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Semester 2011B Call For Proposals

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2011B semester, 1 August 2011 - 31 January 2012. The Call is open to all partners.

The submission deadline is THURSDAY MARCH 31 2011. Submission times and other details vary by partner; please consult your National Gemini Office pages for more information. 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 2011B


General
Relevant milestones for 2011B can be found in the 2011B schedule. The deadline for Phase I submission is March 31 2011 (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 15 2011. 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 2011B are, for Gemini North 17 < RA < 13.5 and -37 < dec < +79, and for Gemini South 16 < RA < 12 and -89 < 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), and also for LGS programs at Gemini North. For 2011B, access to GMOS-N at Gemini North, as well as NICI and T-ReCS at Gemini South have further restrictions. Targets for GMOS-N are restricted to 20.5 < RA < 13.5, targets for NICI to 21 < RA < 12, and targets for T-ReCS to 16 < RA < 5.
Starting in 2011B, all proposals for Rapid Target of Opportunity (RToO) followup must submit a separate proposal for Standard Target of Opportunity followup (SToO) in conditions better than SB/CC/IQ Any, if such followup is planned. Upgrades to good conditions will not be approved for RToO programs, and the SToO proposal is required if such conditions are necessary for later followup. This change is necessary for accurate filling of the queue, as ToO programs now make up a significant fraction of the Observatory band 1 time.
Starting in 2011B, fewer queue proposals will be scheduled in band 3. Each partner's queue time will be filled to 80% with band 1, 2 and 3 programs. The band boundaries will be drawn as before at 30% and 60% of the total available queue time. A new cloud cover constraint of CC 80 has been defined, corresponding to one magnitude of extinction, or 40% transmission. The Observatory continues to welcome Poor weather proposals to use CC Any and IQ Any conditions; these can be submitted at any time via the Phase I Tool.
The Phase I Tool (PIT) is updated for 2011B; see the PIT page for downloads and further information.
Notice regarding future instrument availability: As new instrumentation comes online at Gemini South, it is likely that T-ReCS will no longer be offered, perhaps as early as 2012B. In 2012B or 2013A, NICI is expected to be replaced by GPI. On Gemini North, NIRI is aging and may no longer be offered, on similar timescales. The Observatory is actively working with the Gemini Science Committee (GSC) to determine the optimum instrument suite that can be maintained at each telescope. A possible instrument line up that is under discussion is given in the Table at the end of Section 9, starting on page 9 of the October 2010 Observatory response to the GSC Report . Users are encouraged to send comments to their GSC representatives.
Gemini North
It is expected that 88% of the semester will be available for science. This amounts to 162 nights and includes 1.5 nights for GMOS-N CCD demonstration science. These nights are distributed across the partnership. A list of instruments and capabilities is given below. Given the unavailability of GMOS-N between August and September, programs using GNIRS, NIFS or NIRI with targets at 17 < RA < 5 are encouraged.
The upgrade of GMOS-N to use the new Hamamatsu CCDs is expected to occur during the first two months of 2011B. Two red-sensitive CCDs will be combined with one blue-sensitive CCD so that the instrument is expected to be more sensitive at both the blue and red ends of the detector. Prospective users should assume the performance of the Hamamatsu detectors when calculating exposure times with the Integration Time Calculator.
GNIRS is offered with laser guide star adaptive optics in 2011B.
Michelle is not offered in polarimetry mode, either imaging polarimetry or spectropolarimetry, in 2011B.
Gemini South
It is expected that 78% of the semester will be available for science. This amounts to 144 nights, and includes 90 hours of NICI campaign science, which are distributed across the partners that participate in the campaign.The final distribution of nights across the partnership is shown on the time distribution page. A list of instruments and capabilities is given below. Given the available instrument suite, bright-time programs with relaxed observing condition constraints (e.g., SB Any, CC 70, IQ 85) are encouraged.
NICI is expected to have additional filters available. Please see the instrument's Status and Availability page for more information. The number of restricted campaign targets is likely to be reduced, as 2011B is the final semester for the campaign. A revised list will be posted by March 15 2011.
Phoenix is no longer offered by the Observatory.
In Semester 2011B GEMS commissioning will take highest priority, reducing the availability of bright photometric nights with good seeing, and possibly impacting the scheduling of classical runs.
Keck and Subaru Exchange
Up to 5 bright/gray nights of classical time are available with the HIRES optical spectrograph on Keck. More information is available on the Keck time application page. The requested nights must be within the following windows with a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 2 nights in any one window: September 4 - 18, November 2 - 17 and January 1 - 14. Proposals should be submitted via the normal Gemini process. All proposers for Keck time must also complete the Keck cover page. Email this page to your NTAC chair. [more information]
4 to 8 classical nights are available on Subaru with COMICS (mid-infrared camera and spectrograph), FMOS on a shared-risk basis for both high- and low-resolution mode with IRS1, and low-resolution only for IRS2 (near-infrared fiber-fed multi-object spectrograph), FOCAS (optical camera and spectrograph), HDS (optical high dispersion spectrograph), IRCS (infrared camera and spectrograph, with Natural Guide Star Adaptive Optics capability), MOIRCS (near-infrared imager and multi-object spectrograph) and Suprime-Cam (wide field optical imager).

Subaru is expected to have extensive downtime in the 11B 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 2011B. 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. 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 - 0.36-0.95 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 (applicants should refer to the instrument web pages for updated sensitivities as the detector upgrade is ongoing). Due to the installation and commissioning of the new Hamamatsu CCDs, GMOS-N will most likely be available between October 2011 to January 2012, and targets for GMOS-N should be limited to 20.5 < RA < 13.5.
    • 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 (applicants should refer to the instrument web pages for updated sensitivities as the instrument performance is still being evaluated).
    • 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 two short periods at the start and end of the semester, depending on demand. Neither imaging polarimetry nor spectropolarimetry will be offered with Michelle in 2011B.
    • 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 NIRI (except M band imaging and L & M band spectroscopy) and NIFS.
      • 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.
  • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Dec. For Semester 2011B targets must be limited to 17 < RA < 13.5 and -37 < dec < +79, and targets for GMOS-N are further restricted to 20.5 < RA < 13.5.; the LGS system has a stricter elevation constraint of >40 degrees.

  • Gemini South: Facilities

    • All instruments are offered in queue and classical mode.
    • Facility instruments:
      • GMOS South - 0.36-0.95 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: The Campaign Targets are not available for community NICI observations. Additional filters may be available in 2011B. 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. T-ReCS and NICI will share the up-looking port in semester 2011B. Due to NICI's good weather requirement, NICI will most likely be mounted from October 2011 to January 2012, and targets for NICI should be limited to 21 < RA < 12.
      • T-ReCS - 8-26 micron imager and spectrograph: imaging and moderate resolution (R=100 and R=1000) spectroscopy. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately N=11 for imaging and N=8 for spectroscopy. T-ReCS and NICI will share the up-looking port in semester 2011B. T-ReCS will most likely be mounted from August to September and targets for T-ReCS should be limited to 16 < RA < 5.
    • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Dec. For Semester 2011B targets must be limited to 16 < RA < 12 and -89 < dec < +28; targets for NICI are further restricted to 21 < RA < 12, and targets for T-ReCS to 16 < RA < 5.

    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.