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Gemini e-Newscast #71

May 21, 2015

In This e-Newscast:

Catching Supernovae in Advance


The earliest observations of supernovae can distinguish among their formation mechanisms. For a Type Ia supernova, the progenitor white dwarf may be pushed to become a supernova by merger with another white dwarf or by accretion from a companion. Two new results, led by Rob Olling (University of Maryland) and Yi Ciao (California Institute of Technology), find evidence for both of these processes in different examples, based on early observations from NASA’s Kepler and Swift satellites (see NASA release). In both papers, observations from Gemini and other ground-based facilities provided key evidence to enable classification of the supernovae as Type Ia. The two papers appear in Nature (here and here, subscription required).
Gemini spectra from Olling et al.

User Survey is Open – Please Participate Before June 1


Gemini Observatory seeks feedback from the international community astronomers to help us develop for the future. We encourage both users and non-users of Gemini to complete our brief survey which can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZGCKQNQ . The initial questions focus on defining your needs in the coming years, and the second part concerns current services. The survey is open through June 1, 2015. The observatory and National Gemini Offices will review the results, and use them as important guidance during community-wide discussions at the Future and Science of Gemini Observatory meeting in Toronto in mid-June.

Gemini Instrument Feasibility Studies Begun


Gemini is pleased to announce the launch of four feasibility studies for the next facility instrument. Information about the study concepts is posted. The results of the science cases and feasibility studies will provide valuable input as we specify instrument requirements. Instrument building will be open to all groups (including those not participating in feasibility studies). Presentations on the status of each study are scheduled for the Future and Science of Gemini Observatory meeting in Toronto and we look forward to community feedback.
 

Fast Turnaround Proposals Are Due May 31


We are now accepting Fast Turnaround proposals, for observations at Gemini North to begin as early as July. Proposals are due by May 31. Full information about this proposal round and related deadlines is posted, and the latest news is available on the Fast Turnaround News blog.
 

Maunakea Issues Surrounding TMT


With the current protests surrounding the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) the Maunakea observatories are working to present a unified message in all external communications on the subject. To that end we ask that our user community proceed with caution in distributing messages and professional communication on this subject. Gemini Observatory is taking a lead role in this effort and PIO Manager Peter Michaud is leading the coordination of communications among the observatories. If you have any questions, please contact Peter at: pmichaud@gemini.edu
 
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