Todd Boroson and Bob Schommer
As this Newsletter is in final preparation, the Gemini Observatory is considering whether to announce a Call for Proposals for the Gemini North Telescope, with observations starting sometime during the summer. The call would likely include early observations with two visiting instruments --- the University of Hawaii's Adaptive Optics Camera and IR Camera (Hokupa'a and QUIRC) and the University of Florida's Mid-IR Spectrometer and Imager (OSCIR), with the likely possibility of observations beginning later in the Fall Semester with the facility-class Near Infra-Red Imager (NIRI) built by the University of Hawaii. The call might also include 2000B access to NIRSPEC on the Keck Telescope.
If the Call occurs, investigators may submit proposals for Gemini observations or observing time through the standard NOAO proposal process, with proposals due March 31. If the Call does not occur at this time, a later call sometime before June is likely. Interested observers should keep a close eye on the NOAO Web site in early March, and throughout the year, to find the latest information. The decision is likely to be made by early March and is dependent on the outcome of tests of the facility instrument NIRI. In anticipation of a Call for Proposals soon, NOAO has modified its proposal form and process to accommodate Gemini proposals. Users applying for time on other facilities will note some of these modifications as they prepare proposals.
For more information on the Gemini Observatory, see the US Gemini Program section of this Newsletter.