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Adaptive Optics

Gemini North LGS Trails

This image features the Gemini North telescope during laser guide star operations (LGS). This time lapse image consists of roughly 40 images edited together to create a star trails image, with an attenuation on the earlier images, which makes the earlier images appear to fade out. Shot near the summit of Maunakea, the glow of nearby Waimea can clearly be seen reflected in the low cloud cover. Also prominently featured in the image are the new photovoltaic (PV) panels that have been installed at all of the Gemini Observatory facilities.

Cada Fotografía Cuenta una Historia

Este montaje es un tributo a un instrumento excepcional de Gemini Sur conocido como GeMS (el sistema de óptica Adaptativa Multi-Conjugado de Gemini). Cuando es usado en conjunto con GSAOI (Capturador de Imágenes de Óptica Adaptativa de Gemini Sur), GeMS puede incrementar la eficiencia del espejo de 8 metros de Gemini, permitiendo enfocar la luz con mayor precisión, y explorar el Universo en profundidad para obtener detalles estructurales nunca antes vistos. 

Every Picture Tells a Story

This montage is a tribute to a unique instrument at Gemini South known as the Gemini Multi-conjugate adaptive optics System (GeMS). When coupled to the Gemini South Adpative Optics Imager (GSAOI), GeMS can make Gemini’s 8-meter mirror significantly more efficient by focusing light more precisely — allowing astronomers using Gemini to probe objects more deeply and study them in finer detail. 

Bullets Rip Through Orion Nebula

Blue cosmic “bullets” rifle through the outskirts of the Orion Nebula (inset, at top left) in this highly detailed, large-field composite image from the Gemini South telescope in Chile. Discovered in 1983, the Orion Bullets are clumps of gas ejected from deep within the Orion Nebula, located some 1,500 light years away from us. The violence causing this is likely related to the recent formation of a cluster of massive stars with strong winds that can expel gas at very high velocities.

Orion "Bullets with GeMS

This image, obtained during the late commissioning phase of the GeMS adaptive optics system, with the Gemini South AO Imager (GSAOI) on the night of December 28, 2012, reveals exquisite details in the outskirts of the Orion Nebula. The large adaptive optics field-of-view (85 arcseconds across) demonstrates the system's extreme resolution and uniform correction across the entire field. The three filters used for this composite color image include [Fe II], H2, and, K(short)-continuum (2.093 microns) for blue, orange, and white layers respectively.

Planetary "First Family"

A K-band (2.2microns) AO image of the HR 8799 planetary system made using Gemini/Altair/NIRI and acquired on September 5, 2008 (North is up and East is left). The three planets are designated with red circles. The stellar flux has been subtracted using ADI (see text for details) and the central saturated region is masked out. Multiepoch observations have shown counterclockwise Keplerian orbital motion for all three planets.

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Eta Carinae Homunculus Nebula

Eta Carinae as imaged by the Gemini South telescope in Chile with the Near Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) using adaptive optics to reduce blurring by turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere. In this image the bipolar lobes of the Homunculus Nebula are visible with the never-before imaged “Little Homunculus Nebula” visible as a faint blue glow, mostly in the lower lobe.