Gemini - Canadian - Specific information for phase I – 2021B



A call for proposals for Semester 2021B (August 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022) has been issued by the Gemini Observatory. The Call for Proposals can be viewed at: Call for Proposals

The deadline for the receipt of Canadian proposals is:

Deadline: Thursday, April 1, 2021, 4 pm (Pacific Daylight Time)

Note that not all Gemini partners have the same deadline and those involved in joint proposals need to submit their proposals by the principal investigator's (PI) country's deadline. Canada will have access in 2021B to a total time for PI programs of:

  • 153.2 hours on Gemini North
  • 143.6 hours on Gemini South

Please consider submitting programs with relaxed observing conditions too, suitable for Band3, even if they will take longer to execute to get to the same S/N.


  • The instruments available on Gemini-North are: GMOS-N, GNIRS, NIRI (imaging only), and NIFS. Altair is offered in the natural guide star mode only. If the laser guide star mode completes its tests before March 8 then these pages will be updated. Update: the LGS mode will be offered for 2021B! Many visitor instruments will also be offered on Gemini-North, subject to demand: GRACES, 'Alopeke,, and MAROON-X.
  • The instruments available on Gemini-South are: GMOS-S, Flamingos-2 (imaging and longslit mode only), and GSAOI with GeMs. The visitor instruments offered on Gemini-South are: Zorro and IGRINS.
  • Please consult the target accessibility page for important information concerning the RA (right ascension) restrictions for each instrument.

To see more details about each of the instruments available for 2021B, please see the Gemini Call for Proposals.

What's new in 2021B

  • Targets will generally be limited on Gemini-North to 18 < RA < 13.5 and -37 < dec < +90, and on Gemini-South to  16 < RA < 12 and -90 < dec < +28. Gemini-North is expected to be shut down for mirror coating from August 9 to September 3, 2021. PIs with targets at RA 18-19h for G-North should have alternative targets available at later RAs. Gemini-South mirror coating is scheduled from October 12 to October 31, 2021. Please consult the target accessibility page for specific RA restrictions for some instruments.
  • Note that GNIRS will not be available from September through late October for its new IFU installation. PIs with targets at RA 18-22 hours should have alternative targets available at later RAs.
  • As noted above, Altair is offered in the natural guide star mode only. If the laser guide star mode completes its tests before March 8, then these pages will be updated. Update: the LGS mode of Altair will be offered for 2021B.
  • For GeMS/GSAOI, much fainter guide stars can now be selected, thanks to the new natural guide star system, thus increasing the sky coverage. For details see the GSAOI webpage.
  • Flamingos-2 MOS commissioning is not yet completed but it is expected to be offered as part of the Fast Turnaround Program during the semester.
  • Visitor instruments offered on Gemini-North are:
    • GRACES, the high-resolution R=67500 optical spectrometer;
    • 'ALOPEKE, a speckle camera. This is a dual-channel, fast-readout visual camera providing both diffraction-limited and wide-field imaging
    • MAROON-X, a high-resolution (R=80,000) optical radial velocity spectrometer; the instrument has demonstrated sub m/s on-sky precision for RV measurements of M dwarfs. Please use the generic "Visitor Instrument" option in PIT for your proposal
  • Visitor instruments offered on Gemini-South are:
    • Zorro, an 'Alopeke clone
    • IGRINS, a high-resolution R=45,000 near-IR (1.45 to 2.5 microns) echelle spectrometer
  • There will be a minimum of 5 classical nights available on Subaru. The instruments available are:
    • AO188 (but no LGS-AO)
    • FOCAS
    • HDS
    • IRCS
    • Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) now in queue mode
    • MOIRCS has been hibernated for 2 years during the SWIMS operation
    • SWIMS (a wide-field, near-IR imager and multi-object spectrograph) will be offered in shared-risks mode

Subaru will accept small-size programs (e.g. 2-3 hours) for proposals requesting HSC in queue-mode only. Canadians can now also submit proposals for HSC "filler" programs on Subaru, which are poor-weather queue programs.

The following visiting instruments are also available for 2021B on Subaru:

  • SCExAO including the VAMPIRES module
  • IRD-Infrared Doppler, an infrared, high-resolution (up to 70000) fibre-fed spectrometer (as long as the targets are different from the approved SSP program)
  • MEC in shared-risk mode
  • Fast PDI in shared-risk mode
  • NsIR waveplate unit

Proposals using the visiting instruments must include the relevant PI as a Co-I. Proposals must request half nights or full nights (except for HSC queue programs).

  • New: the PIT will automatically calculate the required time for baseline calibrations and add it to the time request. Just enter for each target the on-source exposure time needed WITH overheads (acquisition time, readout time, etc.) for each target that you get from the ITC, and PIT will calculate the total time needed for the target.
  • Note that because Gemini wishes to produce gender statistics to measure and monitor gender equality across the submitted and successful proposals, you are kindly asked to fill the gender field in the investigator details section of PIT. This information will not be transmitted to CanTAC,.
  • Warning: when submitting your proposal, you should see in the PIT "Submit" tab the status updated to "Successfully Received", and see a reference number for the proposal, such as "CA-2021B-003". If you do not see this reference number then the proposal might not have been received, and you are advised to please check with us at

Other things to note for 2021B

  • The Priority Visitor mode and Classical mode will not be offered for semester 2021B, due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Users are encouraged to use the Remote Eavesdropping mode for all queue programs.
  • All proposals for Rapid Target of Opportunity (RToO) follow-up must submit a separate proposal for Standard Target of Opportunity follow-up (SToO) in conditions better than SB/CC/IQ=Any, if such follow-up is planned
  • Poor weather and Director's Discretionary Time proposals can now be submitted at any time via PIT directly to Gemini (bypassing the Canadian Time Allocation Committee (CTAC)). Fast Turnaround proposals can be submitted at all times with a deadline at the end of every month.


Canadian astronomers must use the Gemini Observatory Phase I Tool (PIT) to prepare and submit their proposals. The new version of PIT for Semester 2021B must be downloaded from the PIT installation site.

A new "Experimental Design" section has been added to give more space to the proposal description. The science justification, experimental design and technical justification are now to be entered in a latex file (or doc file if using the Windows version of PIT). Also the PIs are now strongly encouraged to include the output from the Instrument Time Calculators in the PDF. See the PIT page to download the new PIT. Please download the latex/doc/sty template files to write the proposal.

For Canadian proposals, please use the default GemPhase1.tex, GemPhase1_21B.sty and GemPhase1.doc template files. Please allow extra time to familiarize yourself with the new PIT, and consult the help pages for the new PIT, which includes video tutorials.

In addition, please note that with the new PIT, a single proposal may now request time from either or both of Gemini-North and Gemini-South (it is no longer necessary to submit 2 separate proposals, however please indicate in the technical section how much time exactly is requested from each of Gemini-North and South).

Users will submit their finalized proposals from PIT; the proposals are sent electronically to Gemini and then retrieved by the Canadian Gemini Office (CGO). The CGO will be in charge of the technical assessment of the proposals, which will then be reviewed and ranked by CTAC.

All data will be subject to the normal Gemini proprietary period of 12 months.

Proposal parameters

Please follow the instructions in the latex/doc files:

  • Scientific justification: 1 page (excluding references, see below)
  • Experimental design: 1 page
  • Technical justification: 1 page
  • Up to 2 extra pages for: references, a maximum of 3 figures, and figure captions