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Gemini e-Newscast #85

July 13, 2016

In This e-Newscast:

Measuring the Coldest Brown Dwarf

Gemini has made spectral observations of the coldest known brown dwarf, which has a temperature of only about 250K. The object, known as WISE 0855, reveals itself to look as much like Jupiter as any discovered exoplanet and exhibits evidence for water clouds in its atmosphere. Andy Skemer (University of California Santa Cruz) led this work, using the Gemini Near-Infrared Spectrograph (GNIRS) on Gemini North. The best conditions were required to catch the weak emission, which is five times fainter than any other object detected in ground-based spectroscopy in the 5μm atmospheric window. The Gemini press release includes links to video. A preprint is currently available online, and the work will be published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Artist’s rendering of how WISE 0855 might appear if seen close-up in infrared light. Illustration by Joy Pollard, Gemini Observatory/AURA

Participate in the Gemini Vision Survey by August 14

Gemini and our stakeholders are planning for the future of Gemini beyond 2020! The Gemini Board has established a Strategic Vision Committee, and they now have a survey open to collect user input. The survey is structured in two parts: part one requests your feedback on several broad principles, and part two seeks your feedback on potential specialization scenarios. There is lots of room for your additional ideas, whether in response to a specific survey question, or more broadly, for ideas and suggestions that you would like to share. You are also welcome to submit white papers by email to Gemini Director, Markus Kissler-Patig. The survey page contains more information about the strategic vision process. Please help us by completing the survey by August 14.

Read the Latest GeminiFocus

This quarter’s GeminiFocus newsletter (July) is available electronically and features recent science results from Gemini and news for users and our diverse professional and public communities. Some highlights from this issue include:
  • A Science Highlight on the star-forming region N159W (cover GeMS/GSAOI image);
  • Gemini Large and Long Program observations of gravitational lenses from the Dark Energy Survey;
  • News for users on instrument and dome maintenance, and improvements to the 2016B Observing Tool;
  • Updates on future instrumentation and upgrades from the detector upgrade on GMOS-North, to a new laser for the GeMS system as well as news on GHOST and the Gen 4#3 instrument;
  • Finally, rounding out this issue is news on Gemini’s many solar energy systems at both sites, recent books of relevance to Gemini, and a new look for several of Gemini’s Legacy images!
Cover of the July 2016 issue of GeminiFocus

Provide Your Input for UCG and OpsWG

The Users’ Committee for Gemini (UCG) and Operations Working Group (OpsWG) will both meet at Gemini North the week of August 18. We planned the common site and overlapping schedule to give these committee members some opportunity to interact with each other. Please provide your input to any of the members so they can address your concerns as Gemini users. The current membership and brief description of these (and other) Gemini committees are on the Gemini web pages.

Gemini South Environmental Monitoring Now On-Line

The Gemini South environmental monitoring web page now shows the live weather and seeing conditions at Cerro Pachón.

A New Look for Gemini Legacy Images

An exciting new design of Gemini’s Legacy image sheets are now available both electronically and as 8.5x11” prints. Anyone can download and print by visiting the Gemini Image Gallery or request printed copies for education and outreach activities by contacting us here. Image sheets are available in both English and Spanish!
Example of one of the new Gemini Legacy Image sheets showing the front and back of the English version.
Copyright © 2016 Gemini Observatory, All rights reserved.

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