GPI

406 stars observed with GPI
Published 1/24/2018 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Franck Marchis
In November 2014 we set out to observe 600 young, nearby stars with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) and the Gemini South telescope. Three years later, the survey has achieved a milestone with more than 400 targets observed. Each frame in this movie shows an image from GPI. The star itself is partially blocked by a mask known as a coronagraph. Together with adaptive optics correcting for turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere, and advanced image processing, we can  see the stellar neighborhood where Jupiter-like exoplanets, brown dwarfs, and circumstellar disks could be present. 406 stars observed with GPI from Franck Marchis on... read more ❯

SETI Alumni: Portrait of Sarah Blunt
Published 5/5/2017 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
Sarah Blunt, REU student class of 2015, is today a full member of the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey. Together with SETI researcher Eric Nielsen and Franck Marchis, she has developed an innovative method to fit the orbits of directly imaged exoplanets. She has published her work in Astronomical Journal and is a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship that will fund her graduate school. Here her story. Every year the SETI Institute hosts several interns who work with our researchers through a Research Experience for Undergraduates (or REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation. We often wonder what... read more ❯

GPI at 2016 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation
Published 7/1/2016 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Katie Morzinski
GPI is here at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference in Edinburgh, Scotland to talk exoplanets and engineering with our colleagues around the world. We have had talks and posters by GPIES team members on topics from AO and instruments to computing and pipelines. This week has also been a great opportunity to meet face-to-face and discuss some of the finer points of GPI technical challenges and plans going forward. Here are some pictures from the week: Bruce gave a great talk on the GPI instrument and GPIES campaign in the instruments session: [caption id="attachment_690" align="alignnone"... read more ❯

GPIES May 2016 Observing Run: Women in Astronomy
Published 5/30/2016 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Katie Morzinski
Hello GPI fans! We are just wrapping up our cloudy, snowy May 2016 GPIES observing run. While the weather wasn't the best, we accomplished what we could in between the clouds. We also enjoyed the fact that this was the first all-woman run that any of the 5 of us had ever been on. It was a celebration of women in astronomy! EDIT: To clarify, for myself, I often spend 4-6 weeks at a time at the telescope, and I am often the ONLY woman there. So it was quite a novel experience for me! Winter in Chile means snow in... read more ❯

Extreme Solar Systems Featured in Online Press Conference
Published 11/30/2015 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Franck Marchis
Announcement from the AAS The American Astronomical Society (AAS) will convene an online press conference on Tuesday, 1 December, featuring exciting new results on exoplanets from Extreme Solar Systems III, a conference taking place from 29 November through 4 December 2015 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Hawaii Island. ExSS III is the third in a series of conferences that began with Extreme Solar Systems in 2007 in Santorini, Greece, and was followed by Extreme Solar Systems II in 2011 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Next week’s conference, like the previous two, will cover all aspects of research on exoplanets.... read more ❯

Thoughts on GPI
Published 10/29/2015 in Franck Marchis Blog Author Franck Marchis
In a major breakthrough for exoplanet discovery and exploration, the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is proving to be one of most powerful and effective instruments ever invented for directly imaging planets in orbit around other stars. An artistic conception of the Jupiter-like exoplanet, 51 Eri b, seen in the near-infrared light that shows the hot layers deep in its atmosphere glowing through clouds. Because of its young age, this young cousin of our own Jupiter is still hot and carries information on the way it was formed 20 million years ago. credits: Danielle Futselaar & Franck Marchis,... read more ❯

What do we know about planet formation?
Published 9/16/2015 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Roman Rafikov
Understanding how planets form in the Universe is one of the main motivations for GPI. Thanks to its advanced design, GPI specializes in finding and studying giant planets that are similar to Jupiter in our solar system. These are the kind of planets whose origin we hope to understand much better after our survey is complete. We know that planets form within protoplanetary disks that orbit young stars, and gas giants need to be fully formed within 3-10 million years... read more ❯

