Gemini News Archive

On-sky Laser Propagation at Gemini South!

On the night of January 21-22, 2011 the Gemini South 50-watt laser began on-sky engineering testing and commissioning with its successful propagation into the sky over the summit of Cerro Pachón in Chile.

Astronomers 'Weigh' Heaviest Known Black Hole in our Cosmic Neighborhood

Astronomers have measured the most massive known black hole in our cosmic neighborhood by combining data from a giant telescope in Hawai'i and a smaller telescope in Texas. 

Helium Enhancement and the History of Omega Centauri

 New work led by Andrea Dupree (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) now shows direct evidence for helium abundance variations—a sign of multiple histories—in the bright globular cluster Omega Centauri.

Gemini Hosts Workforce Diversity Meeting

On December 6-8, 2010 about a dozen representatives from AURA converged at Gemini’s base facility in Hilo, Hawai‘i to discuss a broad range of topics related to diversity in the workforce.

Jupiter Shows First Signs of its Returning Belt

The composite image, taken on Nov. 18, 2010 by the Gemini North telescope in Hawaii, shows a belt that had previously vanished in Jupiter's atmosphere is now reappearing.

Characterizing a Methane Dwarf with a Dead Stellar Companion

The discovery of an unusual stellar system combined with Gemini North NIRI observations has allowed astronomers to confirm the spectral type of a cool methane dwarf and determine its temperature, mass, and age with confidence. 

Tracing Elements to Measure the Age of a Star Cluster

Phillip Cargile (Vanderbilt University) and team take advantage of the time-dependent destruction of lithium in young stars to measure the age of the open cluster Blanco 1.

Gemini South's Mirror Glistens

A pristine new coat of protected silver now glistens on the Gemini South primary mirror (M1) as part of a routine shut-down on Cerro Pachón in Chile.

The Coolest Brown Dwarf: A Neighbor in Space

A team of astronomers have discovered what is currently the coldest star-like object. The object, called UGPS J0722-05, is also of particular interest because it is one of our closest neighbors.


Amateur astronomers used high-speed, video-monitoring equipment to capture a fireball streaking through the atmosphere of Jupiter. Shortly thereafter, the world’s largest telescopes examined Jupiter for debris left behind.

Young Star Reveals “Mature” Debris Disk

Astronomers have used the Thermal-Region Camera Spectrograph (T-ReCS) on the Gemini South telescope to obtain the first resolved image of the debris disk around the 12 million year old star HD191089.

A Very Young Circumstellar Disk in Scattered Light

Recent observations with the Near-Infrared Imager (NIRI) on the Gemini North telescope have revealed the presence of a large circumstellar disk around the young embedded protostar L1527.

Evidence for Galaxy Interactions in Powerful Radio Galaxies

Cristina Ramos Almeida and collaborators obtained deep imaging data using the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) at the Gemini South telescope to study the morphologies of a complete sample of 46 intermediate redshift (0.05<z<0.7) PRGs.

Brown Dwarf Careens Around a Young Solar Analogue

Using NICI on the Gemini-South telescope in Chile, an international team led by University of Hawai‘i astronomers have directly imaged a brown dwarf in a tight orbit around a young Sun-like star. 

Initial Scientific Results from NICI

The first two accepted papers based on observations with NICI at Gemini South include discoveries of several previously unknown companions in binary star systems as well as the study of the age distributions of stars in the outer regions of the galaxy M83.


A planet only about eight times the mass of Jupiter has been confirmed orbiting a Sun-like star at over 300 times farther from the star than the Earth is from our Sun. The newly confirmed planet is the least massive planet known to orbit at such a great distance from its host star.

A Ceres-like Dwarf Planet Swallowed by a White Dwarf Star

A Canadian-U.S. team's analysis, based on follow-up observations using the Gemini North telescope and the Multiple-Mirror Telescope (MMT), shows a clear signature of a tidally destroyed dwarf planet that once orbited the parent star.

Identifying Green Fuzzy Emission in the Milky Way

Using NIRI on the Gemini North telescope, James De Buizer and William Vacca (SOFIA-USRA) obtained spectra that, for the first time, directly identify the origin of “green fuzzy” emission.


The starburst galaxy NGC 1313 is a stellar incubator delivering stars on a scale rarely seen in a single galaxy of its size. Now a striking new Gemini Observatory image reveals the multitudes of glowing gas clouds in this galaxy’s arms.


A newly discovered gravitational lens in a relatively nearby galaxy cluster is leading astronomers to conclude that the cluster hosts the most massive galaxy known in our local universe.