Gemini North’s Back Yard
Gemini North, one of the two telescopes that make up the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, has the good fortune to be located near the peak of Maunakea, a dormant volcano situated on the island of Hawai‘i. This image features the beautiful Hilo Bay and the city of Hilo, which is only a 70-kilometer (45-mile) drive from the telescope. Maunakea can be seen in the background (zoom in here).
While Hilo and Gemini North are near neighbors, they could not have more different environments. Hilo is situated on the coast, and has a warm, wet, tropical climate. Gemini North is built at an altitude of over 4000 meters (13,000 feet). There the air is thin and dry, and the temperature frequently drops below zero. This is much less appealing to most humans than the pleasant weather in Hilo. However, the thin atmosphere and dry conditions are perfect for astronomical observations.Credit:
International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/J. Chu
About the Image
|Release date:||Sept. 22, 2021, noon|
|Size:||11538 x 3341 px|