MessageToEagle.com - Gemini Observatory's GeMS - revolutionary new adaptive optics system is ready to deliver
ultrasharp, large-field images of the universe, without atmospheric distortions.
The first seven images present the spectacular cluster identified as RMC 136 and the remaining six - spanning views
of violent star-forming regions, to the graceful interaction of distant colliding galaxies.
However, this is just a sample of the perfection of this unique instrument at
Gemini South in Chile.
Images from the Gemini Multi-conjugate adaptive optics System (GeMS) System Verification
science observations. Credit: Image design by Eve Furchgott, Blue Heron Multimedia. Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA
According to Robert Blum, Deputy Director of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the data delivered by
GeMS is simply spectacular.
"What we have seen so far signals an incredible capability that leaps ahead of anything in space or on the ground -
and it will for some time."
Unlike previous AO systems, GeMS uses a technique called "multi-conjugate adaptive optics," which not only captures
more of the sky in a single shot - between 10- to 20-times more area of sky imaged in each "picture".
It also forms razor-sharp images uniformly across the entire field, from top-to-bottom and edge-to-edge.
"Each image tells a story about the scientific potential of GeMS," says Benoit Neichel who led the GeMS
commissioning effort in Chile.
The targets were selected to demonstrate the instrument's diverse "discovery space" while producing striking images,
according to Neichel.
Click on image to enlarge
NGC 4038: This multiple pointing, 3-band, near-infrared image (right), obtained with GeMS/GSAOI reveals
remarkable, colorful details in NGC 4038, one of the components of the Antennae Galaxies (NGC 4038/NGC 4039),
despite a short total exposure time. The image to left shows a larger HST optical image with the Gemini
GeMS image inset for scale and comparison. Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA