Instrument Announcements

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Altair unavailable

May 19th, 2022

The Gemini North Adaptive Optics system, Altair, is currently offline due to a recurrent and intermittent issue with its deformable mirror (DM). Please email your contact scientist if you have any questions or concerns about the potential impact on your program.

GNIRS to be Removed from the Telescope for the IFU Installation

April 25th, 2022

On April 28th, 2022 GNIRS is planned to be removed from the telescope and warmed up in order to perform the GNIRS IFU installation and various refurbishment work, which includes replacement of ball bearings for both filter wheels. It is foreseen to have GNIRS back on sky for the IFU commissioning on July 6th, 2022. During this period, NIRI will replace GNIRS on the telescope.

GNIRS Temporarily Limited to Cross Dispersed Mode

April 25th, 2022

In January 2022, itermittent problems began to occur with GNIRS' filter wheel two (FW2). This was found to be due to a faulty ball bearing, which increased drag and friction on the wheel assembly. In order to prevent damage to FW2 or other components internal to GNIRS, a decision was made to avoid FW2 movements entirely. As a result, as of March 15th, 2022, observations were limited to cross dispersed mode only. The faulty ball bearing is to be substituted when GNIRS is warmed up to install the IFU at the end of April 2022. 

Webpage on GMOS-N detector status

March 18th, 2022

A new webpage with information on the current status of the GMOS-N detector array is now available here. The webpage provides details on the recent hot column features (see March 10 announcement) and updated recommendations for dither strategies to minimize the impact of the hot columns on science data. Any future updates from the ongoing characterization of the hot columns will be posted on this webpage. 

GMOS-N status update

March 10th, 2022

The GMOS-N detector issue reported on March 2 has largely been resolved by the full thermal cycle performed between March 2 and 3. The extended bright columns on amplifiers 7 and 12 are no longer present. The narrow bad column of hot pixels on amplifier 5 persists and saturates in longer science exposures. The following figure shows the hot column in an overscan-subtracted bias image (as marked by the blue arrow). 

Bias image showing the new hot column

New GMOS-N bias features

March 2nd, 2022

The GMOS-N detector has shown new bias features since an uncontrolled warm-up of the detector on February 26, 2022 . These features consist of a narrow bright column on amplifier 5, and broader bright columns on amplifiers 7 and 12. As a first measure to address this new issue, a full thermal cycle of the detector is being performed starting from today. GMOS will be unavailable for the next couple of nights until the thermal cycle is complete.