A Year of Enlightenment at Gemini
Hello, Aloha, and Hola everyone!
Time flies when you are having fun; I can hardly believe it was about this time last year
when I was writing my first address for GeminiFocus. It has been quite the year. Between
studying the first-ever detected optical counterpart of a gravitational wave event in Au-
gust 2017, and resolving the structure and composition of Psyche, the 11th most massive
object in the Main Asteroid Belt (see page 12 of this issue), Gemini tracked the first inter-
stellar visitor ever caught in the act of crossing the Solar System, measured the mass of
the black hole powering the youngest known quasar, constrained the binarity in planet-
hosting stars, searched for dark matter in a nearby ultra-diffuse galaxy, and sniffed the
cloud tops of Uranus.
But the excitement extends beyond the science. Just a few days ago, we had the un-
precedented honor of welcoming the Republic of Korea among the Gemini partnership.
For nearly four years, we have looked forward to interacting with our Korean colleagues
during their frequent visits to the Observatory, culminating in the long IGRINS observ-
ing campaign that just concluded at Gemini South. Starting January 1, 2019, Korea will
sit alongside our long-standing partners — the United States, Canada, Chile, Brazil, and
Argentina — to define the vision and shape the future of the Observatory.
That future is quickly coming into focus, as the Korea Astronomy and Space Science In-
stitute (KASI) indicated the intention of building a new wide wavelength coverage, high-
resolution immersion grating infrared spectrograph for use at Gemini. If the description
sounds familiar, it is because the instrument will be modeled after IGRINS, which proved
extremely popular among the user community in 2018A (21 approved programs totaling
~350 hours of awarded time). After its three-month-long run on Cerro Pachón, IGRINS