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Gemini e-Newscast #29 -- March 2, 2011

Mar 4, 2011

Quasar feedback measured

The tight correlation between central black hole mass and stellar velocity dispersion requires some feedback mechanism between black hole growth and star formation during galaxy evolution. David Rupke (Rhodes College) and Sylvain Veilleux (University of Maryland) report the discovery of the "smoking gun" of quasar feedback that can quench star formation and black hole accretion. Their observations of Markarian 231 with the integral field unit of GMOS on Gemini North reveal a large-scale, energetic outflow. The work has been published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters and basic information is available from a Gemini press release at

Further options for high-resolution optical spectroscopy

In addition to the possibility of pursuing a new high-resolution optical spectrograph, Gemini is exploring options with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) to use their existing Echelle SpectroPolarimetric Device for the Observations of Stars (ESPaDOnS) with Gemini North. A conduit already exists between the telescopes to allow a fiber feed. We are now evaluating the feasibility of this arrangement, especially considering estimates of delivered spectral resolution and sensitivity.

Journey Through the Universe 2011

The annual outreach program "Journey Through the Universe" completed an intense week of activity in Hawai'i on February 18. Forty-nine astronomers and engineers from local observatories and the mainland participated along with community partners and educators to visit 380 classrooms and nearly 8,000 students, bringing inspiring and educational activities to the local communities. In July, Gemini South will lead a pilot version called "Viaje al Universo Chile," coordinated through community associations during local schools' winter break and coinciding with AstroDay Chile 2011.

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