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.
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments