Astronomers traditionally attribute mid-infrared emission from young newly-forming stars to circumstellar disks. However, new observations using the Thermal-Region Camera and Spectrograph (T-ReCS) on Gemini South reveal that in at least one case the mid-infrared emission from a young stellar source is associated with a spectacular outflow.
A new Gemini Observatory image of NGC 246, nicknamed the "Skull Nebula," shows what can happen as the outer atmosphere of a fast-moving, dying star like the Sun (in several billion years) pushes through the complex soufflé of gas and dust that lies between the stars of our galaxy.
A new era in astronomy education and outreach was ushered in with the opening of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i in Hilo, Hawai‘i. The unique 40,000-square-foot facility blends Hawaiian culture with the science of astronomy, using interactive exhibits, multi-media theaters and a state-of-the-art planetarium. The $28 million (U.S.) center was funded primarily through NASA and is located directly across from Gemini’s Hilo Base Facility on the University of Hawaii Hilo - Science and Technology Park.
Figure 1: Papers produced by each Gemini Telescope through December 31, 2005. Note that the Gemini South Telescope science operation started one year later (October 2001) than at Gemini North (October 2000). More observing time went to “packback” for the use of visitor instruments at Gemini South. Payback allocation has been much less productive in terms of scientific papers.