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Information about Michelle image quality and temperature work

Michelle images have increasingly been found to suffer from elongation along the chop direction. In past semesters only a small fraction of images were affected, but by semester 2007B almost all observations show the elongation. Resources are being directed towards diagnosing and fixing this potentially complex problem and users will be kept informed of our progress. Michelle's PSF characteristics are described in more detail here, but please do not hesitate to file a helpdesk request for more specific advice on how your particular planned or potential Michelle observations may be affected. The Michelle instrument scientist, Kevin Volk (kvolk@gemini.edu), is willing to assist with reduction of existing data.

Late in 2007, the compressor for Michelle's Joule-Thompson cooler failed unexpectedly and had to be replaced. When the instrument was cooled down after this work, it was found that the detector temperature was significantly higher than usual and the array could not be used without risk of damage. Michelle is currently undergoing engineering work to improve the thermal conduction between the cold finger and the array. PIs of affected classical programmes have been informed and the telescope schedule will be updated once we have more information.