Gemini Observatory, in cooperation with the National Science Foundation,
will hold a “virtual inauguration” on Aug. 13th across two hemispheres
celebrating the completion of its new Internet pathway between the
Observatory’s globally separated twin telescopes. Five years in the making,
the high-speed digital link places Gemini well on the path to becoming the
world’s first global “cyber observatory.”

Scientists, educators and local government dignitaries across two
continents will join in celebrating the latest step toward achieving Gemini’
s “cyber observatory” goal through a real-time, audio-visual link from four
international locations. Officials will participate from the twin Gemini
telescopes in Hilo, Hawaii and La Serena, Chile; the National Science
Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Va.; and Florida International University
(FIU) in Miami, Fla. An innovative Gemini StarTeachers Exchange Program
between the Sister Cities of Hilo and La Serena will also be announced.

The new Gemini Internet connection will eventually allow astronomers
throughout the seven-country Gemini partnership to participate in live-time
remote viewing on Gemini’s eight-meter telescopes, which provide worldwide
access to the entire celestial sphere. The link was enabled with funding
and support from NSF (the executive agency for the Gemini partnership);
AMPATH, an FIU Internet portal to South American research and educational
institutions; and Internet2, a university research and development Internet


  • Wayne Van Citters and Tom Greene, NSF
  • Jim Kennedy and Matt Mountain, Gemini Observatory
  • Modesto Maidique, FIU President
  • Malcolm Smith, CTIO/AURA
  • Mayors of Big Island, Hawaii, and La Serena, Chile
  • Other participants to be announced


Virtual Inauguration of Gemini’s new Internet connection and announcement
of the Gemini StarTeachers Exchange Program


Tuesday August 13, 2002, 3:00 p.m. EDT


Gemini offices in Hilo, Hawaii and La Serena, Chile (CTIO); the National
Science Foundation (NSF) in Arlington, Va.; and Florida International
University (FIU) in Miami, Fla.

For more information contact:

Peter Michaud, Gemini Observatory
(808) 974-2510

Amber Jones, NSF
(703) 292-8070

Press Releases: (URL’s will become active at 4:00 p.m. EDT on August 13,