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Gemini e-Newscast #118

April 22, 2019

In This e-Newscast:

The Gemini telescopes helped to identify low-metallicity stars by gathering medium-resolution spectroscopic GMOS data for over 650 bright stars under poor weather conditions. These data provide a unique opportunity to explore the chemical evolution of the Milky Way and look at the enrichment of star-forming gas clouds in the early Universe.

See the feature article published in the April 2019 issue of GeminiFocus by Principal Investigator Vinicius Placco of the University of Notre Dame.

The Adventures of Zorro: Coming Soon to a Telescope Near You

'Alopeke and Zorro (Hawaiian and Spanish for "fox") are identical fast, low-noise, dual-channel and dual-plate-scale imagers based on the Differential Speckle Survey Instrument (Horch et al., 2009, 2012). 'Alopeke was delivered in 2017 and is permanently mounted on Gemini North as a Visiting Instrument. Zorro has just been built and will be installed on the calibration port at Gemini South in May 2019. In speckle mode, these instruments provide simultaneous two-color diffraction-limited optical imaging of targets as faint as V~17 over a 6.7 arcseconds field of view. Wide-field mode provides simultaneous two-color imaging in standard SDSS filters over a 60 arcseconds field of view.

Keep an eye out for Zorro in the next call for proposals, and see what this versatile instrument can do for you! The instrument team, led by Steve Howell (NASA), will take all observations and provide their standard pipeline-reduced speckle data products for all PIs.  If you would like more help than this, the PI would appreciate an offer to collaborate. More information can be found here, and questions are always welcome!
Left - Zorro being assembled in the lab at NASA Ames; Right - first image of a test pattern prior to packing up for shipping to Chile.

Canadian Graduate Students Visit Gemini and CFHT

Canadian graduate students recently visited Gemini North and the Canada-France-Hawaiʻi Telescope (CFHT) as part of the Maunakea Graduate School in Astronomy (MKGS); a program led by the Université de Montréal’s Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx). During their early-April visit (2nd-3rd) the students gained an in-depth understanding of observatory operations through workshops and a coordinated a mock queue observing run, explored observatory  instrumentation, and visited the telescope facilities on Maunakea. More details on the MKGS program can be found here.
MKGS graduate students, program coordinators, and Gemini staff during the student’s visit to Gemini’s Hilo Base Facility. Image Credit: Joy Pollard.

Merrie Monarch in Hilo

The annual Merrie Monarch festival celebrates Hawaiian culture with an internationally acclaimed hula competition and numerous events in Hilo spanning the week of April 22-27. Gemini staff will participate in the festivities by joining other Maunakea observatories in the Merrie Monarch parade on Saturday, April 27th - join us if you can! 
Left - Staff and families of the Maunakea Observatories participating in the 2018 Merrie Monarch Parade; Right - The Maunakea Observatories parade float decorated with local foliage.
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