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Gemini e-Newscast #82

April 18, 2016

In This e-Newscast:

A Lonely, Massive Black Hole

Astronomers using the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on the Gemini North telescope have measured a 17-billion-solar-mass black hole dominating the core of a large galaxy, NGC 1600, in the cosmic backwaters, the low-density environment of a group. The result, published in the April 6th issue of Nature, sheds light on large black holes that are likely relics from the early Universe, the descendants of luminous quasars at higher redshift. In the high-mass regime, Jens Thomas (Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Germany) and collaborators find that core radius of the host galaxy is a robust proxy for the mass of the central supermassive black hole, correlated more tightly than stellar velocity dispersion. The Gemini press release contains additional images and background information.

Latest GeminiFocus: How the Queue Responds to Adversity

The latest issue of GeminiFocus is available, as a PDF download or e-reader format. In addition to regular features and science news, learn how Gemini’s queue responds to the challenges of poor weather, earthquakes, equipment failures, etc. in “News for Users,” beginning on page 14.

Register Your Program to Get Proprietary Data; Standard Proprietary Period Now 12 Months

In order to access your proprietary data from the Gemini Observatory Archive (, you need to register your program ID with your archive user account. See this paragraph on the help page for further instructions.
With the new Gemini International Agreement for 2016-2021 (see e-newscast #80 for more information), the Gemini Board has set the standard Gemini data proprietary period to 12 months. This is effective for data taken in semester 2016A and going forward and is applicable to all queue, classical, Large and Long, and Director’s Discretionary programs. The proprietary period was reduced from 18 months and continues to start on the date the data are taken.  Extensions, curtailments, or  waivers of any proprietary period are at the discretion of the Gemini Director. Please direct any requests for changes to the Deputy Director, Nancy Levenson. The proprietary period for Fast Turnaround programs remains unchanged at six months.

Gemini Releases New Image Gallery Site

The Gemini Image Gallery has a new look and feel. Take it for a test-drive at If you have ideas or suggestions please contact us here.

Observatory Staff Join in Merrie Monarch Festivities

About 60 staff from most of the Maunakea Observatories (including a strong contingent from Gemini) participated in the Merrie Monarch parade in Hilo on April 2nd. Reports from participants indicate that a large number of parade watchers (who lined the streets for several miles) expressed vocal, and extremely positive, responses to the observatories’ participation in the parade. The Merrie Monarch parade is part of the week-long annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival which attracts thousands of visitors from Hawai‘i and around the world. The hula competitions are also broadcast via television and the web, see for more details.
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