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Semester 2008B Call For Proposals Overview

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2008B semester, 1 August 2008 - 31 January 2009. The Call is open to all partners, with the UK being a full partner in semester 2008B.

The submission deadline is MONDAY MARCH 31ST 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 2008B 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 14 page pdf document.


Highlights for 2008B


General
Relevant milestones for 2008B can be found in the 2008 Important Dates. Poor weather and Director's Discretionary Time proposals are both accepted at any time via the Phase I Tool, otherwise the deadline for Phase I submission is March 31st 2008, and for successful proposals the Phase II submission deadline is July 14th 2008.
The Phase I Tool (PIT) is updated for 2008B; See the PIT Help for downloads and important information. New features include updated filter lists for Phoenix and NIRI, a visibility check on target Right Ascension and Declination, and clearer error messages associated with use of the band 3 tab.
Starting in 2008B, stricter target accessibility limits will be imposed, so as not to bias the queue at the start or end of the semester. Targets for Gemini North should be limited to 0 < RA < 13.5 and 17 < RA < 24, and -37 < dec < +79, and for Gemini South targets should be limited to 0 < RA < 12.5 and 16 < RA < 24, and -89 < dec < +28. Exceptions will only be made for very short observations, or those with very relaxed observing constraints. The Laser Guide System has more restricted constraints.
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.
An under-utilised instrument is now defined as an instrument that is requested for less than 6% of the Bands 1+2 time. The Observatory reserves the right to limit the RA range available to programs using such instruments, or to not schedule the instrument.
 
Gemini North
It is expected that 86% of the semester will be available for science, or 159 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 request good conditions (Cloud Cover = 50%; Image Quality = 70%) and specify "Laser guide star" in the Adaptive Optics resources section in the PIT. 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. LGS mode is expected to be available 7-14 nights per month, in queue mode only. Target lists are generated for approval by Space Command approximately a week before each LGS run, using only "ready" observations. Therefore, while observations must be defined by the usual phase II deadline, any additions or alterations must be in place by the LGS target preparation dates. Limited LGS observations of Band 1 and 2 Targets of Opportunity triggered less than a week before, or during, an LGS run, are supported. Only two such targets can be observed during any LGS run, and only one on any given night. All effort will be made to approve and observe a target within 24 hours, however a delay of two or three nights is possible.
Gemini South
Including NICI campaign science, 82% of the semester is expected to be available for science, or 150 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.
Phoenix (an NOAO instrument on loan to Gemini) is offered in 2008B. NICI and Flamingos-2 are not being offered for community use at this time.
Exchange
HIRES: Up to 5 nights of classical time is available with the HIRES optical spectrograph on Keck. The requested nights must be within the following windows: 6-20 August (1 night), 8-22 October (up to 2 nights) and 3-16 December (up to 2 nights). Requests must be full nights with a minimum of 1 night. Proposals should be submitted via the normal process. For Semester 2008B all proposers for Keck time must also complete the Keck cover page. Email this page to your NTAC chair. [more information]
Subaru: Up to 6 classical nights are available on Subaru for Suprime-Cam (wide field optical imaging) and MOIRCS (near-infrared imaging and multi-object spectroscopy). The requested nights must be within the following windows: 10-18 September (1 night, bright), 24 October to 2 November (up to 2 nights, dark) and 3-7 or 17-21 December (up to 2 nights in one of these periods, grey). 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.
    • 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 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.
  • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Declination. For Semester 2008B targets should be limited to 0 < RA < 13.5 and 17 < RA < 24, and -37 < dec < +79, 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.
      • 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.
    • Visitor instruments:
      • Phoenix - 1-5 micron high spectral resolution (R~50000 - 75000) spectrometer. 5σ one hour point source sensitivities are approximately K=12.5.
    • See the target accessibility page for important information regarding instrument availability and a plot of accessible RA and Declination. For Semester 2008B targets should be limited to 0 < RA < 12.5 and 16 < RA < 24, and -89 < dec < +28.

    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.