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Legacy Images

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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Abell 3827

Central region of Abell 3827 as imaged using the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph on the Gemini South telescope in Chile. The central supermassive galaxy (ESO 146-IG 005) is clearly visible among its cluster companions as well as the remains of at least four nuclei that are being “digested” by the large galaxy. The central galaxy is thought to be the most massive galaxy in our local universe (out to about 1.5 billion light years).

Sharpless 2-106

Sharpless 2-106 as imaged by the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph on the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawai‘i. This color composite image shows the nursery of a massive star (hidden within the cloud) obtained with four narrow-band optical filters available for Gemini users at both Gemini North and South

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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.

NGC 6751 Glowing Eye Nebula

Gemini South image of planetary nebula NGC 6751, the "Glowing Eye Nebula." The image is the result of the winning entry in the 2009 Gemini School Astronomy Contest, submitted by high school student Daniel Tran of PAL College, Cabramatta, NSW, Australia. Using narrow-band filters in the imaging mode of the Gemini Multi-object Spectrograph (GMOS), the locations of hydrogen, ionized sulfur, and doubly-ionized oxygen are color-coded in the image as yellow, red, and blue, respectively.

Jupiter Impact

This mid-infrared composite image was obtained with the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, on 22 July at ~13:30 UT with the MICHELLE mid-infrared spectrograph/imager. The impact site is the bright yellow spot at the center bottom of Jupiter's disk. The image was constructed from two images: one at 8.7 micron (blue) and one at 9.7 micron (yellow). The excellent quality of the Gemini images reveals that the morphology of this new impact bears a striking resemblance to that of the larger impact sites seen after the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter in 1994.

Saturn & Titan

Gemini North infrared image of Saturn and Titan (at about 6 o'clock position). Image obtained on May 7, 2009 (5:31 UTC) using the Altair adaptive optics system with the Near-infrared imager (NIRI). At the perimeter of Saturn's ring the F-ring is faintly visible. The F-ring was discovered in images from the Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1979 and is normally not apparent in images taken with ground-based telescopes. Also apparent are several of Saturn's smaller moons.

NGC 3359 – Meet Me at the Bar

This image of NGC 3359 was obtained with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on the Gemini North telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawai‘i. The circular pinwheel shape with the easily recognized spiral arm structure makes it straightforward to classify this object as a spiral galaxy, however, it is the presence of the straight ‘bar’ in the center of the galaxy that distinguishes NGC 3359 from many other spirals.

NGC 3582 - The Heart of a Stellar Nursery

At the heart of a star-forming region called RCW 57, this image shows the complex interaction of interstellar gas and dark dust clouds among newly formed stars. The glowing gas is energized by ultraviolet radiation from the young stars. The intricate wispy structures in the cloud are formed by radiation from the young stars and the explosions of nearby, very massive stars that have exceptionally short lives compared to stars like our sun. A study by M.