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First evidence of rocky planet formation in Tatooine system

A disc of rocky debris from a disrupted planetesimal surrounds white dwarf plus brown dwarf binary star. The white dwarf is the burned-out core of a star that was probably similar to the Sun, the brown dwarf is only ~60 times heavier than Jupiter, and the two stars go around each other in only a bit over two hours. Credit: Mark Garlick, UCL, University of Warwick and University of Sheffield.

Base Facility Operations on Two Hemispheres!

Gemini South staff Javier Fuentes and Joy Chavez conduct remote observations from the control room in La Serena, Chile.

On February 17th Gemini reached another significant milestone with the celebration of the official handover to Base Facility Operations (BFO) at Gemini South. It took more than 2 years to complete this important step and involved all departments from Gemini South.

Gemini North February Laser Guide Star run cancelled, LGS unavailable in semester 17B.

The Gemini North laser system has suffered a significant set back with a hardware and optics fault. Recovery of the system is unlikely and priority will go to commissioning the South Toptica laser, followed by the North Toptica laser. The February 2017 North LGS run is cancelled, and LGS will not be offered for semester 2017B regular programs at Gemini North. The queue coordinators are identifying LGS programs that can get useful science using a natural guide star or very good (IQ20) seeing conditions.

RFP: Mauna Kea Chilled Water Renovation Project

Question 1: Would you happen to have the make and model of the existing equipment for the MK Chilled Water Renovation?

Answer: See Attachments below

a) MK Existing CH-2 Installation Manual
b) MK Existing CH-2 Operations Manual

Question 2: Do we leave any reclaimed R-22 refrigerant in your possession?

Gemini Explores Fading Active Galactic Nuclei ID'd by Galaxy Zoo

Figure 1: Minimum ionizing luminosity of extended AGN-ionized clouds along the projected radius. These Hubble Space Telescope data show a luminosity drop in the last 20,000 years before our direct view of the nucleus, characteristic for all AGN of this study.

Gemini North welcomes Band 4 proposals using GNIRS or NIRI in poor weather conditions

Gemini-North is in need of poor weather programs that can take CC80 or worse and/or IQ Any using NIRI or GNIRS ONLY. If you have an idea for a program that can take such conditions, please see the Poor Weather Proposal Process web page for more information on applying for Band 4 time.

Exposure times

The following five tables provide various exposure time limits. Constraints are due to a number of factors, more than one of which may need to be considered for a given NIRI configuration:

Table 1: Minimum Recommended Exposure Times (sec)

Staff List

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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NIRI (Near InfraRed Imager and spectrograph) - Gemini North

Capability: 1-5 micron wavelength seeing-limited, Natural Guide Star (NGS) Adaptive Optics (AO), or Laser Guide Star (LGS) AO imaging

NIRI is only available for queue, priority visitor, and classical imaging observations due to problems with the focal plane mask and beam splitter mechanisms. The NIRI spectroscopy pages are provided for archival data reduction.  

NIRI Optomechanical Layout

NIRI is an near-IR imager/spectrometer operating over the 1 to 5um wavelength regime. The instrument is cryogenic and is cooled by two Leybold closed-cycle cooler units to an IR array operating temperature of around 30-35K. All optical elements inside the NIRI cryostat are cooled and, in general, will reach operating temperatures of around 60 to 80K. Since NIRI is cryogenic, the cryostat is pumped and cryo-cooled to a pressure better than 10^-5 torr.