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Gemini e-Newscast #92

February 16, 2017

In This e-Newscast:

Fading AGN and Galaxy Zoo Citizen Science

Gemini follows up on candidate galaxies with fading active galactic nuclei (AGN) first identified thanks to the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project. Researchers find that these galaxies show a significant reduction in ionizing photons within the last 20,000 years. Additionally, the gas clouds around these fading AGN are dominated by rotation, unlike those around radio-loud AGN, which are outflows coming from the nuclei.

The paper, by lead author William C. Keel of the University of Alabama, is accepted in The Astrophysical Journal and the paper can be found here.

Additional details can be found in the Gemini press release.
[O III] emission-line profiles from the GMOS IFU spectra overlaid on the HST [O III] images for Mkn 1498, one of the galaxies studied in this work. This galaxy displays a ringlike emission feature dominated by rotation with a velocity range of 175 km/sec, (the 700 km/sec referenced in the legend refers to the entire velocity range shown in each miniature line profile plot).

Gemini First with BFO - Let's Celebrate!

On February 17th Gemini South will celebrate the official completion of the transition to Base Facility Operations (BFO)! “The planned celebration on February 17th at the Gemini South Base Facility will mark the end of this transition,” said Atsuko Nitta who led the multi-year project for Gemini. Atsuko adds that Gemini is the first 8-meter-class optical-infrared observatory to go completely remote, “... and we did it twice, once on each hemisphere!”

For Gemini’s users this transformation is expected to make Classical and Priority Visiting observing much easier, as well as a plus for Bring-One, Get-One visits with students. Please join us in a virtual “Twitter Toast” to this milestone for Gemini and our users!
Highlights from the celebration of BFO completion at the Gemini North Base Facility on February 7th. On the right is a custom cake that includes the names of all staff involved in the BFO effort. The Gemini South celebration is scheduled for Feb. 17th.

AURA/Gemini – Keeping Chilean Astronomy in Chile

In late January 2017 several Gemini staff joined in the XIV Annual Meeting of the Chilean Astronomical Society (SOCHIAS) held at the Marbella resort in Maitencillo, Chile.

“Interacting with our users throughout the Gemini community is critical to us, and conferences as well as workshops are a wonderful way for us to meet with our users and interact in meaningful ways,” says Joanna Thomas-Osip who leads Gemini’s Science User Support Department. Joanna adds that Gemini is always looking for opportunities to participate in our user’s conferences, meetings, and workshops – so don’t hesitate to contact her with suggestions for ways that Gemini can help.
Ricardo Salinas (left) and Morten Andersen (center) discussing Gemini capabilities with a potential user at the booth of Gemini during the SOCHIAS meeting in Chile.

Featured Image: FLAMINGOS-2 Images a Swan

This FLAMINGOS-2 near-infrared image details part of the magnificent Swan Nebula (M17), where ultraviolet radiation streaming from young hot stars sculpts a dense region of dust and gas into myriad fanciful forms. M17 lies some 5,200 light-years distant in the constellation Sagittarius and is one of the most massive and luminous star-forming region's in our Galaxy. It is also one of the most studied. Field of view: 5.5 x 4.0 arcmin. This image was obtained in 2013 prior to work done with FLAMINGOS-2 to improve PSF issues at the edge of the field-of-view. Full resolution images can be found at Gemini Image Gallery.
Credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA

Journey Through the Universe 2017 Kicks off With Teacher Workshop

The 2017 edition of Gemini’s longest-running and most successful local outreach program, Journey Through the Universe (JTTU), kicked off with a teacher workshop at Hilo’s ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on February 13th. The diverse workshop, which attracted over 40 Big Island educators, featured an observatory career panel, sessions on the integration of the Next Generation Science Standards (which Hawai‘i teachers are now integrating into their classrooms), and a special presentation by Gemini Director Markus Kissler-Patig on Maunakea astronomy (see image). The JTTU program will continue throughout 2017 with the program’s next milestone being a week of classroom presentations on the Big Island by over 60 observatory staff and science educators.
Gemini Director Markus Kissler-Patig shares insights on astronomy – and the role of Maunakea in modern astronomical research – with local Big Island educators.
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