Observations Begin at Gemini South
Credit: Gemini Observatory
Image only available form Gemini South.
Gemini South prepares for an observing night with the dome vent gates wide open. The telescope is visible within the dome as the sun sets over the Pacific in Central Chile. A crescent moon shines brightly above the fading twilight.
The Gemini South telescope (at right on image) is located at an elevation of 2,737 meters on a mountain in the Chilean Andes named Cerro Pachón. Cerro Pachón shares resources with the adjacent SOAR Telescope and the nearby telescopes of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. It is expected that the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will join Gemini on Cerro Pachón during the second half of this decade.
The Frederick C. Gillett Gemini North Telescope is located on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea as part of the international community of observatories built to take advantage of the superb atmospheric conditions on this long dormant volcano which rises 4,214 meters into the dry, stable air of the Pacific. The Gemini Observatory’s international headquarters is located in Hilo, Hawai‘i at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s University Park.
Both of the Gemini telescopes are designed to excel in a wide variety of optical and infrared capabilities. By incorporating technologies such as laser guide star adaptive optics and multi-object spectroscopy, astronomers in the Gemini partnership explore the universe in unprecedented depth and detail.
Gemini is operated by an international partnership that includes the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. Any astronomer in each partner country can apply for time on Gemini with is allocated in accordance with the amount of financial support provided by each country. The Gemini telescopes have been integrated with the latest networking technologies to allow remote operations from control rooms at the base facilities in Hilo and La Serena Chile. With the flexibility of “Queue Scheduling” and remote participation, researchers anywhere in the Gemini partnership will be assured the best possible match between observations, instruments and observing conditions.
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