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Semester 2015B Call for Proposals

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2015B semester, 1 August 2015 - 31 January 2016.

The submission deadline varies with partner. Multi-partner joint proposals should be submitted by the deadline of the partner country to which the Principal Investigator is affiliated. Proposals for Large and Long Programs and proposals for exchange time on Gemini from the Japanese community are required to be submitted by March 31, 2015 at 23:59 HST (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time). An overview of the Gemini proposal submission process is available.

The Call is open to all partners and host institutions : Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the US, Chile, the University of Hawaii and Korea (under its Limited-term Partnership MoU). US time is open to all astronomers including those at non-US institutions, although in that case the proposal must explain why U.S. national facilities are needed. The distribution of time across the partners is available in the time distribution table.

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New and Notable in 2015B!

The following capabilities and announcements are notable for the 2015B semester. Please see the relevant instrument pages and subsections of the call for proposals for details.
  • GRACES offers high-resolution (R~67,500) optical spectroscopy between 400 and 1000 nm.
  • The non-redundant mask (NRM) is available for use on GPI, pending successful commissioning in Semester 2015A.
  • New Large and Long Program proposals will be accepted for observations beginning in 2015B.
  • The DSSI Speckle camera visitor instrument will be available in 2015B.
  • Opportunity Extended: Bring one, get one! In 2015B, Gemini Observatory will continue to subsidize, with up to US$2000, the travel expenses of individual under- and graduate students visiting Gemini North or South, when accompanying a senior observer.

Summary of 2015B Gemini Capabilities

Gemini North

Target are generally limited to 17 < RA hours < 13.5 and -37 < dec degrees < +90. In some cases there are additional constraints as described below and in the target and instrument accessibility page.
Facility instruments offered in 2015B, in queue or classical mode, are:
  • GMOS North (0.36-0.98 micron imager and spectrometer): available throughout the semester. The R600 grating is available to classical programs only. Proposers should propose for observations using the current E2V CCDs for Semester 2015B. However, if new GMOS-N CCDs are ready for commissioning in Semester 2015B, GMOS-N will be unavailable for ~2 months. All PIs proposing to use GMOS-N should indicate available flexibility in target selections.
  • GNIRS (1-5 micron spectrometer): available throughout the semester. The short red camera is NOT available in 2015B. YJHK imaging is available via the acquisition keyhole.
  • NIFS (0.95-2.40 micron integral field unit spectrometer): available throughout the semester.
  • NIRI (1-5 micron imager): available throughout the semester. As in past semesters, NIRI is NOT available for spectroscopy. NIRI may not be offered in Semester 2016A and should not be requested by Large and Long Programs.
  • Altair (facility Adaptive Optics system): with NIFS, GNIRS and NIRI (except M-band), limited to RA 5h to 0h and Dec -27° to +68°. Laser guide star AO is available in queue mode only. Please be aware of current observational limitations and overheads to the LGS+P1 "super-seeing" mode.
Visitor instruments offered in 2015B (subject to demand), in queue mode only, are:
  • DSSI Speckle camera: a dual-channel visual-wavelength camera giving simultaneous diffraction limited images in two filters over a 2.8 - 5.6 arcsecond field of view. Up to 100 hours, subject to demand, are available during December 2015, generally limiting RAs to 23h to 13h.
  • GRACES: a high-resolution, R~67,500, optical (0.4-1 micron) spectrometer.

Gemini South

Target are generally limited to 16 < RA hours < 12 and -90 < dec degrees < +28. In some cases there are additional constraints as described below and in the target and instrument accessibility page.
Facility instruments offered in 2015B, in queue or classical mode, are:

Large and Long Programs

Large and long Programs (LLPs) are Principal Investigator-defined and -driven programs that are expected to require either significantly more time than a partner typically approves for a single program, or extends over two to six semesters, or both. The participating partners (US, Canada, and Argentina) will make up to 20% of their time at each telescope available for LLPs over each of the next 6 semesters from the start of LLP execution in 2015B. Principal Investigators of LLPs must be based at an institution of one of the participating partner countries. Investigators submitting Proposals for LLPs, to begin execution in 2015B, must have already submitted a letter of intent prior to the February 2nd, 2015, deadline. Further information on LLPs and the LLP proposal process can be found on the Large And Long Program page.

