November to prove that a new radio telescope system can capture high-resolution images in near-Earth space.

The Very Large Array: Astronomical Shapeshifter

In order to study a wide range of astronomical phenomena, the VLA has several shapes or configurations, each with its own advantages.

Quasar Discovery Sets New Distance Record

An international team of astronomers has discovered the most distant quasar yet found — a cosmic monster more than 13 billion light-years from Earth powered by a supermassive black hole more than 1.6 billion times more massive than the Sun and more than 1,000 times brighter than our entire Milky Way Galaxy.

IMAGE RELEASE: A Blazar In the Early Universe

The supersharp radio “vision” of the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) has revealed previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected at three-quarters the speed of light from the core of a galaxy some 12.8 billion light-years from Earth.

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