GeminiFocus July 2018 | Page 6

Gemini Board Chair Rene Walterbos ( left ) and KASI
President Hyung Mok Lee sign the agreement making Korea a full Participant in Gemini .
Credit : Shari Lifson
Mok Lee , KASI President . “ We are more than happy to share this opportunity with the entire Gemini community .”
Matt Mountain , President of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy ( AURA ) that manages Gemini through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation commented , “ We welcome KASI as a full Participant in Gemini Observatory . KASI ’ s collaboration with Gemini has already yielded new scientific discoveries , and we anticipate exciting new projects to come from Korea ’ s full participation .”
“ We know that this will be the start of a wonderful friendship , as well as a fruitful and long-lasting scientific collaboration ,” added Anne Kinney , Head of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division of the U . S . National Science Foundation ( NSF ). The NSF funds approximately 70 % of the the Gemini Observatory along with Participants Canada , Chile , Brazil , and Argentina . “ With Korea joining Gemini we will see a fresh new perspective which I ’ m certain will result in a flood of great ideas and insights ,” said Kinney .
“ In the four years since Korea entered into a Limited-term Partnership with Gemini , we have developed a very strong bond with our Korean colleagues ,” said Gemini Interim Director Laura Ferrarese . “ I could not be more pleased to see that bond cemented today .” Ferrarese continued , “ Gemini is only as strong as its user-base , and we are deeply grateful for Korea ’ s willingness to join our long-standing partners and help us define the vision and future of the Observatory .”
Rene Walterbos , Chair of the Gemini Board commented , “ It is a testimony to the remarkable staff at Gemini that Korea decided to become a full Participant in the twin telescopes .” Walterbos adds that Korea is a rising star in astronomy and rapidly establishing a leadership position in many areas of astronomical research . “ I ’ m looking forward to watching as Korea ’ s scientists find new and exciting ways to use Gemini , contribute to its capabilities , and further advance Korea to the forefront of modern astronomy .”
“ Another exciting aspect of Korea joining Gemini is the instrumentation experience they will bring to our community ,” said Scot Kleinman , Gemini ’ s Associate Director for Development . “ IGRINS , developed in part by a team in Korea , has proven to be one of Gemini ’ s most popular visitor instruments and we look forward to them bringing a similar instrument specifically for Gemini as part of their initial contribution to the Observatory .”
KASI started its Limited-term Collaboration with the Gemini Observatory in October 2014 , which has enabled Korean researchers to access the twin Gemini telescopes in Hawai ‘ i and Chile starting in 2015 . Since then , and up to 2018 , the Korean community has carried out about 100 science programs and published over 10 papers based on Gemini data , two of which were featured on the Gemini website . KASI is also a major partner in the team that operates the state-of-the-art near-infrared spectrometer IGRINS jointly developed by the University of Texas Austin and KASI . IGRINS was deployed at Gemini South from March to July 2018 as a visitor instrument , and established an historically high scientific demand from the community , rendering it the most popular science instrument at Gemini South for that semester .
4 GeminiFocus July 2018