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Gemini Observatory events at the Winter AAS

Gemini Observatory and its partners will have many events at the 233rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS), hosted this year in Seattle, Washington during 6–10 January 2019:

Visit the Gemini Observatory Booth in the Exhibit Hall at any time!

The Gemini Booth will be situated on the NSF carpet, between the National Solar Observatory and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope booths. Come to:

  • Get the freshest news about the Gemini Observatory
  • Get personal support for a proposal, an active program and/or Gemini data reduction
  • Get your own deck of the Gemini Card Game!
  • Look at our job opportunities
  • And more...

Gemini Observatory Open House

Tuesday January 8, 2019:  5:30 pm-6:30 pm, Washington State Convention Center, Room 305

Gemini Observatory invites the community to learn about the latest opportunities for a broad range of science with Gemini’s twin 8.1 m telescopes in Chile and Hawai’i. Gemini’s agile queue operations, broad suite of optical/infrared facility and visiting instruments, and diverse proposal opportunities support a variety on-going programs, including time-domain astronomy, high-spatial and high-spectral resolution studies, exoplanets, and extragalactic astronomy. We discuss progress on the Observatory’s facility instruments under development: GHOST, a high-throughput, high-spectral resolution (R~50-75,000) spectrograph with continuous coverage at 0.36-0.95 microns; and SCORPIO, an 8-channel optical/IR imager and spectrograph with simultaneous coverage from 0.38-2.5 microns. In addition, we describe our visiting instruments program and opportunities for the community to engage with Gemini development efforts. In preparation for the Astro2020 decadal survey, we seek feedback on our long-range strategic plan and roadmap. We are pleased to announce a major new award from the NSF to fund two central elements of our long-range strategic plan: a state-of-the-art wide-field AO system for Gemini North, and improvements to the Observatory’s ability to respond rapidly to transient events in the time-domain era and quickly deliver science-ready data to our users. These are exciting times at Gemini.

Time-Domain Follow-up Observations with Las Cumbres Observatory

Monday January 7, 2019:  6:30 pm-8:00 pm, Washington State Convention Center, Room 310

Since 2017, the NSF’s Mid-Scale Innovations Program has made the resources of Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO) available to the US astronomical community. The goals of LCO’s program are two-fold: to allow US astronomers to gain experience coordinating follow-up observing programs and to promote the building of infrastructure (software, communication protocols) that are needed to maximize the return from time-domain surveys. LCO, with its global network of telescopes dedicated to follow-up observations of time-variable phenomena, is an excellent vehicle for achieving these goals. Present surveys (e.g. ASAS-SN, ZTF, TESS) already provide a wealth of targets for follow-up observations. The flood of data will rise when the LSST begins surveying the sky in 2022. The impact of these surveys will be diminished if discoveries are not promptly supported with complementary observations from other facilities.This splinter meeting will present science highlights from the first two years of the NSF/LCO “Open Access” program. The meeting is an opportunity for current and potential LCO users to connect with LCO scientists. We will present an overview of the LCO network with an emphasis on recent improvements and imminent developments. Members of LCO’s key project teams will discuss how they interact with the network and describe the software tools that they have developed to manage their programs. We will report on our effort to provide the time-domain astronomy community with a standard “toolkit” for creating Target & Observation Management (TOM) software. Finally, we will describe a joint initiative between LCO, SOAR, Gemini and NOAO to build a coordinated network of facilities, called AEON, optimized for time-domain astronomy.

NOAO US National Gemini Office (US NGO) Mini-Workshop: The Resurgence of High-Resolution Spectroscopy at Gemini

Tuesday January 8, 2019:  2:00 pm-3:30 pm, Washington State Convention Center, Room 305


  • Verne Smith (NOAO): Overview of science results from the high-resolution spectrographs offered at Gemini.
  • Jeff Carlin (LSST): Science from the optical spectrograph GRACES (Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph).
  • Hwihyun Kim (Gemini): Science with the 1.5-2.5 micron near-infrared spectrograph IGRINS (Immersion Grating Infrared Spectrometer), a visitor instrument that was recently scheduled at Gemini South.
  • Jacob Bean (University of Chicago): Overview of the high-precision radial velocity spectrograph MAROON-X, which should be available at Gemini North in 2019.
  • Steve Margheim (Gemini): Status and overview of the future Gemini facility optical spectrograph GHOST (Gemini High Resolution Optical SpecTrograph).

