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2021B Call for Proposals

, Updated

Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2021B semester, 1 August 2021 - 31 January 2022

The table below shows submission deadlines for (i) all Gemini Participants, (ii) the Subaru community under the Gemini/Subaru time exchange, and (iii) the French community under the GRACES collaboration. Multi-participant joint proposals should be submitted by the deadline of the participant country to which the Principal Investigator is affiliated. For more on the Gemini proposal submission and time allocation process, please consult the Standard Semester sections of the Phase I page.

Participant Submission Deadline
United States March 31, 2021 at 23:59 (Mountain Standard Time)
Canada April 1, 2021 at 16:00 (Pacific Daylight Time)
Brazil April 2, 2021 at 23:59 (Brazilian Standard Time)
Argentina March 31, 2021 at 17:00 (Argentina Time)
Korea April 2, 2021at 23:59 (Korea Standard Time)
Chile March 31, 2021 at 23:59 (Chile Time)
U. of Hawaii April 1, 2021 at 10:00 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)
Subaru Community March 31, 2021 at 23:59 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)
French Community April 1, 2021 at 14:00 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)

The Call is open to all participants and host institutions : Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Korea, the United States, Chile and the University of Hawaii. US time is open to all astronomers worldwide including those at non-US institutions, although in that case the proposal must explain why U.S. national facilities are needed. The distribution of time across the partners is available in the time distribution table.


New and Notable in 2021B

The following capabilities and announcements are notable for the 2021B semester. Please see the relevant instrument pages and subsections of the call for proposals for details.

General:

  • Gemini is planning the 2021B semester call for proposal as usual. However significant changes can happen and impact the available observing time and instruments, due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Because of the ongoing global pandemic, we are not accepting visitors until further notice, and the "Bring One, Get One" Student Observer Support Program" program remains unavailable.
  • Because we cannot accept visitors, neither Classical nor Priority Visitor mode is offered for semester 2021B.  We encourage use of Remote Eavesdropping for all queue programs. Investigators will be invited to sign up for eavesdropping via the PI email announcing they have been granted time.
  • Both Gemini North and South expect to be shutdown for mirror coatings during the 2021B semester: North - August 9 to September 3, Hawai time; South - October 12 to October 31, Chile time. The dates are provisional, and depend on the pandemic situation.
  • CFHT will use 9.54 nights of Gemini time in the 21B semester, as Guaranteed Time for Gemini's use of GRACES. The French community receives 5.54 nights, the Canadian community receives 3 nights, and the University of Hawaii receives 1 night. The time will be distributed as 5 nights at Gemini North and 4.54 nights at Gemini South. 
  • The Gemini community is eligible to propose Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) poor-weather "filler" programs on Subaru in 2021B. See Other Proposal Opportunities for details.

Facility Instruments:

  • Gemini North Altair (facility Adaptive Optics system)

    UPDATE MARCH 24 2021: WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THE LASER GUIDE SYSTEM IS OFFERED FOR THE 21B SEMESTER.

    Altair is offered in both Natural and Laser Guide Star mode for semester 2021B.
  • Gemini North GNIRS (1-5 micron spectrometer) is expected to be unavailable from September through to late October, for the IFU installation. Combined with the shutdown, this mean that GNIRS is expected to only be available in November, December and January of 2021B. 

Visiting Instruments:

  • 'Alopeke and Zorro, the fast low-noise dual-channel and dual-plate-scale imagers with speckle and wide-field modes, will be available for science (subject to demand) as resident visiting instruments at Gemini North and Gemini South, respectively, in 2021B.
  • IGRINS, a high-resolution (R~45000), single-setting, near IR (1.45 - 2.5 microns) echelle spectrometer, will be available for science (subject to demand) as visiting instrument at Gemini South in 2021B.
  • MAROON-X, a high-resolution (R~80,000), optical (500 - 900nm) spectrometer, will be available for science (subject to demand) as a visiting instrument at Gemini North in 2021B.
  • Due to Covid restrictions on personnel and visitors, neither POLISH-2 nor TEXES is offered for semester 2021B.


Summary of 2021B Gemini Capabilities

Gemini North

Gemini North is expected to be shutdown for mirror coating from August 9 to September 3, 2021 (pending the COVID-19 situation). Targets are generally limited to 18 < RA hours < 13.5 and -37 < DEC degrees < +90. Due to the shutdown, investigators with targets at RA 18 - 19 hours should have alternative targets available at later RAs. There are additional constraints as described in the target accessibility and instrument restrictions page.

Facility instruments offered in 2021B, in queue mode only, are:

  • GNIRS (1-5 micron spectrometer): expected to be available only in November through January in the 2021B semester, due to the telescope shutdown in August and the IFU installation from September through to late October. Investigators with targets at RA 18 - 22 hours should have alternative targets available at later RAs. As in previous semesters, the short red camera is NOT available in 2021B. YJHK imaging is available via the acquisition keyhole.

Visiting instruments offered in 2021B (subject to demand) are:

  • 'Alopeke: a dual-channel fast-readout visual-wavelength camera giving simultaneous diffraction-limited images in two filters over a 2.8 arcsec field of view; as well as a wide-field mode which provides simultaneous two-color imaging in standard SDSS filters over a 60" field of view. The scheduling and length of the Alopeke visiting block(s) will be subject to community demand.

  • GRACES: a high-resolution, R~67,500, optical (0.4-1 micron) spectrometer. Scheduled blocks to be determined with CFHT (where the instrument resides), based on demand.

  • MAROON-X: a high-resolution (R~80,000), optical (500 - 900nm) radial velocity (RV) spectrometer will be available for science at Gemini North in 2021B. The instrument is open to the community for general purpose high resolution spectroscopy. Instrument throughput is 11-12% (max, comparable to GRACES) under excellent seeing conditions but currently measured to be worse than expected for median seeing (7.5% max). For details, consult the 'Throughput and Sensitivity' section of the MAROON-X page. The instrument has demonstrated sub m/s on-sky precision for RV measurements of M dwarfs, although the instrument performance is continually being assessed and improved.

Gemini South

Gemini South is expected to be shutdown for mirror coating from October 12 to October 31 (pending the COVID-19 situation). Targets are generally limited to 16 < RA hours < 12 and -90° < dec < +28°. There are additional constraints as described in the target accessibility and instrument restrictions page.

Facility instruments offered in 2021B, in queue mode only, are:

  • GMOS South (0.36-1.03 micron imager and spectrometer):available throughout the semester. The GMOS-S detector array is currently suffering from poor charge transfer efficiency on its CCD#1. This may affect nod-and-shuffle observations and IFU observations. Updates will be posted on the GMOS South web page . The R600 grating is not available in 2021B.

  • GSAOI (0.9-2.4 micron adaptive optics imager) with the GeMS Adaptive Optics system: Due to guide star limitations, investigators must check the availability of Guide Star constellations using the Observing Tool before submitting a proposal.  Observations in IQ85 are possible for programs that can use delivered images with full-width half-maximum of ~0.2 arcseconds as opposed to the ≤ 0.1 arcseconds delivered in IQ70 or IQ20 conditions. Proposals requesting IQ85 constraints are encouraged. Observations under non-photometric conditions with 0.1 mag uniform extinction are also possible under very good IQ conditions.  The expectation is to have two or three laser runs of 7 nights each during the semester, the actual schedule will be based on the demand from the community.

Visiting instruments offered in 2021B (subject to demand) are:

  • Zorro: a dual-channel fast-readout visual-wavelength camera giving simultaneous diffraction-limited images in two filters over a 2.8 arcsec field of view; as well as a wide-field mode which provides simultaneous two-color imaging in standard SDSS filters over a 60" field of view. The scheduling and length of the Zorro visiting block(s) will be subject to community demand.

  • IGRINS, a high-resolution (R~45000), single-setting, near IR (1.45 - 2.5 microns) echelle spectrometer. The scheduling and length of the IGRINS visiting block(s) will be subject to community demand.


