NOIRLab Legacy Imaging Program

The NOIRLab Legacy Imaging Program was originally started at the Gemini Observatory in 2002 as the Gemini Legacy Imaging program. In the NOIRLab era the Gemini and NOAO efforts were combined and renamed to the NOIRLab Legacy Imaging Program. 


NOIRLab is a frontrunner in astronomy education and communication, partly due to a continuous production of evocative high-resolution astronomical pictures. The majority of the published pictures are based on data from our data archives in the Community Science & Data Center. However, since most astronomical discoveries are made with spectra, most of the data are not suitable for the purposes of making color images. The NOIRLab Legacy Imaging Program acquires data that are targeted for color images. This is a similar strategy to that adopted by the very successful Hubble Heritage project, which acquired spectacular high-quality outreach images from the Hubble Space Telescope from 1998 to 2016.

Gemini North Infrared View of Jupiter

k61 Planetary Nebula

Gemini South Captures Planetary Nebula CVMP 1

Galactic Dance

Ghost Nebula, vdB 141

IC 1396A Elephant Trunk Nebula

Reflection Nebula NGC 1788

Planetary Nebula HFG1

Soap Bubble Nebula, PN G75.5+1.7

vdB 152, Barnard 175

Spiral Galaxy IC342

M78, NGC 2068

Star forming region NGC 7129

Planetary Nebula MWP1

T Tauri in NGC 1555

Planetary Nebula Sh2-290

M27 Dumbbell Nebula

Dark Nebula LDN 810

Double-Wide Image of Pickering's Triangle

Barnard 163

Sh2-126, the Star Funnel

Star PV Cep

Sh2-82, Cocoon Nebula

Planetary Nebula PuWe 1

M101; Pinwheel Galaxy

Cygnus X-1 binary star system

Baby Eagle Nebula, LBN 777

Wizard Nebula, NGC 7380

Planetary Nebula Abell 74

Hockey Stick Galaxy NGC 4656

Dusty Nebula, LBN 438

Iris Nebula NGC 7023

Open Cluster IC 1311

Emission Nebula Sh2-114

Twisted Spiral Galaxy NGC 3718

Edge-on Spiral Galaxy NGC 3628

Sharpless 2-188 (Sh2-188)

North America Nebula, NGC 7000 South

Planetary Nebula Sh2-174

Bipolar Nebula Outters 4

Reflection Nebula IC426

vdB 141 South

IPHASX J205013.7+465518, the Ear Nebula

Supernova SN2011fe in M101

Elliptical Galaxy NGC 5363 and Spiral Galaxy NGC 5364

Arp 286 (NGC 5560, 5566 & 5569)

Planetary Nebula HDW 3

Medusa nebula, Abell 21

Open Cluster IC 1805

Spiral Galaxy NGC 6946

Emission Nebula Sh2-140

IC 1340, part of supernova remnant Cygnus Loop

Spiral Galaxies NGC 3166 and NGC 3169

Veil Filaments (Cygnus Loop)

Nebula Sh2-239e

Jones 1, PK 104-29.1

Supernova Remnant, G70.5+1.9

NGC 4490, Barred Spiral Galaxy

Polar Ring Galaxy, NGC 660

Reflection Nebula NGC 1999

Wolf-Rayet star, WR 134

Planetary Nebula Sh2-68

Peculiar Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 2146

Emission Nebula Sh2-282

Sh2-260 North

Ghost of Jupiter, NGC 3242

IC 1396 North

IC 1396 Northeast

IC 1396 Southeast

Spiral Galaxies NGC 5905 & NGC 5908

Spiral Galaxy NGC 4395

NGC 1333

vdB 24, Star XY Per

Dwarf Galaxy NGC 5474

Lynds’ Dark Nebula 673

Emission Nebula IC 4171

Trio of Galaxies (NGC 5981, NGC 5982 and NGC 5985)

Bipolar Planetary Nebula KjPn8 (PN G112.5-00.1)

The Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635)

Sh2-155, Cave Nebula

M39, NGC 7092

Emission Nebula NGC 1491

Sharpless 112, Emission Nebula

Sharpless 157 (WR 157)

Dwarf Galaxy NGC 4214

M13, NGC 6205

M3, NGC 5272

Globular Cluster, M15

Cometary Globule CG4

NGC 6334, The Cat’s Paw Nebula

The Sculptor Galaxy, NGC 253

Barred Spiral Galaxy, NGC 13132

NGC 3582 in Sagittarius

NGC 7320 Stephan’s Quintet1

NGC 6946 “Fireworks Galaxy”

Interacting galaxy Pair NGC 1532 and NGC 1531

Orion Bullets Mosaic

NGC 2346

RCW 41

Supernova Remnant DEM L316

NGC 2467

Gemini North image of the planetary nebula M97

NGC 6751 Glowing Eye Nebula

RY-Tau

Stellar Gusts From AFGL 2591

McNeil's Nebula

NGC 7424

Galactic Waltz NGC 1532-31

Chinese Dragon NGC 6559

Interacting Galaxies NGC 520

M2-9 with Adaptive Optics

Superbubble Complex N44

Nebula NGC 6164-5

Nebula NGC 6164-5

NGC 2467

Supernova Remnant DEM L316

Catching the Light of a Baby Supernova

Gemini South image of NGC 5426-27 (Arp 271)

NGC 3311

NGC 3359 – Meet Me at the Bar

A Stellar Incubator

NGC 3582 - The Heart of a Stellar Nursery

The Starry Dandelion and the Cosmic Gecko NGC 6520

AO Image NGC 7009

Sharpless 2-106

Complex Planetary Nebula Sh2-71

Whole disk NIRI image sharp

NGC 6751 Glowing Eye Nebula

Gemini North image of the planetary nebula M97

NGC 660

Dancing Galaxies NGC 6872 & IC 4970

NGC 7232/3

Gemini Observatory Captures Comet ISON Hurtling Toward Uncertain Destiny with the Sun

NGC 4038 Antenna Galaxy

Swan Nebula (M17)

NGC 2346

Bullets Rip Through Orion Nebula

NGC 7582

NGC 253

NGC 6300

Galaxy Group VV 166

Saturn & Titan

Jupiter's Red Spots