Further details can be found here.

The Future of Ground-Based High-Contrast Imaging

Wednesday January 9, 2019:  10:00 am-11:30 am, Washington State Convention Center, Room 304

Organizer(s): Quinn Konopacky

In the past decade, advances in adaptive optics instrumentation have led to a rapid increase in the number of high-contrast imaging systems on large, ground-based telescopes. These systems have generated exciting new discoveries about extrasolar gas giant planets and circumstellar disks. In the 2020s, the lessons learned from these instruments will allow for technological advances that will open up a new suite of scientific possibilities. These possibilities include not only access to new populations of exoplanets, but also to other high contrast regimes such as probing the inner regions of local AGN hosts. This splinter meeting will offer a series of presentations on potential science cases for the next generation of high-contrast imaging systems, including upgraded instruments for 8-10 meter class facilities and plans for the future 20-30 meter class telescopes. Time will be reserved for discussion of additional science opportunities with these instruments. Broad participation from the community is welcome and encouraged.

Gemini Observatory Workshop: Science with SCORPIO on Gemini

Wednesday January 9, 2019:  2:00 pm-3:30 pm, Washington State Convention Center, Room 310

SCORPIO is envisioned as a workhorse instrument for the Gemini Observatory, capable of wide-band medium-resolution spectroscopy and multi-band imaging covering a broad spectral range, combined with high time resolution. These capabilities are very well suited for efficiently characterizing a large variety of transient and static sources detected by large-scale surveys, in particular by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Spectral coverage from the optical to the near-infrared, in imaging and spectroscopy, is crucial for a wide range of science, from primitive solar system bodies, to stellar explosions, to accreting compact objects, to high-redshift sources. The high time resolution allows for studying fast changing phenomena, something that has been largely unexplored at Gemini sensitivities. In this Splinter Meeting we will give a status report of the instrument, which is currently in the Critical Design Stage; give an overview of the main science drivers of the instrument; and discuss the broad range of scientific applications of SCORPIO.

List of Talks and Posters

Monday, 7 Jan


ID 1st author Title
140.38 Mullen, Wyatt Speckle evolution and post-processing contrast improvements with short exposure imaging on the Gemini Planet Imager
170.01 Chavez, Joy Past, Present, and Future Gemini/GSAOI zeropoint calibrations
170.02 Peck, Alison Visiting Instruments at Gemini
170.06 Veach, Todd SCORPIO Instrument Design and Operational Modes
144.26 McLain, Shawn Stellar populations in the tidal debris of NGC 520
144.31 Hunt, Qiana Find the Quenching Mechanism of a z ~ 0.7 Post-Starburst Galaxy
145.07 Cox, Isabella Reduction and Analysis of GMOS Spectroscopy for Herschel Sources in CANDELS
145.31 Roediger, Joel Seeing Red: Spectroscopy of Galactic Globular Clusters from 6500 Å to 1 µm
140.34 Nguyen, Meiji Baade’s Window: An astrometric calibration field for high-contrast imaging of exoplanets
163.04 Shirman, Nina Unveiling the Circumstellar Regions of Thermally Pulsing Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars with the Gemini Planet Imager
163.14 Wolf, Schuyler Dust properties of the HIP 79977 Debris Disk


ID Time 1st author Title
104.01 10:00-10:10am Macintosh, Bruce The Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey: Status and Results
105.04 10:40-10:50am Jensen-Clem, Rebecca The near-infrared linear polarization of directly imaged exoplanets and brown dwarf companions to main sequence stars
104.07 11:00-11:10am Gerard, Benjamin The Future of Exoplanet Imaging: the Fast Atmospheric Self-Coherent Camera Technique
104.75 11:10-11:20am Shugart, Alysha Diversity and inclusion in observatory operations: Advocating for and implementing positive change
114.07 11:20-11:30am Ammons, Stephen Independent Masses for the Luhman 16AB Binary Brown Dwarf System from Gemini GEMS

