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Gemini e-Newscast #105

March 21, 2018

In This e-Newscast:

IGRINS -- A Unique Visiting Instrument at Gemini South

The Immersion GRating INfrared Spectrometer (IGRINS) is a cross-dispersed near-infrared spectrograph with a resolving power of R=45,000 covering the H and K windows, from 1.45 to 2.5 microns, in a single exposure. Gemini is supporting the instrument team with the installation and commission of IGRINS this month at Gemini South. As a Visiting Instrument, IGRINS is ideal because it features a single observing mode and contains no moving parts. We are grateful to the IGRINS team for agreeing to support observations with the help of Gemini staff for a total of 50 nights in semester 2018A. The IGRINS visit to Gemini is supported by the US National Science Foundation under grant AST-1702267 (PI: Gregory Mace, University of Texas at Austin), and by the Korean GMT Project of KASI. Further technical details are available in papers by Yuk et al. (2010), Park et al. (2014), and Mace et al. (2016).
Gemini frequently hosts different Visiting Instruments at each telescope every semester, so remember to keep an eye on the calls for proposals!
IGRINS and Gemini team collaboration during a site visit to Gemini South (left to right: Hwihyun Kim, Brian Chinn, Kimberly Sokal, Greg Mace, and John Good). Image credit: Kimberly Sokal (UT Austin).

Principal Investigator for OCTOCAM Announced

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Massimo Robberto of Space Telescope Research Institute and Johns Hopkins University has accepted the role of Principal Investigator (PI) of the OCTOCAM instrument. OCTOCAM is a next-generation astronomical instrument designed for the 8-meter Gemini South telescope in Chile.

Dr. Alexander van der Horst, who filled the interim PI position until now, will return to the Project Scientist position. “We thank Dr. van der Horst for his important contributions and hard work as interim PI,” said Stephen Goodsell who serves as the instrument’s project manager.

OCTOCAM is an 8-channel imager and spectrograph that will provide rapid exposures of high-resolution images and moderate-resolution spectra simultaneously from ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths. The team expects to deliver the instrument in 2022.

Read more on the announcement here.

Science and Evolution of Gemini 2018: Approaching Registration Deadline

Your opportunity for an early-bird rate for the Science and Evolution of Gemini Observatory conference will end on March 31, 2018. As of April 1st, the rate will change from $435.00 to $460.00. Thank you for the registrations received to date. For those who have not yet paid, please note that your registration is not considered complete until your payment is received.
Register; Pay
Is there something that you’ve always wanted to learn about Data Reduction? You have until March 31 to let us know. We’’ll select a popular topic based on the suggestions you send and design a workshop that will be held from 1:00 to 5:00 PM on Sunday, July 22, the day before the conference begins. Please click below and share with us what you would like to learn.
While visiting the meeting webpage, please note the special workshops. These are open for participant registration and you can play a role in reducing their price. The workshop registration fees cover the cost of room and AV equipment rental; thus, fees will be lower if more people register.


Gemini, AURA, and NSF Staff Participate in Korean Astronomy Meeting

The Korea-Giant Magellan Telescope (K-GMT) Science Group held their second annual users meeting in Feb 26-27 at the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) in Daejeon Republic of Korea. The goal of the K-GMT Science Program is to increase the Korean Astronomical Society’s access to observing capabilities in preparation for the upcoming era of the Giant Magellan Telescope. Sustainable access to a major 8-10 meter-class observatory (like Gemini) is critical to the realization of this goal.
Participants at the 2018 K-GMT Users Meeting which attracted 110 participants.
For this year’s meeting, seven guests from Gemini Observatory, AURA and the NSF were invited to present the current status and future plan of Gemini Observatory, and to communicate directly with K-GMT Science Program users. Laura Ferrarese, Henry Roe, and John Blakeslee presented a review of the Korean participation at Gemini, the Gemini strategic plan, instrumentation program and several science highlights. Heidi Hammel from the AURA corporate office explained the Gemini situation within the AURA and NCOA context, and Chris Davis detailed how the NSF supports research facilities such as Gemini. Hwihyun Kim and André-Nicolas Chené presented practical talks on career and research opportunities, as well as details on the workflow for a full-partner user (i.e., the program life cycle: Phase I, Phase II, observing phase, and Data Reduction).
During the Korea visit, Gemini staff enjoyed warm welcomes at the Korea Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS), Seoul National University (SNU), and Yonsei University.

More About the 2018B Call for Proposals Deadline

If you need any clarifications on how PIT works, please have a look at our tutorials. If the tutorial material does not cover what you need for your proposal, please contact us directly at or submit a helpdesk ticket. For additional information see here.

Inspiring Exploration on Both Hemispheres

For the first week of March Gemini North’s flagship outreach program Journey Through the Universe celebrated its 14th consecutive year of exploration on Hawaii’s Big Island. Then, in Chile, a week later, AstroDay Chile brought the excitement of astronomical discovery to Gemini’s friends and neighbors in the La Serena area. These events engaged thousands of students and the public in classroom visits, career panels, public displays, stargazing and much more!
Jocelyn Ferrera (left, edge), Assistant Science Operation Specialist at Gemini North, and Matthew Taylor, Science Fellow at Gemini North, help students use their bodies to construct constellations and illustrate how perspective changes the appearance of star groups on Earth.
Gemini South Senior Software Engineer, Eduardo Toro, shares an activity on robotics with Chilean students as part of AstroDay Chile.
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