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Semester 2017B Call for Proposals

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2017B semester, 1 August 2017 - 31 January 2018.

The submission deadline varies with partner. Multi-partner joint proposals should be submitted by the deadline of the participant country to which the Principal Investigator is affiliated. Proposals for exchange time on Gemini from the Subaru community are required to be submitted by March 31, 2017 at 23:59 HST (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time). An overview of the Gemini proposal submission process is available.

The Call is open to all partners and host institutions : Argentina, Brazil, Canada, the United States, Chile, the University of Hawaii, Korea (under its Limited-term Partnership MoU), and Australia (under its Limited-term Partnership MoU). 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.

Jump to:

  • New and Notable in 2017B!
  • Summary of 2017B Gemini Capabilities
  • Large and Long Programs
  • Important Dates for 2017B
  • Phase I Submission Guidelines for 2017B
  • Time Available in 2017B
  • Limited-Term Collaborations
  • Subaru Exchange Time in 2017B
  • Priority Visitor Observing Mode
  • Other Proposal Opportunities in 2017B
  • Bring One, Get One: Student Travel Assistance Program
  • Remote Eavesdropping
  • Additional Information
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    New and Notable in 2017B!

    The following capabilities and announcements are notable for the 2017B semester. Please see the relevant instrument pages and subsections of the call for proposals for details.

     

    General:

     

    • Gemini North will not be available from August 1 to August 25 2017 for completion of the dome shutter repair.
    • Gemini South will not be available from October 3 to October 13 2017 for the annual planned preventive maintenance.
    • Subaru Telescope will not be available from early October to mid-December 2017 for re-coating work on the primary mirror.
    • New Large and Long Program proposals will be accepted for observations beginning in 2017B.
    • Gemini-Subaru time exchange program - the Gemini community can now apply for Subaru Intensive programs through the Gemini Large and Long Program process for observations beginning in 2017B. See the Subaru Exchange section for details and limitations.
    • Starting in 2017B the Gemini Phase I Tool (PIT) will automatically add the time for baseline calibrations to the total time requested for each target in the proposal. Please consult the information on how this changes the way you ask for time.

     

     

    Instruments:

     

    • Gemini North Laser Guide Star (Altair with LGS) system will not be available for regular programs in 2017B.
    • The GPI non-redundant mask (NRM) is available for use in shared risk mode in 2017B.
    • FLAMINGOS-2 OIWFS is available for science observations requiring image quality within IQ 85%-ile.
    • FLAMINGOS-2 two new medium K-band filters are available for science observations in 2017B, in shared risk mode, pending installation and characterization.
    • The DSSI Speckle camera visitor instrument will be available at Gemini North and at Gemini South in 2017B.
    • Phoenix will be available as a visitor instrument at Gemini South in 2017B.
    • POLISH-2, a high-precision polarimeter, will be available as a visitor instrument at Gemini North in 2017B. See Gemini North Visitor Instrument section for details.
    • Opportunity Extended: Bring one, get one! In 2017B, Gemini Observatory will continue to subsidize, with up to US$2000, the travel expenses of individual under- and graduate students visiting Gemini North or South, when accompanying a senior observer.

     

     


     

    Summary of 2017B Gemini Capabilities

     

    Gemini North

    Gemini North will not be available from Tuesday, August 1 to Friday, August 25 2017 for completion of the dome shutter repair. Targets will be limited to 19 < RA hours < 12.5 and -37 < DEC degrees < +90.

    The Gemini North laser system has suffered a significant hardware and optical fault and the recovery of the system is unlikely. Priority will be given to the Gemini South Toptica laser in 2017B, followed by the Gemini North Toptica laser in 2018. The Gemini North Laser Guide Star AO system will not be available for regular programs in 2017B.

    In some cases there are additional constraints as described below and in the target and instrument accessibility page.


    Facility instruments offered in 2017B, in queue or classical mode, are:

     

    • GMOS North (0.36-0.98 micron imager and spectrometer): available throughout the semester. The Hamamatsu CCDs installation is on-going and on-sky commissioning is expected in March 2017. Proposers should propose for observations using the Hamamatsu CCDs option when using the GMOS-N ITC for Semester 2017B. It is expected that GMOS-N with the new Hamamatsu CCDs will increase the red sensitivity compared to the current GMOS-N e2v DD devices (check the Status and Availability web page for updates). The R600 grating is available to classical programs only.
    • GNIRS (1-5 micron spectrometer): available throughout the semester for Natural Guide Star (NGS AO) or in non-AO mode only. The short red camera is NOT available in 2017B. YJHK imaging is available via the acquisition keyhole.
    • NIFS (0.95-2.40 micron integral field unit spectrometer): available throughout the semester for NGS AO or in non-AO mode only.
    • NIRI (1-5 micron imager): available throughout the semester for NGS AO or in non-AO mode only. As in past semesters, NIRI is NOT available for spectroscopy. NIRI is not available to new Large and Long Program proposals.
    • Altair (facility Adaptive Optics system): available with NIFS, GNIRS and NIRI (except M-band) and with NGS only. Targets are limited to RA 20h to 11.5h and Dec -30° to +70°. Laser guide star AO will not be available for regular programs in 2017B.

