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Semester 2009A Call For Proposals

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2009A semester, 1 February 2009 - 31 July 2009. The Call is open to all partners.

The submission deadline is TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH 2008 for all partners. Applications should be submitted via your national Gemini proposal process. Submission times and other details vary by partner; please consult your National Gemini Office pages for more information. Joint proposals must adhere to the deadline (and other requirements) applicable to the partner country of the institution to which the Principal Investigator is affiliated.

The purpose of this page is to highlight the most relevant information for the 2009A call. Significant additional information is contained on supporting pages; users are encouraged to follow the links for more detailed information. If hardcopy is preferred, the primary pages are available in a single 15 page pdf document.


Highlights for 2009A


General
Relevant milestones for 2009A can be found in the 2009A schedule. The deadline for Phase I submission is September 30th 2008 (Poor weather and Director's Discretionary Time proposals are also both accepted at any time via the Phase I Tool), and for successful proposals the Phase II submission deadline is January 16th 2009.
The Phase I Tool (PIT) is updated for 2009A; See the PIT page for downloads and important information. New features include: improved handling of non-sidereal target coordinates, a check that the Band 3 constraints are equal to or worse than the default observing constraints (if band 3 is acceptable), and enabling PhD students to be identified.
Target accessibility limits will be imposed, so as not to bias the queue at the start or end of the semester. For unrestricted access, targets for Gemini North which do not use the Laser Guide Star system should be limited to 7 < RA < 22, and -30 < dec < +73, and for Gemini South targets should be limited to 7 < RA < 23, and -87 < dec < +22. Other regions are available, but only for short observations, or those with very relaxed observing constraints. The Laser Guide System has more restricted constraints. Michelle, T-ReCS and NICI have further restrictions on availablity and Right Ascension in 2009A.
Starting in 2009A, Rapid Targets of Opportunity can interrupt classical-mode nights, unless the classical observation is time-critical. Time will be reimbursed to the interrupted program during queue time with similar conditions to the interrupted time.
Mask making from non-GMOS images for GMOS multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) observations is available, but GMOS pre-imaging is recommended for MOS programs using slits narrower than 1.0" and for programs requiring very long observations of faint targets.
 
Gemini North
It is expected that 80% of the semester will be available for science, or 145 nights distributed across the partnership. A list of offered instruments and capabilities is given below.
The Laser Guide System (LGS) is fully commissioned for NIRI and NIFS. LGS observations must specify "Laser guide star" in the Adaptive Optics resources section in the PIT, and must request Cloud Cover = 50% and Image Quality = 70%. Faint tip tilt stars will also require darker skies: 17.5 < R < 18 needs SB=80%, 18 < R < 18.5 needs SB=50%. Because of the limited availability and the need for good weather, only LGS programs ranked in bands 1 and 2 will be recommended by the ITAC. Up to 200 hours will be available in 2009A for LGS queue observations (LGS mode is expected to be available 7-14 nights per month).
Gemini South
Including NICI campaign science, 70% of the semester is expected to be available for science, or 127 nights distributed across the partnership. A list of offered instruments and capabilities is given below. Due to the need to balance the queue, and the traditionally high demand for GMOS-S dark time programs, bright time programs on Gemini South are particularly encouraged.
NICI, the AO-fed Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager, will be available to the community for the first time in 2009A on a "shared risk" basis. NICI commissioning is on-going at the time of this Call however it is performing well, and the NICI planet search campaign is expected to begin in 2008B. See below for more details.
Exchange
Up to 5 bright/gray nights of classical time is available with the HIRES optical spectrograph on Keck. The requested nights must be within the following windows: 12 - 18 February (up to 2 nights), 10 - 17 March (up to 2 nights) and 8 - 14 July (up to 1 night). Requests must be full nights with a minimum of 1 night. Proposals should be submitted via the normal process. All proposers for Keck time must also complete the Keck cover page. Email this page to your NTAC chair. [more information]
4 to 6 classical nights are available on Subaru with Suprime-Cam (wide field optical imager) and MOIRCS (near-infrared imager and multi-object spectrograph). The requested nights must be within the following windows: 24 - 30 March (dark, up to 2 nights), 15 - 21 April (grey, up to 2 nights), 10 - 16 June (bright, up to 2 nights). Requests must be full nights with a minimum of 1 night. Proposals should be submitted via the normal process. [more information]

Additional Information

Details of the capabilities available at each 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 - 0.36-1.10 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.
    • NIRI - 1-5 micron imager and low-resolution spectrograph: imaging and spectroscopy fed with the direct or AO-corrected beam. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately K=23 for imaging and K=18 for spectroscopy. NIRI is likely to be unavailable in July 2009.
    • 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. NIFS is expected to be available from February 2009 to mid-June 2009.
    • 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.
      • Laser Guide Star AO: See web page for important performance information and restrictions
    • Michelle - 7-26 micron spectrograph and imager: imaging and R=100-3000 and echelle spectroscopy; imaging polarimetry is also available. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately N=11 for imaging and N=6-9 for spectroscopy. Michelle is expected to be available only between mid-June 2009 and the end of July 2009. For Semester 2009A Michelle targets should be limited to 14:00 < RA hrs < 24:00.
  • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Declination. For Semester 2009A targets should be limited to 7 < RA < 22, and -30 < dec < +73, 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 - 0.36-1.10 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. GMOS South has slightly better sensitivity in the UV and blue than GMOS North.
      • NICI - 1-5 micron dual-channel coronagraphic imager: In 2009A NICI is offered for limited community use in a shared risk mode, using on-axis AO-fed imaging with or without the coronagraph. Due to ongoing commissioning at the time of this call, only limited sensitivity and other instrument information is available, and is subject to change. Please read the NICI web pages carefully. Up to 150 hours will be available between February 2009 and April 2009. NICI targets should be limited to 6:00 < RA hrs < 18:00. For 2009A, science targets must be closer than 1 parsec or farther than 200 parsecs away, due to uncertainty in the NICI campaign targets at the time of this Call.
      • 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. It is expected that T-ReCS will not be available between February 2009 and March 2009. For Semester 2009A T-ReCS targets should be limited to 9:00 < RA hrs < 2:00.
    • Visitor instruments:
      • Phoenix - 1-5 micron high spectral resolution (R~50000 - 75000) spectrometer. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately K=12.5. It is likely that 2009A will be the last semester that Phoenix will be available on Gemini.
    • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Declination. For Semester 2009A targets should be limited to 7 < RA < 23, and -87 < dec < +22.

    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.