The Australian National University

Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI)


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The Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI) is the near-infrared camera that will be used with the Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO) system on the Gemini South 8 m diameter telescope. The MCAO science case has been elaborated at the MCAO Science Workshop in Santa Cruz and at the MCAO Preliminary Design Review. Many of these science drivers require imaging observations that will be obtained with GSAOI. In a very real sense, GSAOI science is MCAO science.

GSAOI will address the following diverse list of science problems that extends from studies of nearby low mass stars to studies of distant forming galaxies:

starLow mass stellar and substellar mass functions in young star-forming regions such as the Orion Nebula Cluster
starStellar population variations in star-forming regions such as Ophiuchius, Corona Australis, and Chamaeleon
starOpen cluster mass functions to the bottom of the hydrogen-burning sequence and the end of the white dwarf cooling sequence to provide independent age estimates of the Galactic disk
starMass functions in nearby old globular clusters over a range of metallicities
starStellar populations of super-star cluster analogs in the Galaxy and Magellanic Clouds such as NGC 3603 and 30 Doradus
starMissing mass in Magellanic Cloud planetary nebulae
starEvolution of dwarf irregular versus elliptical galaxies in different environments
starEarly chemical histories of nearby galaxy spheroids
starMeasurement of the expansion of the Universe out to 60 Mpc using red supergiant stars
starMeasuring the bulk motion of galaxies out to 6000 km/s with surface brightness fluctuations.
starEvolution of galaxies in clusters
starThe formation of the disks of disk galaxies
starExploration of dark energy in the Universe via high redshift supernovae