Gemini Images Rival Those from Space Telescope
HONOLULU, HI, July 1 -- The sharpest images of the universe ever produced by a ground-based telescope have been recorded by astronomers using Hawaii's giant Gemini North telescope. The pictures show stars in a globular cluster 50,000 light years away. Gemini North is one of a pair of telescopes; its twin, Gemini South, is being built in Chile and will become operational within the next year.
Adaptive optics allow each telescope's 8-m mirror to compensate for the distorting effects of the Earth's atmosphere. A few years ago the possibility of seeing these stars so clearly with a ground-based telescope would have been regarded as highly speculative, but with Gemini we are seeing some pictures with more detail than Hubble can provide at a fraction of the cost, said Gemini scientist Dr. Patrick Roche.
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