The Gemini Observatory is considering the next instrument to include in their long-range plan. The US members of the Gemini Science and Technology Advisory Committee (GSTAC) hereby solicit your input. The US members of the GSTAC are Henry Roe (Lowell, email@example.com), Tom Matheson (NOAO, firstname.lastname@example.org), Alice Shapley (UCLA, email@example.com), and Nathan Smith (Arizona, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Large-scale surveys of the US community have shown that the greatest demand is for general purpose (so-called workhorse) spectrographs. These surveys include the ALTAIR report, the CURRENTS survey, and the Ground-Based OIR System Roadmap Committee report. One of the highly desired instruments from these surveys, the Gemini high-resolution optical spectrograph (GHOS), is currently in development. Another capability with high demand is a spectrograph with moderate resolution and wide wavelength coverage. We seek your concise thoughts about the scientific problems that can be addressed by such an instrument and implied desired instrument capabilities
This is not a survey where the greatest number of votes will decide the design of the instrument. Rather, it is a method to obtain scientific guidance for a white paper that the US GSTAC members will present at the next GSTAC meeting. We intend to keep the community engaged as the white paper develops.
As a strawman concept for discussion, consider a high-throughput, single-object instrument that simultaneously covers as much of the near-UV to near-IR range as possible at moderate spectral resolution (R ~ 5000).
There is a diverse set of science cases that could be addressed with such an instrument. Examples include:
Naturally, various technical and financial considerations may constrain the design and hence capabilities of such a spectrograph. Obvious technical tradeoffs include:
The silver coatings used on the Gemini mirrors dramatically reduce transmission below 400 nanometers. If UV-to-blue wavelength coverage is essential for this instrument, then a future change to a more UV-reflective coating such as aluminum may be considered.
We would like to hear your views of this instrument. Comments on this page are now closed, but you may still email comments to email@example.com. A brief (100 – 300 words) description of the science you would like to do, along with specifications that you would need in terms of wavelength range and resolution. A description of how the various compromises might affect your science would also be useful.
Input from the entire international Gemini user community is welcome and would be greatly appreciated as we work together towards a strong Gemini.
On behalf of the entire Gemini community, thank you for your time and assistance.
Last updated or reviewed August 20, 2012.