Breaking Ground at Gemini South

On October 22, 1994, an inaugural ceremony was held at Cerro Pachón, Chile to celebrate breaking ground on construction of Gemini South, one half of the International Gemini Observatory, operated by NSF’s NOIRLab. This archival footage shows construction crews blasting away at the rocky summit and removing large boulders as they prepare for the laying of the foundation. At an elevation of 2700 meters, Cerro Pachón sits within the dry mountains of the Atacama desert and offers an atmosphere primed for astronomical observation. Gemini South saw first light in 2000 and since then has excelled in its optical and infrared capabilities, allowing astronomers to explore the universe in unprecedented depth and detail.


International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P. Gillett

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Release date:Jan. 25, 2023, 11:31 a.m.
Duration:17 m 07 s
Frame rate:29.97

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