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Announcement of Opportunity:
Astronomical PR Imaging

The Gemini Observatory is soliciting a contracting entity to prepare and produce astronomical images obtained with the Gemini Observatory telescopes in Hawaii and Chile. It is expected that the successful proposal will address all of the following targets and deliverables:

Statement of work:

The following describes the primary areas of work to be performed as part of a contract to produce a total of 5 “public relations” images with the Gemini telescopes during the 12-month period starting with the execution of this contract:

1) Training and staff consultation visit to Gemini Headquarters in Hilo Hawaii; During this 10-day visit (in August 2004) the following objectives will be realized:

  • a) Establish a relationship with Gemini North scientific and PIO staff (present staff talk, discuss proposals and other interactions as necessary),
  • b) Sit in on an observing sessions, determine how to observe remotely from contractors location,
  • c) Learn of capabilities and how to use at least one optical and one infrared instrument at Gemini North,
  • d) Train and practice data reduction for Gemini North instrumentation
  • e) Train in proposal process and develop observation proposal for submission of initial contract image.

2) Production of 4 images/year including the following steps/procedures/products:

  • a) Work with Gemini staff to identify appropriate targets,
  • b) Write an observing proposal for each semester to request observations of two objects. Technical details will be based upon aesthetic needs,
  • c) Request Director Discretionary time approximately once a year for time-dependent events,
  • d) For each observation the following will be executed:
    • i) Complete observations remotely as scheduled,
    • ii) Complete data reduction,
    • iii) Assemble color composite with Photoshop,
    • iv) Write short and long captions for the image for associated press release,
    • v) Generate a web page which contains the following: Downloadable images of varying resolution, captions, "fast facts" (such as object name, celestial coordinates, date(s) of observations, filters and exposure times, etc.), original (black and white) images from which the color composite was assembled, supplemental information about the object (including links to other images and web pages).

3) Training and staff consultation visit to Gemini Headquarters in Chile (in 2005); During this 5-day visit the following objectives will be realized:

  • a) Establish a relationship with Gemini South staff (present staff talk, discuss proposals and other interactions as necessary),
  • b) Sit in on an observing sessions, determine how to observe remotely,
  • c) Learn of capabilities and how to use primary Gemini South imaging instrumentation,
  • d) Train and practice data reduction for Gemini South instrumentation.

All proposals should exclude travel expenses and provide an estimate of total hours necessary to realize the above objectives multiplied by an hourly rate to provide an accurate budget estimate in US Dollars. Background experience (and samples of) related projects should be provided.

All submissions are due by July 21st, 2004 and will only be accepted via e-mail to: pmichaud@gemini .edu


Background Information on Gemini Observatory

The Gemini Observatory is an international collaboration that has built two identical 8-meter telescopes. The Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope is located on Mauna Kea, Hawai`i (Gemini North) and the Gemini South telescope is located on Cerro Pachón in central Chile (Gemini South), and hence provide full coverage of both hemispheres of the sky. Both telescopes incorporate new technologies that allow large, relatively thin mirrors under active control to collect and focus both optical and infrared radiation from space.

The Gemini Observatory provides the astronomical communities in each partner country with state-of-the-art astronomical facilities that allocate observing time in proportion to each country's contribution. In addition to financial support, each country also contributes significant scientific and technical resources. The national research agencies that form the Gemini partnership include: the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), the Canadian National Research Council (NRC), the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación Cientifica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Argentinean Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) and the Brazilian Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). The Observatory is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the NSF. The NSF also serves as the executive agency for the international partnership.