PHOENIX — An Arizona State University professor has been developing a tool for analyzing planets and stars for nearly 10 years, and the school announced Tuesday the instrument is up and running.
The instrument is called Gemini Planet Imager (GPI). It was designed to analyze distant planets that are near bright stars. The tool is being used on one of the world’s biggest telescopes, the 8-meter-long Gemini South telescope in Chile.
Jennifer Patience, an astrophysicist and associate professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at ASU, has been working with a GPI team for almost 10 years. Recently, she and her students worked with the GPI team to read the instrument’s initial data so to help calibrate the device and ensure its best performance.
The GPI, which is about the size of a small car, can see planets a 1,000,000 times fainter than their neighboring stars, which helps researchers study them in great detail. The instrument began taking observations in November 2013.
The instrument took some test images of Jupiter’s moon Europa, and the GPI team released the photos Tuesday at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C.
“The early science images from GPI are spectacular and are an indication of the discoveries to come from the planet search survey that will commence this year,” Patience said. “The ability to both image planets and investigate their atmospheres with a spectrum from GPI is a very exciting combination.”
In 2014, the GPI team will begin looking at 600 young stars to see what giant planets orbit them.
Click here to find out more about the GPI.
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon