The 2018B Observing Tool (OT) to be released at the end of May features a 5 micron “lucky” image mosaic of Jupiter taken with NIRI on the Gemini North telescope. See the press release for more details.
The 2018 OT Elevation Plot has been updated so that the light-gray area indicates the time between sunrise/sunset and 12° twilight. This is a change from previous versions where light-gray indicated the time between 12° and 18° twilights. This new shading matches the (internal) Gemini observing plans, and the various times are also now labeled in the plot for clarity.
The 2018A ITC includes many improvements:
– Add support for GMOS IFU-2 mode with the new Hamamatsu CCDs
– Add support for GNIRS spectroscopy with Altair
– Update the Gemini telescope mirror reflectivity
– Show the SED brightness normalization of user-defined SEDs in the web output
– Display the GMOS peak counts as a fraction of the saturation limit
– Fix the emission line minimum width when the source has a non-zero redshift
– Fix a bug with GNIRS XD + 111 l/mm grating which caused the ITC to fail if the central wavelength was not in the K-band
– Fix the missing TReCS ZnSe cryostat window data file
The 2018A OT makes it easier to disable the Automatic Guide Star (AGS) selection, useful for example, for unguided non-sidereal observations. Either set the Auto Guide Search to “Off” (as shown above), or just delete the automatically selected guide star in the Target component. AGS may be re-activated by setting the Auto Guide Search back to any valid wave front sensor.
The 2018A OT includes several new target types to facilitate planning your Gemini observations. Previously the only target types available were the “Base” (the pointing center), the guide star (OIWFS, PWFSn, or AOWFS), and a single “User” target for all other targets. The new OT includes 3 additional user-defined targets:
1. “Blind Offset” targets for specifying the reference object for a blind offset acquisition
2. “Off-Axis” targets for defining targets that are not at the base position (for example a two-target acquisition where the “Base” is in between two “off-axis” targets).
3. “Tuning Star” targets for defining the LGS tuning star for open-loop LGS observations.
The 2018A Observing Tool (OT) to be released in December features an image of the interacting galaxy pair NGC 1531 and NGC 1532 imaged with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on the Gemini South telescope. See the Gemini Image Gallery for more details about the image.
The 2017B OT supports importing observation timing windows as a text file. For example:
# Start (UT) Duration Repetitions Period
# yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss hh:mm #### hh:mm:ss
# Windows from 10-11 UT for the entire month of July:
2017-07-01 10:00:00 01:00 31 24:00:00
# One-time window for anytime on July 15:
2017-07-15 00:00:00 24:00
# Window open forever starting at 10 UT on August 1:
2017-08-01 10:00:00 00:00
# 1. Duration = 0 indicates forever.
# 2. Repetitions = -1 indicates infinite repetitions.
Loading this file with the import button () below the Timing Windows table yields:
The 2017B Observing Tool (OT) to be released in June features an image of Gemini North during laser guide star operations. See the Gemini Image Gallery for more details about the image.
The 2017A OT will display timing constraints in the Elevation Plot! This will help visualize and confirm what may be multiple complex repeating and/or overlapping timing windows.
The 2017A OT will automatically display sky survey images to help put your observations into context. These images will be downloaded in the background for all active and unexecuted observations and cached for future use. The images default to the DSS, but other catalogs may be selected at the bottom-left of the Position Editor, and this selection will be remembered for each observation. The cache size is user-customizable via the gear button, and when the limit is reached the oldest images will be removed first.