Important Dates for 2021B

The deadline for Phase I submission varies with participant (see the submission deadline Table at the top of this CfP). For successful proposals,  the Phase II submission deadline is 15 July 2021. Check the 2021B schedule for key dates and events in the proposal process.


Phase I Submission Guidelines for 2021B

Proposals for time on Gemini, and for time on Subaru via the Gemini-Subaru time exchange program, must use the Gemini Phase I Tool (PIT). Latex and Word templates are available to create a pdf attachment which includes the science and technical cases. See the PIT page for installation information and the integration time calculators (available in all of the instrument's pages, with the exception of some visitor instruments) in the proposal. Investigators proposing for visiting instruments must use the generic "visitor" instrument option in the PIT resource list, select the telescope, and then enter the instrument name.

Note that, the time for baseline partner calibrations for the Gemini facility instruments is automatically added to the total time requested for each target in the PIT. Investigators should continue to include the time associated to overheads (acquisition time, readout time, etc) in the total time estimated for each target in the PIT. The ITC output now gives overhead estimates. Alopeke and Zorro PIs should include program time for PSF standards if they need them. See the Observing Section in the PIT help pages for details.


Time Available in 2021B

The time available for each participant and host institution in 2021B is shown on the time distribution page. At Gemini North, 151 nights are expected to be available for science. At Gemini South, 150 nights are expected to be available for science.


Subaru Exchange Time 

The exchange of time between the Gemini and Subaru communities will continue in 2021B. Gemini and Subaru expect to be able to exchange a minimum of 5 nights. A summary of the Subaru capabilities in 2021B is given below, PIs should also consult the Subaru Call for Proposals.

Relevant information:

  • PIs in the Gemini community who intend to use the Subaru telescope are asked to apply through the time-exchange program and not through the open use Subaru Call. Proposals should be submitted via the normal Gemini Phase I process.
  • Telescope downtime: The start of Semester 2021B is delayed to the middle of August due to UPS replacement work. Another consective ten weekdays downtime, mostly in bright nights, are expected for the installation of PFS.
  • Instrument downtime:
    • Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) will not be available for about two and half months while the top-end exchanger is worked on. The schedule for this work is to be determined.
    • The Infrared Camera and Spectrograph (IRCS) will be unavailable in August and September due to a cold head replacement.
    • Only Natural Guide Star Adaptive Optics is available in 2021B because of laser upgrade work.

Facility instruments offered in 2021B:

Visiting instruments offered in 2021B, limited to one or two runs, are listed below. Proposals to use visiting instruments must include the instrument PIs as Co-investigators. 

  • CHARIS: Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph - provides high contrast images of exoplanets, disks, brown dwarfs with SCExAO.
  • Fast PDI (in shared-risk mode): availability to be confirmed in April. Polarization differential imaging (PDI) with a high speed (>kHz) near-IR (950 - 1860 nm) low-noise camera (C-RED One), optimized for high contrast imaging of circumstellar disks with SCExAO+AO188. 
  • IRD - Infrared Doppler (in shared-risk mode): infrared high-dispersion, high resolution (up to 70,000) fiber-fed spectrometer.  RD provides high spectral resolution echelle spectroscopy and radial velocity measurements from 0.97 to 1.75 um simultaneously combined with AO188.  IRD SSP is started in 2019A – any IRD proposal must clarify how its scientific aim is different from SSP. The observing mode REACH (SCExAO+IRD), is available.
  • MEC (in shared-risk mode) - availability to be confirmed in April. The MKID Exoplanet Camera is a near-IR (800-1400nm) photon-counting low-resolution (R~5) integral field spectrograph optimized for high contrast imaging with SCExAO+AO188.
  • SWIMS (in shared-risk mode): Simultaneous-color Wide-field Infrared Multi-object Spectrograph - an imager and multi-object spectrograph in the NIR wavelength. SWIMS applicants can NOT request MOIRCS as a backup instrument.
  • VAMPIRES : The Visible Aperture Masking Polarimetric Imager for Resolved Exoplanetary Structures (VAMPIRES) is a visible light instrument on the SCExAO system. 
  • NsIR Wave Plate Unit: a visiting device for IRCS/SCExAO polarimetry mode.


