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2021A Call for Proposals

, Updated

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2021A semester, 1 February 2021 - 31 July 2021

The table below shows submission deadlines for (i) all Gemini Participants, (ii) the Subaru community under the Gemini/Subaru time exchange, and (iii) the French community under the GRACES collaboration. Multi-participant joint proposals should be submitted by the deadline of the participant country to which the Principal Investigator is affiliated. For more on the Gemini proposal submission and time allocation process, please consult the Phase I page.

Participant Submission Deadline
United States September 30, 2020 at 23:59 (Mountain Standard Time)
Canada October 01, 2020 at 16:00 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Brazil October 02, 2020 at 23:59 (Brasília Time)
Argentina September 30, 2020 at 17:00 (Argentina Time)
Korea October 05, 2020 at 23:59 (Korea Standard Time)
Chile October 02, 2020 at 23:59 (Chile Time)
U. of Hawaii October 01, 2020 at 10:00 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)
Subaru Community September 30, 2020 at 23:59 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)
French Community October 01, 2020 at 23:59 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)

The Call is open to all participants and host institutions : Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Korea, the United States, Chile and the University of Hawaii. US time is open to all astronomers worldwide including those at non-US institutions, although in that case the proposal must explain why U.S. national facilities are needed. The distribution of time across the partners is available in the time distribution table.


New and Notable in 2021A!

The following capabilities and announcements are notable for the 2021A semester. Please see the relevant instrument pages and subsections of the call for proposals for details.

General:

  • Gemini is planning the 2021A semester call for proposal as usual. However significant changes can happen and impact the available observing time and instruments, due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Altair (facility Adaptive Optics system) is currently not working and is under repair. ALTAIR is not available for the 2021A semester.
  • GNIRS (1-5 micron spectrometer) is expected to be off the telescope for about a month in April/May for IFU installation.
  • For users of GeMS/GSAOI, much fainter guide stars can now be selected due to the new natural guide star unit, thus increasing the sky coverage. More details on the magnitude limits can be found on the GSAOI web page.
  • CFHT has requested 7 nights of exchange time for the 2021A semester, so 9 hours available on both Gemini North and Gemini South for the French community, and 15 hours available on both Gemini North and Gemini South for Canada and 10 hours on Gemini North for UH included in the time avaialble for queue).
  • Proposers from the Subaru Community, who are applying for Gemini Time, should also submit their proposals via the Subaru webform by September 8, 2020 12:00 (Noon), Japan Standard Time.
  • The Gemini community is eligible to propose Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) "filler" programs on Subaru in 2021A. See Other Proposal Opportunities for details.
  • Gemini is producing gender statistics to measure and monitor gender equality across the submitted and successful proposals. We kindly ask you to fill the gender field in the investigator details section of the Phase I Tool (PIT) .
  • Remember that Gemini PIT automatically adds the time for baseline calibrations to the total time requested for each target in the proposal. Please check carefully the information provided in the Phase I Submission Guidelines section below.
  • Because of the global pandemic, we are not accepting visitors until further notice, and the "Bring One, Get One" Student Observer Support Program" program remains unavailable.

Visiting Instruments:

  • 'Alopeke and Zorro, the fast low-noise dual-channel and dual-plate-scale imagers with speckle and wide-field modes, will be available for science (subject to demand) as resident visiting instruments at Gemini North and Gemini South, respectively, in 2021A.
  • IGRINS, a high-resolution (R~45000), single-setting, near IR (1.45 - 2.5 microns) echelle spectrometer, will be available for science (subject to demand) as visiting instrument at Gemini South in 2021A.
  • MAROON-X, a high-resolution (R~80,000), optical (500 - 900nm) spectrometer, will be available for science (subject to demand) as a visiting instrument at Gemini North in 2021A.
  • POLISH-2, a high-precision polarimeter will be available for science (subject to demand) as visiting instrument at Gemini North in 2021A.


Summary of 2021A Gemini Capabilities

Gemini North

Targets are generally limited to 4 < RA hours < 1 and -37 < DEC degrees < +90. There are additional constraints as described in the target accessibility and instrument restrictions page.

Facility instruments offered in 2021A, in queue or classical mode, are:

  • NIRI (1-5 micron imager): may not be available 3-3.5 weeks in January/February due to Coldheads refurbishment. As in past semesters, NIRI is NOT available for spectroscopy.

Visiting instruments offered in 2021A (subject to demand) are:

  • 'Alopeke: a dual-channel fast-readout visual-wavelength camera giving simultaneous diffraction-limited images in two filters over a 2.8 arcsec field of view; as well as a wide-field mode which provides simultaneous two-color imaging in standard SDSS filters over a 60" field of view. The scheduling and length of the Alopeke visiting block(s) will be subject to community demand.

  • GRACES: a high-resolution, R~67,500, optical (0.4-1 micron) spectrometer. Scheduled blocks to be determined with CFHT (where the instrument resides), based on demand.

  • POLISH-2: the high-precision visiting polarimeter, will be available for science at Gemini North in 2021A. The instrument is open to the community via collaborative proposals with the PI. If you are interested in obtaining data in the 2021A semester with this instrument, you must contact the PI (Sloane Wiktorowicz - sloane.j.wiktorowicz at aero.org). For more details of the instrument itself, consult the following publications: Wiktorowicz & Matthews 2008, PASP, 120, 1282, Wiktorowicz & Lofi 2015, ApJL, 800, L1. In 2016B, it was found that for stars brighter than B = 6 mag, precision of around 10 parts per million requires about 10 minutes of observing time. However, due to the large intrinsic telescope polarization of 0.4%, accuracy at  the 10 part per million level has not been demonstrated at the time of this call for proposals.

  • MAROON-X: a high-resolution (R~80,000), optical (500 - 900nm) radial velocity (RV) spectrometer will be available for science at Gemini North in 2021A. The instrument is open to the community for general purpose high resolution spectroscopy. Instrument throughput is 11-12% (max, comparable to GRACES) under excellent seeing conditions but currently measured to be worse than expected for median seeing (7.5% max). For details, consult the 'Throughput and Sensitivity' section of the MAROON-X page. The instrument has demonstrated sub m/s on-sky precision for RV measurements of M dwarfs, although the instrument performance is continually being assessed and improved.

  • Visiting instruments are NOT available in Classical mode.

Gemini South

Targets are generally limited to 5 < RA hours < 2 and -90° < dec < +28°. There are additional constraints as described in the target accessibility and instrument restrictions page.

Facility instruments offered in 2021A, in queue or classical mode, are:

  • GMOS South (0.36-1.03 micron imager and spectrometer):available throughout the semester. The R600 grating is available to classical programs only. The GMOS-S detector array is currently suffering from poor charge transfer efficiency on its CCD#1 . This may affect nod-and-shuffle observations and IFU observations. We are working towards resolving this problem, and updates will be posted on the GMOS South web page .

  • GSAOI (0.9-2.4 micron adaptive optics imager) with the GeMS Adaptive Optics system: Due to guide star limitations, investigators must check the availability of Guide Star constellations using the Observing Tool before submitting a proposal. The new natural guide star unit is installed and the limiting magnitudes can be found here. Observations in IQ85 are possible for programs that can use delivered images with full-width half-maximum of ~0.2 arcseconds as opposed to the ≤ 0.1 arcseconds delivered in IQ70 or IQ20 conditions. Proposals requesting IQ85 constraints are encouraged. Observations under non-photometric conditions with 0.1 mag uniform extinction are also possible under very good IQ conditions. It is expected that at least two GSAOI/GeMS blocks of ~7 nights will be scheduled the second part of the 2021A semester. The scheduling and final number of blocks will take into account the demand from the community.

Visiting instruments offered in 2021A (subject to demand) are:

  • Zorro: a dual-channel fast-readout visual-wavelength camera giving simultaneous diffraction-limited images in two filters over a 2.8 arcsec field of view; as well as a wide-field mode which provides simultaneous two-color imaging in standard SDSS filters over a 60" field of view. The scheduling and length of the Zorro visiting block(s) will be subject to community demand.

  • IGRINS, a high-resolution (R~45000), single-setting, near IR (1.45 - 2.5 microns) echelle spectrometer. The scheduling and length of the IGRINS visiting block(s) will be subject to community demand.

  • Visiting instruments are NOT available in Classical mode.


Important Dates for 2021A

The deadline for Phase I submission varies with participant (see the submission deadline Table at the top of this CfP). For successful proposals, both queue and classical, the Phase II submission deadline is 18 of January 2021. Check the 2021A schedule for key dates and events in the proposal process.


Phase I Submission Guidelines for 2021A

Proposals for time on Gemini, and for time on Subaru via the Gemini-Subaru time exchange program, must use the Gemini Phase I Tool (PIT). Latex and Word templates are available to create a pdf attachment which includes the science and technical cases. See the PIT page for installation information and the integration time calculators (available in all of the instrument's pages, with the exception of some visitor instruments) in the proposal. Investigators proposing for POLISH-2 or MAROON-X visiting instrument must use the generic "visitor" instrument option in the PIT resource list, select Gemini North, and then enter POLISH-2 or MAROON-X for the instrument name.

Note that, the time for baseline partner calibrations for the Gemini facility instruments is automatically added to the total time requested for each target in the PIT. Investigators should continue to include the time associated to overheads (acquisition time, readout time, etc) in the total time estimated for each target in the PIT. The ITC output now gives overhead estimates. Alopeke and Zorro PI's should include program time for PSF standards if they need them. See the Observing Section in the PIT help pages for details.


Time Available in 2021A

The time available for each participant and host institution in 2021A is shown on the time distribution page. At Gemini North, 173.3 nights are expected to be available for science. At Gemini South, 161 nights are expected to be available for science.


Subaru Exchange Time

The exchange of time between the Gemini and Subaru communities will continue in 2021A. Gemini and Subaru expect to be able to exchange a minimum of 5 nights in semester 2021A. PIs from the Gemini community are encouraged to propose for observations on Subaru.

Relevant information:

  • PIs in the Gemini community who intend to use the Subaru telescope are asked to apply through the time-exchange program and not through the open use Subaru Call. Regular proposals should be submitted via the normal Gemini Phase I process.

  • Gemini community PIs can propose for Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) queue observations (preferred mode of observation). Requested telescope time for HSC queue observation (except for filler program) should be "multiple" of 1 hour which is equivalent to 0.1 night according to the observatory's policy of 10 hours per night; and should include overheads which can be calculated using HSC overhead and required time calculator. It is also possible to request HSC "classical" time. In the case of "classical", it should be noted that it takes ~30 minutes for changing filters. Subaru can accept small size programs (e.g. 2 - 3 hours) for those proposals requesting time with HSC in queue mode only. For any other instrument, Subaru time must to be requested in integer nights, however for Gemini participants with a small time share, half night allocations may be possible if a suitable program can be found for the other half night. The runs on Subaru will be evenly distributed across dark, grey and bright nights and there will be at least 3 HSC observing runs in February, March and June 2021. 

  • Telescope/instruments downtime: (1) At most 34 nights downtime in total. (1) The availability of HSC will be limited by maintenance work of top unit exchanger (TUE). Please refer to HSC webpage for further information.

  • Please note that LGS-AO is not available in 2021A because of laser upgrade work.

Facility instruments offered in 2021A:

Visiting instruments offered in 2021A (limited to one or two runs):

  • CHARIS: Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph - provides high contrast images of exoplanets, disks, brown dwarfs with SCExAO.

  • SCExAO: Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics - delivers high contrast images of the innermost surrounding of bright sources to CHARIS. The VAMPIRES module in SCExAO is also available for science observations in 2021A.

  • IRD - Infrared Doppler: infrared high-dispersion, high resolution (up to 70,000) fiber-fed spectrometer. IRD provides high spectral resolution echelle spectroscopy and radial velocity measurements from 0.97 to 1.75 um simultaneously combined with AO188. IRD is available only in shared-risk. IRD SSP is started in 2019A – any IRD proposal must clarify how its scientific aim is different from SSP. A new observing mode, REACH (SCExAO+IRD), is available.

