Gemini Observatory invites its community to propose scientific investigations for the 2024A semester, 1 February 2024 - 31 July 2024.
The table below shows submission deadlines for all Gemini Participants, and the Subaru community under the Gemini/Subaru time exchange. 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 Phase I page.
Due to serious technical issues with the backend servers near the proposal deadline, the deadlines for all participants have been extended to 19:59 MST (16:59 Hawaii, 23:59 Chile/Argentina/Brazil) on October 3, 2023 (11:59 October 4 in Korea) so that all valid proposals can be received.
|October 02, 2023 at 23:59 (Mountain Standard Time)
|October 03, 2023 at 16:00 (Pacific Daylight Time)
|October 03, 2023 at 23:59 (Brazilian Time)
|October 02, 2023 at 17:00 (Argentina Time)
|October 02, 2023 at 23:59 (Korea Standard Time)
|October 02, 2023 at 23:59 (Civil Chile Time)
|Univ. of Hawaii
|October 02, 2023 at 10:00 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)
|September 30, 2023 at 23:59 (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time)
|October 04, 2023 at 23:59 (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.
Time Available in 2024A
A summary of the time distribution at each telescope is shown in the Table below. More information is available in the time distribution page. At Gemini North, 161 nights are expected to be available for science. At Gemini South, 151 nights are expected to be available for science.
*The US time available is an estimate which includes deduction for the Gemini Large and Long Programs, the US Long Term programs, and the US space mission support programs.
| North hours
| South hours
| North hours
| South hours
|US open skies policy allows PIs from any country to apply.
|Open to any astronomer.
|Open to PIs from US, CA, AR, BR & KR. Not open to UH or CL.
|Large and Long
|Pre-allocated in A semesters. In B semesters, open to US and CA PIs.
|GRACES compensatory time.
|For the MAROON-X, IGRINS and (provisionally) GHOST instrument teams.
|Univ. of Hawaii (host)
New and Notable in 2024A
The following capabilities and announcements are notable for the 2024A semester. Please see the relevant instrument pages and subsections of the call for proposals for details.
- All Gemini proposals requesting time from the US, CA, BR, or AR must be anonymized. Proposals which do not meet the guidelines will be penalised. This applies to proposals requesting time only from these partners, as well as joint proposals requesting time from multiple participants which include any of these partners. This requirement applies whether it is the PI or a co-I that has the relevant partner affiliation.
- All proposals to use Gemini in 2024A must use the 2024A Phase 1 template. The template has been designed to enable the anonymous review process, and to make proposals requirements, such as page and figure limits, uniform across the partners.
- Classical mode observing is offered in semester 2024A for facility instruments only. Priority Visitor mode is offered at both Gemini North and Gemini South; however if circumstances preclude having people on site, then awarded Priority Visitor time will revert to queue. PIs requesting Classical observing must state in their technical justification how the observations could be done in queue mode (with remote eavesdropping for data quality assessment and decision making). The "Bring One, Get One" Student Observer Support Program remains unavailable for semester 24A.
- Gemini South is expected to have a ~10-night engineering shutdown period at the end of the 2024A semester (plus ~9 nights of shutdown at the start of semester 24B). These dates are provisional, and may be subject to change in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
- Gemini North - NIFS, NIRI & GRACES: NIFS, NIRI and GRACES will no longer be offered from semester 24A onwards.
- Gemini North - GNIRS: During semester 24A, near-IR IFU observations are possible with GNIRS using the new low-resolution IFU (GNIRS LR IFU). The associated IFU data reduction pipeline software is currently anticipated to be publicly available during the early part of semester 2024A. IR imaging can also be conducted with GNIRS.
- Gemini North - GMOS-N: The GMOS-N B600 grating is significantly degraded and will likely not be offered in subsequent semesters. For most science cases, the B480 is recommended as an alternative option. The R600 grating will only be available for classical observing.
- Gemini North - Altair: It is currently anticipated that NGS, LGS+P1 (“super-seeing”) and LGS modes will be offered for the 24A semester, subject to diagnosis and correction of current, ongoing Altair technical issues. NGS and LGS+P1 modes (for GNIRS LR IFU observations) and NGS, LGS+P1 and LGS modes (for GNIRS imaging) are anticipated to be available. Altair functionality was not confirmed prior to the recent IT-related operational hiatus, and prospective Altair users should consult the Altair News page for instrument status updates.
- Gemini South: GHOST: This will be available in limited modes for semester 24A. Potential users should check for updates on the GHOST web pages and/or contact the GHOST instrument team for further details. A clear science target list for each GHOST proposal will also be required, in order to avoid possible conflicts with other GHOST programs.
- SPECIAL NOTE: In addition, GHOST will be offered in limited modes in shared-risk in 23B, via a separate Special FT Call for Proposals. Prospective GHOST users for semester 23B and 24A should take care to ensure that proposals are submitted to their intended semester, and that the appropriate PIT version for that semester is used.
- Gemini South: GMOS-S: Following the recent detector upgrades, the associated GMOS-S data reduction pipeline software is currently anticipated to be publicly available during the early part of semester 2024A.
- Gemini South: FLAMINGOS-2: A FLAMINGOS-2 maintenance intervention is expected to take place during the April 29 - May 17, 2024 period. Time available may be reduced by approximately 20% for targets at RA 10-11 h and 19-20h, and target monitoring or time critical observations with FLAMINGOS-2 may be impacted. Prospective FLAMINGOS-2 PIs should plan their target lists accordingly.
- IGRINS: In anticipation of the commissioning of IGRINS-2 at Gemini North, Semester 24A will be the final time in which IGRINS will be offered on Gemini South. In addition, IGRINS will only be available on Gemini South for the months of February, March and April, so IGRINS proposals for semester 24A should only include targets within the RA 05h - 19h range, and time critical observations are limited to this window.
Summary of 2024A Gemini Capabilities
Targets are generally limited to 4 < RA hours < 1 and -37 < DEC degrees < +90. There are additional constraints as described in the target accessibility and instrument restrictions page.
Facility instruments offered in 2024A are:
- Altair AO system: NGS and LGS+P1 (super-seeing) and LGS modes: There is currently a technical issue with Altair, a resolution for which is being worked on, and this may impact its availability in the 2024A semester. Prospective PIs should check the instrument web page for updates.
- GMOS North (0.36-1.03 micron imager and spectrometer): available throughout the semester. The new B480 grating is available. The GMOS-N B600 grating is significantly degraded and will likely not be offered in subsequent semesters. For most science cases, the B480 is recommended as an alternative option. The R600 grating will only be available for classical observing.
- GNIRS (1-5 micron spectrometer): available with or without AO capability. As before, the short red camera is NOT available. YJHK imaging is available via the acquisition keyhole. For the first time, the new GNIRS LR IFU will be available for science during semester 24A.
Visiting instruments offered in 2024A 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. Targets of Opportunity (Rapid or Standard) are accepted for Alopeke, but will only be executed during the instrument blocks.
- MAROON-X: a high-resolution (R~80,000), optical (500 - 900nm) radial velocity (RV) spectrometer, is open to the community for high precision RV studies as well as general purpose high-resolution spectroscopy. Please use the Maroon-X Exposure Time Calculator to evaluate the instrument performance.
Targets are generally limited to 5 < RA hours < 1 and -90° < dec < +28°. There are additional constraints as described in the target accessibility and instrument restrictions page.
Facility instruments offered in 2024A are:
- GMOS South (0.36-1.03 micron imager and spectrometer): To be offered throughout the semester. Following the recent detector upgrades, the associated GMOS-S data reduction pipeline software is currently anticipated to be publicly available during the early part of semester 2024A.
- 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. 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.
- GHOST will be available in limited modes for semester 24A. Potential users should check for updates on the GHOST web pages and/or contact the GHOST instrument team for further details.
- In addition: A limited supplementary Special Call for Proposals for shared risk FT observations in semester 23B exclusively for GHOST is taking place, with observing blocks planned during the November-December 2023B period. This Special Call is being handled completely separately from the normal semester Call, and so prospective GHOST PIs for semester 23B and 24A should take special care to ensure that proposals are submitted to their intended semester.
Visiting instruments offered in 2024A (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. Targets of Opportunity (Rapid or Standard) are accepted for Zorro, but will only be executed during the instrument blocks.
- IGRINS, a high-resolution (R~45000), single-setting, near IR (1.45 - 2.5 microns) echelle spectrometer, will only be available on Gemini South for the months of February, March and April, so IGRINS proposals for semester 24A should only include targets within the RA 05h - 19h range, and time critical observations are limited to this window.
Important Dates for 2024A
The deadline for Phase I submission varies with participant (see the submission deadline Table at the top of this CfP). For successful proposals, both queue and classical, the Phase II submission deadline is 18th January 2024. Check the 2024A schedule for key dates and events in the proposal process.
Phase I Submission Guidelines for 2024A
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 pdf attachments which include the science and technical cases, and investigator information. The template has been revised to enable the anonymous review process, and to make proposals requirements uniform across the partners. Two attachments are required for the proposal so that team information can be separated from the science case.
All Gemini proposals requesting time from the US, CA, BR, or AR must be anonymized. Proposals which do not meet the guidelines will be penalised. This applies to proposals requesting time only from these partners, as well as joint proposals requesting time from multiple participants which include any of these partners. This requirement applies whether it is the PI or a co-I that has the relevant partner affiliation.
Specific Timing WIndows: In order to maximize the chances of completing observations with timing windows, 24A proposals should:
- Provide a clear indication of the need for timing windows at Phase 1. If they are highly constraining (e.g. fewer than 6 observing possibilities), then PIs are strongly recommended to list them explicitly.
- Use observing constraints appropriate to the expected conditions. For example, if the only timing window for a proposal occurs during dark time, then the proposers should make sure that they choose SB20 or 50 as appropriate.
Additional options in the Time Requests module in the PIT are available for semester 2024A:
- The Gemini 2024A Phase 1 Tool includes options to specify that the proposal is for the AEON multi-telescope-facility system.
- Also in the 2024A Time Requests module, there is an option to identify proposals which have synergies with James Webb Space Telescope science. The goal for providing this proposal category is to encourage development of science programs that benefit from a combination of Gemini and JWST observations. More information is available here.
Time for baseline partner calibrations 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 IGRINS at Gemini page for information on how to determine exposure times for that instrument. PIs with targets that can be observed from either Gemini North or South (e.g. equatorial targets to be observed with one of the GMOS instruments) can request time with both instruments, in that case the time with each instrument should be halved, and the Observatory will update the observation times when targets are scheduled.
Targets of opportunity proposals must include all instrument configurations which the team may want to use, at Phase 1. This enables automatic creation of templates, and avoids errors at Phase 2.
Subaru Exchange Time
The exchange of time between the Gemini and Subaru communities will continue in 2024A; around 5 nights are expected to be available on Subaru for the Gemini community via the exchange program. A summary of the Subaru capabilities in 2024A is given below, PIs should also consult the Subaru Call for Proposals.
In addition, the Gemini community can propose shorter programs for Subaru's Service mode. PIs must indicate on the proposal whether regular or service time is requested. Service programs must be short programs of less than 4 hours duration including calibration and overheads, using one of IRCS, HDS, FOCAS or MOIRCS (imaging). Around 1 night is expected to be available in this mode for the Gemini community. Prospective investigators must carefully review the Service Program web page. In particular, some additional, detailed technical informationn must be provided at the time of Phase-1 submission. Service proposals are reviewed by the National TACs together with the regular proposals.
- Duplicate Subaru proposals submitted via other routes: If eligible PIs submit a proposal for Gemini Subaru exchange time and also submit the same proposal to a different TAC in parallel (e.g. researchers via the open use time offered in the Subaru Call, Gemini community PIs via the Gemini time-exchange program or Keck community PIs via the Keck time-exchange program), the proposers are asked to explicitly note the double submission in the proposal.
- Proposal submission: Proposals for time on Subaru via the Gemini time-exchange program are submitted via the normal Gemini Phase I process.
- HSC proposal length limits: For semester 24A, Gemini users can request no more than 3.5 nights (35 hours science time including overhead) in the case of HSC queue, and no more than 5.0 nights in the case of HSC classical requests.
- Instrument switches during the night: Switching between IRD, REACH, CHARIS, VAMPIRES, Fast PDI, and MEC during a single or half-night observation is possible. Please check the Subaru Call for Proposals for the time required for switching instruments.
- Subaru telescope downtime: During semester 2024A, there may be 14-27 nights of downtime due to the inspection of the hydraulic system of the telescope and dome drive system renewal (most likely in June - July).
- Subaru instrument downtime:
- The laser guide star (LGS) system for AO188 will be operated with TBAD (Transponder Based Aircraft Detector) with a shared-risk policy.
- The near-infrared wavefront sensor (NIR WFS) of AO188 is open in shared risk mode, only for limited modes with IRCS and SCExAO/CHARIS. Please refer to the NIR WFS website and the IRCS webpage for more information. Users planning to submit a proposal must contact the NIR WFS PI and include him in the proposal as a Co-I.
- The windscreen of the Subaru telescope is out of operation in 2024A, and thus tracking of target may not be possible in high winds. It is recommended that PIs have targets across a range of RAs so that different azimuth angles are available.
Facility instruments offered in 2024A:
- Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC - very wide field optical to far-red imager): There will be at most three (3) or four (4) HSC observing runs in the S24A semester, depending on the number of PFS commissioning runs as well as the timing of the facility maintenance works. Note that some filters require permission from the PI of the filters. All applicants must explicitly describe the filters they intend to use, in their proposal. The desired set as well as the minimum acceptable set should be clearly specified. Please check the HSC website for full details.
Visiting instruments offered in 2024A 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): 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. IRD SSP (Subaru Strategic Plan) was started in 2019A – any IRD proposal must clarify how its scientific aim is different from SSP. The observing mode REACH (SCExAO+IRD), is available (see below).
- MEC (in shared-risk mode): 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.
- REACH: REACH can be used simultaneously with CHARIS with any dispersion modes, but the wavelength coverage of CHARIS will be from 1850 nm to the longest wavelengths (please see the CHARIS website for details).
- 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.
- NIR-WFS: Near Infrared Wavefront Sensor. Located inside the AO188 instead of the visible curvature wavefront sensor of AO188 for SCExAO and IRCS.
Other Proposal Opportunities in 2024A
Other proposal opportunities are available at Gemini Observatory in 2024A. These include:
- 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 or United States astronomy communities. The University of Hawaii and Chile have both withdrawn from the FT program and therefore UH and 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.
- 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 35 hours can be requested by a filler proposal, although the first 4 hours have priority. 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. 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. Data acquired as part of a Director's Discretionary (DD) program have a standard proprietary period of 6 months, however in exceptional circumstances the Observatory may remove DD proprietary periods. 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 for 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
- Targets 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. The 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 Mark Rawlings.