     

    Visitor instruments offered in 2017B (subject to demand), in queue mode only, are:

     

    • DSSI Speckle camera: a dual-channel visual-wavelength camera giving simultaneous diffraction limited images in two filters over a 2.8 arcsec field of view. Available during the first half of 2017B. Targets are generally limited to 19 < RA hours < 7.5 (targets near the RA limits are available only for short periods). The scheduling and length of the entire DSSI visitor block(s) will be subject to community demand and instrument availability.
    • 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 visitor polarimeter, may return to Gemini North in 2017B. As this is a return visit, the instrument is open to the community via collaborative proposals with the PI. If you are interested in obtaining data in the 2017B semester with this instrument, you must contact the PI (Sloane Wiktorowicz - sloane.j.wiktorowicz at aero.org), as all proposals for this instrument must be in collaboration. 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 this level has not been demonstrated at the time of this call for proposals.

     

     

    Gemini South

    Gemini South engineering shutdown is scheduled for 10 nights in October (October 3 to 13 2017), reducing the availability of observing time available in the RA 19h to 5h range by 17%.

    Target are generally limited to 16 < RA hours < 12 and -90° < dec < +28°. In some cases there are additional constraints as described in the target and instrument accessibility page.


    Facility instruments offered in 2017B, in queue or classical mode, are:

     

    • GPI (Adaptive Optics 0.9-2.4 micron imaging/polarimeter/integral-field spectrometer): offered throughout the semester. The best performance of GPI is reached under CC50 and IQ70 observing conditions, and to a maximum Zenith angle of 50 degrees. The use of IQ85, CC70 and CC80 observing conditions may be possible, but the performance is highly variable and stated performance can not be guaranteed. Please also note the special GPI target duplication policy. The non-redundant mask (NRM) will be offered in 2017B, in shared risk mode, pending final characterization of this mode.
    • FLAMINGOS-2 (0.9-2.4 micron wide-field imager and spectrometer): offered in imaging and long-slit modes throughout the semester. The MOS mode will not be available in 2017B. The OIWFS is available for science observations requiring image quality within IQ 85%-il. Two new medium K-band filters are available for science observations, in shared risk mode, pending the installation and characterization of these filters in 2017A. Investigators should refer to the instrument status page for the most up to date information on delivered image quality, spectral resolution and the new filters installation and characterization.
    • GMOS-South (0.36-1.03 micron imager and spectrometer): available throughout the semester. Investigators should use the Hamamatsu CCD option when using the GMOS-S ITC. The R600 grating is available to classical programs only.
    • GSAOI (0.9-2.4 micron adaptive optics imager) with the GeMS Adaptive Optics system: Due to important guide star limitations, investigators must check the availability of Guide Star constellations using the Observing Tool before submitting a proposal. 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. GSAOI is available in queue mode only. Two GSAOI/GeMS blocks are expected to be scheduled during the second half of the 2017B semester. The scheduling and final number of blocks will depend on instrument demand.

     

    Visitor instruments offered in 2017B (subject to demand), in queue mode only, are:

     

    • DSSI Speckle camera: a dual-channel visual-wavelength camera giving simultaneous diffraction limited images in two filters over a 2.8 arcsec field of view. Available during the second half of 2017B. Targets are generally limited to 21 < RA hours < 12 (targets near the RA limits are available only for short periods). The scheduling and length of the entire DSSI visitor block(s) will be subject to community demand and instrument availability.
    • Phoenix: A high-resolution (R ~50,000 - 80,000), near IR (1-5 micron) echelle spectrometer. The scheduling and length of the Phoenix visitor block(s) will be subject to community demand and instrument availability. An ITC is available on the NOAO Phoenix webpage.

     


     


     

    Large and Long Programs

    Large and long Programs (LLPs) are Principal Investigator-defined and -driven programs that are expected to require either significantly more time than a partner typically approves for a single program, or extends over two to six semesters, or both. The participating partners (US, Canada, and Argentina) will pool up to 20% of their time at each telescope available for LLPs over each of the next 6 semesters from the start of LLP execution in 2017B. Principal Investigators of LLPs must be based at an institution of one of the participating partner countries. Investigators submitting Proposals for LLPs, to begin execution in 2017B, must have already submitted a letter of intent prior to the February 1st, 2017, deadline. Further information on LLPs and the LLP proposal process can be found on the Large And Long Program page. Information on previously accepted LLPs and their science programs is available here.


