Starry Night, Laser Light

Gemini South, one half of the International Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, is seen here with its laser guide star in action. Both of the Gemini telescopes use laser guide stars to provide data for the calibration of their adaptive optics, systems of deformable mirrors that compensate for fluctuations in the upper atmosphere which can blur the images of distant stars and galaxies. The laser excites trace gas particles high in Earth’s upper atmosphere. Software then analyzes feedback from the laser to provide a model for the adaptive optics to map against. The laser guide stars can also be augmented by additional adaptive optics systems that use images of real stars from the telescope itself, such as the Natural Guide Star Next Generation Sensor (NGS-2).

This photo was taken as part of the recent NOIRLab 2022 Photo Expedition to all the NOIRLab sites.

About the Image

Type: Photographic
Release date: January 8, 2024, 4:20 pm
Related announcements: sci24007 sci24021
Size:1280 x 906 px

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