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Semester 2018A Instrument Restrictions and Target Accessibility

This page provides best estimates, at the time of the Call for Proposals, of instrument restrictions and target (RA, DEC) accessibility for 2018A.

 

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Gemini North Instrument Availability and Target Accessibility

All instruments are restricted for sky visibility as described in the Table below. In addition:

 

  • The Gemini North Laser Guide Star (LGS) system is not offered for regular programs in 2018A.

 


Accessible Restricted** Inaccessible
Declination,
non-LGS
-30° to +73° -37° to -30°,
+73° to +90°
< -37°
Right Ascension,
non-LGS
7h to 23h 4h to 7h,
23h to 1h
1h to 4h
Right Ascension,
TEXES
14h to 1h 1h to 14h

**Due to limited sky availability during the semester, GMOS MOS programs requiring pre-imaging should not have targets in this region, and other programs with targets in this region should not require a large amount of time, or have strict timing or observing constraints.


 


 

Gemini South Instrument Availability and Target Accessibility

All instruments are restricted for sky visibility as described in the Table below. In addition:

 

  • Due to greater-than-average, repeatable, weather loss in May, June and July at Gemini South, the availability of time in the RA 16h - 19h range has been reduced by 10%, RA 19h - 22h by 18%, and RA 23h - 2h by 25%.
  • GMOS South will not be available for 6 weeks at the end of 2018A for a planned instrument maintenance. Targets with 12 < RA hours < 00 will have reduced accessibility.
  • GeMS observations are restricted to greater than 45 degrees elevation. This translates into RA and DEC restrictions as indicated in the Table.

 


Accessible Restricted** Inaccessible
Declination -87° to +22° -90° to -87°,
+22° to +28°
> +28°
Declination,
GeMS + GSAOI
-70° to +10° -75° to -70°,
+10° to +15°
< -75° and > +15°
Declination,
GPI
-75° to +15° -80° to -75°,
+15° to +20°
< -80° and > +20°
Right Ascension 7h to 23h 5h to 7h,
23h to 2h
2h to 5h
Right Ascension,
GeMS +GSAOI
8h to 18h 6h to 8h,
18h to 20h
20h to 6h
Right Ascension,
DSSI
5h to 20h 20h to 5h
Right Ascension,
IGRINS
8h to 2h 2h to 12h

**Due to limited sky availability during the semester, GMOS MOS programs requiring pre-imaging should not have targets in this region, and other programs with targets in this region should not require a large amount of time, or have strict timing or observing constraints.


 


 

 

Instrument and Instrument Configuration Restrictions

At each Gemini telescope, instruments are mounted at the Cassegrain focus on the instrument support structure (ISS). A science fold mirror mounted inside the ISS can be rotated to send the light from the telescope to any of four side-looking ports, or can be retracted so that the light goes to the up-looking port. At each site, the calibration unit and the Adaptive Optics system use two of the side ports, leaving two side-looking and one up-looking port for other instrumentation. As more than three instruments are offered each semester, instrument swaps are required and not all instruments will be available for the entire semester. Instrument swaps are driven by demand and scheduled to minimize impact on the queue. Certain targets or entire programs may not be feasible once the final schedule is determined, at ITAC or thereafter. If an instrument 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, or to not schedule the instrument. Changes to the instrument mounting are not permitted during classical runs.


 


 

Non-Sidereal Targets

Non-sidereal targets can have a broader range in RA than indicated in the Tables above due to, for example, the need to observe comets relatively close to the Sun. The ephemeris for any submitted target however must include a position that is accessible between evening and morning twilight at some point in the semester. For rapidly moving targets PIs should specify in the proposal when the target is accessible, and the coordinates of the target at that time, so that the observation can be checked for feasibility.


 


 

Time-Critical Observations

Gemini Observatory attempts to schedule all time-critical observations whenever possible within the constraints imposed by instrument availability, instrument configuration, weather, and science ranking band. Additionally, nights not scheduled for multi-instrument queue including classical and other observing modes, fast-turnaround blocks, shutdowns, commissioning, etc., impose additional constraints on time-critical programs. Short observations (~1 hour) can often be accommodated during fast-turnaround and priority visitor periods. Programs with time-critical observations are asked to include detailed scheduling constraints with their proposal, such that they can be considered along with other constraints when developing the telescope schedule each semester.