Home > Astronomy, General Astronomy, Observatories & Facilities > Next-Generation Adaptive Optice Brings Remarkable Details To Light In Stellar Nursery

Next-Generation Adaptive Optice Brings Remarkable Details To Light In Stellar Nursery


Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA

Image Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA

A new image released today reveals how Gemini Observatory’s most advanced adaptive optics (AO) system will help astronomers study the universe with an unprecedented level of clarity and detail by removing distortions due to the Earth’s atmosphere. The photo, featuring an area on the outskirts of the famous Orion Nebula, illustrates the instrument’s significant advancements over previous-generation AO systems.

“The combination of a constellation of five laser guide stars with multiple deformable mirrors allows us to expand significantly on what has previously been possible using adaptive optics in astronomy,” said Benoit Neichel, who currently leads this adaptive optics program for Gemini. “For years our team has focused on developing this system, and to see this magnificent image, just hinting at its scientific potential, made our nights on the mountain – while most folks were celebrating the New Year’s holiday – the best celebration ever!”

The new system, called GeMS, is installed on the Gemini South telescope in Chile and is the first of its kind to use laser guide stars and a technology called Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) to image the sky.

Full Story and Photos: http://www.gemini.edu/node/11925

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