  • SWIMS: Simultaneous-color Wide-field Infrared Multi-object Spectrograph - an imager and multi-object spectrograph in the NIR wavelength. SWIMS is planned to be offered in a shared-risk mode from S21A to S22B as a substitute for MOIRCS, though the final decision will be made in October 2020. If SWIMS is unavailable in S21A, Subaru will consider operating MOIRCS instead (depending on the demands for MOIRCS as a backup instrument). SWIMS applicants can request MOIRCS as a backup instrument by clearly specifying the backup plan using MOIRCS in the proposal (15. observing method and technical details section). Note that the scientific goal and observing method of the backup plan must be same as those of the main proposal. Also note that the 'MOIRCS-only' proposal is not accepted.

  • Observing proposals using the visiting instruments must include the relevant instrument PIs as a Co-investigators.


Priority Visitor Observing Mode

In Priority Visitor Observing, a visiting observer comes to the Observatory for a block exceeding their program's time allocation, and elects when to carry out their program within that block. This may be when conditions are within their requirement, better than their requirement or even fail to meet their requirement. If time remains on the program after the observing time is complete, the program carries on in the regular queue with priority given by the TAC-assigned science ranking band. When not executing their own program the visiting observer will execute other Gemini queue observations. PV observing mode is offered as a possibility for band 1 queue programs in 2021A. Investigators wishing to have their program considered for PV observing should indicate their desire to participate in the Technical Design portion of their 2021A queue proposal.


Other Proposal Opportunities in 2021A

Other proposal opportunities are available at Gemini Observatory in 2021A. These include:

  • The Fast Turnaround (FT) Program provides monthly opportunities to submit proposals, with successful programs scheduled for observation starting one month after each proposal deadline. Up to 10% of the time at Gemini North and Gemini South is available for the FT programs.

  • Poor Weather Proposals are solicited for programs that can use poor, but usable, conditions and are executed when nothing in the regular queue is observable. Proposals can be submitted via the normal TAC process (this call) or at any time.

  • For Semester 2021A, the Gemini community is also eligible to propose HyperSuprimeCam (HSC) filler programs on Subaru. Filler programs are executed in poor observing conditions (typically seeing >1.5 arcseconds, and/or poor transparency), up to 35 hours can be requested by a filler proposal. Execution is not guaranteed: observations are made only when there is no other program in the HSC queue. In recent semesters, typically of order 15% of HSC time has gone to filler programs. Applications may be submitted once per semester, the next deadline for filler proposals is October 6, 2020 3:00 am (UT). Proposals must be sent through the Subaru submission system (NOT Gemini), and are considered only by the Subaru TAC. Note that only a short text summary of the program is required, not a full detailed Science Justification.


Remote Eavesdropping

Remote Eavesdropping will be available in 2021A for all queue programs. Investigators will be invited to sign up for eavesdropping via the PI email announcing they have been granted time.


Data Rights, Proprietary periods and Data Distribution

All data taken with the Gemini telescopes are the property of the Gemini Observatory. Principal investigators of Gemini regular programs (Queue/Classical/Poor Weather) have exclusive access to the data for their program for a period of 12 months. After the proprietary period the data are publicly available. See the page Data Rights and Proprietary Periods for more information.

All data, including raw and available processed data, obtained with the Gemini telescope are distributed exclusively through the Gemini Observatory Archive. More information about the data distribution is given here.


Supporting information to the Call for Proposals

Relevant general information related to the applications for time on Gemini Telescopes is presented in the supporting information page. Consult there for the following:

  • Time Allocation Process (National and International Time Allocation Committees)
  • Submitting for time on both telescopes
  • Band 1 Persistence
  • Electronic PIT Submission
  • Joint Proposals
  • Under-utilized Instruments
  • Rapid Response or Target of Opportunity
  • GMOS Mask definitions
  • Poor Weather Programs
  • Exchange Time
  • Target information (guide stars, non-sidereal objects, time-specific observations)
  • Duplicate Observations

Prospective users should also refer to the target and instrument accessibility page, and the instrument pages for detailed and up to date information on instrumentation.


Questions and Answers

All questions concerning proposals, or any other subject, should be made using the Gemini HelpDesk. This web-based system will send the request to your National Gemini Office staff in the first instance who will escalate it to Gemini staff if necessary.

Comments and suggestions on the format and content of this page and supporting pages are welcome, and should be sent to Marie Lemoine-Busserolle.