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Semester 2012B Call For Proposals

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2012B semester, 1 August 2012 - 31 January 2013. The Call is open to all partners. The distribution of time across the partners is shown in the time distribution Table.

The submission deadline is THURSDAY/FRIDAY MARCH 29/30 2012 (the exact deadline varies with partner). Multi-partner joint proposals should be submitted by the deadline of the partner country to which the Principal Investigator is affiliated.

The purpose of this page is to highlight the most relevant information for the Call. Significant additional information is contained on supporting pages; users should follow the links for more information. If hardcopy is preferred, the primary pages are available as a single pdf document.


Highlights for 2012B


General
Relevant milestones for 2012B can be found in the 2012B schedule. The deadline for Phase I submission is March 29 - 30 2012 (depending on partner) (Poor weather and Director's Discretionary Time proposals are accepted at any time via the Phase I Tool), and for successful proposals the Phase II submission deadline is July 16 2012. Both queue and classical Phase IIs must be submitted by this deadline.
Target accessibility limits will be imposed, so as not to bias the queue at the start or end of the semester. The target accessibility limits for 2012B are, for Gemini North 17 < RA < 13.5 and -37 < dec < +90, and for Gemini South 16 < RA < 12 and -90 < dec < +28. There are additional constraints if a program requires unrestricted access (e.g. MOS observations requiring pre-imaging, long observations or observations with strict constraints). LGS programs and GNIRS programs at Gemini North also have additional constraints.
An entirely new and improved Phase I Tool (PIT) has been released for 2012B; see the PIT page for downloads and the help pages for the new PIT for further information. With the new PIT, a single proposal may now request time from either or both of Gemini North and Gemini South. Hence a single proposal, with the same science goal, can request any combination of the instruments available at either telescope.
Gemini North
It is expected that 86.5% of the semester will be available for science. This amounts to 159 nights distributed across the partnership. A list of instruments and capabilities is given below.
GMOS-N has been outfitted with e2V deep depletion detectors. These CCDs have improved sensitivity in the blue and the red compared to the original detectors, and extend the sensitivity to 0.98 µm (where the QE is 20%). The fringing with these detectors is also much improved. Z and Y imaging filters are available for GMOS-N in 2012B.
All GNIRS applicants should take account of the Notes on the revised GNIRS ITC page when determining how much time their programs require. Additional MKO-system Y, J and K filters will be available in 2012B for imaging using the GNIRS acquisition "keyhole", although infrared imaging proposals should continue to request NIRI where possible.
A new "Super seeing" LGS + PWFS1 capability is available in shared-risk mode in 2012B with NIRI, NIFS and GNIRS, for up to 100 hours of time (within the LGS limit of 200 hours). Observing conditions are constrained to CC=50% IQ=70%, and the target elevation must be ≥ 40 degrees. PWFS1 provides tip/tilt/focus correction, improving the delivered image quality from effectively IQ70 to IQ20. The PWFS1 patrol field is 3.5' - 6.5' from base, and guide stars are limited to R < 14. There are unresolved flexure issues, and targets must be bright enough to acquire directly. This limits targets to approximately brighter than 20th magnitude for GNIRS and NIFS spectroscopy, and 22nd magnitude for NIRI imaging. Prospective users should refer to the LGS + PWFS1 page for more information.
Gemini South
It is expected that 81% of the semester will be available for science. This amounts to 149 nights, which do not include NICI campaign science, as the campaign is expected to be completed in 2012A. These nights do include 20 nights of System Verification for FLAMINGOS-2 and GSAOI. The final distribution of nights across the partnership is shown on the time distribution page. A list of instruments and capabilities is given below.
At Gemini South in Semester 2012B, the commissioning of FLAMINGOS-2 and GSAOI will take highest priority. The commissioning may impact queue and classical run scheduling. A separate Call will be made for system verification proposals for FLAMINGOS-2 and GSAOI.
Only GMOS-South and NICI are offered in this Call, due to the demand on instrument ports, and the ongoing instrument commissioning. Given the available instrument suite, bright-time programs with relaxed observing condition constraints (e.g., SB Any, CC 70, IQ 85) are encouraged.
The schedule for the repair of the FLAMINGOS-2 lens is too uncertain to offer FLAMINGOS-2 in this Call. We expect the instrument to be back on the telescope mid-Semester-2012B. Commissioning and System Verification will be carried out in the second half of 2012B.
T-ReCS is not available for new proposals in this call. The instrument will continue to occupy the up-looking port in August and September 2012 until the return of GSAOI, which requires the use of the same port. T-ReCS will be available for Directors Discretionary proposals during August and September 2012. During this time T-ReCS will be used to carry out existing programmes which were badly affected by technical issues in 2011B.
The NICI campaign will be completed in Semester 2012A, therefore PIs may now apply to make observations of the previously-restricted Campaign targets. However, TACs will avoid granting time to observations which approximate the observing mode and depth achieved by the Campaign, unless the science case specifically justifies why these new observations are necessary. All Campaign observations taken before May 2011 will become publicly available via the GSA on 24-November 2012.
Keck and Subaru Exchange
No Gemini-Keck exchange time is offered for Semester 2012B.
4 to 8 classical nights are available on Subaru in Semester 2012B . Repair work due to the cooling system incident is ongoing, impacting some instruments. Availability is as follows:
  • COMICS (mid-infrared camera and spectrograph) available throughout 12B without the auto-guider, available from September 2012 only if the guider is required, in shared-risk mode.
  • FMOS (near-infrared fiber-fed multi-object spectrograph) available on a shared-risk basis for both high- and low-resolution mode with IRS1 and IRS2.
  • FOCAS (optical camera and spectrograph) available on a shared-risk basis from October 2012.
  • HDS (optical high dispersion spectrograph) is available.
  • IRCS (infrared camera and spectrograph, with Natural and Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics capability) is available.
  • MOIRCS (near-infrared imager and multi-object spectrograph) available throughout 12B without the auto-guider, available from September 2012 only if the guider is required, in shared-risk mode. Spectroscopy with MOIRCS requires the autoguider.
  • Suprime-Cam (wide field optical imager) available, in shared-risk mode.

Subaru is expected to have extensive downtime in the 12B semester for Hyper Suprime Cam commissioning, but the dates are yet to be determined. Therefore proposers must be as flexible as possible with their scheduling requirements. Explicit windows are not set for 2012B. Runs will be scheduled around the shutdown, such that the number of dark, gray and bright nights is one-third of the total number of nights allocated. The minimum request is 1 night - partial nights cannot be supported. Proposals should be submitted via the normal Gemini process. [more information]


Additional Information

Details of the capabilities available at each Gemini telescope are given below. Please see the page of supporting information for additional general information.


Gemini North: Facilities

  • All instruments are offered in queue and classical mode, except for Laser Guide Star AO which is queue mode only.
  • Facility instruments:
    • GMOS North - 0.36-0.98 micron imager and spectrograph: imaging and long-slit, multi-object and integral field spectroscopy. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately R=26 for imaging and R=21-23 for spectroscopy.
    • GNIRS - 1-5 micron spectrograph: fed with the direct or AO-corrected beam. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately K=18.5 to K=14.5 depending on the resolution used. Imaging with GNIRS is also possible, although the field of view and filter selection is limited, and the optics do not give diffraction-limited image quality. GNIRS will be offline for maintenance and upgrade work in 2012, and will only be available for the last two months of the semester. Targets should therefore be limited to 0 < RA < 13.5.
    • Michelle - 7-26 micron spectrograph and imager: imaging and R=100-3000 and echelle spectroscopy. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately N=11 for imaging and N=6-9 for spectroscopy. Michelle will most likely only be available for one or two short periods during the semester, depending on demand. Neither imaging polarimetry nor spectropolarimetry will be offered with Michelle in 2012B.
    • NIRI - 1-5 micron imager: imaging fed with the direct or AO-corrected beam. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately K=23 for imaging. NIRI is no longer offered for spectroscopy.
    • NIFS - 0.95-2.40 micron integral field unit spectrograph: IFU spectroscopy fed with the direct or AO-corrected beam. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately K=18.7.
    • Altair - facility AO system: for use with GNIRS, NIFS and NIRI (except at M-band).
      • Natural Guide Star AO: Traditional adaptive optics guiding on a nearby star.
      • See the Laser Guide Star AO web pages for important performance information and restrictions. Note that LGS observations must specify "Laser guide star" in the AO resources section in the PIT, and must request CC 50 and IQ 70. Faint tip tilt stars will also require darker skies: 17.5 < R < 18 needs SB 80, 18 < R < 18.5 needs SB 50. A "Super seeing LGS + PWFS1 mode is available in shared-risk mode in 2012B; PWFS1 can be used to provide natural guide star tip/tilt/focus correction, improving the delivered image quality to FWHM ~ 0.2"-0.3" under 0.4"-0.6" seeing (IQ70 -> IQ20). The PWFS1 patrol field is 3.5' - 6.5' from the base position and guide stars must be brighter than R=14. This mode is available for near-infrared observations with NIRI, NIFS and GNIRS. There are additonal overheads and target brightness limitations for this mode, as described in the LGS + PWFS1 web pages.
  • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Dec. For Semester 2012B targets must be limited to 17 < RA < 13.5 and -37 < dec < +90, and targets for GNIRS and the LGS system have additonal additional constraints.

  • Gemini South: Facilities

    • All instruments are offered in queue and classical mode.
    • Facility instruments:
      • GMOS South - 0.36-0.93 micron imager and spectrograph: imaging and long-slit, multi-object and integral field spectroscopy. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately R=26 for imaging and R=21-23 for spectroscopy.
      • NICI - 1-5 micron dual-channel coronagraphic imager: Constraints must be at least as good as CC 70 and IQ 70. CC 70 programs need to have brighter guide stars and less demanding sensitivity requirements. NICI will most likely be displaced by FLAMINGOS-2 during the second half of the semester, however its availability will be matched to demand to the extent possible.
      • FLAMINGOS-2 and GSAOI are expected to be available for System Verification only in 2012B, in the second half of the semester.
    • For Semester 2012B targets must be limited to 16 < RA < 12 and -90 < dec < +28.

    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 then 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 Sandy Leggett.