Information on previously accepted LLPs and their science programs is available here.

Important Dates for 2015B

The deadline for Phase I submission varies with partner. For successful proposals, both queue and classical, the Phase II submission deadline is 15 JULY, 2015. More information is available in the 2015B schedule.

Phase I Submission Guidelines for 2015B

Proposals for time on Gemini, and for time on Subaru via the Gemini-Subaru exchange program, must use the Gemini Phase I Tool (PIT). Latex and Word templates are available to create a pdf attachment which includes the science and technical cases. The requested time for the visitor instruments should include all required calibrations (unlike the facility instruments where the time required for a specified set of baseline calibrations should not be included). Investigators are requested to include the output from the integration time calculators in the proposal. See the PIT page for installation information and the help pages for the PIT for assistance.

Time Available in 2015B

The time available for each partner and host institution in 2015B is shown on the time distribution page. The science time available at each telescope includes a 5% Director's Discretionary Time allocation, available to astronomers worldwide through the Director's Discretionary Time proposal process. At Gemini North, ~162 nights are expected to be available for science. At Gemini South, ~156 nights are expected to be available for science.

Exchange Time

The exchange of time between the Gemini and Subaru communities will continue in 2015B with a desired minimum of 5 classical nights. However, the exact number of nights exchanged is set by the lower demand of one of the two communities. In 2014B, 3 nights were exchanged; for 2015A, 5 nights were exchanged.

No Gemini-Keck exchange time is offered in Semester 2015B.

Priority Visitor Observing Mode

In Priority Visitor Observing, a visiting observer is placed at the summit for a block exceeding their program's time allocation, and elects when to carry out their program within that block. This may be when conditions are within their requirement, better than their requirement or even fail to meet their requirement. If time remains on the program after the summit time is complete, the program carries on in the regular queue with priority given by the TAC-assigned science ranking band. PV observing mode is offered as a possibility for queue programs in 2015B. Investigators wishing to have their program considered for PV observing should indicate their desire to participate in the Technical Design portion of their 2015B queue proposal.

Other Proposal Opportunities

Other proposal opportunities are available at Gemini Observatory. These include:

  • The Fast Turnaround (FT) Program provides monthly opportunities to submit proposals, with successful programs scheduled for observation starting one month after each proposal deadline. Up to 10% of the time at Gemini North is available for the FT program.
  • Director's Discretionary Time is open to any astronomer worldwide and can be submitted at any time.
  • Poor Weather Proposals are solicited for programs that can use poor, but usable, conditions and are executed when nothing in the regular queue is observable. Proposals can be submitted via the normal TAC process (this call) or at any time.

Bring One, Get One: Travel Assistance Program

The Gemini Observatory, at the request of its Users' Committee, would like to strongly encourage the visit of students, and other early-career observers, to observing runs (attending Queue, Classical, or Priority Visiting Observing). In semester 2015B, the Gemini Observatory will subsidize with up to US$2000 the travel expenses of individual under- and graduate students, and other early career observers, visiting Gemini North or South, when accompanying a senior observer. The "Bring One, Get One" Student Observer Support Program" page has full details on this program.

Remote Eavesdropping

Remote Eavesdropping will be available in 2015B for all programs, except for GSAOI programs. Investigators will be invited to sign up for eavesdropping via the PI email announcing they have been granted time.

Additional Information

Please see the page of supporting information for additional general information. Prospective users should also refer to the target and instrument accessibility page, and the instrument pages for detailed and up to date information on instrumentation.

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 Steve Margheim.

Gemini Observatory Participants