Tuesday, 8 Jan


ID 1st author Title
242.03 Ridgway, Susan GeMS/GSAOI near-infrared imaging of z~0.3 BL Lacs
242.07 Sameer, Sameer Investigations of transforming BAL quasars
242.24 Runnoe, Jessie A Survey of Kiloparsec-scale Outflows in Nearby Unobscured Quasars
242.26 Hinkle, Jason Ionization Mechanisms in Quasar Outflows
242.40 Choi, Hyunseop Discovery of a remarkably powerful broad absorption line quasar outflow in SDSS J1352+4239
243.38 Matthews, Brandon Gemini Near Infrared Spectrograph Distant Quasar Survey: The First Year
245.21 Melnick, David Developing Novel Algorithms to Recover Faint Circumstellar Shell Structures from ADI data
246.01 Seth, Anil The Demographics of Central Massive Black Holes in Low-Mass Early-Type Galaxies
250.07 Miller, Bryan The GeMS/GSAOI Galactic Globular Cluster Survey (G4CS)
259.08 Allen, Michaela Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 --- The Coldest Discoveries
259.14 Ward-Duong, Kimberly Gemini Planet Imager Spectroscopy of the Extremely Red Brown Dwarf Companion HD206893 B
258.16 Howell, Dale The Global Supernova Project


ID Time 1st author Title
218.03 10:20-10:30am Kalas, Paul The International Beta Pic b Transit Campaign
223.01 2:00-2:10pm Panwar, Vatsal The GEMINI/GMOS optical transmission spectral survey of close-in gas giant exoplanets
226.01 2:00-2:10pm Wang, Jason Dynamical Constraints on the HR 8799 Planets with GPI
223.03 2:30-2:40pm Pearson, Kyle Constraints on the Na abundance of XO-2 b using ground-based mutli-object spectroscopy
238.04 2:40-2:50pm Robberto, Massimo An Overview of SCORPIO, the Gemini-South Facility Instrument for LSST Follow-Up

Wednesday, 9 Jan


ID 1st author Title
355.14 Wilde, Matthew CGM2: COS+Gemini Mapping of the Circumgalatcic Medium
356.09 Steele, Rochelle Surveying for void galaxies with new photometric methods


ID Time 1st author Title
317.02D 10:10-10:30am Ren, Bin Detection and Characterization of Circumstellar Disks in Scattered Light with Space- and Ground-based Telescopes
306.04 10:50-11:00am Crenshaw, D. Michael Determining the Kinematics of Ionized and Molecular Gas in Nearby Active Galaxies with the Gemini Near Infrared Field Spectrometer (NIFS)
330.02D 2:10-2:30pm  Roberts, Caroline The Supermassive Black Hole Mass of NGC 4151 from Stellar Dynamical Modeling
333.02D 2:10-2:30pm Kumari, Nimisha Spatially-resolved studies of nearby star-forming galaxies
330.03D 2:30-2:50pm Gnilka, Crystal Feeding vs Feedback in the Narrow Line Region: the Morphology and Kinematics of Mrk 3
340.05 3:00-3:10pm Esposito, Thomas 28 Debris Disks Resolved on Solar System Scales with the Gemini Planet Imager

Thursday, 10 Jan


ID 1st author Title
455.03 Andersen, Morten The Gemini Fast Turnaround program
452.01 Smith, Adam Gemini Observatory Cloud Cameras: Usage in Remote Operations and Public Outreach
418.02 Heinze, Aren Large Surveys Find Extreme Objects: A Case Study from the ATLAS Variable Star Catalog


ID Time 1st author Title
418.09 11:20-11:30am Van Der Horst, Alexander Science with SCORPIO on Gemini in the 2020s
436.03 2:20-2:30pm Mazoyer, Johan The surprising scattering phase function of the HR 4796 debris disk
436.05 2:50-3:00pm Salyk, Colette A high resolution mid-infrared survey of water emission from protoplanetary disks
423.08 3:10-3:20pm Howell, Steve Resolving the TESS Planet Population with High Resolution Imaging


Your contribution presents Gemini related work and it is not listed here? Please send details to

Gemini Observatory Participants