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Gemini e-Newscast #128

February 24, 2020

In This e-Newscast:

Gemini South Telescope Captures Exquisite Planetary Nebula

The international Gemini Observatory composite color image of the planetary nebula CVMP 1 imaged by the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph on the Gemini South telescope on Cerro Pachón in Chile.
Credit: The international Gemini Observatory/NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory/AURA
The latest image from the international Gemini Observatory showcases the striking planetary nebula CVMP 1. This object is the result of the death throes of a giant star and is a glorious but relatively short-lived astronomical spectacle. As the progenitor star of this planetary nebula slowly cools, this celestial hourglass will run out of time and will slowly fade from view over many thousands of years. Follow this link to read the full image release.

Semester 2020B Call for Proposals to Open

Beginning 28 February, Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2020B semester, 1 August 2020 - 31 January 2021.  Proposals will be due in late March, with deadlines varying by partners; please see the forthcoming 2020B Call for Proposals for full details.

Second “First Light” on IGRINS!

Gemini staff are excited to welcome the Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrometer (IGRINS) back to Gemini South. IGRINS is operated at Gemini as a Visiting Instrument through an agreement with the University of Texas at Austin and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute. IGRINS’ first visit in 2018 was very successful, resulting in a number of outstanding results that are still keeping scientists busy. Now IGRINS is back for a second, more extended visit, and was installed on the telescope at the end of January. Here you can see the first image from the 2020 commissioning, which went very smoothly thanks to the outstanding instrument team and the talented staff at Gemini. Remember, if you missed your chance to propose for IGRINS for the 2020A semester, it will be available in the next call as well, so propose early and often!
First light of 2020 through the IGRINS grating on Gemini South! The window on the left shows the slit-viewing camera image, and the one on the right shows H and K band spectra (top and bottom respectively). The commissioning target is a K~12mag star in a binary system. Photo by Hwihyun Kim.
The excited team commissioning IGRINS for its return visit. Left to right: Gregory Mace (UT), Rene Rutten and Hwihyun Kim (Gemini), Jae-Joon Lee (KASI), Emily Lubar (UT), Pablo Prado (Gemini), Heeyoung Oh (KASI) and Karleyne Silva (Gemini). Photo by Greg Mace.

Early Registration Deadline for Gemini’s 20th Anniversary Science Meeting in Seoul, Korea

First science at Gemini Observatory occurred mid-2000 with observations of the Galactic center. The partnership has evolved a great deal since then, and in June of this year we will be celebrating our 20 years of discovery at the Gemini Science Meeting in Seoul. Register by Friday, February 28, 2020 to receive the early registration discount!  

Northern Winter in Full Swing

Northern winter arrived with a vengeance in January, dropping significant amounts of snow and ice, curtailing observations for nearly a fortnight early in the month. February has been little better so far; we have observed 14 nights out of 23 at the time of writing.
Left to Right: Daniel Moser Faes and Jesse Ball (SOS group) and Eric Scicchitano (OIR Lab COS) shovel snow at the entrance to Gemini North in January. Photo by David Jenkins

The GEMMA Podcast

In episode seven of the GEMMA Podcast, GEMMA intern Chance Spencer interviews Data Process Developer Chris Simpson. Simpson works in the Science Users Support department where he helps write Gemini’s new data reduction software package DRAGONS (Data Reduction for Astronomy from Gemini Observatory North and South). They discuss the advantage of DRAGONS in the coming age of time-domain astronomy as well as its benefits from the point of view of an astronomer. Click this link to listen.
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