[ASA] Reminder: Call for Gemini, Blanco, and Magellan proposals in Semester 2017B

International Telescopes Support Office itso at aao.gov.au
Fri Mar 31 08:55:45 AEDT 2017

We would like to take this opportunity to remind the community that 
proposals for the final semester of Gemini access, as well as the next 
semester of Blanco telescope access, are due by 5pm AEST today. In 
addition, we have received updated information about the availability of 
Magellan instrumentation in 2017B - please see the updated Call for 
Proposals below. Magellan proposals are due by 5pm AEST Friday 7 April 2017.

Stuart Ryder
Head of International Telescopes Support
Australian Astronomical Observatory


      2017B Call for Gemini and Blanco proposals

Proposals for Australian time on the Gemini North and South telescopes, 
and the CTIO Blanco 4m telescope for Semester 2017B (1 Aug 2017 - 31 
January 2018) are due by

*5:00pm AEST, Friday 31 March 2017.*

A separate call for Magellan proposals in Semester 2017B (with a 7 April 
2017 deadline) will be issued shortly. Proposals for Australian 
community access to the Keck telescopes in Semester 2017B 
(https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/keck/apply) are due by 22 March 2017.

*What's new for Semester 2017B?*

  * In Semester 2017B there will be 5 nights on the Blanco 4m telescope
    available to the Australian community. The Dark Energy Survey
    (DES<http://www.darkenergysurvey.org/>) has been granted 100 nights,
    and the DECals <http://legacysurvey.org/decamls/> survey an
    additional 15-20 nights during 2017B. As a result the range of dates
    and lunations**available <https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/blanco/apply>
    to the NOAO and AAO community will be restricted.
  * Australia ceased to be a full partner in Gemini on 31 December 2015.
    Astronomy Australia Ltd and the AAO have secured a limited-term
    partnership for 2017, providing a total of 7 classical nights over
    Semesters 2017A and 2017B split between Gemini North and Gemini
    South. ATAC allocated 3 of those nights in Semester 2017A, so for
    Semester 2017B there will nominally be *2 classical nights on Gemini
    North plus 2 classical nights on Gemini South* to allocate. As a
    limited-term partner, Australia is *ineligible* to participate in
    the Gemini queue process; the exchange program with Subaru; or in
    the joint proposal process. Additionally, access to block-scheduled
    instruments is subject to scheduling constraints, and not
    guaranteed. The block-scheduled instruments in 2017B are *GSAOI,
    GRACES, DSSI, and Phoenix*.
  * Starting in 2017B the Gemini Phase I Tool (PIT) will automatically
    add the time for the baseline partner calibrations to the total time
    requested for each target in the proposal.
  * The Gemini North Laser Guide Star (Altair with LGS) system will
    *not* be available for regular programs in 2017B. Natural Guide Star
    (NGS) programs with Altair will still be offered.
  * For FLAMINGOS-2, two new medium K-band filters
    are available for science observations in 2017B, in shared risk
    mode, pending installation and characterisation in 2017A. The
    FLAMINGOS-2 OIWFS is available for science observations requiring
    image quality IQ 85%-ile or better.
  * POLISH2, a high-precision polarimeter, will be available as a
    visitor instrument by arrangement with the PI at Gemini North in
    2017B. The Phoenix <http://gemini.edu/node/10239> high resolution
    near-infrared spectrograph will be available as a visitor instrument
    at Gemini South in 2017B, while the DSSI
    <http://gemini.edu/sciops/instruments/dssi> optical speckle camera
    will be available as a visitor instrument at Gemini North and at
    Gemini South.
  * New Hamamatsu CCDs are currently being installed in GMOS-North
    and are expected to be available for science in 2017B. Applicants
    should use the Hamamatsu CCD option when using the GMOS-N ITC for
    Semester 2017B.
  * The non-redundant mask in the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI
    will be offered for Semester 2017B, in shared risk mode.
  * The use of an On-Detector Guide Window (ODGW) star for flexure
    compensation with the Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI
    <http://www.gemini.edu/sciops/instruments/?q=node/10235>) is no
    longer required, opening up many targets which were previously
  * Proposals should request at least half a night, and at most two
    nights on any one telescope. Applicants must indicate in the
    Observing Conditions section the poorest conditions (principally the
    Image Quality and the Cloud Cover) they can use and still achieve
    their science goals. They should also specify a backup program
    (which may employ a different instrument if available) they would
    carry out if conditions are worse than this.
  * Although requests for queue mode on Gemini are not being sought in
    2017B, ATAC may identify a subset of highly-ranked but unsuccessful
    programs submitted for classical time as being suitable for a
    "mini-queue" of programs to be executed by the scheduled PI (with
    assistance from Gemini staff), in case conditions are not good
    enough for their primary program. Applicants who would like their
    proposal to be considered for the mini-queue if not allocated
    classical time should indicate this in the technical justification
    section of their proposal.
  * Target-of-Opportunity (ToO) proposals cannot be submitted as
    classical programs. However, applicants may request classical time
    to follow up targets whose location and characteristics may not be
    known at the time of submission (e.g. supernovae, new objects of
    interest from ongoing surveys, etc.).

