• 2015 SOAR Board Meeting

    The SOAR Board held its annual face-to-face budget meeting in La Serena on September 3-4. Aside from approving the budget and staffing levels for FY 2016, the Board set priorities for funding telescope and instruments improvements, and related activities - look for updates as these projects progress.
    In addition, the Board is reviewing the available instrument suite as current instruments age and new instruments become available - see the related article.

  • SOAR Winter Storm

    (Final update, August 18) Over the last 10 days, SOAR was affected by a severe winter storm that occurred on the weekend of August 7. High winds and rain developed during the afternoon and evening of August 7, at which point the dome was evacuated. All staff were evacuated from the mountain 2 days later, with continuing snowfall and wind.

  • First SOAR MOS observations find old Galactic globular cluster with no signatures of multiple stellar populations

    Traditionally known as the quintessential single stellar populations, precise HST photometry and higher-resolution spectroscopy have found that most, if not all, Galactic globular clusters host more than one stellar population. Mutiple stellar populations are produced if the star cluster is massive enough to retain the enriched material produced by stellar evolution. What happens then in the case of low-mass clusters? Will they host multiple stellar populations or is there a mass limit for this self-enrichment?

  • SOAR observations key to identifying the densest galaxies known

    Two undergraduates at San José State University have discovered two galaxies that are the densest known. Similar to ordinary globular star clusters but a hundred to a thousand times brighter, the new systems have properties intermediate in size and luminosity between galaxies and star clusters.

  • SOAR held its Review Commitee 2015

    SOAR External Review Committee at the telescope

    Every five years during the course of observatory operations, SOAR holds an external review – roughly the equivalent of a visiting committee at universities. SOAR held its second such review this past June 24-26, in La Serena and on Cerro Pachón. In addition to hearing presentations from the Director, Board and SAC, the committee visited the telescope (see the accompanying photo).