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A new Gemini-North Adaptive Optics facility for the era of multi-messenger astronomy

Presentation #107.07 in the session Vis-IR Facilities and Instruments.

Published onJun 29, 2022
A new Gemini-North Adaptive Optics facility for the era of multi-messenger astronomy

The Gemini-North Adaptive Optics (GNAO) facility is a queue-operated 4-laser-guide-star adaptive optics (AO) facility, which is currently being developed for the 8-m Gemini-North telescope as part of the NSF-funded “Gemini in the Era of Multi-Messenger Astronomy” (GEMMA) program. The primary goal of the GNAO project is to provide the Gemini-North telescope with a state-of-the-art high-angular-resolution capability supporting rapid-response and multi-messenger astronomy and a wide range of science cases covering solar system to extragalactic studies. In addition to serving as a general AO facility for the telescope, GNAO will be optimized to work with its first-light instrument GIRMOS (Gemini InfraRed Multi-Object Spectrograph). GIRMOS is an innovative multi-arm integral field unit (IFU) spectrograph and imager developed by a Canadian consortium. The two primary AO modes offered by GNAO will be (i) a wide-field correction supporting the GIRMOS multi-IFU mode which will be coupled with multi-object AO for each IFU, and (ii) a narrow-field correction supporting the GIRMOS tiled IFU mode. Both GNAO modes will also be available for imaging. We present an overview of GNAO with a focus on the scientific opportunities that will be enabled by the new facility.

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