        How to apply

Gemini proposals must be submitted using the 2017B release of the Phase 
I Tool (PIT). For full details on instrument availability and 
application procedures, please see:


as well as the official Gemini Observatory Call for Proposals at:


Blanco proposals must be submitted using the AAO's Lens 
<https://www.aao.gov.au/lens/home> proposal submission system. For full 
details on instrument availability and application procedures, please see:


        Need help?

For general enquiries about Australian access to the Gemini or Blanco 
telescopes, please contact the International Telescopes Support Office 
(itso at aao.gov.au) at the AAO. For technical queries about a Gemini Phase 
I proposal, please use the Gemini Helpdesk:



      2017B Call for Magellan Proposals

Proposals for Australian access to the Magellan telescopes for Semester 
2017B (mid-Jul 2017 to mid-Jan 2018) are due by:

*5:00pm AEST on Friday 7 April 2017**
(A separate call for Gemini and Blanco proposals in Semester 2017B with 
a 31 March 2017 deadline was issued earlier - please see 
https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/gemini/apply and 
https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/blanco/apply. A reminder also that Keck 
proposals for 2017B are due by 22 March - see 
https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/keck/apply. Updated information about the 
new Keck Cosmic Web Imager instrument is now available from 
http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu/inst/kcwi/pre_observing.html and should be 
consulted by all prospective applicants.)

The instruments normally available on the two Magellan telescopes are 
listed on the ITSO Magellan instrumentation 
<https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/magellan/instruments> page, but applicants 
should bear in mind the following for Semester 2017B:

  * Due to upgrade work on the CCD camera, spectrograph alignment, and
    slit input mechanism *the Planet Finding Spectrograph will not be
    available for science in 2017B*.
  * The new CCD for LDSS3 has been commissioned. The new CCD has an
    extended red response, the performance is described in the paper to
    be found at
    The new CCD has become the default detector for LDSS3. If you are
    interested in using the old CCD please note this in your proposal.
  * M2FS is a multifiber spectrograph with both high (20K < R < 34K) and
    low (1.5K < R < 2.7K) resolution modes. M2FSS is a PI instrument and
    will only be available via collaborative arrangement with the
    instrument team. If you are interested in using M2FS, please contact
    Mario Mateo (mmateo at umich.edu) for further details before submitting
    a proposal. M2FS will be scheduled in two blocks, one in September
    and one in November.
  * MegaCam: There will be one f/5 run on Clay in 2017B. During the f/5
    run none of the other Clay instruments will be available.
  * Clay AO: There will be a single 9 night science run in September,
    2017. Carnegie's share (from which Australian time is drawn) will be
    3 nights of this run.
  * PISCO is a simultaneous griz-band imager, covering a 7.3 by 5.4
    arcmin field with 0.11 arcsec/pixel sampling. PISCO is a PI
    instrument, those interested in using it should contact Tony Stark
    (aas at cfa.harvard.edu) before submitting a proposal.

In recent semesters demand for instruments mounted on the Clay telescope 
has significantly exceeded that for instruments on the Baade telescope. 
Applicants are encouraged to consider whether their science might also 
be possible using the instruments on Baade (IMACS, FourStar, FIRE, 
MagE), should their preferred instrument on Clay not be available due to 
scheduling constraints.

Complete information about all Magellan instrumentation on offer, travel 
funding, and the application procedure is available at 
https://www.aao.gov.au/itso/magellan. For any enquiries about Australian 
usage of Magellan please contact the AAO's International Telescopes 
Support Office (itso at aao.gov.au).

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