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Call for TEXES Demonstration Science Proposals

Dear Colleagues,

The TEXES high resolution mid-infrared spectrometer will be a special visiting instrument at Gemini North Observatory in semester 2006B. The purpose of offering TEXES on Gemini North is to accomplish some of the key Aspen science goals on star and planet formation without building a new facility instrument. During the 2006B semester TEXES will carry out a block of "mini-queue" observations in November 2006. Prior to these regular 2006B queue observations, during the nights July 7 to July 11 we are offering 4 nights of demonstration science time (weather permitting). Basic information about the use of and the sensitivity of TEXES on Gemini can be found at the Gemini TEXES pages. The sensitivity numbers are rather uncertain as the commissioning was afflicted by poor weather. We are seeking high impact science programs, and that it is therefore possible that only 1 or 2 programs will be selected.

As is the case for the TEXES science programs during 2006B, prospective users must collaborate with members of the TEXES team who are carrying out the data taking, reduction and analysis for all programs. This is discussed in the the Gemini TEXES pages. Prospective users of TEXES are strongly encouraged to contact members of the TEXES team early in the proposal process for technical assistance.

TEXES will be used in cross-dispersed mode, with a choice of two possible spectral coverages per setting. There is the option of dithering along the slit or scanning the slit along an extended target. Some information about these modes can be found on the Gemini TEXES main page. Part of the selection may be based upon the desire to test out these different modes of observation and to observe at different wavelengths to provide more experience of the performance of TEXES on Gemini North. Note that the slit size is relatively small, 1.7 or 4.0 arc-seconds long depending on which mode is chosen. Typical point source FWHM values are 0.4 arc-seconds in N-band and 0.55 arc-seconds in Q-band for airmasses less than 1.5.

To submit a program, you must use the 2006B Phase I tool and include observing constraints, target lists, and instrument configuration information. Targets must be reasonable visible in the July 7 to 11 time period, where the LST in the middle of the night will be about 19.5 hours. Submit the program through the Phase I tool interface by June 7, 2006 for consideration. Before submitting, select the button labeled "Demo Science or SV" in the PIT and enter the time requested; do not submit TEXES Demonstration Science proposals to any other Gemini partner.

Scientific justifications should be brief and clearly state which modes are being tested. Technical justifications should be complete enough that feasibility can be assessed easily.

PIs seeking Demonstration Science time will be informed of the results of the selection process by June 23, 2006, and Phase II files (using the Observing Tool) for selected programs will need to be completed by July 6. For TEXES the phase II files are abbreviated compared with those for other Gemini instruments since only the target and guide star information is needed.

Disclaimer: Submitting an Demonstration Science program or even having a Demonstration Science program selected as high priority does not guarantee that data will be taken. Selection for Demonstration Science will also be based on the abilities of the proposers to return feedback within a reasonable time. The proprietary period for Demonstration Science data is three months. As noted above, the data reduction will be done by the TEXES team, and the reduced data will be distributed to the PIs for science analysis.

Please feel free to contact us with questions or comments - we look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Kevin Volk (kvolk@gemini.edu)

Gemini Observatory
TEXES Instrument Scientist

Last update 10 May 2006 by Kevin Volk