The Gemini Observatory is an international partnership involving the United States, Canada, Australia, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina. The partnership has constructed and now operates two 8-meter telescopes: one in the Northern Hemisphere on Maunakea, HI, and one in the Southern Hemisphere on Cerro Pachon, Chile. The twin telescopes are infrared-optimized, have superb image quality, and provide unprecedented optical and infrared coverage of the northern and southern skies for astronomical research. Scientific operations began on Gemini North in 2000 and on Gemini South in summer 2001.
These telescopes provide astronomers from the partnership countries with world-class observing facilities. Observing time is assigned on the basis of scientific merit. Astronomers from each partner country can apply for time on Gemini regardless of institutional affiliation and time is awarded in direct proportion to each country's contribution to the partnership. The suite of instrumentation available on the telescopes continues to expand, offering imaging and spectroscopic capability in the optical and infrared.
Each partner country has a National Gemini Office, which provides support and information for users in that country. The US National Gemini Office, a division of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, is the gateway to the Gemini telescopes for the U.S. astronomical community ( http://ast.noao.edu/nssc/usngo ) .
NSF acts as the executive agency for the partnership, and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc.-a consortium of 33 US universities and institutions and 7 international affiliates-manages the Gemini Observatory. The Astronomy Division also provides the U.S. share of funding for the operation of the Observatory.
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US National Gemini Office