Gemini North & South by Nikki Ready

Construction & Operation

The Gemini North Telescope is located in beautiful Hawaii, and the Gemini South Telescope is located in Chile. Both mountains are the best location on the planet for viewing the entire sky. The cost to make them were approximate $92 million per telescope, and annually costs $13.2 million each to uphold.

The construction began in 1994. Gemini North was first active in the year 1999, and Gemini South went up shortly after in 2000. These telescopes are a multi-national partnership between the United States, Canada, Chile, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil and Argentina. These countries all contribute to paying for and operating the Gemini Observatory.

Location of Gemini North
All the countries who contribute to the Gemini Observatory
Location of Gemini South

Physical Characteristics

The 8.1 meter diameter telescope's primary mirror is 20 cm thick and rests on a bed of 120 hydraulic actuators which maintains the telescopes ideal shapes as it tracks the night sky. The secondary mirror is 1 meter in diameter and is capable of rapid tip-tilt corrective motions so that objects appear stable even when the telescope deals with wind, other elements or regular atmospheric blurring. They designed 10 meter vents on the sides of the telescope that can adjusted so the telescope can maintain the perfect temperature. They also use adaptive optics to get the best resolution possible.

The mirrors are made up of a thin film of silver that allows the telescopes to see infrared light better than the commonly used aluminum. They also have a metallic finish on the outside of the domes instead of traditional white to allow for even more temperature control. Each structure weighs 377 tons.

Optical Charateristics

The telescopes are meant to view the visible (0.4 mm - 0.7 mm) and infrared light spectrum(1 mm - 750 nm), and have an average resolution power of R~67,500.

The Gemini Observatory is known for it's stunning laser guide stars, other adaptive optics, and multi object spectroscopy. The telescopes also have an advanced ventilation system.

Research &Purpose

The Gemini Observatory uses it's ground breaking technology to explore the universe. Because the two telescopes combine have access to the entire night sky, astronomers use them to research anything they can in the visible and infrared spectrums. Some past work includes research into supernovas, black holes, dwarf planets, and recently there has been some focus on star clusters and dark matter.

The placement of the telescopes and all the amazing features set this telescope apart. Astronomers can research anything they want as long as they know where it is in the sky! They can also do it from the comfort of a nearby research facility, because the telescopes can be monitored remotely from all parts of the world. Gemini North and Gemini South have been a huge addition to the world of astronomy.

Pictures taken by GN of nearby galaxies that emit large amounts of ionized gas, giving them the greenish tint. Astronomers have discovered that these galaxies are closer than originally thought, meaning they can provide important information into the research of the evolution of cosmic time. Read more: http://www.gemini.edu/node/12570
This picture taken by Gemini North depicts the recently discovered "dark galaxy Dragonfly 44." Astronomers believe this galaxy to be composed of 99.99% dark matter, and continue to do research on a topic many scientist know little about. This image was taken with the telescope's Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS). Read more: http://www.gemini.edu/node/12559
A supermassive black hole that could not be captured in the past due to low resolution telescopes was captured by Gemini South early 2016. Read more: http://www.gemini.edu/node/12477
The Gemini Observatory discovered a far off planet that bares resemblance to our own Jupiter using false coloring of the infrared spectrum. While looking at the image on the left in the visible spectrum the brightness would be constant, when measured and false colored by varying wavelength in the infrared spectrum there is a clear cut planet that can be research by astronomers. To the right is a mock image made by Nasa of what the planet looks like. Read more: http://www.gemini.edu/node/12403
This image, taken by Gemini South, is a "near-infrared image of the globular cluster Liller 1." These clusters had previously been obscured by material in our galaxy; however, by using adaptive optics astronomers are now able to monitor a rare area of the universe where stars are likely to collide. Read more: http://www.gemini.edu/node/12379

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