Gemini - Canadian-specific information for Phase I – 2015A


A call for proposals for Semester 2015A 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:

Tuesday September 30, 2014, 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 2015A to a total time of: 219 hours on Gemini North and 197 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 visitor instrument is also offered in 2015A at Gemini-North (subject to demand): the DSSI Speckle Camera.

To see more details about each of the instruments available for 2015A, please see the Gemini Call for Proposals.

What's new in 2015A

  • 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 2015A 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.
  • The Integration Time Calculators have been updated, so that the IQ20 Image Quality observing condition constraint can now better reflect actual image quality statistics on site. Please re-run the ITC if you are re-submitting a proposal from last semester.
  • GMOS-S has now new Hamamatsu CCD detectors, with greatly enhanced red response. Please make sure to click the Hamamatsu CCD option when using the GMOS-S ITC.
  • 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 2015A, 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 few classical 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, RAVEN, 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.
  • Pending final Board approval, the Fast Turnaround Program will begin in 2015A, an announcement will be sent later.
  • Warning: when submitting your proposal, you should see in the PIT "Submit" tab the status updated to "Success", and receive a reference number for the proposal, such as "CA-2015A-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 2015A

  • 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.
  • The minimum request for classical observing programs has been lowered from 3 nights to a 1 night minimum. The minimum time block that can be requested in queue-mode is no longer limited to 1 hour minimum.


  • Canadian astronomers must use the Gemini Observatory Phase I Tool (PIT) to prepare and submit their proposals. The new version of PIT for Semester 2015A 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_15A.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