Seven ultrasharp, large-field images from the instrument's first science observations released Wednesday demonstrate its remarkable discovery potential, they said.
The telescope at the Gemini Observatory in La Silla, Chile, uses a revolutionary new adaptive optics system combining multiple lasers and deformable mirrors to remove atmospheric distortions -- blurriness -- from ground-based images.
It not only allows the telescope to capture more of the sky in a single shot but also forms razor-sharp images uniformly across the entire field, from top-to-bottom and edge-to-edge, astronomers said.
"What we have seen so far signals an incredible capability that leaps ahead of anything in space or on the ground -- and it will for some time," said Robert Blum, deputy director of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.
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