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2009A Instrument Availability and Target Accessibility

This page provides best estimates, at the time of the Call for Proposals, of instrument availability and target (RA, dec) restrictions for 2009A.

Instrument Changes

As there are more instruments than the number of available ports on each telescope, instrument swaps will be required. Therefore not all instruments will be available for the entire semester. However, whenever possible instrument swaps will be scheduled to minimize impact on the queue. In other words, instrument swaps will be driven by demand as much as possible and so the final schedule will not be made until after the 2009A programs are known. Nevertheless, it may be the case that certain targets or entire programs will not be feasible once the final schedule is determined, at ITAC or thereafter. If an instrument is requested for less than 6% of the Bands 1+2 time, the Observatory reserves the right to limit the RA range available to programs, or to not schedule the instrument. During classical runs, no instrument changes on the Instrument Support Structure are permitted.


 

Gemini North Instrument Availability and Target Accessibility

  Accessible Restricted** Inaccessible
Declination,
non-LGS
-30d to +73d -37d to -30d,
+73d to +79d
< -37d and > +79d
Declination,
LGS
-22d to +65d -27d to -22d,
+65d to +68d
< -27d and > +68d
Right Ascension,
non-LGS
7h to 22h 22h to 1h,
4h to 7h
1h to 4h
Right Ascension,
LGS
8h to 21h 21h to 0h,
5h to 8h
0h to 5h
Michelle, RA 14h to 24h   0h to 14h
**GMOS MOS programs requiring pre-imaging should not have targets in this region. Programs with targets in this region should not require a large amount of time, or have strict timing or observing constraints.

 

GN Target Accessibility

Figure 1: Target accessibility at Gemini North during semester 2009A. Green regions offer unrestricted access, red regions are inaccessible. Hatched areas indicate the more restricted LGS regions. The yellow region is possible, but restricted. See comments and values in the Table above.



At Gemini North, GMOS-N will remain on its side-looking port and be available throughout the semester. NIRI will remain on its side-looking port until early July, when it is expected to be replaced with GNIRS, and GNIRS commissioned on this port. That is, NIRI is likely to be unavailable in July. NIFS and Michelle share the up-looking port. It is expected that NIFS will be available from February to mid-June, except for a three-week period still to be determined when this port will be used for the initial GNIRS commissioning. It is expected that Michelle will be available only between mid-June and the end of July. Michelle therefore has special restrictions on target availability: Michelle targets should be restricted to 14:00 < RA hrs < 24:00. All instruments are restricted for sky visibility as described in the Table and Figure above.

Observations requiring the Laser Guide Star (LGS) system are restricted by the limitation that the LGS must be used at or above 40 degrees elevation. How this translates into RA and dec restrictions is indicated above. Standard ToO LGS observations are allowed; however target lists are generated for approval by Space Command approximately a week before each LGS run, using only "ready" observations. Therefore, while observations must be defined by the usual phase II deadline, any additions or alterations must be in place by the LGS target preparation dates. We do offer limited LGS observations of Band 1 and 2 ToOs that are triggered less than a week before, or during, an LGS run. The observations must be made during a planned LGS run at the telescope. Also, only two such targets (for all programs) can be observed during any typically week-long LGS run, and only one such target (for all programs) can be observed on any given night. All effort will be made to approve and observe a target within 24 hours, however this cannot be guaranteed, and the observation may occur two or three nights after the trigger is made.

 



 

Gemini South Instrument Availability and Target Accessibility

  Accessible Restricted** Inaccessible
Declination -87d to +22d -89d to -87d,
+22d to +28d
< -89d and > +28d
Right Ascension 7h to 23h 23h to 2h,
5h to 7h
2h to 5h
T-ReCS, RA 9h to 2h   2h to 9h
NICI, RA 6h to 18h   0h to 6h,
18h to 24h
**GMOS MOS programs requiring pre-imaging should not have targets in this region. Programs with targets in this region should not require a large amount of time, or have strict timing or observing constraints.

 

 

GS Target Accessibility

Figure 2: Target accessibility at Gemini South during semester 2009A. Green regions offer unrestricted access, red regions are inaccessible. The yellow region is possible, but restricted. See comments and values in the Table above.

 

 

The Gemini South instrument port situation is very complex in 2009A, with two instruments expected to be commissioned, Flamingos-2 and MCAO/GSAOI. GMOS-S availability will be maximised, especially for dark time, and Phoenix will be kept available to make use of poorer conditions. It is expected that T-ReCS will not be available between February and March (the wet season), and NICI will only be available between February and April. T-ReCS targets should be restricted to 09:00 < RA hrs < 02:00 and NICI targets should be restricted to 6:00 < RA hrs < 18:00. All instruments are restricted for sky visibility as described above.