the 2 telescopes of Gemini observatory

Gemini South on the summit of Cerro Pachón in Chile (left) and Gemini North on the summit of Maunakea in Hawai’i (right). Image credit: Gemini/NSF/AURA

The Gemini Observatory consists of twin 8.1-meter diameter optical/infrared telescopes located on two of the best observing sites on the planet.

From locations on mountains in Hawai’i and Chile, the Gemini Observatory telescopes can between them access the entire sky. The suite of capabilities at Gemini includes a wide-field laser adaptive optics system that complements other current ground- and space-based telescopes and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Gemini also hosts a robust visitor instrument program (unique among this telescope class). Gemini pioneers innovative approaches to proposing and observing, including: Fast Turnaround (monthly deadlines); Large and Long programs (multi-year research); and Priority Visitor mode.

The Gemini international partnership includes the United States, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Korea. These Participants and the University of Hawai‘i, which has regular access to Gemini, each maintain a National Gemini Office to support their local users. Any astronomer in these countries can apply for Gemini time, which is allocated in proportion to each participant’s level of support.

AURA manages the United States’ participation in Gemini, funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF), under a cooperative agreement.