ann21006 — Announcement
A GHOST Arrives
22 February 2021
Key components of the Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph (GHOST) instrument have arrived and are awaiting assembly at its home, Gemini South on Cerro Pachón in Chile . GHOST is expected to play a key role in the research output of Gemini South in the 2020s. Gemini South is one of the twin 8-meter telescopes comprising the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab.
GHOST is built by a collaboration between Australian Astronomical Optics (including Macquarie University and the Australian National University) and the National Research Council of Canada’s Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre. The three 20-foot-long containers used to transport key components of the GHOST spectrograph were dispatched from Canada by sea in early 2020. They were still at sea when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and once they arrived in Chile thanks to logistics support from AURA, pandemic restrictions required them to extend their stay at the Gemini South base facility in La Serena for eight months. It recently became possible to transport the containers to the summit of Cerro Pachón, where they were unloaded into the Gemini South telescope’s receiving area.
The disassembled pieces of GHOST will be stored securely until the remainder of the instrument components have arrived and teams from Australia and Canada are able to safely travel to Chile. Once this is possible, the teams will assemble GHOST and get it ready to be commissioned.
Once assembled, GHOST will become one of the key instruments installed at Gemini South. It is designed to be efficient, versatile, and to have a wide wavelength coverage, meaning that it can be used for a broad range of applications. These include understanding the chemical evolution of the Universe, our galaxy, and individual stellar systems, as well as the confirmation and characterization of exoplanet systems. GHOST will also provide crucial follow-up of interesting targets from many ongoing and future surveys, such as Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time, SkyMapper and GAIA.
 Completed components remaining to be shipped from Canada include the spectrograph optics and mounts, detectors, optical science cable, slit view assembly, computer, and additional electronics.
Manager, Instrument Program
Astrophysicist and Instrument Scientist
Australian National University
Senior Research Officer
NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics
Press and Internal Communications Officer
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