[ASA] Announcement of Special Opportunity for T-ReCS Observations Sept 25-Oct 9

Australian Gemini Office ausgo at aao.gov.au
Tue Sep 25 11:19:47 AEST 2012

To the Gemini Community:

Dear friends,

We have a small window of opportunity for additional T-ReCS observations to be taken at Gemini South between Sept 24 and Oct 9.  To make effective use of this telescope time, we are soliciting suggestions from the community.

As a result of a mechanical failure with GMOS-S*, we have a temporary hole in the GS queue for image quality conditions that are not sufficient for NICI observations (IQ85 or worse).  T-ReCS is still available on the telescope for 2 more weeks, until October 9th.  Therefore, Gemini invites the community to submit targets immediately, for observation with T-ReCS between September 24 and October 9.  

Targets must be visible now (~22<RA<~5), and observable in moderate to poor seeing conditions (IQ-85%, or ~0.4" or worse in N-band), and should not have matching observations in the Gemini Science Archive.  There is no restriction on cloud cover and water vapor conditions.  Target requests should be submitted by email to the Gemini South Head of Science Operations, Bernadette Rodgers at brodgers at gemini.edu, along with a very brief (few sentences) justification for observing the target and contact information for the person responsible for defining the observation.  All observations will be executed from a common program with zero proprietary period, so the data will be publicly available in the GSA shortly after they are observed.  These observations will be lower priority than programs in the queue, however, based on recent seeing conditions on Cerro Pachon there is a reasonable chance that some will be executed. 

Before sending suggestions, please confirm target visibility, availability of guide stars, and exposure times with the Observing Tool and the online Integration Time Calculator.  The PIT also has a feature to check the GSA for existing observations.  An OT xml file may be attached to the email defining the observations, but this is not required.  If the targets are added to the program, Gemini staff will be in touch with you to define the observations in the OT.  Suggestions of unobserved targets from previous T-ReCS programs are welcome; please specify if this is the case (with program id) in the email.  

We look forward to your suggestions!

Bernadette Rodgers
Gemini South Head of Science Operations
Gemini Observatory
La Serena, Chile
brodgers at gemini.edu 

*On the night of Sept 17, GMOS-S suffered a serious failure of, and damage to, the mask assembly mechanism.  The instrument will be removed from the telescope later this week for repair; the work required is still being assessed, but our expectation is that it will be back in service in October.  T-ReCS is scheduled to be removed from the telescope on or around Oct 9th to allow installation of GSAOI, and it is not scheduled to return.  The first GSAOI/GeMS run in preparation for SV will be October 19th.

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