After years of planning and hard work, the Gemini Observatory team recently unveiled some of the work they performed using one of their newly installed instruments. Called the FLAMINGOS-2, the instrument provides astronomers with a powerful mix of capabilities, including high-resolution wide-field imaging (infrared) as well as spectroscopy. The newly mounted piece is already on high demand at the observatory, since it's capable of observations spanning from the exploration of our Solar System, to the most distant and energetic explosions in our universe.
“The Gemini team has done a remarkable job in optimizing this instrument for Gemini and it will soon be everything, and more, that we had envisioned years ago when the project began,” says Steve Eikenberry, who led the team who built FLAMINGOS-2 at the University of Florida. “Like a lot of scientists, I’m anxious to use FLAMINGOS-2 to collect data – specifically, I want to look toward the center of our Galaxy and study binary black holes as well as the mass evolution of the super-massive black hole that lurks at the heart of our Galaxy.”
To demonstrate the capabilities of the FLAMINGOS-2, Gemini released a couple of simply mind-blowing images captured using the newly mounted instrument. These photos cover a wide range of targets which are representative of the types of science in which FLAMINGOS-2 is expected to excel. All images and captions courtesy of the Gemini Observatory.