GPI is ready for its new location in Chile

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It is now official, The Gemini Planet Imager (“Gee-pi”) is ready for shipping to Chile. This decision was taken on July 19 after the positive pre-delivery acceptance review. From its current home at the University of California Santa Cruz, the instrument’s Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) began its warm-up a week later (July 25th), and the computers were shut-down two days ago (July 31st).

Ifs_install

The Integral Field Spectrograph (the “eye” of GPI) being installed in the GPI instrument (archive picture from 2012)

GPI is going to be carefully packed for a long trip to Chile. The instrument will be shipped to the southern hemisphere by plane and should arrive by the end of August.

Bruce Macintosh, Principal Investigator of the instrument and researcher at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and two members of the GPI consortium, Christian Marois astronomer at the National Research Council in Canada  and Franck Marchis,  senior planetary astronomer at the SETI Institute, participated in a Google Hangout where they talked about the instrument’s status and its future capabilities.

During this hangout we also announced the kick-off of a crowd-funding campaign to fund the science operation of the instrument. This is an opportunity for all of you to be involved in the project. Visit our web page campaign part of the #curiositymovement and consider making a tax-deductible donation.

Clear Skies,

Franck Marchis

 

 

 

About Franck Marchis

Dr. Franck Marchis is a Senior Researcher and Chair of the Exoplanet Group at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute since July 2007. Over the past 19 years, he has dedicated his research to the study of our solar system, specifically the search for asteroids with moons, using mainly ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics. More recently he has been also involved in the definition of new generation of AOs for 8 -10 m class telescopes and future Extremely Large Telescopes. He has developed algorithms to process and enhance the quality of images, both astronomical and biological. His currently involved in the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey, which consists in imaging exoplanets using an extreme AO system for the Gemini South telescope. This new instrument is be capable of imaging and recording spectra of young Jupiter-like exoplanets orbiting around nearby stars.

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