Gemini Observatory Press Releases

Contact Information

Peter Michaud
Gemini Observatory,
Hilo, HI
808/974-2510 (Desk)

808/937-0845 (Cell)

Antonieta Garcia
Gemini Observatory,
La Serena Chile
011-56-51-205-628 (Desk) 

Gemini Mirror is First With Silver Lining

Gemini Press Release (Embargoed Until June 9)

Video Files Broadcast Quality NTSC/PAL and HDTV time-lapse footage

Time-Lapse Video of Gemini South Silver Coating Process (Still shots taken from video)


GS Coating Chamber 11 (HDTV, 426MB)
GS Coating Chamber (NTSC, 119MB) | GS Coating Chamber (PAL, 116MB )


Time-Lapse Video of Mirror Transport Into Telescope (Still shots taken from video)


GS Coating Chamber 15 (HDTV, 101MB)
GS Move Up (NTSC, 66MB) | GS Move Up (PAL, 75.4MB)

Download DIVX Includes both sequences above and additonal footage of mirror transport for coating. Ideal for computer presentations. HDTV and NTSC version available upon request.
Mirror Coat (40.7MB)


Photos Full-Resolution images All Photos Gemini Obesrvatory/Kirk Pu'uohau-Pummill


TIFF |16.9MB | 1960x3008
JPG | 100k | 470x722

The Gemini South telescope points skyward shortly after its 8.1-meter primary mirror received its first protected silver coating.


TIFF |16.9MB | 3008x1960
JPG | 113k | 722x470

The Gemini South telescope during evening tests shortly after its 8.1-meter primary mirror was successfully coated with a protected silver coating.


TIFF |16.9MB | 3008x1960
JPG | 119k | 722x470

Shortly after its 8.1-meter primary mirror was successfully coated with silver, the Gemini South telescope points skyward for tests and calibrations.


JPG | 106k | 1008x657

Gemini’s lead optical engineer, Maxime Boccas tests the reflectivity and other optical qualities of the 8.1-meter primary mirror of the Gemini South Telescope.  Reflectivity was determined at 98.75% at mid-infrared wavelengths.



TIFF |4.2MB | 1500x984
JPG | 100k | 720x472

Shortly after exiting the coating chamber with its protected silver coating, the Gemini South 8.1-meter primary mirror is inspected by Gemini’s lead optical engineer Maxime Boccas.


TIFF |4.2MB | 2907x1950
JPG | 100k | 698x468

Stars reflect off the protected silver coating on the 8.1-meter Gemini South telescope mirror. This image was obtained shortly after the first successful silver coating on a large astronomical telescope.


GIF|36k | 1657x870

A comparison of reflectivity of protected Silver vs. Aluminum on the Gemini South 8.1-meter primary mirror at red-near-infrared wavelengths.




Background Information on Gemini Observatory

The Gemini Observatory is an international collaboration that has built two identical 8-meter telescopes. The Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope is located on Mauna Kea, Hawai`i (Gemini North) and the Gemini South telescope is located on Cerro Pachón in central Chile (Gemini South), and hence provide full coverage of both hemispheres of the sky. Both telescopes incorporate new technologies that allow large, relatively thin mirrors under active control to collect and focus both optical and infrared radiation from space.

The Gemini Observatory provides the astronomical communities in each partner country with state-of-the-art astronomical facilities that allocate observing time in proportion to each country's contribution. In addition to financial support, each country also contributes significant scientific and technical resources. The national research agencies that form the Gemini partnership include: the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), the Canadian National Research Council (NRC), the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación Cientifica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Argentinean Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and the Brazilian Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). The Observatory is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the NSF. The NSF also serves as the executive agency for the international partnership.