GeminiFocus January 2019 - Page 20

Gemini staff contributions News for Users Catch up on the latest news for Gemini’s user community. This installment includes updates on the TOPTICA laser availability at Gemini North, 2019 Large and Long Program proposal deadlines, new data reduction resources to look for in 2019, activities at the 233rd AAS meeting, and availability of the new Gemini Card Game! Gemini North TOPTICA Laser Availability Figure 1. Jesse Ball (foreground) operates the Gemini North telescope during on-sky commissioning of the new TOPTICA laser. Joining him are (from left to right) adaptive optics science fellow Laure Catala (in hat), optical engineer Tom Schneider, and Gemini scientist Paul Hirst. The TOPTICA laser has been successfully commissioned for nighttime operation at Gemini North. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) mode will be available for Fast Turnaround and Direc- tor’s Discretionary programs using the Phase 1 Tool released on December 11, 2018. The new laser allows us to move away from block scheduling and offer LGS mode on a greater number of nights. We are in the process of activating one Large program that was put on hold when our old LGS sys- tem failed. During on-sky commission- ing, we confirmed the sta- bility of delivered power by the TOPTICA laser (Figure 1).  We estimated the on-sky return to be the equivalent of an ~8 magnitude star (V mag), when propagating at zenith. This of course will vary as the sodium layer density fluctuates. In terms of image quality delivered Credit: Joy Pollard 18 GeminiFocus January 2019