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Gemini e-Newscast #84

June 15, 2016

In This e-Newscast:

Triggering Star Formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Massive stars (greater than 8 solar masses) shape their surroundings, including compressing nearby gas, which may enhance local star formation. Two challenges of observing this starbirth in process are that dust hides the emission of the newborn stars, and all the activity occurs on very small spatial scales. PhD student Anais Bernard (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, France) and collaborators have used the Gemini Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS) with the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI) to overcome these difficulties. The result is seen in this image revealing fine details in the near-infrared light that penetrates the obscuring dust of the young star-forming region N159W located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. With unprecedented spatial resolution (around 0.09 arcseconds) and photometry, the team identified more than 100 young stellar object (YSO) candidates. The relationship of observed massive stars and these YSOs suggests that the first generation of massive stars triggered the recent star formation. A sneak preview of the Gemini image release is available, and full results will be published in Astronomy and Astrophysics. A preprint is now available at
Gemini South GeMS/GSAOI near-infrared image of the N159W field in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The image spans 1.5 arcminutes across, resolves stars to about 0.09 arcseconds, and is a composite of three filters (J, H, and Ks). Integration (exposure) time for each filter was 25 minutes. Color composite image by Travis Rector, University of Alaska Anchorage. Image credit: Gemini Observatory/AURA.

Data Reduction User Forum: A Resource for Gemini Users

Please visit, search, read, register, and contribute to the Gemini Data Reduction (DR) User Forum. With more than 120 participants, the forum has amassed about 60 posts, with an average of three replies each. The platform is created for the trading of ideas, scripts, and best practices. Anyone is invited to ask questions or trigger discussions about data reduction, processes, and strategies.

The DR User Forum permits an immediate diffusion to a broad audience. It allows users to attract the attention of many experts that might otherwise be difficult to contact. The Forum also offers a different, more direct, channel to contact Gemini staff, instrument builders, and experienced researchers.

Board Resolutions and User’s Committee Report and Commentary

On May 11-13 the Gemini Board met at the Hilo Base Facility and concluded with a series of resolutions which are available to view at the following link: 

Commentary is now available on the report from the 2015 Users’ Committee for Gemini (UCG) meeting. The next UCG meeting will occur in mid-August in concert with the Operations Working Group with the National Gemini Offices. Please contact  UCG members with any issues for discussion at that time. Many thanks to our UCG members for all of their contributions!

Observing Tool Software Release

The new 2016B Observing Tool is now available for Gemini's users. It is required to access the Observing Databases. PIs should expect notifications about their proposals by the end of this week. Read more on changes at Gemini Science Software Blog:

Accolades for Data Reduction Tutorial

Kathleen Labrie, a member of Gemini’s Science User Support Department, presented a hands-on tutorial of GMOS imaging data reduction at the Observational Techniques Workshop hosted by the International Telescopes Support Office and the Australian Astronomical Observatory. Kudos to Kathleen as it was the highest rated session of the workshop.
Delete text, use image (screenshot) of tweet: Participant Alex Codoreanu tweeted “from archive to I-band image in a couple of hours, best workshop ever!”
Kathleen Labrie laying the groundwork for an afternoon of hands-on data reduction

Solar Installations at Cerro Pachón and in Hilo

Following the installation of photovoltaic (PV) panels on the Gemini North Maunakea facility late last year, Gemini has started installing PV panels at the Gemini South Cerro Pachón mountaintop facility and the Gemini North Hilo Base Facility (HBF). Construction at Gemini South is nearing completion and is expected to be completed by the end of this month (June 2016), and the HBF hardware installation is complete and is now connected to the utility grid.The installation of the PV panels across the Gemini facilities reduces our carbon footprint and lowers recurring electricity costs.
Photovoltaic panels installed at the Gemini South telescope facility on Cerro Pachón in Chile.
Photovoltaic panel installation at the Gemini North base facility in Hilo, Hawai‘i.
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