The GEMMA Podcast
A podcast about Gemini Observatory and its role in the Era of Multi-Messenger Astronomy. Featuring news related to multi-messenger astronomy (MMA), time-domain astronomy (TDA), our visiting instrument program, and more through interviews with astronomers, engineers, and staff both here at Gemini (North and South) and abroad.
Gemini is operated by a partnership of five countries including the United States, Canada, Chile, Australia, Brazil and Argentina. Any astronomer in these countries can apply for time on Gemini, which is allocated in proportion to each participant's financial stake. In addition, 10% of the science time is available to astronomers associated with the hosts of each telescope, the University of Hawaii and the country of Chile. See the Governance web page for information on the Gemini Board and Committees, as well as resolutions and minutes of selected meetings.
The Phase I Overview describes how to apply for time on Gemini. The Queue and Schedules page lists allocated programs in the current and previous semesters, together with execution logs and important Phase I and II dates. The Science Operations Statistics page provides information such as weather loss, queue completion rates, open shutter efficiency and more.
At the end of each semester the participant imbalances are calculated using the participant shares. Gemini keeps track of the accrued participant imbalance and the Operations Working Group takes the imbalances into account when agreeing on the distribution of the telescope time available in each semester. The telescope time charging page gives more information on this process.
Current Participant Time Allocation
The expected time allocation to each Participant for the current and next semesters is listed in the relevant Call for Proposals.
Participant Time Distribution
A certain percentage of the semester is used for Observatory engineering (maintenance, instrument commissioning, etc.), and this time is taken off the top of the total possible time available. This percentage is approved by the Gemini Board ahead of each Call for Proposals. Also taken off the top is any time required for instrument Guaranteed Time (GT), campaigns, and Science Verification (SV); campaigns may be charged to a subset of the Participants. Of the remainder, 10% is allocated to the Observatory host (University of Hawaii or Chile). After the deduction of host time, the remaining time is distributed amongst the Participants according to the partnership shares set by the Gemini Board. This Participant time is reduced by a 5% allocation of Director's Discretionary Time, available to astronomers worldwide through the Director's Discretionary Time proposal process throughout the semester. The host time and Participant time are both open for joint proposals. Participants may also exchange time with each other, or trade time between Gemini North and South.
A representative schematic of the time distribution is given below.