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Semester 2012A Call For Proposals

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2012A semester, 1 February 2012 - 31 July 2012. 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 FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30 2011. Submission times and other details vary by partner; please consult your National Gemini Office 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 2012A


General
Relevant milestones for 2012A can be found in the 2012A schedule. The deadline for Phase I submission is September 30 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 January 17 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 2012A are, for Gemini North 4 < RA < 1 and -37 < dec < +90, and for Gemini South 5 < RA < 2 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), and also for LGS programs at Gemini North. For 2012A, access to NICI and T-ReCS at Gemini South have further restrictions. Targets for NICI are restricted to 7 < RA < 0, and targets for T-ReCS to 9 < RA < 2.
The Phase I Tool (PIT) is updated for 2012A; 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 is expected not to be offered after 2012B, or possibly earlier if it fails. The Observatory is actively working with the new Science and Technology Advisory Committee (STAC) that is replacing 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 STAC representatives.
Gemini North
It is expected that 92% of the semester will be available for science. This amounts to 166 nights distributed across the partnership. A list of instruments and capabilities is given below.
Installation of the Hamamatsu CCDs in GMOS-N has been delayed. As an interim solution Gemini has purchased deep depletion devices from e2v (e2vDD) which are expected to be installed in October to November 2011. 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. While we expect the e2vDD CCDs to be available for 2012A, investigators should use the existing EEV CCDs characteristics to define their investigation, and add a brief statement describing how the program will change if the e2vDD devices are used instead.
Gemini South
It is expected that 73% of the semester will be available for science. This amounts to 132 nights, and includes the final 30 hours of NICI campaign science, which are distributed across the partners that participate in the campaign, and 13 nights of FLAMINGOS-2 and GSAOI science verification. 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.
A separate Call is expected to be made in January 2012 for science verification proposals for FLAMINGOS-2 and GSAOI.
In Semester 2012A the commissioning of FLAMINGOS-2 and GSAOI will take highest priority. This will occur during February and March 2012; only GMOS-South will be available during this time, and the queue will be executed primarily during the two dark weeks of each month. Also, the scheduling of classical runs will be impacted.
Keck and Subaru Exchange
No Gemini-Keck exchange time is offered for semester 2012A.
4 to 8 classical nights are available on Subaru in semester 2012A. Due to the cooling system incident the availability of Suprime-Cam and the Cassegrain instruments is limited. Availability is as follows:
  • COMICS (mid-infrared camera and spectrograph) available throughout 12A without the auto-guider, available in the latter half of the 2012A semester 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, although IRS2 has additional noise which is being investigated.
  • FOCAS (optical camera and spectrograph) unavailable in semester 2012A.
  • 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 12A without the auto-guider, available in the latter half of the 2012A semester only if the guider is required, in shared-risk mode. Spectroscopy with MOIRCS requires the autoguider.
  • Suprime-Cam (wide field optical imager) available in the latter half of the 2012A semester only, in shared-risk mode.

Subaru is expected to have extensive downtime in the 12A 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 2012A. 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 - 0.36-0.94 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 and wavelength response range as the detector upgrade is ongoing.
    • 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.
    • 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 2012A.
    • 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.
  • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Dec. For Semester 2012A targets must be limited to 4 < RA < 1 and -37 < dec < +90, and targets for the LGS system have an additonal elevation constraint of >40 degrees.

  • 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: The Campaign Targets are not available for community NICI observations. 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 mounted from mid-March to June 2012, and targets for NICI should be limited to 7 < RA < 0.
      • 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 will most likely be mounted from May to July 2012 and targets for T-ReCS should be limited to 9 < RA < 2.
    • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Dec. For Semester 2012A GMOS-S targets must be limited to 5 < RA < 2 and -90 < dec < +28; targets for NICI and T-ReCS are further restricted. During February and March 2012, only GMOS-S is expected to be available for use.

    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.