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Gemini e-Newscast #69

March 19, 2015

In This e-Newscast:

New Clarity and Change in an Explosive Stellar Outflow

The outflow that emerges from the Orion Molecular Cloud 1 (OMC1) offers a rare opportunity to observe a catastrophic episode in a massive star-forming region. The large scale of the outflow and the common dynamical age of the many moving knots in the region known as the “Orion Fingers,” point to an explosive origin. New observations using the Gemini Multi-conjugate Adaptive Optics System (GeMS), and the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI), provide the sharpest views ever obtained of the large region, nearly reaching the diffraction limit with resolutions between 0.08 to 0.1 arcseconds.
John Bally (University of Colorado) and collaborators directly measure the motion of specific fingers in the outflow and their morphological changes. They suggest that stellar merger events could produce such outflows, which would also trigger the runaway of massive stars from their birthplaces. Brief information is posted at the Gemini website. A preprint is now available, and full results will be published in Astronomy and Astrophysics.
The outflow of the “Orion Fingers” is evident in this high-resolution image from Bally et al. (2015). The leading fingertips appear in [Fe II] (cyan), and the trailing fingers are evident in molecular hydrogen emission (orange). Comparison with earlier observations shows the motion and morphological changes of the emitting knots.

Hands-On Data Sessions at Future and Science of Gemini Meeting

The Users’ Committee for Gemini has reserved a 2-hour block for a hands-on, bring-your-own data workshop with Gemini staff and expert users during the Future and Science of Gemini meeting in Toronto in June. What topics would you like to see addressed in such a workshop? Examples might include mask-making with GMMPS or reducing GPI data. Please tell us what you would like help with by submitting topics for discussion on the web form.

2015B Call for Proposals is Now Open

The 2015B call for proposals is open. The submission deadline varies with each partner country; proposals are generally due around the end of the month. New and notable options for this semester include Large and Long Programs, the visitor Speckle camera, high-resolution optical spectroscopy with GRACES, and continuation of the “Bring One, Get One” visitor program.

Fast Turnaround Update

The Fast Turnaround program continues its success at Gemini North, and the first observations have been made, including completion of one short program. The monthly deadline at the end of February concluded with 12 valid proposals, which proposers are reviewing now. The next deadline is March 31, for observations to start as early as May. General information is available, and keep up with the latest Fast Turnaround News on this blog.

Journey Through the Universe 2015

Journey Through the Universe has entered its second decade! The week of March 2 was full of classroom visits in the Hilo area by astronomer and engineer educators, from Gemini and other Maunakea observatories. The program continues to attract participation from world-class educators, and a recurring highlight is our career program, which introduces local students to the variety of possibilities right in their own "back yard." In total, 230 classrooms, with over 5,000 students, participated; more than 2,000 public attended the Family Science Day.
Jeff Donahue, Gemini's senior optics technician, explores the properties of light with students in the classroom at Hilo Union Elementary School as part of Journey classroom presentations.
Copyright © 2015 Gemini Observatory, All rights reserved.

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