planet and a galaxy

NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory operates five research facilities: Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC), Gemini Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). As the US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, the NSF’s OIR Lab serves as a focal point for community development of innovative scientific research programs, the exchange of ideas, and domestic and international collaborations. 

Our science community is engaged in research on a broad array of science frontiers, including:  

  • The Solar System and exoplanetary systems;
  • Formation of stars and planets, the interstellar medium;
  • Stars and stellar evolution;
  • Formation and evolution of compact objects, including black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarfs;
  • Resolved stellar populations and their environments;
  • Galaxy evolution;
  • Cosmology and fundamental physics;
  • Multi-Messenger astronomy and astrophysics.

While the laboratory is a community gateway to facilities and datasets throughout the optical-infrared system, it also serves as the focal point for coordinating complementary observations at other wavebands. The laboratory’s capabilities are also fundamental to the NSF multi-messenger astronomy mission, particularly in coordination with gravitational and particle astrophysics facilities.

See the latest news and science results from the laboratory.