Observing time on the Keck II Telescope with the Near-IR Spectrograph (NIRSPEC) con-tinues to be available to the US community (and other Gemini partners) through a trade of a Gemini InSb infrared array. In Semester 2000B, the Gemini/NIRSPEC nights will be 14-16 December 2000. This will be a non-AO run to allow observing at 3-5 µm, which was unavailable in 2000A, as well as programs for shorter wavelengths. The program will continue with three nights per semester through the 2001B semester; observations are carried out in queue mode by Gemini Observatory staff.
Investigators interested in applying for NIRSPEC should keep a close eye on the Gemini Observatory Web site (http://www.us-gemini.noao.edu/sciops/instruments/nirspec/nirspecIndex.html) for further information. A call for proposals is expected imminently, with a due date in late October. Based on experience in the 2000A semester, Gemini anticipates changing the application form and the rules for applications. Please do not submit proposals for 2000B until further advised.
NIRSPEC is a moderate- to high-resolution, near-infrared (1-5 µm), cross-dispersed, echelle, and grating spectrometer at the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea. The instrument is equipped with a 1024 x 1024 Aladdin InSb array detector capable of resolving powers of R ~ 1,500-3,000 or R 15,000-75,000. At any single setting of its grating or echelle, NIRSPEC covers a wavelength range of approximately 0.18 center. For example, with center set to 2.25 µm, the wavelength coverage is 2.052.45 µm.