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 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.
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.
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.