The NOIRLab-operated Gemini South Telescope in the United States used its most recent upgrade, GHOST, the Gemini High-resolution Optical SpecTrograph, to capture observations of HD 222925, a star more than 1,400 light years away. The type of object GHOST is designed to investigate is the star, which is known to be bright and chemically rich.
“This is an exciting milestone for astronomers all over the world who rely on Gemini South to study the Universe from this unique vantage point in Chile,” Jennifer Lotz, director of the Gemini Observatory, said. “Once this next-generation instrument is operational, GHOST will be an indispensable tool in the astronomer’s toolbox.”
Spectrographs analyze light emissions from objects to determine the chemical composition and stellar motion, as well as to observe remnants of the ancient universe. GHOST has ten times the resolution of Gemini South’s other visible spectrograph and is the most sensitive high-resolution spectrograph in use among comparably sized telescopes.
“With the successful commissioning of GHOST, NSF congratulates the instrument team on delivering enhanced capability to the international astronomy community to explore planets, stars, and galaxies,” said Martin Still, NSF’s Gemini program officer. “We are looking forward to new discoveries.”
When the commissioning process is completed, all researchers will be able to request observation time through GHOST.