Gemini - Canadian-specific information for Phase I – 2017B


A call for proposals for Semester 2017B (1 August 2017 to 31 January 2018) 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:

Friday March 31st , 2017, 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 2017B to a total time for PI programs of: 176 hours on Gemini North and 180 hours on Gemini South. This includes the additional +6.4hours on North and South that Canada receives through the CFHT-Gemini Exchange time for the use of GRACES.


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. The following visitor instruments are also offered in 2017B (subject to demand): GRACES (Gemini Remote Access to CFHT ESPaDOnS Spectrograph) on Gemini-North; Phoenix (near-infrared echelle spectrometer) on Gemini-South; and DSSI Speckle Camera on both North and South.

To see more details about each of the instruments available for 2017B, please see the Gemini Call for Proposals.

What's new in 2017B

  • Gemini-North will not be available from August 1 to August 25 2017 for completion of the dome shutter repair. Targets will be limited in the North to 19 < RA < 12.5 and -37 < dec < +90. At Gemini-South targets will generally be limited to 22< RA < 12 and -90 < dec < +28. Please consult the target accessibility  page for specific RA restrictions for some instruments.
  • The Gemini-North Laser Guide Star AO system will not be available in 2017B. It has suffered significant faults and will not recover. Priority is given to the Gemini South Toptica laser in 2017B followed by the new Gemini North Toptica laser in 2018A. GNIRS, NIFS and NIRI are all available in the Natural Guide Star (NGS AO) and non-AO mode.
  • GMOS-North Hamamatsu CCDs installation is on-going and on-sky commissioning is expected in March. PIs should use the ‘Hamamatsu CCDs’ option in the ITC for their 2017B proposals, which will deliver an increased red sensitivity compared to the current CCDs
  • The non-redundant mask (NRM) is available for use on GPI, in shared-risk mode. For best performance of GPI, conditions of CC50 IQ70 (or better) must be used.
  • The Flamingos-2 OIWFS is available for science observations requiring IQ 85 %ile. The two new medium K-band filters are offered this semester on shared-risk mode. The MOS mode is not offered for this Call, but will be made available for Fast Turnaround Programs later in the semester as soon as its commissioning is finished.
  • Polish-2, a high-precision polarimeter, will be visiting Gemini-North for 2017B and is open to the community via collaborative proposals with its PI.
  • The DSSI Speckle Camera, a dual-channel visual camera giving simultaneous diffraction limited images in two filters over 2.8 to 5.6 arcsec Field-of-view, will be available during the first half of 2017B in the North and then during the second half of 2017B in the South.
  • Back to the South is Phoenix, a high-resolution R~50000 to 80000 near-infrared (1 -5 microns) echelle spectrometer. The scheduling and length of the Phoenix visitor blocks will depend on community demand.
  • There will be a minimum of 5classical nights available on Subaru. The instruments available are: COMICS,, AO188, FOCAS, HDS, IRCS, MOIRCS, and Hyper Suprime-Cam in shared-risk mode. The following visiting instruments are also available: SCExAO andCHARIS. Proposals using the visiting instruments must include the relevant PI as a Co-I.Proposals must request half-nights or full nights. Please note that the Subaru Telescope will be unavailable between October 2 and December 11 2017 due to recoating of the primary mirror.
  • NEW: Canadians can now apply for ‘Subaru Intensive programs’ (=Subaru Large programs) via the Gemini-Subaru time exchange program. To apply please follow the same rules as for Gemini Large and Long Programs; in PIT choose Proposal class=Large Program; and use the latex or word templates for LLPs. A Letter of Intent will not be required for this first semester. One proposal from the Gemini partners will be selected for observations starting in 2017B.
  • NEW: Starting in 2017B the Phase I Tool (PIT) will automatically calculate the required time for baseline calibrations. Just enter for each target the on-source exposure time needed with overheads and PIT will calculate the total time needed for the target.
  • 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-2017B-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 2017B

  • The Priority Visitor Mode is now expanded and will be offered to Band 1 programs (not only Large and Long Programs). Please indicate your interest in the Technical Design portion of the proposal.
  • Opportunity extended: Bring one, get one! In 2017B 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.
  • 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). Fast Turnaround proposals can be submitted at all times with a deadline at the end of every month.


  • Canadian astronomers must use the Gemini Observatory Phase I Tool (PIT) to prepare and submit their proposals. The new version of PIT for Semester 2017B must be downloaded from the PIT installation site. Since last year 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_17A.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 Gemini and then retrieved by the CGO. 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