This is a quick time VR movie in which you can move around within.

Canadian Heritage Information Network

© Canadian Heritage Information Network, 2003


Flash Movie

The image above shows the Gemini North Sea-Level Control Room in Hilo Hawaii. This is a quick time VR movie in which you can move around within.

Several of the people in the scene are also linked and if you click on them you will go to a short interview and learn what they do and how Gemini operates./n/nClick to go to a short interview and learn what they do and how Gemini operates.

Isobel Hook
My name is Isobel Hook. And I am an astronomer from the United Kingdom visiting Hawaii for about a year to learn as much as I can on the Gemini telescopes. The reason for being here is to work with one of the instruments which is built in the United Kingdom and in Canada. This is the first optical instrument to be put on the Gemini telescopes and it works like a giant digital camera. The sensitivity of this instrument combined with the superb sharp images that the telescope produces and the excellent observing conditions on Mauna Kea allow astronomers to see far more details on distant objects that was possible ever before.

John Hamilton
Hi, I am John Hamilton one of the systems support associate here at Gemini Observatory. My main job at night is to operate the facility and the telescope in a manner such as the astronomer can collect the best possible data. One of the ways we do this, is each night we have to tune the primary mirror. At Gemini, the primary mirror is eight metres in diameter but compared to other telescopes it is very thin and flexible. Mounted behind the primary mirror are hydraulic actuators which can actually bend the primary mirror in very small sized steps. This effect sharpens the image of the star. When this is all done, we are ready to start observations for the night. It is then that the astronomers tells me what objects that they would like to go to and off we go.

I am Dolores. I am a system support associate. I run the telescope on behalf of the astronomers and the engineers and I also prepare the telescope for night time operations. I do a safety walk around the telescope and then I open up the shutters. And when all of that is done I go into the Control Room and I start the night time observations. I ask the astronomers where they want to point the telescope they give the coordinates, I put those coordinates into the software and the telescope points at that part of the sky. And when that is done, we collect the data and we give that data to the astronomers to take away with them. I also do all the scheduling for all the system support associates and when there is time left, I do a little bit of science as well. My favourite science is star forming regions because it is really great fun to look at stars that are just being born.

Colin Aspin
Hi my name is Colin Aspin. I am a Gemini Scientist. I work here in Hawaii at the Gemini North Operation Center. I assist many of the visiting Astronomers who come to our Island to use our telescope. They come from all over the world and arrive knowing not very much about how we operate our systems. I look after them and make sure they get the best possible data from the telescope.

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