Gemini e-Newscast #36 – March 14, 2012

by xzhang

1. FLAMINGOS-2 lens failure

The large collimator lens of FLAMINGOS-2 has cracked and requires replacement. Replacement lenses have been ordered, and we are consulting with experts inside and outside of Gemini to improve the lens holder design. We are also analyzing the root cause of the lens failure. FLAMINGOS-2 is not available for regular use during 2012B. Nonetheless, we are working toward making the instrument available to the science community as soon as possible. If the initial schedule holds, we anticipate expanding the System Verification phase during 2012B to maximize the earliest opportunities for science. Regular updates will be posted at the FLAMINGOS-2 status and availability page

2. New Phase I Tool for 2012B proposals

The entirely new Phase I Tool (PIT) is in place for semester 2012B proposal submissions. The Science Justification and several other elements are now uploaded as PDF attachments. Give yourself some time to become familiar with the new PIT, and note the partner deadlines, some of which are as early as March 29. More information including links to video tutorials are available at

3. 2012 Gemini Science and User Meeting July 17-20 2012

Plan to attend the 2012 Gemini Science and User Meeting, to be held July 17-20 in San Francisco, California. Registration is now open. The Scientific Organizing Committee has arranged a great slate of invited speakers to cover current and future science with Gemini. There will be a day of dedicated workshop sessions for the international community to define plans for both the short- and long-term future instrumentation. Submit your abstract by April 27. More information is available at, or from

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