How GPI Works to See Planets
Published 8/6/2015 in Gemini Planet Imager Author S. Mark Ammons
I sometimes compare the challenge of directly detecting a Jupiter orbiting a nearby star to finding a glowing needle in a haystack.  Oh, and by the way, the haystack is on fire. It's about as hard as seeing a candle a foot away from a spotlight (1 million candlepower) at a distance of 100 miles. Why is doing this so difficult?  There are three primary reasons: 1.  We observe through atmospheric turbulence, which blurs our view of the star-planet system and scatters starlight, obscuring the faint planet beneath. 2.  Light obeys a wave property called diffraction, which scatters light from a planet's host star throughout the image, obscuring the planet.  This effect... read more ❯

Debris Disks: Searching for Dust to Find Planets
Published 3/4/2015 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Rahul Patel
No one is ever excited when the topic of "dust" is brought up. Usually dust is a hindrance – something you sweep away during spring-cleaning, or an annoyance because your allergies can’t handle it. But for astronomers, finding dust around another star – i.e., circumstellar dust – is like finding the next piece of an interstellar puzzle. That’s because circumstellar dust holds clues to understanding not only... read more ❯

The Gemini Planet Imager Produces Stunning Observations In Its First Year
Published 1/7/2015 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Franck Marchis
Gemini Observatory Media Advisory For release at the American... read more ❯

I can spell GPI!
Published 11/9/2014 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Jason Wang
I don't normally post about food, but this was too good to pass up. The food they serve at the cafeteria on the summit can sometimes be very interesting. For my breakfast (dinner for people that are awake during the day) today, I had rice with the little alphabet letters you find in alphabet soup commonly.   Naturally, the thing to do when served this is to spell GPI. The 'P' was particularily hard to find in my dinner.   read more ❯

Detour on the Route to Chile
Published 11/8/2014 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Jason Wang
Time for my second GPI observing run! And this one is especially exciting as this run will officially start the GPI Exoplanet Survey. Flying down to observe on GPI can be its own adventure though. The closest city to the Gemini South Telescope is La Serena. Coming from the Bay Area, it takes about a full day to get to La Serena, involving at least two layovers (e.g. Dallas and Santiago), and often it doesn't go exactly at planned. This time, our flight from Dallas to Santiago... read more ❯

Snowed In
Published 9/13/2014 in Gemini Planet Imager Author agreenbaum
This week was the fourth commissioning run for GPI and I was happy to be back at Gemini to help. When we arrived it was a little cloudy, but just as beautiful as I remembered. This week predicted an unfavorable forecast; the first several nights battled cloud cover and high winds, which meant a lot of engineering tests and fewer opportunities to actually look at the sky. Clouds make for some really fantastic sunsets, though.   With a the storm rolling in last night with high winds we were unable to open the dome. We stayed over night with the hope of bright... read more ❯

Gemini Observatory reveals the GPI programs selected for 2014B
Published 6/30/2014 in Gemini Planet Imager Author Franck Marchis
Some news from Gemini Observatory, Gemini Observatory has revealed the list of observing proposals scheduled in 2014B (the second half of 2014)  that will use the GPI instrument. Those programs focused on the search for companions around nearby stars and also stars known to possess a disk and/or a planet by radial velocity. Other groups are using the quality of data provided by GPI to study planets already imaged with previous instruments, such as the HR8799 system and Beta Pic b. Their goal is the study the atmosphere of those planets and also to collect more astrometric positions to refine the orbit... read more ❯

First Observing Run
Published 5/30/2014 in Gemini Planet Imager Author agreenbaum
I recently returned from the third commissioning run for the Gemini Planet Imager. Up until now, I had never been observing. I had never even seen the Milky Way. And as far as firsts go, I hit the jackpot -- my first observing run at Gemini South, commissioning GPI. Up on the mountain for 6 days, sunset to sunrise we busily work to gather light from the sky into GPI. But everyone takes a few moments during the night to step outside and look at the sky with their own eyes -- no one misses the opportunity. I've always lived in a... read more ❯

1 3