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Gemini e-newscast #48

The Gemini e-newscast #48 (June 13, 2013) features:

  • Gemini Observations of Comet ISON
  • FLAMINGOS-2 on the Gemini South Telescope
  • 2013B Proposal Review Complete
  • GMOS Mask-Making Software Update
  • Beta Release of Ureka IRAF + Python Distribution
  • Committee Reports Posted

fitsutil for IRAF v2.14

IRAF v2.14 users should download the fitsutil package using the links below:

Announcement of Ureka v1.0beta5

STScI and Gemini are announcing the first public beta release of the Ureka binary packaging installer for common astronomical software (primarily for the UV/Optical/IR community). The goals of the Ureka installer are to:

New MOS mask design software released

A new version of the Gemini MOS Mask Preparation Software (GMMPS) is now available. This version contains significiant changes designed to improve usability and to reduce the time needed to iterate on mask designs.  The slit placement algorithm has also been improved. All users of GMMPS are encouraged to update.

Designing Nod and Shuffle Masks

Selecting or Creating a Band Definition File

The Nod & Shuffle mode and the definition of micro-shuffling and band-shuffling are described on the Nod & Shuffle pages. The terms from those pages will be used in the description below. Also note that Nod and Shuffle masks can only be created for GMOS mask files --- Flamingos-2 does not support N&S masks.

Creating Object Definition Files (ODFs)

Creating Object Definition Files (ODFs)

Once all object priorities and slit angles have been set, you are ready to create mask file(s). This step will allow you to create a minimal ODF for each mask required for the current FITS image. The software has the ability to select objects based on their priority to optimally place the slits in the mask. The following steps outline how to create the mask: 

Editing and Prioritizing

This page contains instructions on editing slit and object properties and assigning priorities to objects. Go directly to:



Loading an Object Table

To load the Object Table, proceed as follows: 

Loading Images into GMMPS

The image of the field should be a reduced (co-added) GMOS image supplied by Gemini, or a similarly reduced image. The image should be a MEF file. More information about MEF files can be found on the data formats page.