Other Proposal Opportunities in 2021B

Other proposal opportunities are available at Gemini Observatory in 2021B. These include:

  • The Large And Long Program (LLP) 2021 Call provides an annual opportunity to submit proposals which require either significantly more time than a partner typically approves for a single program, or extends over two to six semesters, or both. Up to 20% of the available time from participating parters (US and Canada) is available for LLPs. LLP proposals are currently being accepted from PIs based at an institution of one of the participating partner countries and who have submitted a letter of intent by the appropriate deadline. The 2021B LLPs proposal submission deadline is April 1, 2021 at 23:59 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time). Further information on LLPs and the LLP proposal process can be found on the Large And Long Programs page. Information on previously accepted LLPs and their science programs is available here.

  • The Fast Turnaround (FT) Program provides monthly opportunities to submit proposals, with successful programs scheduled for observation starting one month after each proposal deadline. Up to 10% of the time at Gemini North and Gemini South is available for the FT programs. PIs must be members of the Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Korea, University of Hawaii or United States astronomy communities. Chile has withdrawn from the FT program and therefore Chilean PIs do not have access to FT time.

  • Poor Weather Proposals are solicited for programs that can use poor, but usable, conditions and are executed when nothing in the regular queue is observable. Proposals can be submitted via the normal TAC process (this call) or at any time. PIs must be based in Gemini participating countries or the host institutions.
  • For Semester 2021B, the Gemini community is eligible to propose HyperSuprimeCam (HSC) filler programs on Subaru. Filler programs are executed in poor observing conditions (typically seeing >1.5 arcseconds, and/or poor transparency), and up to 50 hours can be requested by a filler proposal, although the first 4 hours have priority. Note that HSC will not be available for about two and half months during 21B, at dates to be determined. Execution is not guaranteed: observations are made only when there is no other program in the HSC queue. In recent semesters, typically of order 15% of HSC time has gone to filler programs. Applications may be submitted once per semester, the next deadline for filler proposals is April 6, 2021 3:00 am (UT). Proposals must be sent through the Subaru submission system (NOT Gemini), and are considered only by the Subaru TAC. Note that only a short text summary of the program is required, not a full detailed Science Justification.


Data Rights, Proprietary periods and Data Distribution

All data taken with the Gemini telescopes are the property of the Gemini Observatory. Principal investigators of Gemini regular programs (Queue/Classical/Poor Weather) have exclusive access to the data for their program for a period of 12 months. After the proprietary period the data are publicly available. See the page Data Rights and Proprietary Periods for more information.

All data, including raw and available processed data, obtained with the Gemini telescope are distributed exclusively through the Gemini Observatory Archive. More information about the data distribution is given here.


Supporting information to the Call for Proposals

Relevant general information related to the applications for time on Gemini Telescopes is presented in the supporting information page. Consult there for the following:

  • Time Allocation Process (National and International Time Allocation Committees)
  • Submitting for time on both telescopes
  • Band 1 Persistence
  • Electronic PIT Submission
  • Joint Proposals
  • Under-utilized Instruments
  • Rapid Response or Target of Opportunity
  • GMOS Mask definitions
  • Poor Weather Programs
  • Exchange Time
  • Target information (guide stars, non-sidereal objects, time-specific observations)
  • Duplicate Observations

Prospective users should also refer to the target and instrument accessibility page, and the instrument pages for detailed and up to date information on instrumentation.


Questions and Answers

All questions concerning proposals, or any other subject, should be made using the Gemini HelpDesk. This web-based system will send the request to your National Gemini Office staff in the first instance who will escalate it to Gemini staff if necessary.

Comments and suggestions on the format and content of this page and supporting pages are welcome, and should be sent to Marie Lemoine-Busserolle and Sandy Leggett.