     


     

    Important Dates for 2017B

    The deadline for Phase I submission varies with partner. For successful proposals, both queue and classical, the Phase II submission deadline are 15 July 2017 for Gemini South programs and 17 August 2017 for Gemini North programs. More information is available in the 2017B schedule page.


     


     

    Phase I Submission Guidelines for 2017B

    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 help pages for the PIT for assistance. Investigators are requested to include the output from the integration time calculators in the proposal. The requested time for new visitor instruments (i.e. those using the generic Visitor instrument option) should include all required calibrations.

    In 2017B Gemini started to implement the Board resolution 2016.A.2.The time for baseline partner calibrations for the Gemini facility instruments and the named visitor instruments (DSSI, TEXES, Phoenix) are now automatically added to the 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. See the Observing Section in the help pages for the PIT for details.


     


     

    Time Available in 2017B

    The time available for each participant and host institution in 2017B is shown on the time distribution page. At Gemini North, ~152 nights are expected to be available for science. At Gemini South, ~155 nights are expected to be available for science.

     


     

    Limited-Term Partnerships

    Proposals from Korea and Australia are accepted under Limited-Term Partnerships with Gemini Observatory. Proposals with PIs from Limited-term partners are not eligible for joint proposals or Subaru Exchange time. Additionally, for PIs from limited-term partnerships, access to block-scheduled instruments is subject to scheduling constraints, and not guaranteed, irrespective of science rank. The block-scheduled instruments are GSAOI, GRACES, DSSI, Phoenix and POLISH-2.

     


     

    Subaru Exchange Time


    The exchange of time between the Gemini and Subaru communities will continue in 2017B. Gemini expects to be able to exchange a minimum of 5 nights in semester 2017B.

     

    Relevant information:

     

    • Subaru Telescope will be unavailable between October 2 and December 11 2017 due to re-coating of the primary mirror.
    • Starting in 2017B semester applications for Subaru Intensive programs can be submitted to Gemini through the Gemini-Subaru time exchange program. Subaru Intensive programs applications follow the same rules and eligibility used for the Gemini Large and Long Programs (LLPs). Investigator must use the Gemini Phase I tool with "Proposal class: Large Program" for creating and submitting Subaru Intensive programs and the Latex and Word templates for LLPs to create a pdf attachment with the science and technical cases. A letter of intent is not required at this time. The request of Subaru Intensive program must be clearly stated in the title of the proposal. At most, one proposal will be selected for observations beginning in 2017B. Subaru reserves the right to reject this program if it cannot be reasonably accommodated in the Subaru schedule.
    • Limited-term collaborators (Korea and Australia) are not eligible for the exchange program.
    • PIs in the Gemini community who intend to use the Subaru telescope are encouraged 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.
    • 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.
    • Suprime-Cam (wide field optical imager) and Kyoto3DII are not available in 2017B. Both instruments are being de-commissioning.
    • See the Subaru Call for Proposals for relevant information.

     

     

    Facility instruments avaible:

     

     

     

    Visitor instruments available (limited to one or two runs in 2017B):

     

    • CHARIS: Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph - provides high contrast images of exoplanets, disks, brown dwarfs with SCExAO+AO188.
    • SCExAO: Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics - delivers high contrast images of the innermost surrounding of bright sources to HiCIAO and CHARIS.
    • Observing proposals using the visiting instruments must include the relevant instrument PI as a Co-investigator.

     

     

     


     

    Priority Visitor Observing Mode

    In Priority Visitor Observing, a visiting observer comes to the Observatory for a block as long as or 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 2017B. Investigators wishing to have their program considered for PV observing should indicate their desire to participate in the Technical Design portion of their 2017B queue proposal.

     

     


     

    Other Proposal Opportunities in 2017B

    Other proposal opportunities are available at Gemini Observatory in 2017B. 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 program.
    • Director's Discretionary Time is open to any astronomer worldwide and can be submitted at any time.
    • 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.

     

     


     

    Bring One, Get One: Travel Assistance Program

    The Gemini Observatory, at the request of its Users' Committee, would like to strongly encourage the visit of students, and other early-career observers, to observing runs (attending Queue, Classical, or Priority Visiting Observing). In semester 2017B, the Gemini Observatory may subsidize with up to US$2000 the travel expenses of individual under- and graduate students, and other early career observers, visiting Gemini North or South, when accompanying a senior observer. The "Bring One, Get One" Student Observer Support Program" page has full details on this program. This program is subject to the availability of limited funds.


     


     

    Remote Eavesdropping

    Remote Eavesdropping will be available in 2017B for all queue programs. Investigators will be invited to sign up for eavesdropping via the PI email announcing they have been granted time.

     


     

    Additional Information

    Please see the page of supporting information for additional general information. 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 Rodrigo Carrasco.