on the arrows below to view the answers
40 years, NSF has provided U.S.A. and international astronomers access
to several world-class observatories. NSF supports three national astronomy
centersthe National Optical Astronomy Observatories, the National
Radio Astronomy Observatory and the National Astronomy and Ionosphere
optical and radio telescopes and radar facilities.
Research in ground-based optical, infrared, radio and radar astronomy
and solar physics is conducted in facilities such as the 4-meter optical
telescope on Arizona's Kitt Peak, the 10 separate antennae of the Very
Long Baseline Array (VLBA) telescope spaced across the country and solar
telescopes on Kitt Peak and on Sacramento Peak in New Mexico.
NSF's support of these facilities ensures a broad range of U.S.A. scientists
and students will have access to these facilities.
From studies using these national facilities, scientists and the public
first learned that the
distribution of galaxies in the universe is lumpy and that galaxies existed
billions of years ago.
The first gravitational lens, a foreground galaxy that gravitationally
distorts the image of a more distant galaxy behind it, was discovered
at Kitt Peak. Three teams of radio scientists have used NSF's VLBA radio
telescope to learn tantalizing new details about how sun-like stars are
A different team of radio astronomers has used the VLBA to make the most
accurate measurement ever made of the distance to a faraway galaxy.
These observatories have allowed the gathering of more information aboutthe
evolution, the composition and the variations among protostars, stars,
clusters, planetary nebulae, novae and X-ray binaries.
Virtually every branch of contemporary astronomy has been advanced by
the national telescope facilities.