Gemini - Canadian-specific information for Phase I – 2016A


A call for proposals for Semester 2016A has been issued by the Gemini Observatory. The Call for Proposals can be viewed at: Call for Proposals

The deadline for the receipt of Canadian proposals is:

Wednesday September 30th, 2015, 4 P.M. (Pacific Daylight Time)

Note that not all Gemini partners have the same deadline and those involved in joint proposals need to submit their proposals by the PI's country's deadline.

Canada will have access in 2016A to a total time of: 265 hours on Gemini North and 227 hours on Gemini South.


All instruments are offered in queue and classical mode, except for Laser Guide Star AO (Altair or GeMS) which are queue mode only for the moment. The instruments available on Gemini-North are GMOS-N, GNIRS, NIRI (imaging only), NIFS, and Altair; and on Gemini-South are GMOS-S, Flamingos-2 (in imaging and longslit mode only), GSAOI and GeMs, and GPI. Please consult the target accessibility  page for important information concerning the RA restrictions for each instrument. A total of four visitor instruments are also offered in 2016A (subject to demand): GRACES (Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph) and TEXES mid-infrared spectrograph on Gemini-North; DSSI Speckle Camera and Phoenix near-infrared echelle spectrometer on Gemini-South.

To see more details about each of the instruments available for 2016A, please see the Gemini Call for Proposals

What's new in 2016A

  • GRACES (the Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph) is offered this semester, for high-resolution (R~67500) optical spectroscopy between 400 and 1000 nm.
  • Also at Gemini-North, TEXES, a high-resolution R~4000 to 100000 mid-infrared spectrometer will be offered, for targets with RAs from 11h to 0h.
  • Visiting Gemini-South this time, the DSSI Speckle Camera, a dual-channel visual camera giving simulataneous diffraction limited images in two filters over 2.8 to 5.6 arcsec Field-of-view, will be available in the second half of 2016A, accepting targets with RAs from 11h to 0h.
  • Also back to the South is Phoenix, a high-resolution R~50000 to 80000 near-infrared (1 -5 microns) echelle spectrometer, for the second half of 2016A, for targets with RAs 11h to 0h.
  • The non-redundant mask (NRM) is available for use on GPI, in shared risk mode.
  • GNIRS short red camera is not available for 2016A. YJHK imaging is available via the acquisition keyhole.
  • The Priority Visitor Mode is now expanded and will be offered to additional programs (not only Large and Long Programs).
  • Opportunity extended: Bring one, get one! In 2016A the Gemini Observatory will continue to subsidize, with up to US $2,000, the travel expenses of individual undergraduate and graduate students visiting Gemini-North or South, when accompanying a senior observer.
  • GSAOI and GeMs will be available with targets restricted to RA 6h to 22h and Dec -75d to +15d. Please check the guide stars limiting magnitudes. PIs must check the availability of Guide Star constellations using the Observing Tool (OT) before submitting a proposal. Observations in IQ85 are possible and are encouraged for semester 2016A, for programs that can use delivered images with FWHM of 0.2 arcsecs as opposed to < 0.1 arcsecs delivered in IQ70 and IQ20 conditions.
  • Targets are generally limited at Gemini-North to 4 < RA < 1 and -37 < dec < +90; and at Gemini-South to 5 < RA < 2 and -90 < dec < +28. Please consult the target accessibility  page for specific RA restrictions for some instruments.
  • There will be a minimum of 5classical nights available on Subaru. All the instruments are available: COMICS, FMOS, FOCAS, HDS, IRCS, MOIRCS, Suprime-Cam, and Hyper Suprime-Cam in shared-risk mode. The following visiting instruments are also available: HiCIAO, Kyoto3II,, and SCExAO. Proposals using these visiting instruments must include the relevant PI as a Co-I. Please view the full call for proposals for details. Please make integer nights proposals only.
  • Warning: when submitting your proposal, you should see in the PIT "Submit" tab the status updated to "Successfully Received", and see a reference number for the proposal, such as "CA-2016A-003". If you do not see this reference number then the proposal might not have been received, and you are advised to please check with us at

Other Things to Note for 2016A

  • All proposals for Rapid Target of Opportunity (RToO) follow-up must submit a separate proposal for Standard Target of Opportunity follow-up (SToO) in conditions better than SB/CC/IQ=Any, if such follow-up is planned.
  • Poor weather and Director's Discretionary Time proposals can now be submitted at any time via PIT directly to Gemini (bypassing CTAC).
  • Since 2011B, fewer queue proposals are being scheduled in Band 3. The queue time will be filled to 80% of the advertised time, with the boundaries for Band 1 at roughly 30%, Band 2 60% and Band 3 80% of the available queue time. A new Cloud Cover constraint of CC80 has been defined, corresponding to 1 magnitude of extinction, or 40% transmission.


  • Canadian astronomers must use the Gemini Observatory Phase I Tool (PIT) to prepare and submit their proposals. The new version of PIT for Semester 2016A must be downloaded from the PIT installation site. Since last semester a new "Experimental Design" section has been added, to give more space to the proposal description. The science justification, experimental design and technical justification are now to be entered in a latex file (or doc file if using the Windows version of PIT). Also the PIs are now strongly encouraged to include the output from the Instrument Time Calculators in the PDF. See the PIT page to download the new PIT. Please download the latex/doc/sty template files  to write the proposal. For Canadian proposals, please use the default GemPhase1.tex, GemPhase1_16A.sty and GemPhase1.doc template files. Please allow extra time to familiarize yourself with the new PIT, and consult the help pages for the new PIT, which includes video tutorials too. Also, please note that, with the new PIT, a single proposal may now request time from either or both of Gemini-North and Gemini-South (it is no longer necessary to submit two separate proposals, however please indicate in the technical section how much time exactly is requested from each of Gemini-North and South).

Users will submit their finalized proposals from PIT; the proposals are sent electronically to NRC. The CGO will be in charge of the technical assessment of the proposals, which will then be reviewed and ranked by CanTAC.

All data will be subject to the normal Gemini proprietary period of 18 months.

Proposal Parameters

Please follow the instructions in the latex/doc files:

  • scientific justification: one page (excluding references, see below).
  • experimental design: one page
  • technical justification: one page
  • up to two extra pages for references, a maximum of three figures, and figure captions