June 17, 2024

International Gemini Observatory and Subaru Combine Forces to Discover First Ever Pair of Merging Quasars at Cosmic Dawn

Observations with the Gemini North telescope aid in the discovery of the most distant pair of merging quasars, seen only 900 million years after the Big Bang With the help of the powerful GNIRS instrument on the Gemini North telescope, one half of the International Gemini Observatory, supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation and operated by NSF […]
July 6, 2022
The ultra-faint dwarf galaxy Pegasus V

Amateur Spots Unusual Galaxy: Gemini North Takes Closer Look

On the outer fringes of the Andromeda Galaxy an unusual ultra-faint dwarf galaxy, first spotted by an amateur astronomer, has been observed by the Gemini North telescope on Maunakea. The followup observations reveal the galaxy is a “fossil,” and among the first galaxies to form in the Universe. Read more, in the Gemini Observatory press release. The International Gemini Observatory […]
June 16, 2022
Near Sun object 323P/SOHO

Maunakea Observatories Help Catch a Comet Disintegrating

Using the Subaru telescope on Maunakea, astronomers have discovered a Jupiter-like planet in the Three Maunakea telescopes (Subaru, CFHT and Gemini) played key, complementary parts in capturing the first ever images of a rocky comet (named 323P/SOHO) breaking apart close to the Sun. This helps to explain why so few near-Sun comets are observed. Read Read more, in the Subaru […]
June 16, 2022
NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft captured these views of Uranus (on the left) and Neptune (on the right)

Maunakea Observatories Help Explain the Colors of Uranus and Neptune

Astronomers may now understand why the similar planets Uranus and Neptune are different colors. Using observations with the Gemini North telescope and NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Maunakea, and the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit, researchers developed a single atmospheric model that matches observations of both planets. The model reveals that excess haze on Uranus builds up in the planet’s […]
January 7, 2022
Milky Way illustration

MKOs Combine to Observe the Ruins of an Ancient Star Cluster

Astronomers have found the ruins of an ancient globular cluster in the outskirts of the Milky Way. Using the Canada-France-Hawaii and Gemini North telescopes on Maunakea, in conjunction with the Gaia satellite, they showed that the motions and compositions of stars in an outer-galaxy “stream” mean that it must have originated as a globular star cluster. In fact, this stream […]
July 27, 2021
A collapsing star that is producing two short gamma-ray jets

Gemini North Identifies the Surprising Cause of a “Fizzled” Gamma-Ray Burst

Astronomers using the Event Horizon Telescope (of which two Maunakea observatories are a part) have zoomed into Astronomers have discovered the shortest-ever gamma-ray burst (GRB) caused by the implosion of a massive star. Using the Gemini North telescope on Maunakea, astronomers identified the cause of this 0.6-second flurry of gamma rays as a supernova explosion in a distant galaxy. GRBs […]
March 1, 2021

Farfarout is Indeed Far, Far Out

Thanks to observations with the Subaru and Gemini North telescopes both on Hawaii’s Maunakea, astronomers have confirmed that a faint object discovered in 2018 and nicknamed “Farfarout” is indeed the most distant object yet found in our Solar System. Farfarout was first spotted in January 2018 by the Subaru Telescope and the discoverers could tell it was very far away, […]
February 10, 2021

The Earliest Supermassive Black Hole and Quasar in the Universe

Three Maunakea Observatories, the Gemini, W.M. Keck, and UKIRT observatories have announced the discovery of the most distant known quasar. The quasar, observed just 670 million years after the Big Bang, is 1,000 times brighter than the Milky Way Galaxy. It is powered by the earliest known supermassive black hole, which weighs in at more than 1.6 billion times the […]
December 8, 2020

Blast from the Past!

The enigmatic star CK Vulpeculae, first seen as a bright new star in 1670, was lost for over three centuries. The star was then re-discovered 40 years ago via its surrounding nebular debris, and found to be far more distant than previously thought. This means that the explosive event 350 years ago that caused it to brighten and eject the […]
November 18, 2020

Two Maunakea Telescopes Confirm First Brown Dwarf Discovered by Radio Observations

For the first time, astronomers have combined observations from a large radio telescope (known as LOFAR) in Europe and two telescopes on Maunakea – the IRTF and Gemini – to discover and investigate a cold brown dwarf, or failed star. This is the first such object to be discovered through radio observations — until now, brown dwarfs have always been […]
September 17, 2020

A White Dwarf’s Surprise Planetary Companion

Foretelling one possible (distant!) future for our own Solar System, a giant exoplanet has been discovered orbiting close to a white dwarf star. This discovery shows that it is possible for Jupiter-sized planets to survive their star’s demise and settle into close orbits around the remaining stellar ember, near the habitable zone. Read more, in the Gemini Observatory press release.
August 28, 2020

Rare Encounters Between Cosmic Heavyweights

A combination of three Maunakea observatories (Keck, Subaru and Gemini) has been used by a team of Astronomers to discover several pairs of merging galaxies. In our dynamically evolving Universe, galaxies experience collisions and mergers with other neighbouring galaxies. These rare events can be dramatic, causing the birth of new stars and the rapid feeding of the supermassive black holes […]